Automating The Off Days

Shaun Hughston
3 min readMay 30, 2021

So you can truly connect and enjoy what you do

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

It’s fair to say that automation is a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, it frees business owners and employees from a lot of the mundane day-to-day repetitive tasks, and adds an extra set of hands to the team.

On the other hand, automation can be seen as the death knell to many types of jobs across almost every industry, and there is widely reported anxiety about a more automated society.

The psychological implications of job losses due to automation can’t be discounted, especially since job losses will likely be inevitable as a result of greater automation.

However, I got to wondering — is there an alternative point of view around automation and mental health? Can we use automation to allow us to do more meaningful activities, to let it serve us rather than overwhelm us?

I’m thinking specifically around small business automation. I’m not talking about large industrial scale automated processes — more about your everyday, run-of-the-mill business processes.

I think small business automation is there to add to the human factor, not necessarily replace it.

And that’s where it becomes especially helpful for people when they’re not operating at one hundred percent.

We all have off days. I have off days. Some people have more off days than others.

We all experience mental health challenges differently.

It might be as simple as not being particularly focussed — maybe thinking about that undone chore, or feeling guilty about not going to your kid’s play.

It could be something more crippling, like not being able to get out of bed. Or feeling too anxious to talk on the phone that day.

For some, it’s temporary. For others, it’s an everyday reality.

Automation can help when it comes to doing repetitive, mundane tasks, dealing with new leads, and just doing the background work so you can focus on the main tasks that need your attention the most.

Imagine if your website bot can have the initial ‘conversation’ with a potential customer, and screen out the leads that aren’t your ideal customer — then screening in the people that are actually suitable.

Clinical psychologist Aleks George who operates a daily blog concentrating on life balance says: “That makes it a win-win as you’re creating a cycle of helping the right people, which raises their confidence in you, and your confidence in yourself.”

Maybe it’s your CRM running automations for new customers so you’re not having to send out emails manually. By not doing the manual things you have more energy to really connect and do the most important things that only can happen one on one.

Perhaps that’s just enough to make things easier for you on one of those not-so-perfect days — those days that just drag on as you complete menial repetitive tasks, or waste time talking to potential customers that aren’t the right fit (i.e. the days where Netflix looks like a better option than work).

Of course, it’s all about balance. Automation is about helping you out with specific tasks, and despite societal fears, automation is not just there to replace humans. But there is such a thing as relying on technology and automation too much. Think about how you’re using the tech and make sure it’s more helpful than it is harmful to your business, and mental health.

If you need help, contact Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14, or Google ‘Mental Health Services’ in your city.