Automate repetitive tasks – Bits&Chips

Jan Bosch is a analysis heart director, professor, guide and angel investor in startups. You’ll be able to contact him at


Do you’re employed above or beneath the API? Lately, I used to be launched to the idea by a e-newsletter of Mark Manson the place he talked about folks being left behind as a result of they get caught in a rut and fail to reinvent themselves. The concept is that while you work beneath the API, you’re mainly working for an algorithm that tells you what to do. The one cause your job nonetheless exists is that you simply’re cheaper than the totally automated resolution.

We have a tendency to think about jobs beneath the API as these requiring restricted expertise, similar to Uber drivers, however with the emergence of AI, whitecollar jobs are affected as effectively. For example, ML/DL programs are higher than radiologists at analyzing medical photographs. In follow, which means that medical photographs are analyzed by algorithms and people inform the radiologist what to do subsequent to finest diagnose and deal with the affected person. Equally, for attorneys, NLP algorithms autonomously analyze huge quantities of paperwork to detect anomalies after which inform people which of them to look into. The identical is utilized in accounting for bookkeeping data and quarterly and annual stories.

The ambition for anybody must be to work above the API

The ambition for anybody must be to work above the API, ie to interact in these duties and actions which are troublesome if not unimaginable (for now) to automate and to, straight or not directly, program the algorithms beneath the API to do their job optimally. After all, our capacity to automate duties and actions continuously improves, that means that the API is ever shifting upwards in direction of extra demanding duties, as measured when it comes to required schooling, intelligence and creativity.

In our skilled lives, the precept of working above the API applies, in fact, straight. Some folks I meet relish in repeatable, predictable duties and get quite a lot of consolation and construction out of them. The work then turns into extra of a behavior, executable on computerized pilot. The extra repetitive and structured a job is, the simpler it’s to automate and consequently, you’re setting your self up for obsolescence. I typically hear as a counterargument that there are many refined variations between the repetitions of duties and it might thus be arduous to automate. In follow, nonetheless, automating a job virtually all the time requires a standardization of the context by which the duty is carried out.

Rule four for thriving in a digital world is to automate repetitive duties. Which means you continuously search for methods to make use of software program to carry out duties mechanically each time there’s even the slightest repetitive nature to them. Examples embrace easy issues like mechanically redirecting emails into completely different folders so that you simply don’t need to waste time on irrelevant ones or elaborate spreadsheets the place you solely need to put in just a few numbers to get the outcomes of a fancy evaluation offered again to you. After all, extra advanced options embrace robotic course of automation (RPA) and machine studying. You might really feel that a few of that is past your capabilities, however there are increasingly low-code and no-code options that make it exceedingly straightforward even for non-programmers to create options.

The rationale for automating the repetitive duties is so that you can unlock time for the work for which your distinctive expertise and capabilities are optimally used. This requires you to deeply interact with the subject material and to get into the circulate that permits you to do your finest work. Fixed interruption triggered by pressing however comparatively unimportant duties is extremely detrimental to your capacity to ship the standard of outcomes you’re searching for.

Privately, in fact, automation of repetitive duties is necessary to make sure you can spend your time on issues that you simply care about. This will vary from automating month-to-month funds you can’t skip anyway to purchasing a robotic vacuum cleaner to unlock time, but in addition embrace hiring a tax skilled to file your taxes for you or a private coach to make sure that your time within the fitness center has the most important affect. The latter isn’t essentially a type of automation (but) however serves the identical goal of releasing your time up so you’ll be able to spend it on issues which are uniquely yours.

Working beneath the API is a recipe for obsolescence. It’s best to actively search to establish repetitive duties in your work and, when you do, examine methods to automate them. This lets you spend the vast majority of your time and power above the API, the place your distinctive expertise, schooling and creativity are optimally used. Construct the behavior of repeatedly questioning and, the place essential, reinventing your habits for optimum outcomes.

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