August 13, 2018

5 Ways to Avoid the Negative Effects of Repetition at Work

Written by
Tara Callinan

Of course, practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to refining a foreign skill. However, repetition in the workplace often has the opposite effect; instead of leading to success, it stunts productivity and motivation, and consequently hurts your bottomline.

Thankfully, though, modern technology exists to help managers better utilize resources to run a more profitable business – all while staying less stressed. With that said, here are 5 ways that Managers can use smart tools and techniques to avoid the negative effects of workplace repetition (before it’s too late):

Automate Busywork

A top killer of productivity is repetitive work; especially manual work like filling in timesheets or updating client records – every day, week, or month. But this no longer needs to be the case. Automate your teams time tracking processes with a Service Operations Automation (ServOps) platform that automatically logs the time they spend on client work – including all calls, meetings, and emails – so that they can bill for that work in just a few clicks. Yep, this means a repetitive task that takes some Account Managers hours every week can now be reduced to seconds.

The best part? Automating manual busywork like this will not only boost productivity, but it could save your company a significant amount of money. In fact, moving from weekly (or worse) timesheet updates to daily (or better) with the help of automation would recover $52,000 per professional per year in billable time! Just imagine what you could do with that kind of money at your agency; money that could be spent growing your team or business.

Humanize Company Culture

What’s the one thing you have over a robot? Real passion. If your team aren’t passionate about the task they’re assigned, it’s going to reflect in their work. And if your clients see this is a lack of effort, they’re most likely going to walk away from your service. That’s why, as a Manager, you need listen to your team and hear their concerns; see where they’re falling short and acknowledge where they truly shine. Rather than making staff feel redundant, make them feel indispensable! Upskill your team in a way that allows them to wear various hats (well) instead of wearing one hat (miserably) every day. Not only will this positively impact morale and reduce burnout from repetition, it will go a long way in creating a collaborative culture thats built to last.

If you’re managing a dispersed team, try setting up a shared calendar that gives you full transparency into who on your team is doing what and when – in real-time. That way, you can proactively jump in to prevent their schedules from filling up with more of the same tasks.

Reuse and Recycle

Rather than creating the same project plan or invoice over and over again, save it as a template for clients for whom you do similar ongoing work. You’ll be surprised how much time you can save by recycling templates rather than building them from scratch – especially if the majority of the work you do is retainer-based!

Use a ServOps platform to set up recurring tasks within retainers or contracts so you don’t have to create them every time a client’s contract renews. With the right platform, you can even invoice in bulk or customize your invoices for each pay period (depending on the type of service, materials used, or expenses incurred) and reuse them for similar clients – so no more wasting valuable time jumping from your timesheets to your contracts or projects, and then back to your billing system just to get paid.

Find Your Routine

Routine keeps us sane. Repetition drives us insane, and more often than not, this can be avoided with daily routines that improve health, well-being, and productivity.

In the book, The Miracle Morning, author Hal Elrod explains why, saying that “how you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life.” So why not put some structure into your day? Make it your goal to move every morning, cook breakfast before work, write in a journal or listen to your favorite podcast. These small routines can make a huge difference when it comes to overall happiness; outweighing the negative effects of repetition. So when you’re alarm goes off tomorrow, don’t just drag yourself to work, stare at your computer all day and then go home to do it all again… Start the first day of the rest of your career and regain the motivation you need to move forward.

Think Outside the Box

If repetition is inevitable, at least make it enjoyable. Rather than doing the same task, from the same place, on the same computer (every day), change it up a bit! Swap from sitting to standing or work comfortably from a bean bag – the choice is yours. Changing your surroundings can make a big difference in your mood and goes a long way in fighting boredom. So go on, get creative!

Tara Callinan is the Marketing Communications Manager at Accelo, the Service Operations Automation platform for growing businesses and teams. Tara is passionate about multi-platform content creation and getting professionals back to doing the work they love!