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What do you do and how often do you do it?

It said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

I think that could be expanded to include doing the same thing over and over, but not looking for a way to do it more efficiently.

Have you ever found yourself repeating a process over and over? Especially at work?

Recently, I realized that I was repeatedly doing a task which required 3 to 4 hours each iteration. In truth, much of the content created in those precious hours were boilerplate. Yet it took me years to realize that I could create a mega-template that would satisfy the needs of those who read the final production.

I invested a whole day to create a somewhat flexible, fill-in-the-blank template. Sure, the upfront investment was steep. However, I believe the long-term reward in the time saved will be well worth the effort.

Now, I’m able to breeze through in 15 to 20 minutes what used to take many hours. To be clear, this is content I am very familiar with, I am able to word it in such a way that I can use unique variables and still sound very natural. It does not sound forced or even look like a template. It’s customized to the point it needs to be and it does not take any shortcuts.

In fact, it may be some of my best work because I was able to invest in it upfront.

I’m somewhat disappointed in myself that it took me so long to realize how I was spending my time. But, the way I was doing it was fairly standard. It was the status quo. We don’t often question the status quo because, “that’s the way it’s always been done”.

Do you spend your time in repetitive tasks, can this be streamlined? From text expanders to fill in the blank forms, what tools can you use or methods employed to make better use of your time?

Where can you apply your creativity to challenge the status quo? 

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