In today’s workplace, doing one thing at a time is easier said than done. Multitasking has become the norm, and not by choice: emails, texts, and admin work pile up, and before you know it, you’re opening multiple tabs, juggling five things at once, and losing focus. You might even be doing something else while reading this post. But don’t think you or your workplace is flawed because multitasking slows down your productivity—it’s normal! In fact, we’re all much less skilled at it than we think.

But what if you’re a small to medium sized business (SMB) owner who needs to multitask to get things done? How can you do more tasks at once, while giving each one the attention it deserves? We’ve got the answer: auto workflow.

Why we’re prone to err

How long does it take to do a single task? You’d probably be shocked to realize how quick this  is when done without distraction. Multitasking has been around for decades, and one thing remains clear: your performance is much less effective when you multitask. For one, veering from your original task makes it harder to focus back on it. In fact, research by Gloria Mark at the University of California found that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to an original task after an interruption.1 Interruptions run rampant at work – and after two years working from home, we’ve been dealing with even more interruptions, from household tasks to childcare, to looking at our phones (which, according to Dscout, we touch on average 2,617 times a day).

If you’re a great multitasker, unfortunately, you’re in a very small minority. We have a tendency to overestimate our ability to multitask, and even people who are skilled in this area often make mistakes or work inefficiently.2 In fact, the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review found, just 2.5% of people can multitask effectively. Because when we multitask, we’re more likely to make mistakes and act impulsively.

So, how do you get around having too many tasks, and too little time? All it takes is a little auto workflow – and there are plenty of easy-to-use software solutions for your business.

What we can do about it

Smaller teams can get more done without compromising quality using workflow automation. But what is it? Basically, it’s a way to get daily tasks, like invoicing, job scheduling, or contacting consumers, done automatically. That means smarter scheduling, easier pricing for quicker cost estimates, improved cash flow from auto-invoicing follow-ups – which all means more efficiency and productivity. Not only that, but auto workflow helps build a larger base of loyal customers with simpler, quicker, easier communications. Day to day, you’ll see happier employees and customers, and above all, business growth.

Need more convincing? Take a look at the research. Zapier’s 2021 State of Business Automation report, found that SMBs use 38% of their time on data entry, and 34% on document management – two tasks that can be done with automation. Nine out of 10 workers said automation has improved their lives at work, and it was a positive addition to their business practices. And 63% of SMBs made company-saving moves during the pandemic thanks to automation, so unsurprisingly, 66% also said automation is here to stay.

Automation technology saves countless hours by doing day-to-day tasks automatically. Beyond that, it also reduces mistakes, and increases efficiency. According to KRC Research, workflow automation minimizes the opportunity for human error, speeds up the time it takes to do recurring tasks, and increases productivity for workers.

Workflow over workarounds

Whether in field service, fitness, dry-cleaning, retail, or even childcare, there’s a number of tech tools already helping businesses to auto their workflow, like:

Xplor Service Autopilot AutomationsPerfect for lawn care, home cleaning, snow and pest removal businesses, this solves for day-to-day invoicing, estimate follow-ups, and sales emails. Custom workflows automatically run behind-the-scenes so you can set it once, and it just goes, all by itself.

Xplor FieldEdge Flat RatePerfect for HVAC, plumbing, electrical and appliance repair businesses, this maximizes job profits by combining flat-rate pricing with a huge parts and repairs price database, unmatched in the industry. Technicians give consumers an upfront overall price before starting work – no hassling, no haggling, no pushback, and quicker payments.

Xplor Spot pick up and deliveryPerfect for laundry and dry cleaning businesses, this is the latest in delivery tech with route directions, customer notes, stop notes and order verification. Drivers save time on deliveries and collections, and easily interact with consumers via SMS, email or phone.

If there’s one reason to be multitasking right now, it’s opening a browser window to find out which automation workflow solution will best suit your business. With auto workflow, you can spend more time focusing on delivering a great customer experience, growing your business and doing what you love.

1 Association For Computing Machinery

2 Plos One

Article by Xplor Technologies

First published: March 30 2022

Last updated: May 17 2024