No matter how you break it up, there are only so many hours in a day. Your time and the time of your staff is increasingly valuable and is best spent serving clients and customers. Part of this time is spent on crucial, but small tasks that simply cannot be avoided to make any business run. However, several of them can be automated, allowing more time in your day to do the things that matter. How do you know it's time to automate? Take this short quiz and find out.

Do you [Check all that apply]:

1. Spend more time tracking your billable hours than you spend on billable work?

Tracking time and submitting timesheets are the only way to get paid, it's true. But if a team is spending too much time tracking, sending reminders to track time, and submitting and approving timesheets, you're wasting precious time. It's a clear sign that it's time to automate. Get more done (and get paid for it) by automating your project management and billing process.

"We've always focused our attention on allowing our products to make logical decisions typically made by the managers and business owners. This intelligence helps our customers eliminate time-consuming repetitive tasks so they can spend their valuable time on growing their business and doing the things they love," says Shafat Qazi, CEO & Founder of BQE Software. BQE Software develops innovative practice management software for professional services firms that simplify and automate the entire time tracking and billing process. Its products, including BillQuick, ArchiOffice and EngineerOffice turn the mundane, repetitive business tasks into automated processes that allow businesses to make informed decisions faster, and ultimately increase productivity and profitability.

2. Repeat the same process for onboarding clients and employees?

Streamline the onboarding process, whether it be for clients or new employees. Create a process for getting the client's information into the CRM. Send a welcome email or schedule a meeting with the new client to establish the steps needed to begin work.

"The client onboarding process in any business is extremely important to get right," says Dan Olson, CEO of UpCity. "It sets the foundation for the relationship moving forward. In the UpCity software, for example, we've designed a place for all of the inputs one would need from a customer and have an automated and customized workflow to technically set up a client's website and other key marketing tasks to get the program off in the right direction."

Similarly, automate employee onboarding by providing the necessary information to get them trained and provide access to your company's internal systems.

3. Spend more time planning your next moves than you do accomplishing tasks and completing projects?

While each client is different, there are some steps to any process that cannot be avoided. Automate these tasks or automatically assign the tasks to the right team member to complete at each step of the project. For example, a report must be pulled for the client after the first month of a project. If that task is automatically assigned at the right time to the right person, no time is wasted planning that ahead of time or rushing at the end to get it done. The same person or team who runs reports will have it on their schedule each and every time. Spend less time planning and more time doing. Likewise, automatically send an email to the client to schedule a call to talk about the report's findings. It's that simple.

How did you do? Is it time to automate and create more time in your day?