Running a business takes a lot of hard work and, usually, a lot of interaction with other people. For the introverts in the room, communicating with others on a daily basis can make a busy workday downright exhausting.
Between sending emails, making phone calls, and communicating with customers and co-workers face-to-face, there's a lot of human interaction to be done throughout the day.
Fortunately, there are ways you can automate your workday to minimize the number of times you have to directly connect with other people. Sure, you need to interact with your co-workers from time to time, but why stress out over low-priority interactions when you can essentially put them on autopilot?
Not only will automation save you mental energy, it will also save time. The time that you spare yourself from meetings or phone calls can in turn be used in a more productive manner.
Here are three simple ways you can start automating and become a more productive introvert.
1. Automate Your Phone Calls (When Possible)
Phone calls can become overwhelming, especially if you run a small business and don't have many employees. It's easy to let calls slip through the cracks when you have a million other things you need to be working on, and chances are that customer won't call back. Eighty-five percent of small-business customers will not call back if they don't get an answer the first time.
Automating phone calls is not only an introvert's dream come true, it's also a good business practice. Live answering services (where you have real people taking customer calls) can be risky in that they fall subject to human error and indifference.
Make the case to your boss that automating your phone calls will produce more reliable results for customers and allow you to get more work done. Small businesses that switch to an answering service for incoming calls report as much as a 50 percent increase in productivity.
You can also let your boss know that automated phone systems are cheaper than hiring more employees, create a professional image, and, frankly, keep customers happy.
2. Automate Low-Priority Emails
Emails are inevitable. Outside of phone calls, they are the most common method of communication in the business world.
You can receive, read, and send them from anywhere. But even though they're pretty convenient, the process of reading and sending emails can become time-consuming. How many times have you found yourself reading and re-reading the message you're about to send, hoping to avoid embarrassment by catching all of your spelling mistakes and grammar errors?
Try automating low-priority emails instead. Write an email in advance and schedule it as an automatic response. Gmail's canned responses feature is an excellent way to do this. Draft up emails ahead of time and automate them to send based on messages with specific words in them or the sender of the email.
Much like automated phone calls, automated email responses give an appearance of professionalism and will also save you a ton of time, while helping customers and internal staff alike.
3. Automate Your Social-Media Posts
Social media has become one of the most integral pieces of keeping your business alive, as the mass promotion and direct contact with customers can have a profound impact on your public image.
But just like everything else, it seems, social-media posts take time to compose. It's also time-consuming to monitor your page (or pages) to see what people are saying about you, and respond in kind. Plus, not everything people say about you will be positive, which can be stressful.
There are plenty of tools and editorial calendars that allow you to automate your social posts, scheduling them for posting as far in advance as you'd like. This cuts down on the time required for you to sit at your desk preparing each post and keeps you away from those negative comments and reviews that most businesses get from time to time.
There are even ways you can send automated replies to what people say on your social pages, thus reducing the amount of time you have to spend crafting diplomatic responses to complaints.
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with being an introvert. Introverts are no less capable of succeeding as business owners or professionals than any other person. However, those of us who are introverts certainly know the challenges that come with this personality trait. Automating certain aspects of your workday can help you find a happy medium between working in solitude and being the frequent communicator most business settings expect.
Are you an introvert? Do you have tips for other introverts who want to succeed in a professional setting? Tell us in the comments section below!