It's Thursday at 4.30 pm. Your working day ends soon, but instead of getting ready for home, you're focusing on how to squeeze even more tasks in.
“Work done now is work I don’t have to do on Friday afternoon — an early finish and off to the pub for me!”, you tell yourself. But deep down you know the truth: your to-do list is truly never-ending.
For so much of our time at work, this is what we find ourselves doing. Trying to race to the end, or trying to pack so much into our days that a 5.30 pm finish is the stuff of legends. And it's not always by choice! It's a busy world that puts a lot of tasks on you. The pressure to perform can seep into your personal life, affecting your relationships and mental health.
Automation can help your health and well-being
Here at Luhhu, we see a healthier work-life balance as an undeniable reason to invest in automation.
Automation can change our relationship to work. It can take over the boring, tedious tasks we find ourselves grinding through, freeing up more time to spend on things we feel passionate about — performing work that matters, rather than work that just needs to be done.
5 automations for a better work-life balance
We've curated some of our favourite automations below to help you achieve this. These aren't routines that will completely change the face of your business. They will, however, completely change your day-to-day experience with work — even if you only implement one routine.
1. Spend less time posting to social media
First things first, stop posting to your business's social media accounts manually! Whether you post once, twice, or ten times a week, social media management interrupts your schedule and demands far too much time. It’s also the sort of task we remember, in a panic, at 10 pm while sitting on the sofa.
The solution? Use any one of the many services designed to take social media management off your hands.
How to automate your social media posts:
- Choose a social media scheduling platform like Hootsuite to schedule your posts in advance.
- Use MeetEdgar to reuse your existing content on social media automatically.
- Connect your social media to your blog and newsletter in n8n to automatically share the latest updates. You can create workflows that combine for example the Twitter, WordPress, Ghost, or Mailchimp nodes.
You can do the same for cross-posting blog post content to other long-form channels, too.
2. Add personal appointments to your work calendar discreetly
If you like to compartmentalise your work and personal life (who doesn't?!), then you probably keep a calendar for your work events and another for your personal events.
The problem with this strategy is that, because you aren't viewing your events in the same place, you might accidentally schedule work and personal events right on top of each other. That, or other people can schedule meetings with you when you had planned to do something for yourself.
Automation can help you avoid this problem.
How to add personal appointments to your work calendar:
- Create a routine in n8n that connects your personal Google Calendar to your Google Calendar for work.
- Set your workflow to run whenever you add a new event to your personal calendar with a keyword like "appointment" or "doctor".
- Copy this event to your Google Calendar for work with a hint of anonymity (rename the event to "Appointment", for example).
- Add a buffer to this event (15-30 minutes) so that you have time to switch into work mode after your personal appointment.
3. Respond to FAQs automatically
Email shapes the daily experience of any computer-based worker. It's part of the gig. But if you find yourself responding to the same types of emails over and over again, then you're not only wasting your time, you’re also overlooking an opportunity to automate.
How to respond to repetitive emails in your inbox automatically:
- Create an n8n workflow that runs whenever you get a new email.
- Check that new email for keywords or phrases, such as "Are you available?" or "availability", "How much does X cost?" or "x" + "cost", "What are your rates?".
- For each keyword, write an appropriate automated response and send it automatically as your workflow’s action.
4. File non-critical emails before you have to read them
Speaking of decluttering your inbox, the last thing anyone wants to spend their time doing is swiping through, then deleting, the same emails day after day. Emails letting you know that your order was processed, that your PayPal transfer is on its way, that Amazon has a new sale on, etc.
It's easy to remove these emails from your inbox without you needing to read, delete, or move them by hand.
How to automatically sort through non-critical emails:
- If you use Gmail, click the vertical three dots in the corner of your Gmail email and select Filter messages like this. Then choose what you would like Gmail to do when it gets emails like this in the future. (You can also automate this directly in n8n with the Gmail node)
- If you use Outlook, right-click an email you want to filter, hover over Rules, and click Create Rule. Then, set your criteria for finding emails like this and then choose what you want to do with emails of this ilk. In n8n, you can use the Microsoft Outlook node to automate your email.
- If you use iCloud mail, go to iCloud.com, choose the Mail app icon, then click the Settings wheel in the corner of the screen. Select Rules…, and Add a Rule... to add rules to emails as you see fit.
5. Let someone else proofread your writing for you
Another time-demanding task you need to stop doing is proofreading your work on your own. If you aren't a writer or an editor, even the most basic proofreading software can handle this task for you. And even if writing is your profession, an automatic proofreader can help you catch the bulk of mistakes before your proofread.
Because even when you say that sense-checking your blog post is a “leisure activity” it really isn’t, not in the true sense of work-life balance.
How to automatically proofread your writing:
- Use Grammarly to proofread your writing as you go. You can install it on your computer or add it to your internet browser as an extension. This way, it can proofread everything you write at all times, automatically.
- Use Proofread Bot to automatically check your writing online and on your desktop.
Take control of your work-life balance for good
It's a constant struggle to separate work from our home life. By using the automations that we've listed above — and letting them inspire you to create your own — you can start the process of improving your work-life balance.
Which one of these workflows do you need most in your life? Or do you have other ideas? Share your thoughts in the community forum or on Twitter 🧡 And if you want to get more content around automation, subscribe to our newsletter 📧