Sometimes you just have to do the thing

There’s a lot going on at work. At any job. And often some of the things that are going on are prime for automation. They are tasks that don’t require powers of deduction, that don’t require a human touch, and so we put them off. “Once we have a process for this thing ,we can do it.” “Once we have automation in place, we can do it.” “Surely there’s something that can just pull all of this together and post it for us. Is doing this manually really a good use of our time?”

I say yes. Performing these manual tasks that could be automated but aren’t is prime learning territory: to understand what you’re working with and to identify what you need for automating. Manually assembling reports and graphs forces you to engage with the data, often spawning questions that help you understand the work and refine what you want from a tool. Manually onboarding members into your community helps you understand the questions new members have and helps you adjust your onboarding flow to address those needs.

And manually adding events to a calendar helps you to see what events you have coming up and who’s involved with them. That’s the thing I did this past week. I kept seeing notices for webinars popping up in the Support Driven Slack, and I thought with each one, wow, that looks cool. But, how is someone who’s not here in the Slack right now going to know this exists? Where will they be able to find it?

For over a week, each time I saw a new webinar, I thought, “We need to add that to our calendar. I wish we had a process for this, or some sort of automation.” But we don’t yet. When there were more webinars than I could keep track of, and I realized I didn’t even know how many were coming up, when they were, or what they were about, I carved out some time to find them in the Slack and in the newsletter and add them to the Support Driven events calendar.

In the process, I learned about who different people are in the industry, and what they do. I also saw one session I really wanted to attend, and I rescheduled a doctor’s appointment so I could. If I wouldn’t have manually added it to the calendar, I might have missed the webinar completely.

Here’s what’s coming up, if you’re interested:

Doing this a few more times will help me identify a process so I can either teach someone else or we can automate it. But for now I’m glad I added these so I can attend the one I wasn’t aware of.

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