If you’ve seen XRay’s website, then you know our mission: creating 1 billion hours of focused, mindful work for the people we work with.
It’s a lofty goal, but what does it really mean in practical terms? How are we actually creating time for people to work in a better way?
In this post, we’ll explain how XRay’s method makes our mission into a reality, we’ll give you a look at how we track the time we save for our members, and we’ll explain how the time saved by automations can be repurposed into more worthwhile pursuits.
We can’t promise that a single automated workflow or a month’s worth of optimizations will cut your workday in half, but we can guarantee incremental time savings that grow rapidly over the course of your membership.
While the exact time savings that we can accomplish will vary based on your process (and many of our automations have saved hours each week), we always start by targeting a modest 1% of your time each month at a minimum. That translates to about 25 minutes out of each 40-hour work week.
Less than half an hour each week might not sound like much, but it’s only a starting point. Once we start optimizing and supporting one of your processes with automation, that will reveal opportunities for additional automations that we can build as your membership continues.
We may start by automating your inbound lead handling flow and saving you 20-40 minutes each week that you spent sending out templated emails. That lead handling automation might then reveal the need for an onboarding automation as well, saving another 40+ minutes per client as the new automation creates folders, messaging channels, and task management projects for you.
At XRay, we don’t view automation as a one-time project, but as a continual process of discovery, opportunity, and enhancement. We use a membership model because it lets us create compounding time savings for our members as we get to know their companies and their processes as well as we know our own.
Your XRay membership may begin with about a half hour saved each week, but you’ll quickly see that figure grow as your membership continues.
While we’re on the topic of saving time, you might be wondering how we keep track of the hours and minutes our automations shave off of your workload.
At XRay, every automation we build for members or for ourselves feeds data into a centralized Activity Log every time that it runs. The Activity Log collects some key information about the automation, such as the exact time that it ran, links to any resources it created, and the amount of time it saves on each run.
As we build each automation, we’ll ask you to estimate the duration of your current manual process, and compare that against the total duration of the automated process as soon as it’s ready for you to use.
In other words, we’ll rely on your experience to create an estimate of the time our automations save for you. That way, our performance metrics will be completely transparent and based on your actual results, not just our theoretical projections.
Since the Activity Log tracks the automations whenever they run and includes your estimated time savings, it automatically builds a cumulative record of the total time saved by each automation we’ve built.
So far, we’ve saved nearly 1,500 hours for our members over the 10 months that we’ve been working with them.
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As we’re talking about how automations save time, it’s important to consider what the benefits of streamlining a task with automation are.
Time can’t be banked and “saved” for later use, but it can be immediately reallocated to better tasks or more worthwhile pursuits.
As we’ve covered before, our goal at XRay is to automate robotic tasks. These are tasks that don’t require any creativity, analysis, strategy, or thoughtfulness (CAST). They’re repetitive grinds that consist entirely of moving and rearranging data.
Since robotic tasks are more suited to a piece of software than to a person, we think it’s a natural and logical conclusion that they should indeed be performed by software.
Once these tasks are automated, and your new Zapier, Integromat or Unito automations free up some precious time each week, what are you going to do with those extra hours and minutes?
It’s up to you of course, but we’d bet that you’ll spend most of that newfound time on mindful work; assignments and projects that define your role and help make you better at your job. With robotic, repetitive tasks being taken care of automatically, you’ll have more time to handle unique situations that actually need your input and benefit from your skillset.
All of this is to highlight the fact that the value of automation is twofold; it not only removes the distraction and tedium of robotic tasks, but also enables you to do more important, challenging, and useful work at the same time.
When we say that we hope to eliminate a billion hours of robotic work, we know we’re aiming high. But we believe we have a process to make it happen, and our first few months are already showing some great results.
By using our members’ first automations as a starting point, we’re able to build automated infrastructures that save more time each month, creating more opportunities for mindful work along the way.
If you’d like to learn more about how XRay is achieving its mission of saving a billion hours of mindless work, be sure to check out our blog or our YouTube channel. You can also follow XRay on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.