Really appreciate the tone and real life examples! One area that I struggled with in terms of automation was figuring out when to automate. I would often say, hey I could totally automate this process, and then just go for it without truly thinking of the process and consequences. I would often start a project with the best intentions, and within an hour find myself struggling to even begin to solve the problem. I would eventually get overwhelmed and defeated, and repeated this ad nauseam for a number of years(while genuinely believing I was making progress!), and it wasn't until my manager noticed this a few months back and took some corrective actions that I realized how exhausting it was to work towards a goal I didn't particularly understand well.
One thing that was particularly helpful was my boss needling me for more information before I tried to automate something. His goal was to ensure that not only could I run the task myself without any issues, but I could explain it to others and ensure I had worked out as much of the problems up front. Once I was confident of my solution on paper, I would then begin automating the process. I have baked this into my daily routine so that it's not even a thought anymore. Much less stress and anxiety, and I've found myself making larger strides then ever before.
There are for sure some things you dont need to automate, because they're one-offs, but in the long term, if there is a time saving with automation, it's a candidate for a side project.
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