In this day and age, there are many ways to improve your business productivity and profitability by automation and technology uptake. Here’s a list of my recommendations for you.

  • How to actually automate your business so you can literally travel the world:

Use cloud accounting software to minimize your stress. This is 2019, so you shouldn’t store accounting data on your computer’s hard drive anymore. If your computer decides to stop working, you won’t be able to easily access your business data. In fact, nowadays you would be well-advised to use cloud accounting software such as Xero and MYOB to manage your accounting data online. That means as long as you have access to the Internet, you can access your business data anywhere, any time. Usually, your bank automatically sends bank feeds (your bank account’s transaction details) to the cloud accounting software; as a result, you only need to do bank reconciliation regularly. You can also send invoices to your customers via the cloud accounting software and then track whether the invoices are paid.

Use a shared Google calendar. If you would like to improve your business productivity, I highly encourage you to use a shared Google calendar with your business partner or employees. In this way, you don’t have to spend time explaining the weekly schedule during a meeting, because everyone can see what’s happening via the shared Google calendar in advance. This strategy also eliminates a lot of unnecessary phone calls, text messages, and emails that take a lot of your mental bandwidth. If there is something that you don’t want other people in your organization to see on the shared calendar, you can simply name it something else or put “other event”.

Outsource some tasks to others. As a business owner, you shouldn’t do everything by yourself because your time is your most precious asset. That means if you are spending three hours a day doing admin work, you probably need to think about whether you should hire an assistant. Let’s say you make $200,000 per year and you work 40 hours a week – your hourly rate is actually $96. Obviously, an assistant’s hourly rate is much lower than that. Therefore, you should totally consider hiring someone to do the admin work for you (you may hire a virtual assistant on the Internet and the cost should be much lower). Then you will be able to use your time to do high-value work that brings you better results and more profit.

  • If you don’t have a business, you can still find a way to maximize the benefits of your job, and then you can travel the world.

Are you irreplaceable? Many people have lost their jobs in tough times. But some skilled people are still employed now. Further analysis conducted by a job agency shows that these high-value individuals are actually irreplaceable in the workplace. Please let me explain. Let’s say you are a secretary with average skills. In that case, someone else can easily replace you as long as they are reasonably capable. In contrast, if you are a seasoned specialist with unique knowledge, insights, and experience, it’s much harder to find someone else to replace you, right? These days recruiters are looking for high-quality individuals who can’t be replaced easily in the workplace.

Do you keep learning? In order to become irreplaceable, you have to keep learning and growing. For instance, you can attend online webinars and lectures, thereby acquiring more valuable information and gaining more skills. Never underestimate the power of education. According to a career coach, a good place to start is LinkedIn Learning, an online education platform where you can access a wealth of courses about a wide variety of useful skills that you can implement at work. Investing in yourself in difficult times is definitely a good move because when COVID-19 ends, you will start the next chapter of your career as a better version of yourself. Since recruiters highly value professional development, you would be well-advised to learn something new each day.

How to future-proof your job: Even if you are still employed today, you still need to be aware of the latest trends and technologies because experts from a recruitment agency state that what’s relevant today might become obsolete tomorrow. For example, the higher education industry is a very important sector in English-speaking countries. However, due to COVID-19, universities in English-speaking countries cannot have new international students anymore, and a large number of universities in English-speaking countries rely on significantly higher tuition fees from international students. Consequently, a lot of lecturers have lost their jobs these days. Nevertheless, some lecturers who have mastered online education skills can easily find teaching jobs on the Internet because there are many online education platforms that hire legitimate educators from English-speaking countries to teach Asian students English on the Internet. Clearly, when someone’s skills are transferrable, it is easier for this person to pivot in the right way and future-proof their career. Experts from a recruitment agency argue that recruiters are looking for candidates whose skills are future-proof in this day and age, so you need to think about how you can take action today. Last but not least, as a switched-on individual, you should search for recruiters related to your job niche & start communicating and building contacts with recruiters & professionals – at the end of the day, these relationships will be the most valuable resources in the long term in your career.

  • If you are the leader of an organization who is looking to travel the world….

Living in the COVID-19 period, it’s very normal to feel uncertain. But it doesn’t mean you should be anxious. Truthfully, one of the most important qualities that successful executives have is the ability to remain calm and take action even in uncertain times. Now there are several things that every executive needs to do.

Make your strengths irreplaceable. Yes, we should be aware of automation and delegation. But at the same time, as an executive, you would be well-advised to always remember why you are doing your job. Usually, what you are good at is also what you love, so please try your best to make your strengths irreplaceable. Let’s say you are good at building business relationships so that your company can keep growing – this can’t be automated by a machine, and even though social distancing is required these days, you can still build relationships online.

Double down on your professional development. During the current virus crisis, you probably work from home, which means you actually have more time as the daily commute doesn’t exist anymore. Clearly, time is your most valuable asset because you can always get your money back, but you can’t get your time back. Now the best way to leverage your extra time is to work on your professional development. When COVID-19 is over, you will become a more empowered executive.

 “Diversify your skills. An effective executive would be ill-advised to put all their eggs in one basket in these changing times. Obviously, someone with a variety of skills can significantly lower their risk when it comes to career success. So, are you looking to leverage your other skills or gain a new skill?”