Today’s post is a little different because I’m going to talk about a game I like, but stay tuned, it is related to better ways of working!
Slime Rancher is a game where you collect little slime creatures, take them back to your ranch and then do your best to keep them well fed and happy so that you can collect the gems they produce and sell them for money.
It’s very cutesy and relaxing to play and when you unlock new things, you really feel like you’re discovering something new and interesting.
The developers of Slime Rancher, Monomi Park, have recently released a new update for the game, adding automated drones that will perform simple tasks for you with very little maintenance (just a splash of water every now and then).
This update is one that adds to the game what I advocate adding to your life as much as possible, automating repetitive tasks.
As an example, the game features a market where prices for the different gems go up and down. If you sell a lot of a particular one, the price is likely to drop and remain low for several days, so you have to be strategic in your selling and wait for a good price to come up and then sell in bulk as quickly as possible before the market prices change.
In the past, on my own I’ve racked up 80k-100k in a game day, running around to all my stashes and flooding the market as quickly as possible before the price drops. Today I set up the drones to help with selling the gems, they sold two types while I sold any type that had value. Halfway through the game day, they had exhausted supplies of the gems they were selling so I had to reassign them! I ended up the day with around 220k, a new record and one I would not be likely to achieve alone without a lot of planning.
And this is the point I want to make: automating repetitive tasks has the potential to drastically increase our productivity without creating much extra work from us, just a little setting up and maintenance every now and then.
This is why I encourage people I work with to learn some VBA and why I am constantly adding more little automated processes to my work. I might have one process that produces a PDF and another Excel copy with formulas and links removed at the push of a button. Or maybe a button in a settings document that populates 20 other files with those same settings. Neither of those is a big task, but they might take 5 to 10 minutes each to complete manually, whereas the automated process would run in a couple of minutes, or free me up to work on something else, just like with the Slime Rancher drones.
So if you want to double your productivity but you’re still figuring out how to become better at planning or organisation (like me), then try automation, it will pay off.