The ability to learn, and to be creative was essential for our ancestors to survive and dominate the world. As is today for the success of businesses and organizations. But when there is no challenge or problem-solving involved, then repetition is the weapon of the Dark Side of the Force. People become frustrated, unmotivated, and it negatively impacts entire organizations.
Fortunately, there are ways to deal with negative repetition aspects. Among them is automation, ubiquitous in today’s life. And we can easily build our own automation solutions for digital tasks.
The importance of repetition
As Zig Ziglar stated, “Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment”. People learn through repetition. It builds paths in our brains. Every time we repeat something, use some skill or knowledge, we strengthen the connection to it, which helps us remember it even after many years.
Do you remember learning to ride a bike, drive a car, or speaking a second language? In the beginning, it is hard, sometimes even painful. But practice makes perfect. And repetition over time is essential.
Likewise, with repetitions over the years, people learn performing brain surgery, designing complex systems, managing complicated processes, and dealing with difficult people. Yes, even rocket science and theoretical physics! Repetition is the architect of our life.
But it also has its dark side. Where “mindless zombies” are born.
“Mindless zombies” - the dark side of repetition
As we briefly described, repetition plays a crucial role in our life. But it also has the other side. There are repetitive tasks, which turn us into “mindless zombies”. When there is no challenge or problem-solving involved or when the tasks we are repeating aren’t benefiting creativity and productivity. Then we become jaded, frustrated, as well as we lose our time, energy, and enthusiasm. Do you remember Charlie Chaplin in factory work? Nobody likes repetition tasks like this.
Dull tasks also have a huge impact on businesses. It seems business owners and managers are much more conscious of its negative impact than in Chaplin’s times. But still, according to the data from SnapLogic, 90% of workers are burdened with boring and repetitive tasks. And the Kofax study shows us that 22% of an employee’s time is spent on repetitive tasks.
People in the organization, who are struggling with boring and dull tasks, are not just unhappy. With growing frustration and decreasing the motivation of employees, the company is losing money and becoming less competitive.
According to impactmybix.com, there are several factors on how dull tasks are eating the company’s budget:
- increased probability of human errors,
- reduced productivity,
- increased labor cost,
- unpredictable workflows,
- compliance risks,
- less agile business,
- lack of visibility into processes.
Is there hope for “mindless zombies”?
Repetition is the cornerstone of learning, the most important skill for mankind, but it also has the dark side. Negative repetition turns people into “mindless zombies”, destroys their happiness and enthusiasm, as well as negatively impacts businesses and organizations.
In the next article in this series, I am going to elaborate on how to deal with the dark side of repetition, and introduce Zapier, as a solution for automating digital tasks. In the following part, I will also show a use case, how we use Zapier in Bravelab, and present the process of building basic integration.