Automate your Life in 3 Phases

Automate your Life in 3 Phases


This post was written by Arne Dörries

Doing things is a major part of your life. But don't we all hate the feeling of doing things we don't want to do? Aren't they literally by definition things we'd rather not do?

This post is a practical 3-part guide for implementing automation to free yourself of tasks you don't want to do, so you can focus on what matters to you!  

This post covers...

  1. 🤖 What is automation?
  2. ❓ Why automate life?
  3. ⚙️ How to automate your life: Part I
  4. 🛠️ How to automate your life: Part II
  5. 🚀 How to automate your life: Part III
  6. 🌍 Conclusion

What is automation?

The term automation usually refers to the use of technology and systems to perform tasks and processes with minimal human intervention.

Some examples of this industry definition are...

  1. Automatic email replies
  2. Robotic assembly lines
  3. Self-checkout machines at grocery stores

Put simply...

Automation = things being taken care of without the creator of the automation having to lift a finger after the initial setup of the automation

Why automate life?

So how does any of this relate to my life? Am I an assembly line or something?

Whilst you may not be an assembly line, the concept of automation can still be applied to human life, especially in our information-based modern world.

As a human being (yes Elon, you included), you have a set of fundamental resources and capacities that are a prerequisites for everything you do and want to do, but that unfortunately are finite.

The two most important and valuable ones are (1) your time and (2) your mental capacity for overcoming mental hurdles, obstacles and challenges.

It is true that these resources and capacities differ from person to person. Regardless, they are both finite in the sense that once spent on something, they are gone with no return.

Automation - whichever form - allows us to free up some of that limited time and mental capacity which are currently spent on things we do or have to do but would rather not do, either because we don't particularly enjoy doing them or because we don't consider them to add much value to our lives.

This way, we can dedicate these precious and limited resources and capacities to only things we want to do or consider valuable enough to spend these resources on.

How to automate life: Part I

Automating your life comes in three different phases.

The first phase of automating your life is about laying the foundation of automating your life.

This part is about identifying processes, routines and habits in your life and being nerdy enough to turn them into actual step by step breakdowns. Completing a process task may still depend on manual work, but it is surely much more time efficient and most importantly reduces a lot of mental friction, because your brain has to make fewer decisions.

Once you actively look for these processes, you will be shocked by how many there are and how much you depend on them.

Examples of this are...

  • the way you brush your teeth
  • the way you greet specific people in school or at work
  • the way you make your bed
  • the way you start-up your computer
  • the way you cook your favorite meal

Becoming aware of these processes and then turning all of the remaining things you do repeatedly into these clearly defined processes is the first phase of automating your life.

By doing this, your life is far from being completely automated since there are many things in your life that don't follow enough of a process for it to make sense to force them into a rigid structure. And as mentioned earlier, all of these process tasks still require your presence and manual labor.

The goal is instead to simply reduce any unnecessary non-process tasks that could be process tasks and to also gain an baseline understanding of where the potential for automation is hidden in your life.

If you have any regular closet, this is a place where you could start. Choosing the right outfit from a regular closet can be quite time and energy consuming. Buying the same outfit 20 times and throwing out the rest though, getting dressed in the morning could be significantly faster and require little to no mental energy.

How to automate your life: Part II

The second phase of automating your life is about beginning to implement and utilize actual automation technology.

This refers to both (1) purely digital automation technology to automate purely digital processes but also (2) automation technology combined with hardware technology to automate processes in the physical world, too.

With both of these types of automation technology, you gain the power to entirely remove yourself from certain repetitive tasks - something not possible in the first phase of automating your life.

Examples of automation in this second phase are...

  • automatic email management with filters
  • light bulbs that turn on and off and change colors at set times
  • automatic stock investments

Depending on how much you depend on technology in your everyday life, the possibilities of automation in this second phase are going to differ.

The mere fact that you have a phone and computer is enough though to give you an endless list of reasons to start implementing automation technology to free up time and energy.

How to automate life: Part III

The last and most advanced level of automation is about making sure you spend absolutely no time and no energy on things that you do not actually want to do.

This is not possible to achieve with automation technology alone simply because today's automation technology despite huge advances like no-code tools or ChatGPT is not advanced enough to take care of diversely complex and especially physically complex tasks.

An example of this would be the following task: "Plan a vacation, book it, drive me to the airport, pick up my luggage, place it neatly in the airplane cabinet, cook and serve lunch on the plane, drive me to the hotel, book a tennis court, plan and develop a practice session and help me work on my swing."

The problem with this task and trying to have automation technology take care of it is that there are simply too many variables and challenges.

Even though it may be possible to automate such a complex task with automation software and hardware in the future, at the present moment, this type of technology simply doesn't exist yet.

For this reason, the third and last phase of automating your life is about bringing in people which may not be as good in math as your computer, but which have the human flexibility that automation technology lacks to cope with even a task as complex and divers as the one above.

Examples of automation in this third phase...

  • (Virtual) personal assistants
  • Housekeepers
  • Babysitters
  • Drivers
  • Coaches

This phase of automation is advanced not only because of the complexity of the setup and maintenance, but also because of the high costs.


Cooperations have been leveraging and building upon the power of automation ever since the industrial revolution.

But most people don't see how these same principles, methods and technologies can be applied to their personal lives, too, to allow them to do less of the things they hate and more of the things they actually care about.

This guide recommends a 3-phase process for starting to implement your life:

  1. Identifying and creating processes
  2. Implementing automation technology
  3. Bringing in people to do the work for you