Success Podcast Post

Automate Your Busywork with Aytekin Tank

George Grombacher October 27, 2023

share close

Automate Your Busywork with Aytekin Tank

LifeBlood: We talked about how and why to automate your busywork, the importance of knowing what’s important and what’s not, using your inner creativity to solve problems, and how to audit your time, with Aytekin Tank, Founder and CEO of Jotform, productivity expert, and author.       

Listen to learn the value of blank space!

You can learn more about Aytekin at, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Get your copy of Automate Your Busywork HERE

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review here:


You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook or you’d like to be a guest on the show, contact us at contact@LifeBlood.Live. 

Stay up to date by getting our monthly updates.

Want to say “Thanks!” You can buy us a cup of coffee.

Invest in yourself. Bring it All Together.

Work with a coach to unlock personal and professional potential.

Our Guests

George Grombacher

Aytekin Tank

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:02
Take and talk is the founder and CEO of jot form. He is a productivity expert in automation enthusiast, and he is the author of automate your busy work. Welcome I taken.

Aytekin Tank 0:14
Hey, great to be on your show. excited to have you

george grombacher 0:17
on tell us a little bit your personal lives more about your work, why you do what you do?

Aytekin Tank 0:23
Yeah. In my personal life, I think like three things define me. I’m a father, like, I’m a father of three kids. And I’m, the second one is I am. I’m a founder of a successful bootstrap business. Now, it’s 17 years, years, that since I started, and we have over 500 employees, and I’m also an author, I just released my first book this year, and it became a Wall Street Journal bestseller. And what’s common about these three things is, is I think it’s business. It’s, first of all, being a father, it’s, it’s all about business, like I’m so busy, like six days, out of seven days, a week, I’m actually taking my kids to some kind of like sports, training or class like, mainly basketball, and tennis, and just so busy. On my job on my verge. Basically, we help people automate their busy work, and form. So actually, when I started jobs from 17 years ago, I started it because I was before that I was working for a media company in New York. And when I was a programmer, and one of my duties will still like create forms, I was creating these questionnaires, surveys, like contact forms, payment forms, and I wanted to find a way to, like automated for, I wanted to find a product that can take away this boring job for me, I couldn’t find one. So I decided, okay, I’ll quit my job. And I will actually start this, this product. And I did that. And I found that a lot of people needed this. But over the years, I discovered that what I do is not like, we are creating forms, like we are helping people create forms, we are actually helping people automate their business or organization, like the communication within an organization, or business like JotForm is very popular in like healthcare, education, nonprofits, mainly because these industries are dealing with like so many people, if you’re an educator, like you have to deal with students, parents, teachers, you know, everyone else, and you’re receiving so much information, you’re seeing all these requests you’re receiving us, like asking people for information, they’re making requests from you. And if you try to do these things, like manually, you’re so busy, that I remember, my professor was like, He’s in school in university, like, his, his, his basic, he was also the dean. And his, his room was like, filled with papers, like you couldn’t even walk in it, like everywhere, like he’s this grant everywhere was filled with paper. So I found out that I’m actually helping people like my professor, that actually help them, you know, get rid of that visual, like, automated piece of work, so that you know, all the information flow, and all the stuff that happens after that form is submitted. There is also lots of going on. And we also have done like, we release an E signature products, we release an approval workflow product, like so it’s just so much busy work, and we have been helping people with busy work. So I kind of discovered that on this journey when I was like, when I was growing my business. And the third one is my book, automate your busy work. It’s, it’s in the title. It’s about helping people find a way to get rid of the busy work so that they can focus on the important stuff. So it’s easy to say, hey, just get through a piece of work. So that like just focus on important stuff. And I said that a lot and that’s like my philosophy in life like just mesh I tried to make sure that I spend my life with important things and just don’t waste it that way. And but seeing that is not enough like you have to find a strategy you have to find a way so that you can actually take away those like busy this and how do you take away the business? It’s it’s all about automation, and we are just living in a different kind of age now, like just different, different times, and so easy to automate things now, like, just there’s technology. And because of that, there’s just so many opportunities and people, you know, it’s hard to, like learn new tools, it’s hard to, like, stop doing what you’re doing. But, you know, when the pandemic happens, everybody learns, you know, everybody moves to the forums, everyone to learn to use, like online, you know, they start ordering online, they start using E signatures, instead of like signing documents and papers and sending those papers. So it’s, you know, when they have to people actually learn people, you know, find, like research and find out and find a way to automate things. But this book kind of helps people to give them, you know, some strategies to make that easy, so that they can actually say that it’s time for more important things. So all those three things of our Arbonne business? And for me why I do what I do is, it’s a great question. I think it’s, for me, it’s about the challenges I love. I love working on the challenges. And like the last eight months, so my third child is actually eight months old. So she’s eight months old. So eight months ago, I took a break for three months, and then I love to actually, you know, get on less busy and just focus on one thing, and then my book was coming out. So I decided to extend that. So I was actually out for several months, and my CEO, took over everything else from me, that was really enjoyable. And because I really liked, like, as a CEO of kind of, like, the company’s getting big now like, you know, over 500 employees, just I’m dealing with so many stuff. So I was kind of losing that excitement, because I was just doing so many things. And by, like, you know, remember that I really loved focusing on like, specific things, that when I, when I get when I got back to work, in September, I decided that, okay, I told my CEO, hey, you keep everything else, I’m just going to pick five things, I’m just going to focus on those five problems or opportunities. And every day of the week, I’m just going to focus on one thing. And I’m more productive to say if I focus on one thing, I’m much more productive. So I picked those five things. For example, on Mondays, I’ve worked on quality, like improving the quality of our products, on Tuesdays, you know, I work on the Enterprise product, like how we can make it better, like there is a big growth there. And we are growing as sales team. We’ve been self service for the most of our history. But now we are actually growing a sales team. So it’s, it’s like that. So I’m just more focused. Now. I’m much more productive. And I’m actually more excited about my work. So I figured that my VI is actually like being creative, like really working on important problems, finding creative solutions, and really executing on a solution and seeing the results on those solutions. That really excites me about work. And in whatever I do, I that excites me.

george grombacher 8:42
I appreciate that. It’s Is it interesting that a tech founder and CEO and programmer talks about the creative part of your brain?

Aytekin Tank 9:00
Um, yeah, I think it’s, it’s really, it’s about creativity. Because if you think about it, like programming feels like it’s not creative. But what you do when you program is you actually come up with creative solutions to problems. And what you try to do is you solve a problem. And you just solve it once, instead of like, like solving it every day. Just you you apply a solution. And then it’s so what’s great about like programming, or tech is it can actually instead of doing the same thing, again, instead of applying the same solution again and again, you’re actually finding a solution once and then that solution is like that’s the the machine is doing that like from now on. machine takes over that work. So Same thing with automation. Automation is also about being creative. So you find a solution, you find a creative solution to a problem you have, and you find an automation solution. And then you actually reduce the the amount of repetitive work you do. And you have more time for creative solutions. But, yeah, I also love like writing, I’ve been writing for an entrepreneur and Fast Company, and I’ve been writing for medium now I have the book. So I have some creative aspect, definitely. But it’s not just, I don’t think you have to be in a creative, like, you don’t have to do arts to be creative, you can actually be creative in your business. And it’s actually much more fun. Because in business, like your creative solutions have actual, like tangible results, like either, you know, satisfied customers, growth for your business, more revenue. Like, I think it’s, it’s more fun to be creative in business.

george grombacher 11:05
I think that makes a lot of sense. And I do think that we’re all, we all have some form of inner creative, we just bury it and all the nonsense and busyness of for lack of a better term modern living. I’ve also discovered that we human beings fall in love with our problems. And we we claim, and really want to hold on to them, even though it’s counterintuitive. Why would we want to do that? So the idea of actually solving the problem and then not having to worry about it, because we’re able to automate it or use some kind of a technology. Do you see people resisting that maybe subconsciously, because this is just what I do. I just deal with this?

Aytekin Tank 11:50
Yeah, definitely. So in the book, I talked about this automation, first mindsets, and, and I think we really did the the second and the third 1/3 principle is about that. So basically, there are four principles. The first one is clarify your priorities, ask yourself two question, what should I spend my time on? And what should I spend my time on? Like, you can do a timeout that, figure out how you spend your time, like, if you do a timeout that puts how you spend your time on a spreadsheet. And at the end of the week, if you look at how you spend your time and ask yourself, should I really spend my time on this, and, like, separate those things, and the things that energizes you, and the things that drain you are separated, and you attack those things that drain you first. And because they’re not just taking away your time, they’re also taking away your motivation, your opportunities, your excitement, your energy, everything. You’re they’re draining you. So that was the first one. The second one is harnessing laziness and impatience. And this is this is also about the question you asked, like, how we can kind of really, like, not get stuck with the usual, like, just find a way, like, just stop doing the same thing again, and again. And BJs has a great quote, he says that I would always hire a lazy person to do a hardship, because the lazy person will find a smart way to do it. And it’s about like taking the time to really find it, like thinking about it, and finding a smart solution to those repetitive tasks. And the third one is making time to say time, like, you have to really take the time to do research, to think about your workflows, like how you spend your time, what kind of workflows you have, like how much you wait for other people, or all those things that are like taking your time, like you have to constantly wait for notifications? Do you really have to wait for those notifications? Or can those things take care of themselves. So you need to make time to save time, you need to take the time. Like if you spend a day automating things you could save a year of work. And for me, like I was spending like six hours in my emails, and a solution I found like reduced two hours a day. So and and, and that’s also about that, like the question you asked like, you know, really, should we should we, you know, how can we really take the plunge and like do the automation find a way to delegate automate the trophy to that trainers. And the fourth one is about systems thinking. There’s a great book by Daniel Donella Meadows and she talks About the system’s how the world sees a system, you know, cause and effect feedback loops, and how you can use leverage points, like if you if you understand the systems, like how we can make a change. And if you basically, in the book are also talking about like building your systems and helping automation, like instead of doing things yourself, like, instead of being an individual contributor, you’re becoming a manager, you’re becoming a manager, maybe you’re not managing other people, but you’re actually managing your automations. If you think about it, like that, now you have all these automations, and you’ve built these systems, and you continue to refine and iterate on these systems to, to be to work on a higher level. So instead of doing those repetitive tasks, now you are managing those automations. And, and, yeah, it’s, it’s not easy. But basically 10 People actually change the mindset. When you get that automation first mindset, it becomes easier to automate things. So my book is really about like, giving you the motivation to do to do the automations to understand what energizes you, what drains you, and really taking the time, so that you spend more of your time it’s things that you love to do.

george grombacher 16:25
Which makes so much sense. Do you think that most people waste time? Not on purpose? Maybe on

Aytekin Tank 16:33
purpose? Yeah, I think it’s, it’s just, it’s, it’s so easy to waste time, because just we are bombarded with all these things, like, you know, like, if you open youtube, right, you will get like, so many great things coming your way, on social media. On TV, it’s just very easy to waste time, Wherever you look, and just your notifications, like from your phone, at your work, like people constantly writing to you or coming to. So it’s just very easy to waste so much time, it’s important that, like, I think it’s important that, you know, if you enjoy something that’s good, like, you definitely you know, you know, watch your movies, or like, you know, watch your sport or, but, you know, be intentional about it, instead of like just, you know, going with the river like. And so I think it’s time boxing is a great tool for this. And that’s actually what I do every morning. So every morning, like, I have a routine and you know, go to gym, send my kids to school, things like that. But after I handle all those things, like I have my cup of coffee, and I sit in front in front of my computer, and just now I don’t check my emails, I don’t check social media or YouTube or anything else, just what I do is I will just, you know, open this full screen text editor. On Mac, there’s a text editor called IA writer, but it’s just a regular text editor, what I really liked about this, it becomes like full screen like there is nothing else on the screen. And I use the black background. So I have this full screen, I have this great Apple monitor as well. So I have the full screen, black background and white cursor blinking. And it just feels like an empty paper. Like being creative. It feels like you know, you can’t accomplish anything. So, you know, I have my coffee, I have the full screen. So what’s the most important thing I can work on? And? And I asked myself that question like sometimes I don’t know that. So I will start journaling, I will just write down, whatever comes to my mind. And after a few paragraphs, it actually, like I start, like coming up with like finding, I start discovering what’s really important for me what like, what should I work on that day. And the next two hours, like until noon, I’m just going to focus on that. And, you know, sometimes I will just read a book because to solve that problem or to to really execute on that opportunity. I have to learn something because I don’t have enough skills. So I just opened my Kindle and just, you know, buy the book and read it or open YouTube watch some you know, tutorial or something. So just either educate myself about something or think about something I love, using writing to think about things because it’s like conversation. And sometimes I will just, you know, meet with someone, just like you know, talk with someone and to learn about it and just it’s So it’s important that we timebox. And, you know, after afternoon that I can, I can start looking at my emails, I can schedule my meetings. And once I accomplish that big tasks of the day, everything else is much easier. Like it’s just much more fun because you know that you have been productive on the most important thing in your life that day. So now we can take care of all that busy work. Yeah,

george grombacher 20:27
I think that that’s super powerful. There’s so much value in a blank page or a blank screen I love, I could see it in my mind, this big apple monitor just black screen to the white sort of cursor blinking at you. And instead of rushing to fill this, this empty space with stuff, like no, just gonna let fun or creativity come come through and figure out what the most important thing is, and give yourself that space. So I think that that is very wise. I love it. Well, I take it. Thank you. Thank you so much for coming on. Where Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage? And where can they get their copy of automate your busy work?

Aytekin Tank 21:10
So it’s available on bookstores. But I also have a website, it can tank that comm. So my first name last And, and in my website, there’s actually like a free chapter of my book, you can go there and read the first chapter. And if you like it, you can get the book on Amazon. There’s actually also an audio version. It’s available on So I hope that it helps you.

george grombacher 21:44
Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed this as much as I did, shall I take in your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to a taken It’s a YTEKINT a And check out everything that he is working on. Check out the free chapter from automate your busy work, and can also get it on Audible get the audio version or pick up your full copy on Amazon. And I can certainly attest to the value of what he has been talking about and the importance of doing a time audit because I know that I have a tendency to slip back into bad habits and to waste time, so I think it’s a really valuable thing. Thanks, can I take advantage of it next time. Remember, do your part by doing your best

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review wherever you listen and we’d be grateful if you’d subscribe as well.

You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook.

Our Manifesto

We’re here to help others get better so they can live freely without regret
Believing we’ve each got one life, it’s better to live it well and the time to start is now If you’re someone who believes change begins with you, you’re one of us We’re working to inspire action, enable completion, knowing that, as Thoreau so perfectly put it “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Let us help you invest in yourself and bring it all together.

Feed your life-long learner by enrolling in one of our courses.

Invest in yourself and bring it all together by working with one of our coaches.

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, or you’d like to become a Certified LifeBlood Coach or Course provider, contact us at Contact@LifeBlood.Live.

Please note- The Money Savage podcast is now the LifeBlood Podcast. Curious why? Check out this episode and read this blog post!

We have numerous formats to welcome a diverse range of potential guests!

  • Be Well- for guests focused on overall wellness
  • Book Club-for authors
  • Brand-for guests focused on marketing
  • Complete-for guests focused on spirituality
  • Compete-for competitors, sports, gaming, betting, fantasy football
  • Create-for entrepreneurs
  • DeFi-for guests focused on crypto, blockchain and other emerging technologies
  • Engage-for guests focused on personal development/success and leadership
  • Express-for journalists/writers/bloggers
  • General-for guests focused on finance/money topics
  • Lifestyle-for guests focused on improving lifestyle
  • Maximize-for guests focused on the workplace
  • Numbers-for accounting and tax professionals
  • Nurture-for guests focused on parenting
  • REI-for guests focused on real estate

Feed your Life-Long Learner

Get what you need to get where you want to go

Rate it
Previous post