Since OpenAI released the public research preview of ChatGPT in late 2022, conversational artificial intelligence has become a disruptive force in the modern workplace.
While AI won't take our jobs just yet, it's easy to imagine a near future scenario where every human worker has one to five AI systems augmenting different aspects of their role. (Right now at Ridiculously Efficient, our team is testing 6+ distinct AI tools daily, to cross-reference and evaluate which actually save time in our everyday workflows.)
How would your career or professional ambitions change if you were able to partner with AI to delegate, outsource, or accelerate core aspects of your everyday work that slow you down or exhaust your energy?
It's an exciting time to be a high-performance professional. Many of us have been avid time hackers for years. We methodically test and vet our personal "tech stack" of tools and services to streamline their workflow, and hunt for unconventional tips and strategies so we can do more in less time.
AI has the potential to give us more time leverage than any other technology – and it's about to be embedded in nearly every facet of society.
With the right approach to choosing and using AI tools, high-performance professionals can unlock unparalleled efficiency. But if you dive into the distracting world of AI without a strategy or plan, you run the risk of committing to yet another addicting technology that creates even more work.
Understanding AI and its Potential
Artificial intelligence is a broad term that refers to computer systems that are designed to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. From speech recognition and natural language processing to machine learning and computer vision, AI has already been changing the way we work and live behind the scenes for years.
When we speak about AI today, though, most people think about conversational or generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Jounce, Writesonic, Jasper, Copy.ai, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and more. These tools enable you to have a highly realistic, text-based conversation with an AI system that's been trained on human-generated text to do all kinds of tasks that we would typically do manually.
When it comes to productivity, AI can help us automate routine tasks, free up time for more important work, and provide insights and recommendations to help us make better decisions. Because so many new tools, apps, and feature updates are happening daily, the near-term potential of AI for productivity is virtually limitless.
Despite this stunning potential, it's important to know that today's AI systems aren't omniscient. Because conversational AI is built to generate responses that sound realistic, not necessarily provide verifiably true information, it's deceptively easy to use AI to generate an article or video script that sounds plausible but isn't true.
Without this context – and the human expertise to spot logical fallacies or misinformation in AI-generated work – it's easy to fall into a trap and outsource all the wrong things to AI, like critical thinking.
To maximize the benefits of AI for productivity, we must understand its potential, its limitations, and how to use it responsibly and ethically. (To get regular updates and insight on the human side of AI, subscribe to Creative Intelligence.)
Productivity Hacks With AI
Over the last 3 months, hundreds of AI tools and services have been released, each with its own features, capabilities, and drawbacks.
Here are some of the areas where we've discovered AI can genuinely help us save time at work:
- Time management and task automation: AI can help us streamline our workflow and automate routine tasks, freeing up more time for important work. Tools like Reclaim, Motion, Trevor AI, and Kronologic help optimize your calendar, automatically schedule to-dos and tasks, and follow up with sales leads.
- Project management and collaboration: AI can help us manage projects more effectively and collaborate more efficiently with our team. Tools you might already be using, like Notion, G Suite, or Hive, have recently been updated with AI features like chatbots to help teams track progress, allocate resources, and communicate more effectively.
- Research and knowledge management: AI can help us quickly find the information we need and organize it in a way that makes sense. Tools like Humata enable you to upload lengthy PDFs and ask natural questions to access data, summarize technical papers, and generate new writing based on previous research; conversely, tools like Capacity use AI to intelligently organize internal company knowledge so team members can find the information they need faster.
- Data analysis and visualization: AI can help us quickly analyze and visualize large amounts of data, making it easier to identify patterns, trends, and opportunities. Proven tools like Tableau and Power BI use AI algorithms to help us quickly analyze and visualize data, and to make data-driven decisions – and these Microsoft-powered products will soon get a GPT-3 upgrade thanks to its investment in OpenAI.
Maximizing the Benefits of AI for Productivity
To maximize the benefits of AI for productivity, it's important to select the right tools and services for your needs, and to integrate them into your workflow and habits in a way that genuinely saves you time.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Choose the right tools for you: There are countless AI tools and services available for productivity, so it's important to choose the ones that are right for your role and working style. Consider your goals, needs, and budget when making your selection, and be willing to experiment with different tools until you find the ones that work best for you.
- Integrate AI into your workflow: Once you've selected your AI tools, it's important to integrate them into your workflow and habits. This means figuring out how to use them effectively and efficiently, and making sure that they work well with other tools and services you use.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of AI: It's important to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of AI in improving your productivity. This means tracking your progress and results, and making changes as needed to continually optimize your workflow and AI tool stack.
- Continue learning and adapting: AI is a rapidly evolving field, and it's important to stay up-to-date with the latest developments and trends. This means continuing to learn and adapt, and being open to new tools and services as they become available.
AI has the potential to revolutionize our work and lives, helping us to do more in less time and maximize our efficiency and effectiveness. Whether you're a freelancer, entrepreneur, or office worker, the benefits of AI are too great to ignore. By understanding its potential, selecting the right tools and services, and using AI responsibly and ethically, you can harness the power of AI for productivity and achieve your goals.
Continue the Conversation with Creative Intelligence
To learn more about how to partner with AI with integrity, join Creative Intelligence. As a member, you'll receive regular tips, insights, and best practices for using AI to improve your productivity and achieve your goals. You'll also have the opportunity to connect with other high-performance professionals who are interested in using AI in a human-centered way, and to learn from experts in the field of AI ethics and human-centered design.
Don't outsource your unique gifts - join Creative Intelligence today and start learning how to use AI in a way that enhances your humanity and enables you to optimize your work-life alignment.