I have been avid about automation since I found out that you could set something up to do things and come back later to discover that it has been completed or made good progress (if you set everything up correctly). One of the earliest forms of automation I used was a program that would play a game for me so I could concentrate on the more enjoyable aspects while not bothering to do what I saw as mundane tasks.
The first concrete example of automation that I used was when I was looking for a side-job from my backroom work at a big box store. I came across a cool service called Fancy Hands that allows you to do remote work for people requesting tasks to be completed, like scheduling a reservation or haircut for them.
I was interested in the concept so I checked to see if they were accepting applications. It turned out that they were not accepting applications at the time. I had come across a tool in my RSS feed called VisualPing that would track changes made to websites and send you a notification when there was a large enough change based on the percentage that you set. Thinking of that tool, I enabled VisualPing to track when the service was accepting applications again.
A few months after I set this up, a notification came through saying there had been a change. I went to the site and found that they were now accepting new job applications. The beauty of this was I didn't have to spend my time going back to the site myself on a regular basis to check the site, saving me time and energy I could then use it on other things.
I filled out an application and shortly after was accepted to start doing work. The faster I could complete tasks, the more I would make. So I started to systematize the process.
First, I found the common types of tasks people were requesting that were worth the most. These tasks required talking on the phone, so I created efficient call scripts to get the representative the information they needed to know in the fastest way. From there, using macro software, I created an email with the information they gave me over the phone on-the-fly and sent it to the client. Using this strategy, I was able to create a healthy side income and ease my transition from the big box store.
I now use it anywhere I can. There are tools out there that don't require you to be able to code in order to use them and they can save you time and energy. Whether you are just starting a business and need to get through as many tasks as you can as quickly as possible, or you have been in a position for years and you just want to maintain the flow and practiced efficiently of your work and limit distractions and slowdowns with automated systems.
There are a lot of great tools out there. More Done exists to make it easier to know which ones to use and to help implement or teach how to use them.