Which side of your teeth do you start with when you brush them? Haven’t thought about it lately? But I’d wager like me, you follow the same path every day.

We automate tasks all the time. From repetitive, mundane tasks like emptying the dishwasher to navigating our route to work and even the “How was your day?” question when you get home.

And most of this is really good. We only have so much mental energy in a day. (It can be expanded with practice but it is always a scarce resource.) So why waste it on tasks that don’t need to be reinvented?

But recently I saw an online ad for a professional development resource that made me laugh and cringe at the same time.

It was sponsored content, shared under the name of a prominent leader in that world. The ad started like this….

“What if you could automate your professional growth in just minutes a day?”

It went on to talk about how easy it is to have books show up to your door and to just have to read the “executive summaries” instead of the whole book. (Pro tip, very few executives I know just read executive summaries instead of whole books.”)

So what if you could? But you can’t. No one can. Sure, you can create habits that help but you can’t actually grow professionally without focus, effort, and intention.

“What if you could automate your friendships in just minutes a day?”

“What if you could automate your marriage in just minutes a day?” 

“What if you could automate your _______________ in just minutes a day?”

Really? Enough already.

You can’t automate growth.

Let’s be intentional about what we choose to automate and what we choose to focus on every day.