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Buried with Work? Prompt AI to Handle Tedious Tasks

Do you ever wish you had a personal assistant—someone who handles the mundane, tedious tasks for you so your time is freed up for other responsibilities?

Cathryn Lavery, founder and CEO of BestSelf Co., an Austin, Texas-based provider of productivity tools, suggests turning ChatGPT into that personal Minion—minus the “Despicable Me” characters’ round glasses, overalls, and squeaky voices.

“Learning how to effectively delegate low-[level] tasks to AI technologies like ChatGPT can free up your time and mental energy so you can be more productive and have an even higher impact at work, with less stress,” said Lavery, whose work has been featured in Forbes and on Spotify and Apple podcasts.

While some workers fear that generative AI (GenAI) tools such as ChatGPT will replace their jobs—78% of hiring managers in one survey foresee AI leading to layoffs of new graduates—it can actually help workers be more productive, Lavery said.

She uses ChatGPT prompts to help her deal with “a lot of minutiae that I have to respond to” by assisting with tasks such as drafting emails; proofreading and editing; brainstorming ideas and outlines; and creating standard operating procedures and other documents.

Used properly, these tools can aid well-being and alleviate workplace stress, she added.

“I live in ‘overwhelm’ all the time,” Lavery said, and would often procrastinate on tasks she found stressful. “I feel better when I use tools like this.”

On her blog, Lavery offered some tips on how to prompt ChatGPT:

1. Give ChatGPT a clear role, such as marketer, copywriter, or recruiter.

2. Give it a goal or desired outcome.

3. Provide context and detail, such a summary of a new product you are marketing, and its benefits for customers.

4. Give examples, when necessary—formatting, templates, perhaps the target audience.

5. Tell it the outcome you are looking for, such as a numbered list. Be specific, noting, for example, how many sentences each item on the list should contain.

“The important thing with ChatGPT: If you [deliver] a one-line prompt, you’ll get a generic answer, but if you create a crafted prompt for exactly what you want, you will get a much better response,” Lavery said. “It takes me a little longer, but I can use [that prompt] over and over.”

She stressed that GenAI tools should be used thoughtfully. For example, she doesn’t use the exact wording of an email ChatGPT has written.

“I tweak it to make it sound more like me,” she said, while noting ChatGPT relieved her of “90% of the headache of me doing it myself.”

Lavery has used the technology to create a job description for a marketing position she wanted to fill, as well as an assessment of several small tasks the job candidate performed. HR can also use ChatGPT by prompting it to create a plan for the first 90 days of a role, identify what success looks like for that employee, and suggest a time frame for how often to meet with the new employee, she said.

Harness the technology’s positive aspects, advised Lavery, who also has trained her team to use it for marketing assessments and brainstorming.

“You can use it to offload a lot of tasks,” she pointed out.

But “don’t try to delegate these high-leverage things you do,” and don’t assume everything the technology tells you is correct. Fact-check the information it provides, such as statistics and studies. The information may be old or inaccurate. 


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.