Category Archives: Appointment

5 Ways Self-Serve Appointment Scheduling Amplifies Your Business

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Ways Self-Serve Appointment Scheduling Amplifies Your Business

Being hands-on with your customer service strategy is a great idea. However, these days customers love being able to do things on their own. Self-service saves a lot of time for everyone and cuts down on human interactions that many people may wish to avoid if possible. 

While appointment-based businesses usually have a stronger relationship with their customer bases, there are still ways they can implement successful self-service options. Self-service can actually strengthen those relationships even though it may seem like customers are keeping their distance. Online appointment scheduling is a valuable integration that can really amplify your business in the following ways: 

1. It Offers 24/7 Scheduling 

Back in the analog day, appointment setting was very limited. You could only book an appointment over the phone during business hours when a company representative was available. This method of setting appointments was (and is) inconvenient for both parties.

With online appointment software enabled, customers can schedule appointments whenever they want. Someone could be lying in bed at two in the morning and book a dentist appointment. Thanks to your self-serve appointment solution, customers are less restricted when booking appointment slots.

Having the ability to schedule appointments 24/7 will do more than provide your customers with additional flexibility. By providing unlimited opportunities for customers to book appointments, you increase the likelihood that your time slots will get filled. Additionally, you’ll need to take fewer calls, which frees up your employees to tackle other tasks.

2. It Has Auto-Schedule Capabilities 

When you book an appointment after hours, there’s a chance you’ll forget the appointment entirely the next morning. However, you can easily avoid this by using another excellent appointment software feature. Calendar-syncing options are available so customers don’t have to manually add events to their calendars. 

Auto-scheduling helps keep missed appointment rates low. Couple this with appointment reminders, and your conversion rate will hit all-time highs. Online appointment software will do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to helping customers stay true to the commitments they make. 

Do you have loyal customers who make frequent visits to your establishment? Help them set up recurring appointments. If you have a client who always comes in on Monday mornings, automatic booking for those appointments will ensure they always get a time slot without going through the trouble of booking every single one. 

3. It Makes Appointment Scheduling an On-the-Go Affair

Not only can customers make appointments at any time, they can make them from anywhere. As long as customers have a device that is connected to the internet, online appointment software is ready and available. This means customers can book appointments while on the subway, at the gym, or even while at work. 

Online appointment software makes payment easier as well. Customers can choose to make payments online before even arriving at your place of business. This means they don’t have to spend as much time in the lobby. This will come in handy for customers who don’t have a very flexible schedule and might like using their lunch breaks to get quick appointments in. 

Simply having access to everything online is convenient. Customers can make changes to their personal profile, appointment preferences, and even upcoming appointment times on their own. 

4. It Reduces Errors

Let’s face it, humans are imperfect. Even your best employees will make mistakes from time to time. Reducing errors in appointment setting will save you a lot of headaches and keep your customers content.

With self-service, much of the responsibility falls on the customer when booking an appointment. The scheduling software will do the rest. Technology is programmed to keep errors to a minimum. As long as customers are careful about the times they select, everything should run smoothly. 

5. It Promotes Transparency

Along with self-service, increased company transparency is at the top of growing consumer desires. The more transparent you can make your business, the more you can amplify it.

For example, when customers use online appointment software, they can see the exact data settings you have put into place and can even customize them to their preferences. This gives you an opportunity to be upfront with how your company is using data and exactly what information you collect, as well as giving customers options. 

You can also be more transparent about things such as pricing. Calculating appointment costs can be tricky sometimes, especially when customizing services. If customers choose to pay upfront online, they can get a better idea of what your business is charging. 

There are many reasons why self-service will benefit your business in the long run. Besides, online appointment software is helpful in so many other ways that adding self-service is just one of many bonuses you’ll receive. Start implementing this solution today and watch how your relationship with your customer base continues to grow. 

Leadership Shows the Way for Productivity

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Leadership Shows the Way for Productivity

In order for the company to achieve its goals, everyone from top to bottom must be productive. Additionally, productivity will motivate employees, increase morale, and promote a more positive work environment. All of these, by the way, is essential if you want you and your team to get excited about work following COVID.

As you know, you must become an effective leader to improve your team’s productivity. But, that’s often easier said than done. Thankfully, you can improve your leadership skills using the following strategies. In turn, this will pave the way for productivity.

1. Don’t be a boss.

Initially, this may sound like a contradiction. But, as Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” As it turns out, the Bull Moose was 100% right.

As Building Champions notes, the key differences between a boss and a leader are;

  • Leaders focus on sustainable solutions, while bosses prefer quick fixes. Leaders show subordinates how and why to do things, while managers cultivate a micromanaged environment.
  • Unlike bosses, leaders are more emotionally intelligent. In contrast to subject matter experts, leaders are emotionally and people-savvy. Great leaders are empathetic, but also very capable of controlling their emotions.
  • Leaders manage people while bosses manage work. Leaders motivate people to achieve specific goals, while bosses control them. Influential leaders influence, inspire, and encourage others to make an organization successful.
  • Unlike a boss, a leader is someone who listens and speaks. Subordinates are expected to listen and obey their bosses when they deliver orders. Regardless of the title of the individual, leaders listen to everyone’s opinions.
  • Leaders encourage rather than criticize. Even though constructive criticism is healthy, excessive and constant criticism can be discouraging. An outstanding leader strikes the right balance between constructive criticism and rewarding employees when they excel.
  • Leaders create more leaders, not just circles of power. It’s considered a form of competition by the boss to hog all the power and authority. Instead, through delegation, education, and providing the right resources, a leader creates other leaders.

2. Effective communicators.

Communication is one of the most crucial aspects of increasing productivity among your team. Overall, members of your team should feel comfortable talking to you about challenges they are facing. But, if you want this to happen, you need to provide ample time to meet with them. And, you also need to make sure that you actually listen to them without judgment.

If this is an area that needs work, encourage your team to speak up during meetings. You can also put them more at ease by informally chatting with them, like during lunch. Other suggestions you can practice would be;

  • Make sure everyone is kept in the loop. Always keep the lines of communication open. Teams are more motivated when leaders are transparent and keep them informed.
  • Listen with empathy. Communication is a two-way street. As such, you must listen attentively to your employees. The more you listen to their concerns and implement changes, the more you will display respect as well as improve productivity and work processes.
  • Be careful about the medium you choose. Cooperation and healthy work culture will be enhanced with a suitable communication medium or tool. Examples include email, Slack, and Zoom.

3. Walk the talk.

Leading by example is a simple and effective way to increase your team’s productivity. If you do this frequently, your team will eventually become more productive. For instance, if you want your team members to show up to team meetings on time, you must make it a point to arrive early.

By setting the bar for productivity, your employees will most likely follow suit. After all, leadership is about influencing others to be more efficient.

4. Grant ownership.

Ownership is a powerful business principle understood by the best leaders. The best way to give ownership to team members? Let them make their own decisions and hold them accountable for those decisions.

You can induce a sense of responsibility in your team members when they’re held accountable for their work. As a result, it becomes apparent to them that their decisions can directly impact the performance of everyone else.

There are several different ways to take ownership of a project. For example, one employee could be a project manager, while another focuses on research. Regardless of the exact responsibility, this builds their self-confidence. How? Because it shows that you trust them to get the job done on time.

5. Bring more humanity into the workplace.

“As a leader, you can be the one to ignite more humanity at work,” write Debbie Cohen and Kate Roeske-Zummer in Fast Company. “Take time to pause and reflect on how you may be contributing to a work environment where people are disengaged.”

“Your people are watching you all the time, taking cues from what you do and say,” they add. “What is your impact? Are you helping their work feel deeper and more connected? When you do, people will give more of themselves, and business wins.”

In other words, without humanity, your employees will continue to suffer a toxic burnout. But, thanks to the following five practices, you can successfully bring more humanity into the workplace.

  • Creating safety. Having a sense of belonging allows individuals to feel safe, fully express themselves, and know what they have to offer.
  • Working together. Establish and work towards achieving a common goal. Also, “be sure every team member feels heard and knows their contributions are valued,” they advise.
  • Claiming values. Clarity and intentionality come from knowing what you stand for. It’s your job as a leader to help your employees learn about their values and to understand why they do what they do.
  • Owning your impact. “When you take responsibility for your impact, it creates personal accountability; your words and your actions align,” add Cohen and Roeske-Zummer. In order to own your impact, you have to be personally responsible for the work you do and the culture you create.
  • Daring not to know. Leaders who show they are human, vulnerable, and do not know all the answers, allow others to step up. The strength of an organization depends on not knowing. You can take charge by saying, “I don’t have the answer for that, what do you think?”

6. Encourage learning opportunities.

Companies offering extensive training have 218% higher income per employee than companies with no formal training, according to the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Moreover, these companies have 24% higher profit margins than those who haven’t invested as much in training.

As if that weren’t enough, employing training and development encourages engagement and retains your top talent. Whether if it’s paying for in-person/online classes, bringing in speakers, or attending workshops, everyone in your organization, including yourself, should be enhancing and learning new skills.

7. Offer incentives.

Research conducted by Genesis Associates in 2018 found that 85% of the employees surveyed felt highly motivated to perform their best when there was an incentive. Why? One reason is that when we feel appreciated, we’re encouraged to repeat the behaviors and habits that made us productive in the first place.

It is essential to consider the employee’s individual needs or preferences when deciding how to reward them. For example, some might prefer public recognition depending on your employees, while others would rather have privately expressed thanks. Besides simple words of appreciation, you can also consider the following incentives:

  • A handwritten note. By sending them a handwritten note, you show your appreciation and that you care enough to take the time to thank them personally.
  • Take them out to lunch. This is also an excellent way to get to them better. If they’re working remotely, you could have food delivered to their home.
  • PTO. If you don’t wish to give your employees a bonus or raise, you can offer paid time off in lieu of vacation and sick days.
  • Introducing a wellness program. You can reduce your company’s health insurance costs and sick days by implementing a workplace wellness program.
  • Lazy Monday/Friday Coupons. Employees can use these coupons to arrive late on Monday mornings or leave early on Fridays.

8. Reduce phantom workload.

Introduced by Marilyn Paul, Ph. D., and David Peter Stroh, phantom workload “is the unintentional work created when people either take expedient but ineffective shortcuts or avoid taking on such as essential.”

Examples include complex tasks like:

  • Clarifying mission, vision, and values
  • Asking questions that challenge what is ambiguous or unrealistic
  • Identifying and resolving conflicts
  • Clarifying and streamlining decision-making processes
  • Providing candid, constructive feedback
  • Differentiating people with sanctions and rewards
  • Launching innovative projects
  • Making decisions that require disinvestment in programs or projects

“When not addressed, the phantom workload leads to a variety of consequences such as rework, unproductive meetings, organizational conflicts, and fractured relationships,” explains Deanna Ritchie in a previous Calendar article. In addition, it wastes time since we keep working on “the same problem over and over again.” Eventually, phantom workload “leads to greater stress and a further reluctance or inability to engage in difficult tasks.”

The good news? You can rescue phantom workload through tactics, such as;

  • Setting a limited amount of realistic goals for you and your team.
  • Changing your behavior by identifying why you want to change.
  • Planning out your day and protecting your time.
  • Asking others for help.
  • Using rewards or inspirational resources like Ted Talks for motivation.
  • Overcoming procrastination through mindfulness or working on the most challenging task first.

And “experiment with different time management and strategies,” Deanna suggests. “There will be some trial and error involved. But, it’s the only way that you’ll discover what works best for you.”

9. Give each other feedback.

Introducing a team feedback process is the final but most important item on the list. When employees aren’t aware they are being inefficient, then how can they improve their performance?

With that in mind, that’s why performance reviews and constructive feedback are essential and not a nuisance. It’s a proven way to guide employees in strengthening their weaknesses.

Additionally, don’t forget to ask them how you could help them improve after giving them the feedback. For example, maybe a little bit more guidance would be useful on specific tasks. Or perhaps that could use a little more creative freedom. And, to further encourage a culture of trust and open dialogue, ask them where you can improve to become a better leader.

Make Sure Your Appointment Software Doesn’t Lack These 3 Qualities

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Make Sure Your Appointment Software Doesn’t Lack These 3 Qualities

One of the most important appointment metrics you can track is customer retention. For appointment-based businesses especially, returning customers provide a lot of value both to your brand and to your bank account. There are several reasons why your customer retention might fluctuate, and your appointment software may be one of them.

In general, implementing online appointment software into your overall operations is a huge win. Booking and managing appointments is so much easier with a software tool at hand. However, there are some specifics that might make or break your business when a customer comes to evaluate their experience. 

There are many things you can work on vis-a-vis customer experience, but these three appointment software qualities are a good place to start. Any online appointment software is better than none at all, but these three characteristics should be a high priority:

Customization Options 

In a world where fast-food patrons can select from among 165 different kinds of fountain soda, it’s safe to say consumers have come to expect customization. This idea translates — if not in quantity, at least in principle — to other consumer choices. Customers want to be able to choose how to communicate with businesses, how they shop, and even how they book appointments.

Online appointment software opens the door for a host of customization capabilities. You can start by customizing what you want in your appointment software. Display options such as text font and size, in addition to your business logo and color scheme, will make online software fit seamlessly into your website. 

Once you’re satisfied with how your online appointment software looks and feels, start providing customization options for your customers. This can be done by enabling a variety of payment methods, such as accepting both debit cards and online payments through apps such as PayPal. The creation of customer profiles and the ability to book appointments through multiple platforms are more options that can be enabled thanks to this technology.

While not explicitly a customization feature per se, online appointment software itself allows customers to book and manage their appointments on their own schedule. Booking an appointment at two in the morning is no problem at all; nor is moving appointments around without the aid of a service representative during business hours. That sort of flexibility will win over many new customers quickly. 

Automated Email or SMS Reminders 

Reminders are a big reason why appointment software is so successful. Automated reminders drastically cut down no-show rates and help to boost customer punctuality. Since they’re automated, there’s no extra work required by you or your team members after such software is implemented. 

Offering both email and text reminders is also important. Your customers will have different needs and preferences, so having an option for reminders will appeal to almost everyone. In some cases, you can even send both for maximum effectiveness. 

Sending any old reminder isn’t enough, though. The way your reminder is composed is also an important factor. When creating appointment reminders, be sure to:

  • Provide accurate information regarding appointment times and services
  • Use a friendly but straightforward tone in your writing 
  • Include relevant calls to action
  • Enable reminder personalization
  • Maintain consistency from reminder to reminder
  • Allow the customer to adjust appointments through a provided link or command

Check these items off of your list, and your appointment reminders will be all the more effective and memorable. You’ll be able to distinguish your appointment system from competitors’ and provide better service to your appointment-setting customers. 

24/7 Calendar Sync Options 

Previously mentioned was the ability for clients to access online appointment software at all hours of the day. That being the case, you will want your appointment software to make real-time updates to any added integrations. The most important of these is the online calendar. 

Syncing up appointments with a personal calendar helps customers remember their commitments and stay true to them. If your appointment software isn’t syncing with their calendars automatically, there’s additional room for error you can definitely do without. 

Be sure that your business calendar is also being updated in real time. If your appointment software integrations work promptly for customers but are delayed for you, you could face last-minute scheduling conflicts. 

There are other integrations you can add to the right appointment software, and you also want response times to be as close to immediate as possible there. For example, customers will really appreciate online payments being processed immediately so they can better track their funds and account balances in real time. 

Appointment software solutions offer other important capabilities — such as lockdown security, extensive reporting, and waitlist management — that might be just as valuable to your business. These features are just a few of many. Whichever appointment software you choose, though, make sure it has the three qualities outlined here. If it does, your business will be sitting pretty.

How to Maximize Your Time With Appointment Software This Holiday Season

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How to Maximize Your Time With Appointment Software This Holiday Season

If there is any time of the year where personal time is most precious, it’s the holiday season. Family events, parties, decorations, and gifts are at the forefront of our minds — but our responsibilities outside the home will never go away. Annual checkups, haircut appointments, dentist visits, and more demand our attention. To maximize the time you have for the fun stuff, using a convenient scheduling platform can help you slot in each necessary appointment when it works best for you. 

Manage Appointment Plans at Your Convenience

The time-saving benefit of this kind of software is beyond doubt — you can book appointments remotely and at the click of a button. There’s no need to spend time making calls or navigating irksome automated phone trees

Better yet, you don’t need to wait for open office hours to schedule an appointment. You can log in whenever the necessity pops into your mind and can even reschedule later on (rules permitting) with ease. This offers peace of mind should an issue arise late at night or at the last minute. You can, for example, promptly set up testing and treatment should a medical condition or illness emerge suddenly. 

Even if you can’t receive immediate attention, anytime scheduling software allows you to easily set a time and date for your concern to be addressed in the future. Your most preferred appointment time might not be available, but blocking off a specific time to deal with the issue can help take the worry off of your mind for the time being. Knowing you’ve taken action will let you focus on ornament making with your kids instead.

Explore All Scheduling Options

When calling into an office to schedule an appointment, you’ll oftentimes be offered only a few time options over the phone. Sometimes, you may only get one. In these (sort of) post-pandemic times, doctor’s offices are commonly booked for weeks and even months into the future. 

To ensure that you’re seeing the whole picture of availability, online booking platforms typically show all schedule slots at once. You can see every possibility and book your appointment accordingly.

This is what can make it so easy to reschedule — free appointment times are updated as cancellations make them available. You can swap yours for another with the click of a button if something comes up or if you see an opening that better suits you. You can also join a waitlist in the event that you want a better time slot or can’t get an appointment otherwise. When one becomes available, it will be reserved for you immediately.

Automate Your Calendar

The ease of task automation means that the time you spend doing prep work each day can instead be spent elsewhere, like with family or friends. Many appointment software solutions feature functionality that can connect your digital calendar to their system to exchange data and change settings accordingly. That means you can book an appointment, and that time slot will automatically be entered into your calendar along with all your other plans. You don’t have to lift a finger.

If you automate notifications as well, you can make it so that your calendar will let you know when your appointment is coming up. If you step away from your computer for any reason, your calendar programs will pop up on your phone to make sure you don’t miss any important appointments. You may be engrossed in shopping for stocking stuffers, but automated appointment reminders will ensure you don’t accidentally forget to show up for your pre-party mani-pedi.

Remotely Handle Appointment Prep and Payment

Once your appointment planning is complete, you can take advantage of other features of these programs. In case you need to check in a certain amount of time beforehand, you can once again do this instantly via the scheduling program. You’ll no longer have to arrive early to take care of paperwork, and your appointment can begin much quicker. 

Some appointment software also allows you to take care of paying any fees or copays directly within the program. Whether you want to do so before your appointment or after, you can make sure your payment is in order and prevent delays at the reception desk. You won’t get stuck behind a patient with insurance questions or a salon patron wanting product recommendations when you’re in a rush to get to your daughter’s choral concert.

You only have so much time in the day for holiday preparations. Keeping outside commitments is necessary, but this season is special to you. By using appointment software to schedule your engagements, you’ll be able to tend to both — getting everything done that you need to and doing everything you want to. Squeezing in that gingerbread-making session will be no sweat when you use appointment software to help you maximize your time. 

Why Syncing Your Work and Personal Calendars Simplifies Appointment Scheduling

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Why Syncing Your Work and Personal Calendars Simplifies Appointment Scheduling

If you’re a busy individual, you probably have a separate calendar for work and for your personal life. This helps you divide up your different commitments so that a single calendar doesn’t get overcrowded. However, managing two separate calendars comes with different challenges you need to take into account. 

No matter what kind of error you want to avoid when juggling dual calendars, syncing will be your best solution. This will make your appointment-scheduling process so much easier whether you’re planning activities with your family and friends or organizing a new entrepreneurial venture. Here’s how calendar syncing is going to help you:

Improves Planning

When your work and personal calendars are intertwined, both calendars can be reviewed simultaneously. This allows your online appointment scheduling software to show you all available time slots that work for you. Otherwise, you might book a meeting that fits into your work calendar while overlooking a family commitment you had made for the same time. You don’t want to miss your daughter’s soccer game because you arranged a simultaneous client coffee date. 

With both calendars linked together, you’ll have a better idea of what you have to plan for in the upcoming days. Improved planning leads to increased efficiency, fewer mixups, and ultimately better results as your schedule falls into place.

Helps Manage Your Life Balance

With both calendars synced up, you can also improve that much-needed work-life balance. If you’re noticing that your work calendar far outweighs your personal calendar, maybe it’s time to schedule some more activities with your family. This can also be done in reverse. You might realize you’ve been taking a lot of time off recently and recognize the need to get back to the old grindstone, refilling that work calendar once again. 

Syncing your work and personal calendars will also help you learn the difficult art of saying no. Some appointments you’re just going to have to decline in the name of life balance. Turning down a single work appointment won’t be the end of the world for your career, especially if it contributes to a better family life. 

Stops You From Overbooking

Appointment software will not allow you to schedule over other events, even if you try. You’ll get a nice, big alert warning you that the time slot you’ve selected has already been filled. This will help with tricky situations like the one mentioned previously, where you create a work event without realizing there’s been a personal event scheduled there already. 

This will also prevent others from trying to overbook your time. Many managers use appointment software to make their time available to employees needing to ask questions or report on a project in progress. You don’t have to list out any specifics, but having both of your calendars covered in your available time slots will stop an employee from trying to bother you while you’re at a family gathering. Emergencies are always an exception, of course. 

Automates Schedule Additions and Changes in Both Places

After any appointment is scheduled, it’s automatically added to both of your calendars. This is one less thing you have to do, saving you a little bit of time and hassle when scheduling. Manual syncing is tedious, and also leaves more room for human error than any of us would like. You could accidentally input the wrong time in one calendar or simply forget to include the commitment when taking your other calendar into consideration. 

Automatic syncing will also come in handy when you share your calendars with other people. For example, you might share a personal calendar with your significant other. If they plan an event in your shared calendar, you’ll want that to pop up automatically. This will enable greater communication between you two and prevent conflicts from arising because of a lack thereof. 

The syncing of calendars with appointment software is great if you use these tools to better coordinate with your team as well. Sending an appointment invitation for an upcoming meeting will give employees the time to arrange their personal schedules accordingly. 

Enables Easier Transitioning

It can be difficult to shift your thought process from your work life to your personal life. By syncing their two respective calendars together, you’ll be able to make easier transitions throughout the day. 

For example, a major perk of using appointment software is to send and receive reminders and notifications. This can help cut down on tardiness and no-shows. However, you can find yourself feeling flustered if your notifications seem to be competing instead of coming in a linear fashion. Synchronized calendars will reduce this effect. 

There’s no time like the present to begin syncing up your work and personal calendars. It will make your appointment scheduling so much easier and improve your time management as you head into 2022.

Don’t Let Your Busy Schedule Overwhelm You: 5 Ways Appointment Software Can Help

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Don’t Let Your Busy Schedule Overwhelm You: 5 Ways Appointment Software Can Help

Sometimes, in our efforts to be productive, we can all too easily overdo things. While it can be good to stay busy, it’s definitely not worth maxing out your schedule to capacity every single day if you’re not handling it well.

Feeling overwhelmed will sap the productivity right out of all your busyness and likely leave you feeling stressed all day. That being the case, it’s highly doubtful you’ll be accomplishing everything you set out to do.

A healthy balance between productivity and time management is much easier to achieve through the intentional use of appointment software. With just one tool, you can stay busy without feeling overwhelmed by your massive to-do list. Listed below are five tips for using online appointment software to help you find the balance that’s best suited to your personality and work style.

1. Learn to delegate.

Learning to delegate can be a difficult process for younger or inexperienced entrepreneurs. After all, your start-up is “your baby.” Passing off your baby to someone else is never easy. Can you trust others to take exceptional care of your start-up the same way you do? Through the savvy use of online appointment software, you can at least point them in the right direction.

At the simplest level, appointment software can at least push those employees with delegated tasks to complete their assignments on time. Appointment bookings can act as agreed-upon time slots for their responsibilities as well as deadlines for their assignments to be completed. As you get more comfortable with deadline-driven task delegation, you’ll cultivate reliable helpers who help bear the burden of your intense daily workload.

2. Go all in on automation.

The greater the number of routine tasks you’re able to automate, the less cumbersome your busy schedule becomes. Automation can even free up your schedule so it’s not as busy as the pace to which you’ve become accustomed. Nowadays, automation doesn’t have to cost a lot, either.

The first thing online appointment software can enable is customer self-service. For example, let’s say you’re a car mechanic. A customer can book an appointment for an oil change without having to call you and distract you from your work. Your schedule stays busy, revenues increase, and you cut out some of the more tedious details.

Another example might be using automation for other aspects of customer relations. Sending appointment reminders, invoices, and feedback surveys can all be done automatically through the use of online appointment software. You won’t have to spend your time on these tasks and can instead choose to get home at a decent hour or finish an extra project before the end of the day.

3. Take regular breaks.

Your schedule can probably use more than just a little breathing room here and there. You’ll actually increase your productivity by taking a break every once in a while. Even if you’re a superstar entrepreneur with a rapidly growing start-up, you have your mental and physical health to prioritize over everything else.

Using online appointment software to schedule breaks ensures that you might actually take them. Otherwise, you might find them all too easy to blow off, filling your schedule to the brim with even more stress-inducing activities. While these might be productive, your excessive activity can lead to burnout — and even physical illness — if allowed to go on for too long.

Another way to make sure you take a break from an overloaded schedule is to make time for personal matters such as family or hobbies. You can — and should —  pepper your schedule with family meals or a trip to the movies. When you prioritize non-work activities, you’re far more likely to relax, refresh, and not feel so uptight throughout your waking hours.

4. Leave yourself some breathing room.

You can maintain a busy schedule while still adding in some wiggle room. In fact, a little bit of breathing room is strongly encouraged, especially if your busy schedule is leading to physical stress and heightened levels of anxiety. If you’re finding it difficult to space out your schedule, try using appointment software to make it happen.

Adding breathing room can be done by adding buffer times between your other commitments. Enforcing a mere 10 minutes in between appointments provides sufficient time to catch your breath, check an email or two, or grab a snack to refuel.

Additionally, enforcing buffer time can save your neck whenever appointments run longer than originally planned. That 10-minute window can help you make sure the following appointment doesn’t start late. (Just make sure you take the following buffer period as a break!)

5. Minimize errors.

Whenever your schedule is packed end-to-end, you aren’t leaving any room for error. One mistake or simple miscommunication can cause a ripple effect. One late arrival disrupts your entire day, leaving you and your tight schedule in shambles. Using online appointment software helps you avoid many of the errors that happen simply due to your mind being scrambled.

Overbooking is a classic example of a common mistake easily solved by using appointment software. Without it, you might accidentally double-book an appointment slot if your too-busy mind causes you to overlook the actual number of available slots. Appointment software uses built-in algorithms to stop overbooking in its tracks and direct customers to available slots.

Yes, you can stay busy and productive without giving yourself a problem with high blood pressure. You’ll notice a huge difference in stress levels when you start using appointment software to enhance your schedule and get more done with less effort.

7 Ways Online Appointment Software Can Benefit Small Businesses This Year

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7 Ways Online Appointment Software Can Benefit Small Businesses This Year

Appointment-based businesses working on a smaller scale might not see the benefits of online appointment setting right away. After all, a single hairstylist doesn’t see as many clients each day as a fully staffed hair salon. Yet the truth is that a small business can get just as much value out of online appointment software as its larger competitors, if not more so. 

This article will outline seven of the most tangible and immediate benefits of online appointment software for small businesses. Each one can specifically help your startup to grow and flourish in 2021 and beyond:

1. It Snags More Customers

The biggest thing small businesses require is new customers! Startups need all the support they can get, especially as they work to make the kind of name for themselves that will keep retention rates high. Online appointment software will not only bring in new customers, but encourage them to stick around for the long haul. 

Online appointment booking is so easy for new customers to use — they don’t have to get on the phone and talk to a stranger. Such a simple and efficient booking method is sure to pique the interest of numerous prospects. Win them over with a stellar appointment experience, and they’ll be booking a return appointment the minute they walk out the door. 

2. It Speeds Up the Appointment Process

There are a number of variables that can slow the appointment process down. Long wait times can be especially bothersome for both customers and your employees trying to keep a consistent schedule. By enabling online appointment booking, much of the process is sped up, keeping everybody happy. 

For example, employees are no longer distracted by as many phone calls that can pull them away from in-house customers. Online appointment software also eliminates a lot of manual work, such as inputting customer information or selecting appointment slots manually.

3. It Enables Quicker Payments

Few things are as worrisome for small businesses as outstanding payments. While most transactions will be conducted in person, some organizations — such as a doctor’s office — will rely on invoices sent after calculating insurance coverage.

Where third parties aren’t an issue, though, online appointment software can facilitate the payment process. When customers book their appointments online, they can also make advance payments simultaneously. Even if they settle up after service is rendered, online payment methods such as PayPal will encourage timelier payment. And that means small businesses can balance their checkbooks more quickly. 

4. It Reduces Booking Mistakes

Booking errors are inconvenient at best and can lose you customers at worst. Incorrectly inputting appointment times, overbooking appointments, or even forgetting an appointment entirely is a bad look for your organization. Using online appointment software helps to reduce human error that leads to these mistakes. 

Since online software will track appointments for you, overbooking is nonexistent, and accuracy is practically ensured. After all, clients are signing up for your available slots themselves. All you need to do is briefly review your upcoming schedule, and you’re good to go. 

5. It Lowers No-Show Rates

No-shows are an appointment-based business’s worst nightmare. The healthcare industry alone loses billions of dollars annually due to no-shows. These inconveniences take away valuable time slots from other patrons who would be happy to show up, and they waste a good portion of your day. The only party who loses money from a no-show is the business, unless there are well-advertised no-show fees involved.

Using online appointment software, you can slash your no-show rate by sending direct and effective notifications prior to the appointment. Consumers aren’t as likely to answer reminder phone calls, but they are typically quick to check a notification on their smartphone. A good notification system will at least remind them to reschedule an appointment they can no longer make. 

6. It Provides Quality Data

As a small business owner, you should never underestimate the power of data. Any information you can collect will prove to be invaluable to your business when implemented into your strategy. Since online appointment software tracks everything about your customer’s interaction with your business, you can start gathering and analyzing data immediately. 

Data will offer you lots of valuable insights you can use to grow your business. You’ll be able to spot common demographics to target with marketing campaigns as well as which appointment slots are most popular. This concrete information will allow you to make informed decisions to improve your business for present and future customers.

7. It Increases Availability

When booking appointments the old-fashioned way, prospective customers have to call in to their business of choice and inquire about availability. This process can take a long time, especially if they’re put on hold. Other customers simply want to minimize interaction as much as possible and will avoid making such phone calls.

By enabling online booking, customers no longer have to call in to check availability and book an appointment. Online servers are also open 24/7, meaning appointments can be booked long after your business has closed its doors for the day. This allows customers to make appointments anytime, helping you to fill your schedule even more and increase your revenue. 

Loving what you’re reading? You need to see it for yourself. Get started on implementing online appointment software now, and you can expect great things for your small business. 

6 Appointment Software Trends Businesses Can Implement Before 2022

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6 Appointment Software Trends Businesses Can Implement Before 2022

The world of business never stops moving forward. Innovation is required to remain competitive, whether that’s by forging your own path or latching onto popular trends, like appointment software, for example. 

Appointment-based businesses have a lot of trends they can look at leading as we move into 2022. The sooner you integrate these trends into your own business, the better you’ll be able to keep up with the competition. 

To help prevent you from falling behind, here are six of the top trends appointment-based businesses should implement before the next year:

1. Expanded Online Payment Options

One of the best features online appointment software offers is a quick and easy payment method. Customers and clients can streamline their appointment experience by paying in advance or after an in-person or virtual visit. 

Most companies that have online payment systems accept debit and credit cards. However, other payment methods are growing in popularity with users, including several online payment apps and alternatives. This includes payment apps such as PayPal and Venmo, as well as spending cryptocurrencies through their associated wallets. 

Cryptocurrency as a whole is a trend you can jump on. Many small businesses were able to boost their sales for a short time by accepting the latest trending coin. They easily made waves across the internet, with excited consumers looking to make a commemorative purchase. 

2. Increased Personalization

Consumers have a growing desire to have their experience and interactions with companies be as personal as possible. Personalization makes customers feel like a business cares about and meets their needs to the fullest. Even small amounts of personalization in your appointment software can make a huge difference. 

Start with something small, like making it possible to change color schemes and font sizes within your booking pages. Not only will this better fit individual preferences, certain settings will even help your company fulfill certain ADA requirements

Another easy form of personalization for appointment software is reminder settings. Customers will want to receive reminders at different times, whether it’s a week prior to or the morning of their appointment. Options can also include how the reminder is set, such as through a text message, email, or through your company app. 

3. Mobile Optimization

As a consumer, you’re probably aware of how common it is to use your mobile device when researching brands, making purchases, and booking appointments. However, many companies have yet to optimize their online appointment systems for mobile devices. This is a trend that businesses must capitalize on now in order to succeed in 2022. 

One way to ensure a great mobile experience is to develop an app. Most large-scale brands have done this already. But smaller appointment-based businesses might not have jumped on board this trend quite yet. Even if you’re just operating a local mechanic shop, a mobile app can provide an improved experience to your customer base. 

4. Integrations Galore

There are hundreds of useful apps in circulation today, each with a specific function and dedicated user base. Being able to integrate these apps and programs into your online appointment system will win over a lot of new customers. 

For example, customers might find it easier to log into appointment software by linking their Google or social media accounts. This functionality can also carry over into integrated online calendars for more effective appointment reminders. 

Your business will love using integrations as well. For example, you can use Salesforce for better financial tracking or ETLrobot to store and organize data for future use. Online appointment software will be the hub for all of your important applications, streamlining their interactions with one another. 

5. Greater Focus on Data

Speaking of data, every year its value grows higher and higher. Businesses can make more calculated — and therefore effective — decisions by looking at data as a reference point. This almost always wins out over-educated guesses. 

Appointment-based businesses generate lots of data every day. By looking at past appointments, you can determine what demographics you should target with your marketing. You can also figure out how likely a customer is to make a return appointment. This knowledge should directly impact your strategy and decision-making, building a springboard for your business to enter 2022. 

Despite the well-known value of data analytics, fewer than two-thirds of businesses are currently using them to their advantage. You can easily overtake that final third of companies by placing an emphasis on data within your own organization. 

6. Going Virtual

The use of virtual appointments grew exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in medical settings. This enabled doctors to continue consulting with their patients when we had few defenses against the virus. Even though most pandemic lockdowns have been lifted, virtual appointments are expected to remain commonplace in various sectors of the medical field.

Some industries are simply unable to have virtual appointments. A hairdresser isn’t able to style your hair over a Zoom call, for example. However, there are other appointment-based businesses that will certainly benefit from enabling this feature.

Alongside physicians, dentists may be able to hold quick digital consultations with patients instead of having them visit the office. This could provide an opportunity to ask some follow-up questions remotely and save both parties a lot of time. 

If you can’t be a trendsetter, at least recognize which trends can guide you to long-term success. Now and into the future, the appointment software trends listed above will help you find your footing in the business world and create a better experience for all the customers you serve. 

5 Reasons Appointment Software Is Thriving Right Now

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5 Reasons Appointment Software Is Thriving Right Now

Not too long ago, in order to book an appointment, you had to call your optometrist’s office or hair stylist during regular business hours and speak with a representative. Hold times, conflicting schedules, and the occasional bad case of the Mondays often made this process a grueling one. 

Luckily, appointment software has rapidly grown and is providing quality booking solutions to businesses and their customers all across the world. There are so many reasons why online appointment software is in such a good place.

Let’s take a look at why this appointment software trend is here to stay:

1. Rise in Automation

Taking the path of least resistance with regard to appointment scheduling doesn’t make you a lazy entrepreneur or standoffish business owner. On the contrary, looking for the most efficient solutions to all of your needs is just good business sense. You free up more time to focus on other aspects of your business to create a better organization from top to bottom. 

When you implement online appointment software, your employees need to spend much less time manning the phones. With that extra time, they can focus more of their attention on taking care of on-premises customers as well as a host of other tasks that might get left on the back burner.

This concept of using automation to streamline workflows is already widespread. The online appointment space is continuing to grow in its efficiency while still remaining an effective form of booking. 

2. Self-Service Over Customer Service

The modern consumer prefers self-service over speaking with a customer representative. In fact, a survey conducted by Nuance Enterprise found that 75% of consumers believed self-service solutions were more convenient and even superior. While customer service skills are still important, businesses are transitioning toward more self-service options.

Online appointment software is the ultimate self-service tool. Clients can look at availability and pricing without ever having to encounter a customer service representative. Not only is this a dream come true for the introverts of the world, but it’s also much faster for them to book their own appointment rather than wait for an employee to key it in. 

Many research studies have also shown a growing trend of consumers using mobile devices to book appointments and make purchases. By making online appointment software easily accessible on all devices, you make it incredibly easy for anyone to schedule an appointment no matter where they are. 

3. Incredible Convenience

Speaking of making the appointment-booking process easier, there are two other aspects of online appointment software that are worth noting. 

The first is that with an online platform, customer information can be stored and accessed upon a return visit. This means that repeat customers can book return appointments almost instantaneously, creating an even faster booking process. For businesses, important notes and details about each customer can be stored and accessed again and again with very little effort.

The second convenience that appointment software offers is its 24/7 availability. If someone is looking to book an appointment at 10 p.m., they no longer have to wait until the following morning to place a phone call. On the business side, booking slots can be filled all day long, helping to boost revenue with more customers making appointments. 

4. Increase in Virtual Appointments

For years and years, appointment software has been used to enable businesses to cater to the needs of on-premises customers. While this is still true, a new aspect of the appointment experience has boomed in recent years. Virtual appointments are becoming more common, which will increase the demand businesses have for quality appointment software.

Since virtual appointments happen online, it only makes sense to put a digital focus on the entire customer experience. Being able to book and attend an appointment online is convenient for busy parents, workers on break, or the three-quarters surveyed who prefer the self-service options. 

At the moment, virtual appointments can primarily be found in the medical field. During the height of COVID-19, this approach enabled doctors to speak with their patients or consult with new ones about the virus. As new industries start breaking into the virtual appointment space, the demand for online appointment software will continue to grow. 

5. The Value of Data

Almost anything can be made digital these days. If you can digitize an encounter, you can generate and collect data about it. Modern businesses have come to realize how valuable data is for optimizing their operations, and online appointment software becomes invaluable for that reason. 

Every time a customer books an appointment through your online software, there is data you can collect. Demographic data, high traffic times, and the number of days in between booking a time and the actual appointment are all pieces of information you can use to fine-tune your business. Without this information, your efforts to innovate your operations may resemble playing darts blindfolded and hoping you hit your target.

Let’s consider how your business might use appointment data to its advantage. By analyzing all your appointment data from the past three months, you might notice that most of your no-shows involve new customers. With this information, you can craft a strategy to help new clients commit to their appointments and increase both your conversion and retention rates. 

Online appointment software is helping businesses and consumers save time and get more out of their booking experiences. It’s no wonder these tools are thriving now and will continue to be used for a long time to come. 

Are You Addicted to Productivity?

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Are You Addicted to Productivity?

“It’s great to be productive. It really is. But sometimes, we chase productivity so much that it makes us, well, unproductive. It’s easy to read a lot about how to be more productive, but don’t forget that you have to make that time up.”

Matt Cutts wrote that back in 2013 — “Today, search for ‘productivity’ and Google will come back with about 663,000,000 results. If you decide to go down this rabbit hole, you’ll be bombarded by a seemingly endless amount of content. I’m talking about books, blogs, videos, apps, podcasts, scientific studies, and subreddits all dedicated to productivity.”

Like so many other people, I’ve also fallen into this trap. For years I’ve been on the lookout for trends and hacks that will help me work faster and more efficiently — and also trends that help me help others to be faster. I’ve experimented with various strategies and tools. And, while some of these strategies and solutions have been extremely useful — without parsing out what you need quickly — it’s counterproductive.

Sometimes you end up spending more time focusing on how to be productive instead of actually being productive.

“The most productive people I know don’t read these books, they don’t watch these videos, they don’t try a new app every month,” James Bedell wrote in a Medium post. “They are far too busy getting things done to read about Getting Things Done.”

This is my mantra:

I proudly say, “I am addicted to productivity — I want to be addicted to productivity — productivity is my life and my mission — and I also want to find the best way to lead others through productivity to their best selves.

But most of the time productivity means putting your head down and working until the job’s done.” –John Rampton

Addiction to Productivity is Real

Dr. Sandra Chapman, director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for BrainHealth points out that the brain can get addicted to productivity just as it can to more common sources of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, eating, and shopping.

“A person might crave the recognition their work gives them or the salary increases they get,” Chapman told the BBC. “The problem is that just like all addictions, over time, a person needs more and more to be satisfied, and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.”

Despite the harmful consequences, addiction is considered by some experts as a brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system and ends in compulsive behavior. Regardless, society tends to reward productivity — or at least to treat it positively. As a result, this makes the problem even worse.

“It’s seen like a good thing: the more you work, the better,” adds Chapman. “Many people don’t realize the harm it causes until a divorce occurs and a family is broken apart, or the toll it takes on mental health.”

Because of the occasional negative issues with productivity, it’s no surprise that it is considered a “mixed-blessing addiction.”

“A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, just as an exercise addict is very fit,” explains Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “But the thing about any addiction is that in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh any short-term benefits.”

“There may be an initial period where the individual who is developing a work addiction is more productive than someone who isn’t addicted to work, but it will get to a point when they are no longer productive, and their health and relationships are affected,” Griffiths writes in Psychology Today. “It could be after one year or more, but if the individual doesn’t do anything about it, they could end up having serious health consequences.”

“For instance, I speculated that the consequences of work addiction may be reclassified as something else: If someone ends up dying of a work-related heart attack, it isn’t necessarily seen as having anything to do with an addiction per se – it might be attributed to something like burnout,” he adds.

There Are Three “Distinct Extreme Productivity Types

Cyril Peupion, a Sydney-based productivity expert, has observed extreme productivity among clients at both large and medium-sized companies. “Most people who come to me are high performers and very successful. But often, the word they use to describe their work style is ‘unsustainable,’ and they need help getting it back on track.”

By changing their work habits, Peupion assists teams and individuals improve their performance and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the overarching strategy of the business, rather than focusing on work as a means to an end. He has distinguished three types of extreme productivity in his classification: efficiency obsessive, selfishly productive, and quantity-obsessed.

  • Efficiency obsessive. “Their desks are super tidy and their pens are probably color-coded. They are the master of ‘inbox zero.’ But they have lost sight of the big picture, and don’t know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.”
  • Selfishly productive. “They are so focused on their own world that if they are asked to do something outside of it, they aren’t interested. They do have the big picture in mind, but the picture is too much about them.”
  • Quantity-obsessed. “They think; ‘The more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more tasks I do, the higher my performance.’ As a result, they face a real risk of burnout.”

Peupion believes that “quantity obsessed” individuals are the most common type “because there is a pervasive belief that ‘more’ means ‘better’ at work.”

The Warning Signs of Productivity Addiction

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you may be succumbing to productivity addiction. After all, most of us aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.

  • Can you tell when you’re “wasting” time? If so, have you ever felt guilty about it?
  • Does technology play a big part in optimizing your time management?
  • Do you talk about how busy you are most of the time? In your opinion, is hustling better than doing less?
  • What is your relationship with your email inbox? Are you constantly checking it or experience phantom notifications?
  • When you only check one item off your list, do you feel guilty?
  • Does stress from work interfere with your sleep?
  • Have you been putting things off, like a vacation or side project, because you’re “too swamped?

The first step toward turning around your productivity obsession is to recognize it. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make a plan to overcome your addiction to productivity.

Overcoming Your Productivity Addiction

Thankfully, there are ways to curb your productivity addiction. And, here are 9 such ways to achieve that goal.

1. Set limits.

Just because you’re hooked on productivity doesn’t mean you have to completely abstain from it. Instead, you need to establish boundaries.

For example, there are a lot of amazing productivity podcasts out there. But, that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them all in the course of a day. Instead, you could listen to one or two podcasts, like The Productivity Podcast or Before Breakfast, during your commute. And, that would be your only time of the day to get your productivity fix.

2. Create a not-to-do list.

Essentially, the idea of a not-to-do list is to eliminate the need to practice self-discipline. Getting rid of low-value tasks and bad habits will allow you to focus on what you really want to do as opposed to weighing the pros and cons or declining time requests. More importantly, this prevents you from feeling guilty about not crossing everything off an unrealistic to-do list.

3. Be vulnerable.

By this, I mean admitting where you could improve. For example, if you’re new to remote work and are struggling with this, you would only focus on topics in this area. Suggestions would be how to create a workspace at home, not getting distracted when the kids aren’t in school, or improving remote communication and collaboration with others.

4. Understand why you procrastinate.

Often, we procrastinate to minimize negative emotions like boredom or stress. Other times it could be because it’s a learned trait, underestimating how long it takes you to complete something or having a bias towards a task.

Regardless of the exact reason, we end up doing busy work, scrolling social media, or just watching one more episode of our favorite TV series. And, even though we know that it’s not for the best, we do things that make us feel better than the work we should do to restore our mood.

There are a lot of ways to overcome procrastination. But, the first step is to be aware of it so that you can take action. For example, if you’re dreading a difficult task, don’t just watch Netflix. Instead, procrastinate more efficiently,y like returning a phone call or working on a client pitch.

5. Don’t be a copycat.

Let’s keep this short and sweet. When you find a productivity app or technique that works for you, stick with it.

That’s not to say that you can’t make adjustments along the way or try new tools or hacks. However, the main takeaway should be that just because someone swears by the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you.

6. Say yes to less.

Across the board, your philosophy should be less is more.

That means only download the apps you actually use and want to keep (after you try them out) and uninstall the ones you don’t use. For example, are you currently reading a book on productivity? Don’t buy your next book until you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading (or permit yourself to toss a book that isn’t doing you any good). — and if you really want to finish a book more quickly, listen to the book on your way to work and back.

Already have plans this weekend? Don’t commit to a birthday party. And, if you’re day is booked, decline that last-minute meeting request.

7. Stop focusing on what’s next.

“In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right, acquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else,” writes Patrick Banks for Lifehack.

“That doesn’t need to be you,” he adds. “You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today.” After all, “there will always be this next thing if you don’t make a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.”

  • Think about your current lifestyle and the person you’re at this stage to help you identify what you aren’t satisfied with.
  • By setting clear goals for yourself in the future, you will be able to overcome your addiction.
  • Establish realistic goals.
  • To combat addiction, you must be aware of what is going on around you, as well as inside your head, at any given time.
  • Don’t spend time with people who have unhealthy behaviors.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Keep a journal and write out what you want to overcome.
  • Appreciate no longer being addicted to what’s next.

8. Simplify.

Each day, pick one priority task. That’s it. As long as you concentrate on one task at a time, you will be less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed by an endless list of tasks. A simple mantra to live by is: work smarter, not harder.

The same is also accurate with productivity hacks and tools. Bullet journaling is a great example. Unfortunately, for many, a bullet journal is way more time-consuming and overwhelming than a traditional planner.

9. Learn how to relax.

“Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but, banning obsession with productivity is unhealthy,” writes Leo Babauta. “When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax.” Don’t worry about being hyper-efficient. And, don’t beat yourself up about having fun.

“But what if you can’t motivate yourself … ever?” he asks. “Sure, that can be a problem. But if you relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be happier.”

“And if you work when you get excited, on things you’re excited about, and create amazing things, that’s motivation,” Leo states. “Not forcing yourself to work when you don’t want to, on things you don’t want to work on — motivation is doing things you love when you get excited.”

But, how exactly can you relax? Here are some tips from Leo;

  • Spend 5 minutes walking outside and breathe in the fresh air.
  • Give yourself more time to accomplish things. Less rushing means less stress.
  • If you can, get outside after work to enjoy nature.
  • Play like a child. Even better? Play with your kids. And, have fun at work — maybe give gamification a try.
  • Take the day off, rest, and do something non-work-related.
  • Allow yourself an hour of time off. Try not to be productive during that time. Just relax.
  • You should work with someone who is exciting. Make your project exciting.
  • Don’t work in the evenings. Seriously.
  • Visit a massage therapist.
  • Just breathe.

“Step by step, learn to relax,” he suggests. “Learn that productivity isn’t everything.” For that statement, sorry Leo, I say productivity isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.” However, if you can’t cut loose, relax, do fun things, and do the living part of your life — you’ll crack in a big way — you really will.

It’s great to create and push forward —  just remember it doesn’t mean that every minute must be spent working or obsessing over productivity issues. Instead, invest your time in meaningful, high-impact work, get into it, focus,  put in big time and then relax.

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