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Reclaim Your Time by Learning the Art of Saying No

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Regain Your Time by Learning the Art of Saying No

As a parent, there’s a two-letter word that drives you wild whenever you ask your kids to do something. And that word is the dreaded “no.” Anyone with young kids will relate to the beginnings of the “no” word at about two years old. But here is how you can reclaim your time by learning the art of saying “no.”

For as infuriating as that response can be, there are times when there’s a lesson you can learn from them. And, that’s the gentle art of saying no.

To be fair, that doesn’t mean rejecting every time request — or just being defiant because you can. If so, you could be potentially missing out on opportunities. Besides, you don’t want to earn that reputation of being difficult.

The power of saying “no.”

Instead, it’s all about being more selective so that you aren’t wasting your valuable time. In turn, you’ll be able to improve your focus, performance, and productivity. And, most importantly, as Steve Jobs once said, “It’s only by saying NO that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”

Furthermore, mastering the art of saying “no” gives you more control and lets you establish your own boundaries. If not, because you’re a people pleaser or just afraid to upset others, you’re giving up control to them. I mean, if you don’t respect your time, then why would anyone else?

“One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that no one will protect my time or prioritize my needs as vigilantly as me,” Damon Zahariades wrote in The Art Of Saying NO: How To Stand Your Ground, Reclaim Your Time And Energy, And Refuse To Be Taken For Granted. “That’s understandable. Most people act out of self-interest; they naturally put their own priorities ahead of others’ priorities,” Zahariades states. “But it means each of us is responsible for making sure our personal needs are met.”

“No one is going to do it for us,” adds Zahariades. “Moreover, it’s important that we attend to our own needs before attending to the needs of others.” Will this make you uncomfortable? Sure. “But allowing your needs to remain unaddressed while you continuously cater to others is the path toward resentment and bitterness. It can even become a health issue if you run yourself ragged.”

What you should say “no” to and how?

Most of you know that I write for Entrepreneur magazine — let’s quickly go over the things that you should say “no” to, courtesy of Matthew Toren in an Entrepreneur article.

    • Tasks that can be easily outsourced. Are you spending the bulk of your day on tedious activities that aren’t pushing you closer to your goals? I’m talking about administrative work, accounting, lead generation, HR, IT, or marketing as some common examples. If so, hire someone else to take on these tasks.
    • Actions that don’t match your vision. Before saying “yes,” ask one simple question; “does it match your vision?”
    • Things that distract you destroy your time. Whether if it’s smartphone notifications, chatty co-workers, meetings without an agenda, or unproductive uses of your downtime, identify these and eliminate them.
    • Unhealthy habits. Eating junk, not getting enough sleep, smoking, and toxic relationships can do serious harm to your health and well-being. And, when you spend time on unhealthy habits, you’re taking time away from more productive ways.
    • Things that aren’t up to you or in your control. “There are things in this life that are inevitably out of your control — lots of them, actually,” writes Toren. But, you do have a choice. “You can fret and freak out about things such as the government, the economy, your partner, the weather, or any other variable outside your power, or you can choose to say ‘no’ to the stress that comes from getting upset about things you can’t control.”

Practicing the art of saying “no.”

Now that you have an idea of what time requests to decline, how can you say “no” to them? Well, here are seven ways to achieve that goal effectively.

1. Saying no doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person.

So many of us struggle with saying no because we don’t want to offend others. After all, we don’t want others to believe that we’re selfish or unkind. But, in reality, that’s not the case.

As Chantalle Blikman perfectly explains over at Tiny Budha, this was something we were taught as children. “If you said no to your mom, dad, teacher, uncle, grandparents, and so on, you were most certainly considered to be being rude, and you would have probably been told off for it.” As such, “Saying no was off-limits, and yes was the polite and likable thing to say.”

But, as adults, we are “capable of making our own choices, as well as knowing the difference between wrong and right,” adds Blikman. “Therefore, no shouldn’t be an off-limits word, but rather something that we decide on ourselves, based on our own discretion.”

While this is still a challenge, the first thing you must do is realize that you should never feel guilty or ashamed of saying no. If you’re direct and honest, then others will respect and understand your decision. You will not believe how much your decisions to say no will up your productivity.

2. Plan your “no’s” in advance.

In my opinion, this will make saying “no” a breeze going forward mainly because it’s almost like creating an automatic response. For instance, if you have implemented a “No Meeting Wednesday” rule, and you have a meeting invite for a Wednesday, it’s much easier to turn down that request.

If you haven’t instituted such policies yet, then identify where you want to spend your time. Ideally, this will be based on your priorities. If you have to finish a task by the end of the day, then you can’t leave the office to play golf with a friend. Quality family time a priority? Then you would reserve Friday evenings as the night that your family spends together.

3. Take baby steps.

“Choose some easy, low-risk situations in which to practice saying no,” recommends Peter Bregman for HBR. “Say no when a waiter offers you dessert” or “when someone tries to sell you something on the street,” Bregman writes. “Go into a room by yourself, shut the door, and say no out loud ten times.” While this may sound ridiculous, it’s a great way to build your no muscle without serious repercussions or guilty feelings.

4. Consult your calendar.

Unless it’s an extremely urgent matter, don’t feel pressured to say “yes” or “no” on the spot. Go ahead and respond with a phrase like, “Let me check my calendar and get back to you.” Obviously, you want to be respectful of the other person’s time. So, set a time limit, like by tomorrow or the end of the week.

The reason why this strategy works well is that it gives you time to pause and reflect. Maybe you weren’t gung-ho about the request initially. But, after sleeping on it, you decide it’s worth your time. So, you check your schedule and see when you’re available. But, I strongly suggest that you share your calendar with them so that they can know when you’re free.

There’s another variation to this. Let’s say that you get invited to a BBQ next weekend. Before committing, let them not that you have to speak with your family first to make sure that you don’t already have plans.

5. Be brief and polite, but firm.

“You don’t always have to explain yourself when telling someone no,” notes Daniel Potter over at Grammarly. “Still, it’s often more considerate to provide a straight-up no rather than a non-response, because leaving people wondering tends to read as thoughtless.”

At the same time, you don’t want to offer too brief of an explanation. As an example, instead of responding with “I can’t help with that,” try, “Sadly, I’m afraid I can’t help with that.” Using “sadly “shows you recognize the answer probably won’t thrill the recipient, and it brings you no joy to say so.”

Another example? “Thank you for thinking of me for this assignment. I can’t take more work on right now, but please keep in touch.” What makes this response work is that it shows your appreciation while also leaving the door open for possible work in the future.

What if they aren’t taking “no” for an answer? Bregman recommends being “just as pushy as they are” without being a jerk. You may also want to incorporate a little humor here as well.

6. Use the words “You are welcome to X. I am willing to Y.”

Here’s an example from the pages of Greg McKeown’s bookEssentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. A friend needs a lift to an important meeting, and their car is in the shop. You can say that you’re “welcome to borrow my car. I am willing to make sure the keys are here for you.”

Using this phrase lets them know, “I won’t be able to drive you.” McKeown explains, “saying what you will not do, but you are couching it in terms of what you are willing to do.” It’s an efficient “way to navigate a request you would like to support somewhat but cannot throw your full weight behind.”

“I particularly like this construct because it also expresses a respect for the other person’s ability to choose, as well as your own,” statesMcKeown. “It reminds both parties of the choices they have,” while setting reasonable boundaries.

7. Offer an alternative.

Let’s say your business partner wants to meet for lunch tomorrow. You already have plans. But, you suggest this Friday since you’re available. It turns out that this works for them as well. Crisis averted.

Another alternative could be referring them so someone else who has more experience, knowledge, or interest than you do. Or, let’s say that you have a team member who has volunteered to take on a new project. While this is encouraged if the project is time-sensitive and you’re concerned that you would have to micromanage them to ensure it’s completed on-time, suggest another project that has more leeway.

 

7 Before-Bed Steps to Prepare for Tomorrow

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You toss, you turn, and you toss some more: You just can’t seem to stop thinking about tomorrow long enough to fall asleep. 

A great way to put your worries to bed? Get a jump on the next day. Doing a little prep work in the evening can help you be more productive tomorrow.

Be proactive: Think through what parts of your morning routine you can do the evening beforehand. There are plenty of things to do before calling it a night. Here’s where to start:

1. Schedule Your Next Day

There’s something romantic about planning your schedule at the crack of dawn. But the morning isn’t the best time of day to get your schedule together. 

Before going to bed, figure out what you’re doing the following day. This activity can help you clear your mind. Scheduling becomes one less thing to do in the morning. 

When putting your schedule together, remember that the most productive people:

  • Focus on one task at a time.
  • Group similar tasks together.
  • Automate or delegate what they can.
  • Put their most difficult task first on their to-do list.

Spend five minutes each night putting together your plan of attack. That way, in the morning, all you need to do is refer to what you created the night before. 

2. Pack Your Lunch 

Preparing your lunch the night before work does a couple of things for you: First, the task doesn’t eat up your morning time. Second, you won’t waste time at work contemplating what to eat for lunch. 

Even better, you can prep your lunches for the whole week on Sunday night. You can also use the time to prepare lunch for your kids as well. If they’re old enough, they can even join in the preparation. 

Once you’re done, simply store the food containers in the fridge. Grab them on your way out the door, and you’re done. 

3. Prepare Breakfast 

Why stop with lunch when you can do the same thing with breakfast? From egg cups to breakfast burritos, there are plenty of easy morning meals you can prepare at night.

Most importantly, get your coffee ready. If you have a fancy coffee maker, you can set it to brew when you wake up. If not, just add the grinds and the water. That way, you only need to flip a switch.

As with lunch, your kids can also join in on breakfast prep — but probably skip the coffee for them. 

4. Select Your Wardrobe

One of the more time-consuming morning tasks? Picking what to wear. If you have a lot of options to choose from, you might waste 15 minutes simply finding your favorite sweater.

If selecting clothes before bed is difficult, try simplifying your wardrobe. Use the 10-5 rule: 10 pairs of underwear, socks, and shirts; five pairs of shorts and pants. 

Fold your chosen clothes and put them next to your bed. Just like making your bed, keeping your clothes tidy can help you feel more put together. 

5. Do a Quick Clean-Up

Undone chores have a way of staring you down in the morning. Before going to bed at night, get some chores out of the way. 

You don’t have to do a full-on cleaning, but do tackle the things that are bothering you. A few priorities include:

  • Sweep or vacuum common areas.
  • Put dirty clothes in your laundry basket.
  • Organize your toiletries.
  • Wash your dishes. 

Cleaning is an underrated form of self-care. When you declutter the physical space you inhabit, you also declutter your mental space.

6. Hop in the Shower

We’ve all taken showers that were longer than they needed to be in the morning. Standing under warm water can make it more difficult to get started, especially when it’s cold outside. 

There are pros and cons to showering at night instead of in the morning. If you are looking to save some time, though, hitting the shower before bed might be right for you.

Showering before bed can help you sleep better and allow you to shower at your own pace. Showering at night is also a good hygiene option to keep your bed cleaner. 

7. Pack Your Essentials

At night, go ahead and pack up your work bag. Make sure you’ve got your laptop, folders, notebooks, and whatever else you need.

Be sure to also put things like your keys and wallet somewhere that won’t be easy to misplace. It’s a good idea to keep them in the same place all the time. Do so, and you won’t need to spend precious time searching for them when you’re trying to get out the door for work. 

Once you’ve started doing your next-day prep at night, it’s hard to imagine doing it all in the morning again. Make the switch: Mornings are not the time to cram, and bedtime is not the time to stress. 

The 10 Best Calendar Apps (What You Should Look For)

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8 Pieces of Productivity Tech to Add to Your Arsenal in 2020

Perhaps the number one reason why we’re addicted to smartphones is that they contain our entire lives in the device. You can check-in with friends, family, and clients, while booking a flight, running your business, and listening to a podcast. Here’s what you should look for in the ten best calendar apps.

But, they’re always useful in organizing our lives. Especially when you have the following ten calendar apps.

1. Calendar

Tired of those back-and-forth emails when scheduling a meeting or appointment? If so, then Calendar has got you covered.

This handy app lets you share your availability with others through an embedded link or email. This way, they can find a date and time that works for them. Once they do, the event is added to everyone’s online calendars.

Calendar can also harness the power of machine learning. Machine learning means that it uses previous data to make smart scheduling suggestions, such as when, where, and what types of meetings you should schedule.

You can also easily create an event using natural language, while the map view gives you a glance at your upcoming schedule.

2. Fantastical 2

This iPhone app has often be cited as the best calendar app for the iPhone. That’s because it’s packed with features, such as:

  • Multiple views including a list view in portrait mode by either week or month or a landscape mode for a week “block” view.
  • Supports multiple languages, like English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese.
  • Ability to create event using natural language.
  • Also, it works with the iPad and Apple Watch.
  • The addition of the view widget — replaces the stock iOS Calendar widget. With this extension, you get a snapshot of your day without opening the app.

You will have to purchase Fantastical 2 for $4.99.

3. Google Calendar

While this stock calendar comes preinstalled in every Android device, Apple users can download it as well. They probably should go ahead and do that.

With a free account, this powerful app will events and schedules from your Google account. If you used your Gmail address to book a flight, hotel room, or doctor’s appointment, the date and time would be added to the calendar. You’ll then receive a reminder through a push notification on your phone when the event approaches.

When creating events, you can color-code your calendar so that you can quickly identify the various types of activities you have scheduled.

4. Calendars 5

If you’re curious, this is the fifth version of Readdle’s Calendars app. That explains why it’s called Calendars 5. It also means that the developers had plenty of opportunities to make this iPhone app as high as possible.

Calendars 5 comes with features like several view options; list view, day view, week view, and month view, as well as an integrated task manager and ability to enter events using natural language. Additional features include being able to create custom alerts, recurring events, and sharing your tasks and activities with others.

5. Microsoft Calendar

For business owners, it’s tough to find a better suite of tools than Microsoft Office 365 — although Google is pretty much right at the top as well. That’s because this app combines your emails, calendar, and much more into one convenient location.

The calendar itself is loaded with functions like being able to import or export to other calendars and share your calendar with others. You can also personalize your calendar using add-ons, like getting a weather report, automating responses to invites, receiving reminders, and receiving an agenda in your email every morning.

6. Tiny Calendar

If you want a simple calendar app that’s available for either Android or iOS, then look no further. Tiny Calendar is a straightforward calendar app where you can view multiple layouts. You can create emails or push notification reminders, and make edits offline. You can even use your device’s GPS to add specific locations to events, and it syncs with other calendars, such as Google Calendar.

The free version should be enough if you need the basics. The paid version — which is $7 — comes with additional features like accepting and sending invites. It also exports other calendars and can create recurring events.

7. Jorte Calendar

Jorte isn’t just another calendar app. It’s also an organizer where you can take notes and manage tasks. It also integrates with Google Calendar, Evernote, and Microsoft Office to make your life run a bit smoother. And, it works for Android and iOS.

As for the calendar itself, it’s pretty solid. There are daily, weekly, or monthly views, the ability to create recurring events, and there are even countdown features that let you know how much time is remaining for a specific event.

For the more robust features, you’ll have to select the Jorte Premium option at $3 per month or $30 for the year.

8. SolCalendar

SolCalendar is known for being one of the most well-designed calendar apps on the market. Some people claim that it’s more of a life management tool than just your standard calendar app.

This app comes with a widget so that you receive a summary of your most important activities. There are stickers and emojis for marking select dates. You can also receive weather reports, share your calendar with others, and integrates with Google Tasks.

Best of all? It’s free for Android users to download.

9. TimeTree

Do you need an app to keep your family or team on the same page? Then download this free app for both Android and Apple users.

With TimeTree, you can share everything from work schedules to tasks to notes. This way, your team knows when you away on travel while your family knows when your flight arrives. It also ensures that every family or team member stays on-top of assigned tasks. You can also send reminders to others.

10. 24me

Finally, there’s this handy personal assistant that comes equipped with a calendar, to-do list, and notes. This way, you can automate everything from paying bills to wishing a happy friend’s birthday. It has reminders — like calling a client or scheduling appointments — by linking to your contacts. You can link to Facebook, TaskRabbit, and your bank account.

Put, if you want to stay on top of your bills, remember birthdays, schedule events, and manage your to-do list, this is the app for you.

The free app is available for Android and iOS.

Criteria for an Amazing Calendar App

What makes these apps considered the best? It’s because they fit the following criteria:

  • Can easily and quickly view appointments — preferably in a click or two.
  • Can easily add, edit, or search for appointments, like being able to use natural language.
  • Integrates with the apps you use daily, such as Calendar or Google Calendar.
  • It is compatible with all of the devices you use. For example, if you have all Apple products, then go with Fantastical 2. If you have a Samsung phone and iPad, then you’ll want an app that works on both Android and iOS.
  • Comes with a clean and contemporary design.
  • Integrates with your email — not a problem if using Calendar, Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook.
  • Allows you to schedule an unlimited amount of appointments.
  • Has the features you need. If you work with a team, for example, then you need to be able to share your calendar with others. If not pre-installed, then look for an app that can be customized to meet your needs.

What criteria do you look for when choosing a calendar app?

Slice Your No-Show Rate With These 5 Tips

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appointment guide

It’s not just you: Cancellations and no-shows are time-wasting issues at every service company.

Missed appointments cost the healthcare industry alone $150 billion dollars a year. With those stakes, you can’t just accept frequent cancellations and no-shows.

You may not be in charge of your client’s schedules, but there are ways to significantly reduce cancellations without upsetting or alienating customers. Take a look at the following ways to do just that:

1. Check for a common cause.

If you see a spike in cancellations, it doesn’t mean that your customers are careless or inconsiderate. There are plenty of other reasons that could be to blame, such as:

  • Customers have issues with your scheduling system that they don’t know how to articulate.
  • Your hours of operation have recently changed.
  • You aren’t sending out appointment reminders.
  • External circumstances, such as the pandemic, are keeping customers away

To get to the root of the issue, reach out to your customers. If they cancel by phone, you can simply ask them. If they cancel on scheduling software, you can provide a portal that lets them check their reason among common ones or provide their own. 

Get data from at least a dozen customers before taking any action. You may need to readjust your availability, send stronger reminders, or provide incentives like discounts to get customers in the door.

2. Default to self-service scheduling.

Having a centralized scheduling software for your company can save you time, not to mention the headaches that come with cancellations. Unless clients request otherwise, ask them to book appointments themselves online. 

With self-scheduling, customers can:

  • Schedule appointments at any time.
  • Choose times that work best for them.
  • Reschedule appointments.
  • Sign up for waitlists.

Customers crave autonomy. Even if something comes up at a time they schedule, they’re much more likely to reschedule if they can handle it themselves.

When that happens, scheduling software helps you shift your own plans. There might be a waitlisted person ready to take their place, for example. 

3. Institute a cancellation policy.

A strong policy can deter cancellations. Just the mention of “policy” can get customers to take your time more seriously. 

A cancellation policy is an opportunity to let your clients know how cancellations and no-shows affect your business. Done right, it can help them understand their role in your success. 

What should your cancellation policy include? Outline a preferred time frame for cancellations as well as a method for notifying your company. Within a certain number of days of the cancelled appointment, a fee may apply. 

Once you create a cancellation policy, be sure to let your clients know about it. Revisit it quarterly, and again make sure clients are abreast of any changes you make. 

4. Require payments beforehand.

If you’ve already paid for an appointment, you are incentivized to actually make it. That’s why prepayments can be a lifesaver when it comes to reducing cancellations and no-shows.

Clients don’t have to pay the full price for the appointment, either. You can charge a deposit beforehand and bill the remaining balance at the time of service.

What if clients want to pay afterward? Offer that option to reliable customers. Treat it as an additional incentive for them to make their appointments.

5. Enhance your customer experience.

One reason that you might be getting frequent cancellations is that customers simply are not excited about the experience you offer. A stronger experience not only reduces no-shows, but it also attracts more customers in the first place. 

Maybe the issue is ho-hum customer service. Perhaps your clients worry that they will wait too long to be seen once they arrive at your office. These are the kinds of mistakes that spur negative conversations about your company, causing others to second-guess their appointments. 

It’s critical to create the sort of environment where customers feel welcomed. Instead of dreading their appointment, they ought to be excited for it. Signs that you’ve got it right include positive feedback and early arrivals. 

Cancellations happen, but they should not get to a point where they make you sweat. You have more control over cancellations than you think. The key is solving them in ways that put the customer first. 

6 Tips to Supercharge Customer Support With Scheduling Software

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What distinguishes your business isn’t just the quality of your product or service; it’s also how your product or service is delivered. In fact, 73% of consumers say the experience is their main consideration after price and product quality. 

One way to ensure that you’re delivering a great experience is using scheduling software. By using automation technology to manage from appointments to service calls to follow-ups, you’ll help your company stand out. 

Scheduling software is a set-it-and-forget-it system for customer support. But like any system, it isn’t foolproof. Use these six tips to get it right:

1. Default to self-service.

Most scheduling software gives you a choice: Either you schedule clients’ appointments, or you let them do so themselves. Letting clients choose is a win-win: Your team saves time, while your customers are able to book when and as often as they want.

From transportation to lodging to restaurant reservations, online booking is what today’s customers are used to. In healthcare, for example, 77% of patients see self-scheduling as important.

Why do customers insist on self-booking? The practice lets them:

  • Schedule appointments during hours when you’re closed for business. 
  • Take time to compare your availability to their own calendar.
  • Cancel and reschedule appointments on their own.

 

2. Send purposeful reminders.

Reminding customers about their appointments is important because they have busy lives. In the rush of modern life, it’s easy to forget even things they schedule themselves. 

Sending reminders can reduce your no-show rate, but it can also demonstrate that you are eager and ready to provide for your customer. Customers shouldn’t have to contact you to make sure you’ll be ready for an appointment. 

The reminders you send should be timely and meaningful. You wouldn’t send the same notification to someone whose appointment is booked for tomorrow as you would a person who has an appointment a couple of months from now. And if every reminder looks the same, customers are less likely to pay attention to them. 

With scheduling software, you can automate reminders based on how far away the meeting is. These can be delivered through emails or text messages, and you can tailor the notification to match the circumstance. 

3. Be flexible with payments.

Depending on your line of business, you might be able to accept payments before or after an appointment. If you can, give customers that option.

Some people like to make payments when they book so they can forget about it. Others would rather wait to pay in person. Still others want to receive the service before they pay. 

Scheduling software that integrates with payment services lets your customers choose. Providing that flexibility shows that you’re confident in your product or service. 

4. Add value with follow-ups.

With scheduling software, you can keep customers in the loop of what’s going on at the business. Doing so takes you from just a business to a part of their community. 

When you follow up, include an incentive or educational content — and ideally both. You can offer customers a range of items, such as:

  • Discounts
  • Bonus gifts
  • Invitations to events
  • Tip and tricks
  • Refund policies

Like reminders, these follow-ups should be unique to the situation and customer. Try dispensing certain ones, like discounts, after a set number of appointments. Others, like bonus gifts, might be best sent for the customer’s birthday. Exclusive event invitations might be based on the customer’s package or price point. 

5. Keep their data secure.

Customers value security. Keeping their information secure is simple with scheduling software. 

For example, you can set appointment notifications to be sent only to team members who need to know about them. This is particularly important in industries like healthcare, which are governed by privacy frameworks like HIPAA.

Scheduling software also encrypts sensitive information. That way, payment details or patient records aren’t compromised in transit. 

6. Always ask for feedback.

Do not expect customers to give feedback if you don’t ask for it. After an appointment, around renewal times, and whenever you roll out a new service, reach out to customers for comments.

Use your scheduling software’s reminder and follow-up features to do this. Include a quantitative portion — a 0-10 satisfaction scale — and a qualitative prompt. Often, the best insights into what you could be doing better come from customer comments.

There’s no single formula for customer support, but there is a singularly important tool: a scheduling system. To take your customer experience to the next level, embrace it. 

What’s Your Most Productive Work Time? Here’s How You Can Find Out

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Beach at sunrise

Whether you call them your golden hours or peak work times, or biological prime times, these are when we have the most concentration and energy. As such, we shouldn’t waste these hours. Instead, we should spend them on our most important and challenging tasks. But, before we get there, we first need to identify when you’re actually the most productive.

The most productive hour, day, week, and month of the year.

You likely already know when your most productive time is. For example, I’m a morning person, and wake-up at 5:15 am every day. Because of this, I’m more alert in the A.M. But, I also have also worked with people who are night owls, and forcing themselves to wake-up as early as I do would be counterproductive.

However, after analyzing 1.8 million projects and 28 million tasks gathered from Priceonomics customer Redbooth, says that the most productive time of year is at 11 am on a Monday in October.

That timeframe is extremely specific, but they also found “that most people don’t really get going until 7 am (a typical start time). The study shows that after 5 pm (typical finish time), work quickly tapers.”

However, the “percentage of tasks completed (9.7%) peaks at 11 am — just before the typical person takes lunch.” The data has shown that productivity takes a hit between 11 am and 1 pm, “and after 1 pm, productivity never quite returns to its peak.”

“The highest percentage of tasks (20.4%) are completed on everyone’s favorite day of the week: Monday,” Priceonomics reveals. “Tuesday (20.2%) is just behind — and after that task completion perfectly tapers off as the days progress toward the weekend.” Fridays are “nearly 20% less productive than Monday.”

“We complete far more tasks in the latter months — September (8.8 percent), October (9.5 percent), and November (9 percent) — than in the earlier months,” notes the post. “We only complete 7.2 percent of our yearly tasks in January,” The reason?

Priceconmics suspects that it “maybe because the early year is typically for setting goals, not completing them — and as we near year’s end, we’re struggling to get everything done.” You have to learn how to work smarter — not harder.

How to find your most productive hours.

Hopefully, the data from Priceconomics can be of use. For example, instead of scheduling a meeting on Monday mornings, you do that on Friday afternoons when most of us aren’t as productive.

But what if you want to find out when you’re most productive? Well, here is a simple process that can help you figure this out.

Choose a time tracking period.

The first step you need to take is to determine when you want to start tracking your time and for how long. Some suggest that you can get away with just tracking your time for a week. But I disagree. The longer you follow your time, the more accurate of a picture you’ll have. Ideally, you should do this for 30 days.

Get the right tools.

You can honestly stay old school and use a pen and paper for this activity. You could also use a notebook or index cards. Other options would be creating a spreadsheet (or this one from Chris Baily) or premade worksheets like the 168 Hours Timesheet.

If you prefer to go digital, you may want to try out time tracking tools. Some of the best available are RescueTime, Clockify, Toggl, or ATracker — and of course, Calendar.

Maintaining your time log.

Here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for, actually tracking your time.

Jeremy Anderberg writes that there are two necessary frameworks for tracking your time. The first tracking is using the time of day. If you go this route, “you’ll write down your activity for a set chunk of time, say 9–9:15 am. Set a timer for every 15 minutes (at first, at least; it can be longer as you’ve gotten into it), and take a quick second to jot down what you’ve been doing.”

The second is by the task. “With this method, you’ll go about your day and activities as normal, and simply write down what time you change tasks and start something new,” explains Anderberg.

Jeremey suggests that you try both out and see what works best for you. “For my first few days of time-tracking, I did so by the task. I’d write down, to the minute, when I started and stopped doing something and moved on to a new activity.” For him, this helped “figure out how long things actually took, and how my day was naturally being structured

“After that, I went into tracking by time increments, which is more useful for planning purposes, understanding what times of day you’re more likely to waste time, how to structure your breaks, etc.,” he adds. “Another benefit is that when you have a timer to “remind you to write down what you’ve been doing, it re-focuses you if you’ve gotten off track.”

Regardless of which approach you take, there are some essential things to keep in mind:

  • Be honest and consistent.
  • Record your activities in real-time.
  • Note when you start and end an activity, as well as the duration.
  • Be meticulous and include as many details as possible. For instance, instead of just writing done “working,” record the specific thing that you were doing. But, you don’t have to be perfect.
  • Don’t just focus on your workday. Create categories and subcategories for home, family, social, commuting, and health and wellness.
  • Make sure that you write down how you feel for each activity.
  • Leave room for additional notes like what interrupted you or if a task took you longer then expected to complete.

Chris Bailey, the author of “The Productivity Project,” also suggests that you eliminate factors that may affect your productivity, such as caffeine, diet, waking up without an alarm, or staying up too late. He also recommends keeping a log of your energy levels every hour.

After you’ve done this for around month, go ahead, and analyze your data. Pay close attention to patterns — primarily when there’s a surge or dip in focus or energy. For most of us, because of ultradian rhythms, this would be after working for 90 to 120 minutes.

You should also be on the lookout for how much time you’re dedicating to low, medium, or high impact activities and where you can improve. Think about using time tracking — don’t think of it as time policing.

How to create more “peak” hours during the day.

That may seem like a lot to take in. But, after a week or two, tracking your time should become a habit. But, the main takeaway here is that you also listen to your gut. As I’ve said, you probably have a clue when you’re most productive without having to track your time. But, it’s still worth doing to see what exactly you’re doing and spending your time.

Knowing this, you can then use your “peak” hours more wisely. For me, I’m ready to tackle the day before 8 am. So, I block out from 8 am to 10 am for the most critical task of the day in my calendar. I then take a 30-minute break and get back to work until noon.

Since my energy may start dropping by then — my afternoons are spent on lower energy tasks like meetings. Then I have a snack later in the afternoon, take a break, get revived, and get going again for several hours.

I’ve also been able to create more “peak” hours in the day by taking care of my health — mainly getting enough REM sleep, eating a nutritious diet, and finding ways to relieve stress like meditating and exercising. The reason? All of these can impact your productivity.

Additionally, I also remove the unnecessary items from my calendar. The easiest way to do this is through delegation or dropping them entirely. It’s an effective way to ensure that you aren’t wasting your golden hours on things that aren’t important.

The Best Remote Work Setup To Keep You as Productive as Ever

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Just a few months ago, remote work was a luxury. But for many of us, it’s now a necessity that’ll take some getting used to. 

Not only do you have to adapt your workflow and make communication simpler for team members, but you also have to adjust your work environment to optimize productivity. That desk in a dark, dingey corner of your basement is far from an ideal workspace. 

What does an ideal remote workspace look like? To get more out of your day, upgrade your desk with:

1. Your office favorites

When you’re at the office, you have access to all the tools you need for the job. Highlighters, legal pads, your favorite pens — whatever helps you work faster and more efficiently. At home, you may not.

Splurge a little next time you’re at the office supply store. If you really want that top-of-the-line desk organizer, get it. Throw those cute paper clips that cost too much in the cart, too. Those small joys are worth it. 

Think, too, about your personal wellbeing. A water bottle at your desk keeps you hydrated. If you don’t have a coffee maker to keep you when the days get long, invest in one.   

Other than that, be selective about what you keep at your desk. When you take a broad essential, it opens the floodgates for a stream of inessential things. Before you know it not only does your desk get cluttered but also your mind. 

2. Lighting

You know how hard it is to work in a dim space. Adequate light reduces eye strain and fatigue.

Studies suggest access to natural light trumps a host of other office perks. It makes workers more energetic and can even improve mental health.

Keep lighting in mind as you perfect your home office setup. Instead of working in a space that is wholly reliant on artificial light, move your workspace to a room with a window.

If you don’t have that kind of natural light available, there are also lamps that simulate daylight. These are great for fighting seasonal affective disorder during times when you find yourself inside a lot. They are also useful if you need to work at night. Don’t let your circumstances keep you from getting the right amount of light. 

3. Plants and greenery

Another way to foster a productive work environment is to surround yourself with plants. Like natural lighting, greenery brings the great outdoors inside. 

Studies have shown that plants can give you a productivity boost of up to 15%. The reason is reduced stress levels: A little nature can help you move forward with ease and certainty. Caring for your plants can provide a sense of purpose.

Maybe now is the time to start the garden you’ve been wanting to grow in your home. If you don’t have a green thumb, you can always buy pre-grown plants. Either way, the added greenery will cheer you up whenever you look away from the screen. 

4. Sounds

Home noises can be distracting, but not all sounds are bad for productivity. Boosting your productivity is as easy as tuning into the right ones. 

Classical music can actually enhance brain function. It’s called the Mozart Effect, and it’s been known to help students perform better on tests and study better. The same kind of focus is great for powering through your more involved work tasks.

If you’re not a classical music fan, a great alternative is nature sounds. A relaxing waterfall or a chorus of birds make great background noise. And if you need a pick-me-up along the way, you take a break to listen to some of your favorite songs.

To enjoy your nature sounds or songs to their fullest, get some stereo speakers. Noise-cancelling headphones are an even better solution, but they can be pricey.

5. Art

You might assume that a focus-first workspace should be as bare as possible, but that’s not the case. Enriching your environment with art can actually increase your productivity. 

What art you choose isn’t necessarily important. What matters is that your selections inspire you and make you think. You don’t need to be an expert in art history to appreciate something that’s aesthetically pleasing to you. 

Experiment with different media. Choose some paintings for the walls. Add a small sculpture to your desk. Hang something with stained glass in your window. 

6. Aromatherapy

Your home workspace should look, sound, and feel like your own — but it should also smell appealing. Aromatherapy is a great way to give your home office that finishing touch.

Smell is an underappreciated sense. An essential oil diffuser can give you a whiff of lavender when you’re stressed. Try mint or eucalyptus for an energy boost. If you’re feeling short on fresh air, why not go for a soft forest scent?

Whether you’re working remotely by choice or doing so by necessity, you can always improve your space. Experiment: If a stationary set doesn’t bring you joy, find one that does. Make it your own, and you’ll see the difference in your mood, output, and more. 

The 10 Best Business Calendar Apps of 2020

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No disrespect, but the days of hanging a calendar on the wall or placing one on your desk are probably over. You have a calendar with you 24/7 in your pocket thanks to your smartphone. It’s your smartphone and laptop where you can tap into the best business calendar apps. Now, we have the calendar apps of 2020 to keep us organized.

Unlike those old-school paper calendars, an online calendar allows you to access your calendar from multiple devices. Schedule meetings and appointments from anywhere, set-up reminders, create recurring events, block out time for specific events — all in your hand.

If there’s one catch, however, it’s that there are hundreds of online calendars and apps out there. So, which one should you rely-on? To be fair, the online calendar you’re using should already be pretty solid. Google Calendar, Microsoft Calendar, and Apple Calendar have been used by most people to organize and manage their lives successfully for some time. These may be already on your list of top calendar apps of 2020.

However, it seems like every day there’s some sort of new calendar tool launching. We decided to make your life easier and share with you the ten best calendar apps that are currently available. You can either switch over to a new calendar or use these apps to beef-up your existing online calendar.

Best Business Calendar Apps of 2020

We’ve put together a list of the ten best calendar apps of 2020:

  • Calendar for smart scheduling, calendar and productivity tool integration, meeting transcriptions, and analytics
  • Rooster for the ability to manage your calendar and to-do list simultaneously within one app
  • CloudCal for syncing with Google Calendar, Microsoft Exchange, Trello, Evernote, Eventbrite, and Meetup
  • Vantage Calendar for its clean interface and scrolling, visual calendar
  • Business Calendar 2 for its user-friendly dashboard and task organizer that syncs with Google Tasks 
  • Plan for its potential to improve organization and integration with your email, JIRA, Zendesk, Salesforce, and Github
  • TimeTree for sharing your calendar, tasks, and schedule with others
  • Fantastical 2 for its Apple compatibility, sync capability, natural language processing for smart scheduling
  • aCalendar for its customization features and automatic data import from Google Calendar and Facebook.
  • Trevor for its AI power to create smart scheduling and sharing

1. Calendar

Launched in 2017, Calendar solved one of the biggest headaches surrounding scheduling — it eliminated those back-and-forth emails.

By using a smart scheduling link, you can now share your calendar availability with others. When someone sees an open date that works for them, they chose the date, and it’s automatically added to everyone’s calendar.

The free app can also harness the power of machine learning so that it can make smart meeting suggestions based on your previous calendar date.

With Calendar, you can also quickly create events using natural language and a glimpse at your schedule with an innovative map view. It’s timezone friendly, categorizes projects, and has the ability to send invitation follow-ups — Calendar is ideal for teams.

2. Rooster

This app helps you stay on top of everything because you can manage both your calendar and to-do-list in one app. What makes this app unique is that it comes with a single-view design. That means you can just glance at both at the same exact time. With the QuickCal Keyboard, you can add appointments in just a couple of taps.

Another handy feature is the ability to prioritize your tasks by pinning your most important tasks at the top. You can also receive a summary of your schedule, share your calendar with others, and it works with Apple, Google, and Outlook Calendars, making it one of the best calendar apps of 2020.

3. CloudCal

CloudCal is an Android app that has been around for several years. But, it’s one of the few calendars that can unite all of your calendars in one convenient location, making it one of the top calendar apps of 2020. It syncs with Google Calendar, Microsoft Exchange, Trello, Evernote, Eventbrite, and Meetup. This makes organizing and scheduling your calendar a breeze.

The coolest feature offered by CloudCal is the ‘Magic Circles’ feature. This transforms days of the month into clock faces. This way you can see the hours when you’re busy and free with just a glance.

The app also allows you to customize your day, week, and month views, color-code your calendars, receive reminders and invite contacts to meetings through email.

4. Vantage Calendar

This app is equipped with a clean interface that provides a scrolling, visual calendar. This gives you a birds-eye view of your schedule. If you need more details, you can tap on an event to see more information.

Next to your events is your to-do-list. You can simply drag them over a date to make them appear there. To separate the various areas of your life you create “books.”

Vantage also lets you color-code your calendar, assign due dates to your todos, and iCloud, Google, Exchange, Facebook. You can only download Vantage on iTunes.

5. Business Calendar 2

Business Calendar has been a popular Android app for some time now. And, it’s easy to understand why. The app is user-friendly and was designed specifically with professionals in mind. As such, the app lets you navigate easily between month, week, or day ¾views. The task organizer syncs with Google Tasks, you can add event details with your voice, invite attendees to events, and create notifications for recurring events.

While you can download the app for free, you may want to purchase the Pro version to access all more of the robust features to get the most out of this tool that makes our list of top calendar apps of 2020.

6. Plan

This is a newer app that has a ton of potential since it can be used to organize your life.

With Plan, you can sync all of your tools. This means that instead of bouncing between a variety of apps, you can access your tools. You can use a calendar, email, JIRA, Zendesk, Salesforce, and Github in one platform. Plan states that this can save you and your team around 15 hours per week.

Speaking of teams, with Plan you can use its dashboard to see who’s responsible for certain tasks and when they’re doing it in realtime.

This calendar is optimal for one or two users — and you can use Plan for free. Larger teams will have to opt for the $9/month plan.

7. TimeTree

If you’re looking for an app that allows you to share your calendar, schedule, and tasks with your family or co-workers then TimeTree is arguably your best option.

With TimeTree everyone can put their schedules onto one shared calendar. You can then add and edit events or tasks so that everyone in on the same page. There’s also a communications section where you can add comments and attachments.

Perhaps the coolest feature is that you can share your schedule with anyone — even if they haven’t downloaded the app.

TimeTree offers support for Google, Apple Calendar, and Outlook Calendars. It can be downloaded for free at both the App Store and Google Play. You can also download the app directly to your desktop.

8. Fantastical 2

Fantastical 2 has long been a favorite among Apple users as one of the best calendar apps of 2020. It’s packed with features like the ability to sync schedules with others, create events and reminders quickly with natural language and time zone support, and alerts.

The app can also let you know when it’s time to leave for a meeting. There’s also support for Google, iCloud, Facebook, CalDAV, Exchanged, and iPhone calendar.

A lot of users really dig the “Dayticker” feature because it allows you to quickly see which days have been booked out and what’s available. Another popular feature is the “Today Widget” which allows you to access your schedule without having to open the app.

You can give Fantastical 2 a spin for free for 21 days.

9. aCalendar

Here’s another one of the most popular calendar apps of 2020 made for Android users that’s free to download.

With aCalendar, you can customize the calendar by changing the view or colors as you see fit. It transitions smoothly between day, week, and month view. And, you can use it to assign tasks, invite people to events, and create recurring events.

aCalendar also automatically imports all your data from Google Calendar and Facebook.

10. Trevor AI

Finally, we have one of the many AI chatbots that have been given a human name.

Trevor is pretty much a personal assistant that connects your calendar with your phone’s task list. Doing so can help you manage your time more efficiently. How? Because Trevor can find available time slots for you to complete these tasks automatically.

For example, let’s say that you need to pick up groceries or office supplies. You can tell Trevor what you need to buy and after analyzing your calendar Trevor can text you suggested times that would be best for you to run this errand. When you find a time that you like, text Trevor back and the app will schedule this task into your calendar.

Currently, the Trevor app only integrates with iOS Reminders and Todoist. But, more app integrations are expected to arrive soon.

Download Best Calendar Apps of 2020

Even better is that many of these best calendar apps of 2020 are free or low-cost. With more people working remotely than ever before, it even makes sense to see which best calendar apps of 2020 have team tier pricing to ensure everyone has access to these productivity tools.

 

6 Things That Can Jeopardize Your Morning Routine

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Morning Routine

We all have those days when things just won’t go our way. More often than not, they start with a hectic morning.

The morning is an opportunity to set the tone for the rest of your day. That’s why a morning routine is so important: When you make good use of the first few hours, you generate momentum that helps you be productive throughout the afternoon and evening. 

Of course, you can’t plan for everything. Disruptions happen, but they don’t have to throw your entire morning out of whack.

The key is proactivity. If you know what disruptions to expect, you can minimize them. If they do happen, you can mitigate their impact on the rest of your day. These are the top culprits:

1. Your Alarm Doesn’t Go Off

It happens to the best of us: No matter how sure we were about setting our alarm clock, it doesn’t go off.

Maybe you forgot to activate it. Perhaps you set a “p.m.” time instead of an “a.m.” It could have come unplugged from the wall.

The solution is to wake up at the same time every morning. Within a week or two, your body will start naturally waking up at that time.

If you truly need an alarm, get one with a battery backup. Look for a “set it and forget it” model that automatically chimes every morning at the same time.  

2. You Check Your Phone First Thing

These days, you need a smartphone. But that doesn’t mean you should be scrolling through it first thing after you wake up. With all the things to do online and in apps, you may find yourself deeply distracted.

Checking your phone first thing may keep you in bed too long. It can also get in the way of more productive morning habits, such as meditating or exercising.

Don’t use your phone as an alarm clock. Better yet, keep it out of the bedroom altogether. If you struggle to stay accountable to yourself, ask your spouse to remind you. 

3. Your Wi-Fi is Down

Although you shouldn’t stare at your phone first thing each day, there are reasons you might need to get online. You may want to check your online calendar in order to internalize what’s ahead of you. Or you may want to answer emails before you head to the office. 

If your Wi-Fi goes down regularly, there are two ways to get the information you need. You could get a back-up access method, such as a hotspot. You could also do some legwork upfront to keep your morning routine offline. Start by:

  • Saving your calendar offline.
  • Keeping a physical copy of your schedule.
  • Reading a newspaper instead of internet news.
  • Downloading exercise classes, relaxing music, or other streamable media.

4. Your Housemates Interrupt You

If you live with other people, there’s always a chance that they could disrupt your morning routine. Maybe your roommate steals the bathroom when you want to take a shower. Or maybe your kids are demanding attention while you are trying to make breakfast. 

The best way to prevent others from distracting you is to talk with them about your morning routine. Ask about theirs, too. If necessary, post everyone’s morning tasks and times in a public place, like on the fridge.  

Just because you’ve laid out a perfect routine for yourself doesn’t mean it works for everyone else. Be civil, set expectations, and remember that mistakes happen.

5. You’re Stuck on Yesterday.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could start every day with a fresh slate? That’s what mornings are meant for.

With that said, you might struggle to get something from the past out of your mind. Maybe some tragic news event is bothering you. Perhaps you received bad news about a loved one. A fight with a partner can bother you for days.

If you can resolve issues before going to bed, do so. If not, allow yourself time in the morning for introspection. You can meditate or write in a journal during this time. It’s important to get in tune with your emotions so that they don’t overwhelm you. 

6. You’re Missing Your Must-Haves.

You’ve finished most of your morning routine and you are about to leave the house — but you can’t find your keys. You search everywhere, but you can’t seem to find them. Plus, you’re now running late. 

In this scenario, “your keys” could represent anything that you need to leave the house, like your wallet or bus pass. Not being able to find them when you’re leaving can create stress that lasts the rest of the day. 

The key (pun intended) is to keep these items in the same place at all times. Make it a ritual that every time you return home, you put your keys in the same place. 

Disruptions tend to happen at the worst possible times. But a little preparation can go a long way toward preserving your morning routine. And the more consistent you can keep it, the more ingrained it will become. 

What Do You Do When You Don’t Have a Team to Delegate To?

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One of my cousins recently reached out to me for advice. He wants to start his own photography business. For the time being, it has to be a side hustle until the business takes off on its own. So far, so good, I told him. Here is what to do when you don’t have a team to delegate to.

The problem with my cousin is that he doesn’t have the time or resources right now for all for administrative tasks and content marketing. You know. The important parts of starting and growing a self-sustaining business that is often delegated to someone else.

I can totally emphasize with him. When I was just starting out, this was also a problem. Since I didn’t have a team yet, it was my responsibility to take care of these tedious tasks. Suffice to say, I was putting in a lot of hours and feeling extremely overwhelmed.

Thankfully, I learned some tricks to get out of this dilemma along my own entrepreneurial journey. I didn’t hesitate to share these options with my cousin. And, now, I want to pass them along to you, and anyone who is starting up a business on their own.

Everything is not a priority.

My first suggestion was to come to the realization that not everything is a top priority. I know. Easier said than done. But, my Calendar co-founder John Hall has previously explained how to achieve this in a Calendar blog post.

Before doing anything else, clear your head by taking a deep breath. Next, “think, compose a list or look at your calendar to see everything that’s on your plate.” Sure. These items may be important, but “they don’t all deserve equal treatment.”

“Instead of believing that everything needs to be done right now, determine which actions indeed are your priorities,” adds John. “Ideally, these should be the tasks that move you closer to achieving your goals. Other factors include urgency, due dates, ROI, or the consequences of not completing the task or project.”

Now, in most cases, you could create a priority matric, like the popular Eisenhower, to help you separate the urgent from important. However, that usually still involves delegating less important tasks to someone else. So, an alternative would be to “triage.”

“If you’re somewhat with the medical industry, then you’ve probably heard of the term triage,” John explains. “If you’re not, triage determining which patients need immediate treatment. For instance, if you went to the ER because of the flu, you would be seen after the older adult who is in cardiac arrest.”

When it comes to prioritizing your work, you can use triaging to identify what you need to do right now by placing them into the immediate category. For the “non-life threatening” tasks, schedule them for later or remove them from your list or calendar.

Done is better than perfect.

Sometimes good is enough. That doesn’t mean phoning it in or deliver subpar work. It just means that you shouldn’t obsess over being perfect.

For example, my cousin needs to get a website up to display his portfolio. My advice is to just get a domain and set-up a standard WordPress site with a theme geared towards photography. The site doesn’t have to be “perfect” just yet. It can tinker with his site until it’s more to his liking.

But, for the time being, he needs to get a site up and running. It’s all about taking that first step, enjoying the process, and setting the bar at “good enough.”

Negotiate your time.

Look, when it comes to your time, some things are non-negotiable. Usually, these are your priorities that you’ve already added to your calendar. For example, if my cousin already committed to a photography gig, then he can’t accept another job on the same date and time.

But, what if this request doesn’t have an exact timeframe? He may be able to find an alternative. Let’s say someone asked him to snap pictures for their LinkedIn profile on the same day that he’s already working a wedding. The wedding is non-negotiable. But, my cousin is free the following day so this other job then.

Or, depending on his niche, he may recommend certain jobs to someone else. My cousin may not have the time or equipment to do travel photography. So, he may recommend this job to a photographer who specializes in this area.

However, if he doesn’t have the availability or the job isn’t worth the time or money, then he needs to get comfortable saying “no.”

Use technology to your advantage.

Thanks to AI and machine learning, there is plenty of technology at your fingertips that can handle repetitive tasks. For example, my cousin could use scheduling software like Calendar to take care of all of their scheduling needs. He could simply share his calendar on his site or through an email. The client then sees when he’s available and books him. It’s a simple way to eliminate those back and forth communications.

A business owner can also use tools to automate his emails, social media accounts, marketing, and sales. If he can’t find a free option, most are affordable enough that they’re within his budget. And, while he’ll still need to put in the occasional human touch, it can help reduce the number of recurring tasks he’s responsible for.

Ask for help or outsource.

What about the things that he can’t automate? Well, he could ask for volunteers or outsource them.

When I launched my own business, I asked family members for help. My wife assisted with administrative tasks, while my sibling produced content for me. All startups can learn to barter with other people. My cousin found he could work a wedding for his accountant’s daughter in exchange for preparing his taxes.

If that’s not an option, you can find low-cost outsourcing alternatives. Like my cousin could go on Fiverr and find freelancers to optimize his website or promote his business on social media at a reasonable price. Know when you should outsource.

Know when to hire team members.

Depending on your business, this will vary. I doubt that my cousin would need a full-time PR agent. But, at some point, he may decide to hire a Virtual Assistant to handle things like scheduling and billing.

But, when should he does this? Well, Neil Patel writes in a previous Entrepreneur article that you shouldn’t hire because you’re desperate or don’t have “a defined set of responsibilities and expectations for your new hire.” Instead, it should be when they can either make or save money for your business. Most importantly, they should have specific skillsets that you don’t possess.

After you’ve begun hiring team members, delegating work to them should be straightforward. I mean if you hired a developer, then you know that those tasks go through them. However, you still need to learn how to delegate, like clearly explaining expectations and outcomes. And, you need to be willing to give up some control and grant them ownership.

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