A Better Way to Deal With Customer Service Calls

When many people talk about being more efficient they think in terms of HOURS  saved. But as it’s just as important to save precious MINUTES where possible too, after all it all adds up.  

I hate waiting on hold for customer service. Who doesn’t, right? It’s such a time suck. I thought I had found the perfect solution to bypass this pesky problem. It was an app called FastCustomer. I’d been recommending it and using it for years! Some of you may have even tried it because of me.

Well guess what? It’s disappeared. Yep. Poof. Gone. I reached out to the company to find out what happened but haven’t heard back yet. I’ll let you know if I do. Read more

Is My Meeting Scheduler Making Me Rude?

Since I quit my job and went out on my own as a media trainer and coach helping experts, authors and entrepreneurs create videos and podcasts  there’s one productivity site I’ve been using all the time. It’s called Schedule Once. It’s connected to my calendar and allows clients to schedule time to chat with me. It’s brilliant!

Old fashioned scheduling involves a lot of back and forth, Schedule Once makes everything much more streamlined. Clients can quickly go to my page, see when I’m free and pick a time that works best for them.

When it works, it’s great – the thing is, a lot of people don’t want to use it! Read more

Reduce Browser Tab Clutter with OneTab

Part of becoming more productive means purging some of your bad habits. But there are some bad habits you might have and you possibly don’t even realize  how they’re negatively affecting you.

For example, I have a habit of opening lots of tabs in my web browser. Any time I see an interesting article or recipe I’ll open it in a new tab with the intention of reading it later. The problem is I end up with a lot of tabs, so many that it starts to slow my computer down and overwhelm me.

I could always just close them – but I do want to look at them eventually and I always get annoyed when I can’t find something I had planned to read or a video I wanted to watch.

Luckily I have found a solution. Read more

Holiday Lists to Make Right Now to Keep Your Sanity

When it comes to preparing for the holidays I’m a firm believer that it’s never too early to start. Usually I start in August. This year though, I’ve been feeling more disorganized than usual. I’ve realized that when I was working at Fox News  I had settled into a pretty good routine. Now that I’m out on my own I’ve been struggling to find that balance again. When you work a job with a set finish time it’s much easier to check out mentally and compartmentalize your tasks.  As I get my footing as an entrepreneur it’s not as easy because I find myself doing everything all the time!

Luckily for me there’s still time to get organized – all I need is a list. If you’re in the same boat as me it’s fine, but we need to get started. Here’s a list of all the things to consider before the end of the year:

Presents Lists – This is the most obvious list to start with and maybe the one that requires the most thought. This year I’m taking a more essentialist approach to gifts. Instead of going overboard I’m thinking about what the people I care about could really use this year. In the new Bad Mom’s Christmas movie Mila Kunis’s character jokes how she’s bought so many unnecessary presents this year, going so far as to buy her barista a scented candle. We laugh – but who hasn’t gone overboard on gift shopping at least once? Look over your list and have a good think about who really belongs there! I like to keep ideas in my Evernote notebook throughout the year for times just like this when I can’t think of what to get. In that folder I keep ideas that I’ve found and notes on what people have told me through the year that they would like or need. Read more

Why You Should Never Schedule Anything at the Top of the Hour

As you probably know, a top productivity tip and regular habit of mine, is to write my to do list the night before. I consider it a roadmap for the following day. I don’t have to stick to that schedule exactly, but it gives me a path to follow.

Many of the highly-productive people I know do the same thing. However I’ve noticed they make one key mistake – they schedule tasks for the top of the hour. For example your to-do list might look something like:

  • 10am catch up on email
  • 11am call Donna

What’s wrong with that?

The problem is two fold.

First of all, as a total procrastinator I know all the tricks your mind will play on you in order to put things off. Scheduling things at the top of the hour is a classic one. Why? Because the second that clock ticks 10:01 and you haven’t checked your email, you start to think to yourself, “well now I’ve missed my opportunity! I’ll get to it in a minute”.  But then you never actually get back to that original task because your attention pulls you away.

The second issue is that when you schedule something for say 11am, people don’t actually start to get ready until 11am. I find that if I’ve scheduled a call with someone, if I make the call on time they often won’t answer, as they’re still going back to their desk or checking over their notes. The same is true of meetings. How many 2pm meetings actually start on time?

So what’s my solution?

I like to schedule appointments and tasks for 15 mins past the hour. This gives you 15 minute to prepare or get yourself set up for the time ahead. So if it’s a Skype call you’ve got time to login and check your audio is working at the top of the hour. If you’re scheduling a meeting these extra 15 minutes give people time to grab a cup of coffee or tea and get settled.

Go through your diary today and shake up your schedule! Be sure to let me know how it goes in the comments below.