Home' INSTYLE Magazine : INSTYLE MAY-JUN 2017 Contents Timely’s Grace Phillips
takes a look at ways to
work smarter and avoid
the brain drain.
Okay, don’t get rid of your office per se, just
make it less of a factor in your life. If you own
your own business, why are you spending all
your time in an office? Identify what needs to
be done that doesn’t require you to be at the
desk, and start planning your escape.
Changing up your scenery can have
a huge impact on your mood and
productivity. “Physical separation from
your distractions will help you gain clarity
as you start a new project,” said Sarah Rapp
Try bringing your laptop to a cafe to
work, or set up shop with a tablet at a local
park. As long as you have internet, you
should be able to get your work done.
There are two types of tardiness to get rid
of: yours, and your team’s.
If you’re the one guilty of chronic
lateness, that’s the first thing to address.
Your team won’t care about being on time
if you don’t. According to Sarah Knight’s
magical book Get Your Sh*t Together, the
first step is to start timing yourself. How
long does it take you to get to work? Start
a stopwatch from the moment you wake
up to the moment you log in. Do that every
day for a week, and average it up. Chances
are, you’re optimistically budgeting for 20
minutes when it really takes you 35.
If your team are late, it’s time to start
communicating. Tell them that you want
them in place, ready to work at the start
of their shift, not straggling in right as
their first client is due. Be clear about your
expectations, and about the consequences
for not meeting those expectations. Be
consistent in calling them out for tardiness!
Talk to them about how to fix the problem.
Is it a transportation issue? Would a
different schedule work better for them?
Being clear and firm with your team (and
yourself) will get everyone on the same
page when it comes to tardiness.
No-shows are pretty much the worst.
There’s a three-prong game plan for cutting
them out of your life.
First, set up a cancellation policy of
your choice. Perhaps you want to bill
your clients for a deposit that becomes
non-refundable. Or maybe you’d prefer
to invoice them full price if they cancel
within 24 hours.
Second, set up automated reminders
to coincide with your cancellation
policy. So, if your clients must cancel or
reschedule at least 24 hours in advance,
schedule your reminder texts to go out 36
hours in advance. One of the key things
here is the word ‘schedule’. If you’re
sending these texts or emails out by
hand, you’re defeating the point of saving
time. Set them up in your appointment
scheduling app and never think about
Third, identify which clients are chronic
no-shows or reschedulers, and decide
what to do with them. (This is a great little
admin task that can be done at a cafe, by
the way! Just saying.) Track who your
worst offenders are, and flag their profiles
so that everyone knows these clients have
This might sound a little counter-intuitive,
but stick with me. Of course you can’t cut
all tech out of your life, unless you’re ready
to commit to the nunnery. What you can
do is set boundaries.
Make tech-free zones in your life.
Keeping your bedroom tech-free is usually
a good idea. Maybe you’d also like to keep
your yard tech free, if you have one. If your
devices aren’t physically near you, it’s
much easier to unplug.
Set up a schedule. Reserve time in your
calendar to do your business social media
every afternoon. Give yourself 30 minutes
every morning before you dive into your
phone and see what’s happening. Set an
alarm at night for when it’s time to put
away the phone and shut down the laptop,
and stick to it.
Little things like scheduling in your
social media time, and committing to non-
tech times and areas, can have a big effect
on your stress levels. It’s great that we can
always be connected now, but that doesn’t
mean we have to be.
How many people like phone calls? I’m
willing to bet it is a very small percentage.
Most people (especially Millennials) would
rather drop a hammer on their foot than
have to call to order a pizza, much less
schedule an appointment.
Setting up online booking not only
frees your clients from having to dart
into stationery cupboards to call for an
appointment, it frees you up from the 10
minute phone calls where you and a client
try to find a mutually agreeable time. Now
all you have to do is check your calendar
to see what new appointments have been
made overnight, and you’re golden. Even
if you only have 20 phone calls a week, at
about 5 minutes each, that’s nearly 2 hours
And you know what you could do with
those two hours? You could relieve some
stress by going for a walk. Or you could
take a little more time with some of your
favorite clients. Or ... just sleep.
Cutting things out of your life is about
looking at what’s making your life better
and what’s not. Small changes can add
Grace Phillips is the Content Manager at
Timely, the appointment scheduling app
that lets you get back to doing what you
love. She writes about productivity, time
management, and self-care over at the
TO CUT OUT
OF YOUR LIFE
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