Borderless Working: Avoid the Burn Out

What is Borderless Working?

Borderless Working without Burn Out

Whether you call it the “anytime, anywhere” workplace, borderless working, or workflex, flexible work schedules are popping up everywhere.

The idea of borderless working is to offer employees a solution to work/life balance. When done right, employees are able to be just as or more productive, while also having the flexibility to work around their life stages. 

Seems golden right? 

Here’s the problem. Without proper time management skills or the ability to unplug, mangers and employees alike are very likely to burn out, rather than be more productive. 

Think about this:

If your workday doesn’t have the distinct 9 to 5 hours, when do you step back from working? Or do you just never really stop working?

According to… the average smartphone user checks their phone 150 times a day and 55% of people are checking their emails after 11pm.  Then, according to …. 60% of smart phone users keep in touch with work 13.5 hours per day. 

Unfortunately, when you pair workflex options with our digital world, you end up with people being expected to be available for work 24/7.

This is especially true for managers who are working around all of their employees’ flexible work schedules. 

What’s the solution?

“Anytime, anywhere” workplaces aren’t really going anywhere. While their may be some roadblocks to how they function across the board, they aren’t really going to just fall out of trend. 

So, their isn’t a one size fits all solution. However, better time management can help you avoid burn out and improve productivity with your flexible schedules. 

Survival Tips for Borderless Working

One: Don’t make assumptions

As a manager offering workflex options, don’t make assumptions about what kind of flexibility is best for your workers. While some may work best with maximum flexibility, other’s will perform better with a better outlined day. So, discuss with your employees what their needs are and how that might work with the expectations of your business. 

The goal should be to support employees for their needs, while also giving predictability and stability to employers. 

Two: Be clear on communication

Whether your the employee or the manager, you’ll need to set clear expectations on how, when, and where you’ll communicate. As the manager, you have the role of really setting the tone. 

You’ll want to pick one main method for communication, be it an app, email, texting, etc. You don’t need five different places to be checking for work messages.

Also, go over what is appropriate within these communications.  Especially when you’re using a method such as text where it’s easy to become less professional. 

Finally, if you don’t have set office hours, you may want to at least set off limit hours. Otherwise you may be expected to answer late at night and held accountable for being available. 

These are probably the most important tips for avoiding the drain of feeling like you can never stop working. 

Three: Employ time management training

This one is really simple.

Managers. Train your employees in best time management practices. Employees. Ask for training in time management.

Flexibility is great until it becomes too much to manage and then it becomes overwhelming. Without a firm strategy in place, you’ll find yourself feeling like you’re never actually getting anything done because work will seemingly never end. 

Four: Set “off time”

Time Management for Workflex Schedules

It doesn’t matter if you’re the manager, owner, or employee; you have to set a firm block of time that you’re not working. And by not working, I mean NOT WORKING. No answering emails, or just double checking, or even trying to get ahead. 

If you don’t do this, then instead of having a flexible work schedule that suits your personal needs you will have an all work and no play schedule. 

You don’t have to be stuck in Stephen King’s The Shinning  to know that that’s just not a good idea. 

 

5 Online Marketing Tools to Grow your Business

Online Marketing Tool

I don’t need to tell you that online marketing is a must. You know that. So, you probably also know that online marketing isn’t just online ads.

It includes SEO strategies, blog writing, e-newsletters, social media posting, and so much more. Heck, even a well leveraged landing page for your online scheduler is a part of online marketing.

It can get a little overwhelming and you’ll want an online marketing tool or two to help you out.

So, just like we did five automation tools to help with your business management, we have five of our favorite online marketing tools to help you grow your business!

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Why Customer Service is a Marketing Strategy

Every member at every level of your business must have their hand in customer service. It doesn’t matter if they are the intern, the IT guy, or the CEO. This develops a customer-first mindset that leads to a true user culture. In other words, your more concerned about your customer’s experience with your company and your product or service than you are with just improving your product.

Is it important to be ensuring your product is always on it’s A-game? You bet!

But, if you want to increase customer retention along with customer acquisition, this customer service mindset is key. This is because as you focus on this user experience, your attention is on your customer for their entire customer life cycle and even beyond.

Customer Service as Marketing

This is what really makes your customer service strategies an integral part of your marketing.

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How to Achieve Positive Procrastination

Embracing the Art of Positive Procrastination
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Procrastination tends to get a bad rap that those that procrastinate are lazy. The thing is, those that procrastinate rarely actually do nothing in place of the task that they are supposed to be doing. Meaning that they actually have the potential to be way more productive. This is where positive procrastination comes into play.

Sure, browsing social media isn’t the most productive thing. But washing the dishes when you usually avoid it like the plague or finally mailing off that package to your sister’s kid that you meant to mail a year ago, well those aren’t bad things to occupy your time.

Even better is when your procrastinating in work by completing other must do tasks that are just feeling a little less daunting. No matter why you procrastinate, if you’re using other productive tasks to do so, then you’re not really losing out on productivity.

How it Works
Positive Procrastination Productive
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John Perry, a philosopher at Harvard, actually wrote a book entitled The Art of Procrastination. Within this he suggested when you’re writing out your to do list to put at the top of that list those big, daunting, scary tasks that you know you’re supposed to get done, but will probably avoid.

Then, fill the middle of that list with doable and still important tasks. Finally, add to the bottom of the list, very doable, quick to finish tasks. When you find yourself avoiding those top of the list items, you’ll find that you will pretty naturally start checking items off your list from the bottom up.

Probably completing a LOT more of what you need to get done in a day than if you had tried to force yourself to focus all day on numero uno!

Controlling too Much of a Good Thing.

Really, in order to avoid the plague of procrastination you actually need to let yourself procrastinate.

Procrastination is part of the productivity process. It just gets you in trouble because people will do too much of it and dig themselves into a hole. That’s why there are so many tips on how to avoid procrastination.

So, aside from Professor John Perry’s strategy, let’s look at some other quick tips on how to manage procrastination successfully to actually increase productivity.

Other Procrastination Tactics that Work

  1.  When planning how long a task will take you, factor in procrastinating. A little wiggle room will go a long way.
  2. Pick 2 or 3 activities that allow you to check out for short periods. Rotate through them when you need a brain break. Browsing social media, straightening up, deleting emails…there are a lot of things that can help you take a break without taking over the whole day.
  3. Every 3o minutes, stand up and stretch. This can be a walk around the room or literally just standing while you work for a few minutes. You’ll find that this break from work can actually end up bringing you some pretty good inspiration.
  4. Plan a break where you completely shut it off. For example, when you stop to have lunch, don’t “work” through lunch. Grab your lunch, sit in a different place than where you usually work, and just enjoy your food.
  5. Set a timer. Using timers for your productive time and your procrastination time will help you avoid watching the clock. This way, you know you’ll have a break coming up. It can help you push through when you feel ready to give up. Plus, you’ll be able to really enjoy your procrastination time because their will be no antsy realization that you’ve been watching YouTube videos for an hour instead of five minutes.

Whatever your goals are, implementing positive procrastination into your work strategy may just be the tactic you need to move your productivity to the next level!

Don’t have a problem with over procrastination?
What strategies do you use?

 

How Online Scheduling Software effects CRM

Two Men Standing While Doing High Five

Last week we posted a blog, “What is Customer Relationship Management” to help our readers get a better understanding of what Customer Relationship Management (CRM) actually is and how it can really effect your success.

We broke down our definition of CRM as “your business’s strategy for controlling the interactions, perceptions, loyalty, and ROI of the people who are purchasing your product with the objective to keep these customers and increase or maintain revenue.”

Today, we want to really get into how an online scheduling software and other automation tools can and should be a part of your CRM system.

The Value Behind Online Scheduling Software

The value of online appointment systems like Georgie Scheduler go way beyond the ability to make an appointment from any device at any time.  The five listed below only scratch the surface of what you will see with an online appointment software.

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Online Marketing Strategies for a Millennial Customer

Social Media.
Social Media and Online Marketing
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It’s not the end all of online marketing strategies. However, if you’re not investing in it, you’re going to be in trouble. And it’ll be the doomsday kind of trouble if you’re trying to target a millennial customer.

Why?

62 percent of Millennials are more likely to become a loyal customer if a brand engages with them on social networks. Loyal customers are gold in business. You need them to maintain and grow as a business. It really doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, retaining customers is necessary for a business to have success.

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What is Customer Relationship Management?

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First, you’ll notice when you start diving into trying to understand what customer relationship management (CRM) is and how it can be used to grow your customer base or reduce churn, you’re going to come across a lot of flow charts, diagrams, and buzz word images like these on the left.

Is this a bad thing?

Image result for customer relationship management

Not really, but it also doesn’t always equal helpful.

Unfortunately, these types of images serve more to get attention and mislead you into thinking that if you do everything listed in these charts that you understand CRM.

So before you start doing anything and calling it CRM, let’s get down to what it is and how it can actually be implemented.

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How to Delegate without Abdicating your Business

Delegate as a Small Business
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As a business owner you have probably read or been otherwise given a lot of advice on how to improve your time management, grow your business, and avoid burn out.

The number one tip seems to be that you need to delegate in order to find success. Be it delegating to the skilled employees that you’ve hired or automation services that you’ve purchased to be more efficient.

Jeffrey Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, says “Your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think and ask the right questions so that the world doesn’t go to hell if you take a day off”.

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5 Automation Tools for Your Small Business

Online automation tools
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Business owners of all shapes and sizes know that time is money. As cliche as it sounds, it’s the simple truth. There are so many essential tasks in business that take up a lot of time, whether it be the process itself or the task of managing errors.

This is why automation tools that streamline business processes are a small business owners best friend. The good news is that there are tons of automation and online software programs available to you. The better news is that we’ve gathered a list of 5 business management tools known for their ease, increase in efficiency, and dependability.

Whatever your business, chances are you could really use one ore more of these online automation tools.

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