Checklist for being a Pro Schedule Builder

There are innumerable ways to make a schedule, online and off, and it is usually a laborious process.

First, you have to see if any of your staff have requested time off. Then, you have to see if any of them have any shift preferences. Finally, you sit down in front of a spreadsheet that lays out your open hours with how many shifts you have in each and begin to try to solve the puzzle.

The day the schedule has to be built (and it does take the day) is nobody’s favorite.

Regardless, the schedule has to be made and your team has to know about it. Here is a checklist of things to make sure you have in place in order to have an easy schedule for your employees to work off of:

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5 Do's & Don'ts of Managing your Web Scheduler

Are you hesitant to let your clients book with you online?

Maybe you’re the type of professional who has always handled her own appointments. Giving clients access to book their own feels like you’re giving away too much control.

I can understand that, but it seems to me that the benefits of having a web scheduler far outweigh the costs.

So what is really behind your hesitation? Perhaps it’s a fear that you may get it “wrong”. Like somehow you’ll set up your schedule online and clients will have a hard time navigating it and then they’ll think you’re incompetent. (Highly unlikely, dear brainiac reader, but everyone has irrational fears :-)

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Setting Expectations to Increase Productivity

My customer number was 666. I’m not superstitious, and in fact, I didn’t even think about the number being a problem until my roommate walked into the waiting room to sit beside me.

“I already got a number,” I told Sydonie as she sat down. I showed her the ticket and pointed to the sign behind the counter that read Now serving: 661.

“Not the luckiest draw,” she said and rested her purse on her lap.

We got lost in talking about our day and before we knew it the sign behind the counter read Now serving: 667.

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When was the last time you took 10 minutes to do nothing?

Do you feel guilty when you aren't doing anything? 

Many people do. Naturally we want to be active and when we do sit down to try and relax, many times we'll feel as if we haven't earned it.

Andy Puddicombe has a very different take on this, however. With 10 mindful minutes of meditation a day we can keep ourselves from being lost in thought, distracted, and overwhelmed by difficult emotions.

Even though you won't be working through your undoubtedly endless to-do list as you sit down to meditate (although -- remember your online scheduler is on call 24/7 for people to book with you even when you're meditating :) you'll be nourishing your most important resource: your mind.

In Puddicombe's TED Talk (below) he speaks on the power of meditation to bring you into the present moment, something we spend a huge amount of our life passively avoiding with wandering thoughts about worries from the past or anxieties about the future.

To Puddicombe,  meditation is "a focused relaxation where we can allow thoguhts to come and go without all the usual involvement." Check out his TED Talk below for more on how 10 mindful minutes a day can change your life.

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Are You Exhausting People With Your Emails?

The day has come folks. I truly didn’t think I’d make it here but I caught myself red handed last week & I just need to fess up.

My confession: I skim long emails.

I know, I know, I know: everybody does it, right?

Well, Lucy Barber didn’t use to.

I use to either not read an email (because I wasn’t interested) or read emails in their entirety (because it made me feel accomplished).

Now, though, I will read just about anything that makes its way to my inbox and will skim just about everything.

The thing is, I finally understand why so many people skim through emails: 75% of what we’re writing is fluff.

Utter, useless, taking up digi-space, your-mama-should-have-told-you FLUFF.

You know you’re not innocent (heck, I’m sure as all get-out a perpetrator of heinous email word-stuffing).

I don’t want to waste more words describing how we got here. Instead, I want to focus on 4 small steps that you can take to shorten your emails so I can go back to feeling accomplished and you can get the crime off your record.

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