Productivity Bad Advice

clock at 8am

Productivity bad advice makes me crazy!

It seems experts have so many ideas on what we NEED to do to be more productive and it drives me crazy when I hear suggestions that in my opinion is just bad advice and that actually hurt our small businesses if we follow it.

This suggestion was in my ‘in-box’ this morning from a time-management guru.

“Never check emails or voice mail first thing in the morning”.

I don’t know about you, but that is just bad advice, plus it doesn’t even work for me.

I LIKE to and make every effort to check email and voice messages as soon as I walk in my office door.

A Winner First Thing In The AM:

I understand the concept of getting all distracted and possibly losing valuable time, but for me, I like the ability to check a few simple things off my list right off the bat, so within the first 30 minutes of my day I’m already a winner!

Customer No-Service:

I also know when running a customer-facing biz as we do, we are dealing
with individual clients, and we NEED to respond to them asap.

If someone calls or emails to ask for an appointment, and you don’t respond right away, unless they were specifically referred to you, they often continue to find another practitioner who they can schedule with.

If they were referred to you and you don’t call them back in a timely manner, they need to call you again which lowers their perception of you and your business even before you’ve spoken!
When an email comes in asking to switch appointment times from a current client, same thing happens…it leads to frustration.
(Even FaceBook now has ‘response times’ listed on a business page showing how soon a business responds to a customer’s comments.)

Losing even a single customer can be very costly.

I figure in our industry, the average LTV (Life Time Value) of a client is about $1000.

Customer Service:

It’s critical for us to do everything we can to keep our peeps happy, and replying sooner rather than later, I my opinion, shows them you care and respect them.

You know you look for fast responses from the businesses you use, and so do our clients.

My Productivity Good Advice Instead:

  1. Set a time for 30 minutes (if you get distracted) to check and reply to email and voice messages so customer’s needs are addressed.
  2. Block out specific hours in your day to work on your most important tasks that need your full attention. (Ob turn off Facebook, and other pings)
    (If you’re familiar with my Time Triangle, use it)
  3. Establish set times two-four times a day to reply to email and voice messages, ALWAYS within 48 hours at the max (which feels like eons for the person waiting on the other end) and when ever possible, within a few hours.
    Have fun and post below

    #1-if you agree or not and
    #2- what other Productivity Good or Bad Advice have you heard that you love or hate?

About the Author Irene Diamond

Business mentor, Educator and Inspirer to Clinic Owners & Solo Practitioners. Love to hear from you ~ Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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  • Kim says:

    I agree with you Irene…if not right away in the morning when it’s quiet, when? I noticed on my FB business page that they added response times. I have been “boosting” my weekly schedule post every 2 weeks for a day. One of the neat things was I got ALOT of people contacting me. My initial response time dropped from 48 hours to 24 hours to 8 hours and now is at 3 hours. I’ve encouraged my 2nd & 3rd shift clients to text my cell with appointment requests/changes. I check throughout the day, and at 7pm, I turn off the computer for family time. I watch my cell, though, and check again before I go to bed at 11pm. It’s not a perfect system, yet.

    • Irene says:


      Sounds like boosting the Facebook post is really working for you and kudos for getting your response time down.

      It also sounds like you’ve got a good system figured out. You’re ahead of the majority of therapist by actually having a system!

      It’s always a work in progress

    • Rain says:

      Whoa, whoa, get out the way with that good infoimatron.

  • Tina says:

    Irene, I agree with you. I have to check my email first thing and in between appointments. I check my landline and cell as well. I called a clinic once and the messgw on the machine told me they would get back to me in 48 hours. I didn’t bother even in leaving a message I called someone else. Having said that I only check them to make sure no clients have asked for an appointment and then I get back to what I was doing. Great share. Tina

    • Irene says:

      Great system of checking and segmenting which peeps need an urgent response and who can wait until YOU’RE ready to respond.

      Glad to help!

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