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September 6, 2020

A Valuable Lesson in Being Productive

This past week I spent two whole days doing research. It sounds like I had very productive days, but nope…  I felt so hopeless. I could not figure it out…

You see, this is what happened. I love Calendly and everything that it has to offer, but I wanted to find a calendar scheduling tool that would allow me to customize the look and add more space in between questions. I also wanted an SMS reminder options for the basic program (Calendly offers it in PRO program).

Now that I look back, I wonder… WHY? 

Why was I looking for a scheduling tool that was not going to help me reach my goals and why was I looking for the PERFECT tool for my project?

It’s nice that I would want to make the user look at a nice design and all, but is it all necessary? I was also against a very tough deadline and I felt as if I was wasting time. 

So what do we learn from this painful experience?

1. Focus on the things that matter

When I was doing my research, I thought this would take me 10 minutes, but it took me hours! 16 hours or even more. Is that the best use of my time?

I had my list of items that I needed to focus on, but I was not being true to myself and was not respecting my time.

By focusing on what matters, you don’t allow yourself to be distracted with other things. I needed to be launching a quiz, the user would not have minded if it was on Calendly or square. 

2. Different tools for different purposes

When I could not figure something out, I was getting frustrated and confused and so it hit me. I was looking at different tools to do different types of things.

Calendly is strictly for scheduling meetings, that’s it! Square is more for people to pay me through their merchant account and for brick and mortar services. You schedule different types of appointments and you charge them with Square.

I was using Square appointments for something that was not intended for that. I needed to find out more information about the user. Square is not intended for that.

Why was I doing that, you may ask?

Because I loved that Square has an SMS reminder and I loved the email confirmation DESIGN. I should also mention that the way someone made an appointment was not as friendly as I had hoped and most importantly, Square does not give you the options to ask questions when someone is booking an appointment!! 

So what happened?

  • The email confirmations were not making any sense. Instead of saying that the meeting was going to be through Zoom, the email confirmation said that the user was going to come to my office. As much as I tried to change things around, I simply could not and it made things more and more complicated.
  • The embedding process took me 3 hours to figure out because Square does not give you an embedded code for the website, they give you an embedded code to create a button that takes you to the website.
  • The process to book a call involved too many clicks and it was not user friendly for what I intended.

3. Using Band-Aids is not always a great idea.

So I thought, ok, so if I want the user to answer a few questions based on their situation before they book the call, then I might just use a form builder and embed it on my website and then use Square to book the appointment. Easy peasy right? 

NOPE!

My form builder is super easy to use, so no problems there. But what about the Square embedding process. I was going to have questions on one page and then add the booking calendar on another page, with another tool. So I was going to have to mix and match who made an appointment and who actually booked a call.

This whole experience made me insane!

I’d like to leave you with a few tips:

  • There are no PERFECT TOOLS anywhere… You can research all you want, but at the end of the day it’s important to focus on what matters. That is to find the tool that closely matches what you want it to do, to not get overwhelmed with the lack of functionality and make it work.
    • In other words, focus on being productive, if you’re not reaching that productivity level, then change things up and see where you can improve…
  • Take the positives of each… If you remember, I mentioned that the only reason I didn’t like Calendly was because I didn’t like the layout and you have to pay for the SMS notification system. That was it! I’d like to remind you that you can always look for another SMS notification system if things get overwhelming, but don’t let time just slip away doing research trying to find the perfect tool. It does not exist… Calendly had everything I had wanted and more - it even integrates with Zoom for a short amount of time in the basic account… So why was I looking somewhere else for something that was not in my best interest?
  • Value your time… I did not value my time and I hope you learn from this experience. I spent a whole 2 days trying to figure this out and it honestly hurts to say that it was such a pointless research that didn’t help me to get to my end result. So value your time and focus on what is important to you. Next time you need to do research ask in forums and groups, you don’t have to do everything yourself. Or even better, hire someone to do it for you!

Hope this experience helps you to put things in perspective when you’re doing any type of research. 

Miri

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About the author 

Miri Lenoff - Known Success

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