***Just to be clear this isn’t a paid post  or an affliate link whatsoever. I just really like the results from using this app***

As a solopreneur, I don’t have a full-time assistant. I’m my own secretary, accountant, marketer, content curator, designer and whatever else I need to be. One of the most frustrating things about running my business is the annoying phone calls from clients who could have quickly typed out an e-mail and saved us both time.

Once these calls are over, I find myself in that limbo of trying to get my mind back into the work flow. I waste a lot of my energy in trying to get back on track. Let’s face it, once you’ve been interrupted, it’s 10x harder to get back to where you were.

I used to let these interruptions run my life. They were making me stressed beyond belief, and I’m ashamed I used to let them get the best of me.

Then I found this cool little app called Calendly.

Calendly is an online app that allows you to create a calendar where people can “book” you for a particular time. You choose your availability, and your clients can pick from those individual time slots.

So now I’m not letting these impromptu meetings rule me. Instead these days I’m ruling them.

How’d I do it?

1. Set Up

First I set up my Calendly. Easy enough.

2. Customizing

I picked two days out of the week that would be my meeting days. For me, it’s Tuesday and Thursday. Obviously, exceptions will arise, but as a general rule, these meeting days are non-negotiable.

I then give 30-minute time slots options from which they can choose which one works best for them. I limit meetings times to 30 minutes because generally, that is more than enough time to get all the information out. Having a segmented time encourages my clients to come with an agenda ready to go and also allows me to have a cut off time for the clients who like to talk a lot. In the coming weeks I’ll probably limit the time to 15 minutes, but for now, 30 minutes is working well for me.

Let me be clear; the entire day is NOT a meeting day. Only a portion. Here’s what my meeting day looks like:

5:30 -8:00 AM – Meditation and Writing
8:00 – 11:00AM – Work
11:00 -12:00 – Lunch
1:00-2:00 PM – Work
2:00-4:00 PM – Meeting Availability

3. Breaking the news

So what happens when someone tries to contact me? Well, I ignore the phone call at first. If they leave a message and I have their e-mail (which 98% of the time I do), I e-mail them back. I do this because it gets them into the habit of emailing me rather than calling. Here’s what a typical e-mail looks like:

“I’m sorry I missed your call earlier. I have some availability this Tuesday if that works for you? Here’s a link so you can choose a time that works well for you, too.”

This process can go one of two ways:

1. They pick a time slot and we meet at the designated time. Or, 2. This is by far my favorite, they e-mail me back with what they need!

This process gives the client a brief understanding that your time is valuable and is not to be squandered. Now when I have meetings, they have a purpose, and I don’t feel blindsided by them.

So, what do you think? Leave a comment below and tell me how you handle interruptions. 

All rights reserved Salient.