The one where Lu ceases to be a lemon

One of my New Year’s Resolutions for Time Saving Heroes was to write more. I love blogging, and it’s something I do for a wide variety of my clients; however, if time is tight for any reason, it’s always my own content that suffers.

Which makes me sad on a personal level because I’m not making time for the things I want to do professionally; however, it also makes me look like a bit of a lemon. How can I stand there and encourage my clients to blog and “put things out there”, when I don’t even bother to do it myself 50% of the time?

2017 is therefore going to see a change, one you have hopefully already noticed. One blog I’ve been meaning to do (probably since the beginning of 2016, if I’m honest) is a weekly review. What does the week of a Time Saving Hero actually look like?

I thought this week was going to be quiet as people got their heads back in the game after potentially two weeks off. However, I was wrong. The majority of my clients have come back from their Christmas break well rested, recharged and ready to tackle the New Year with vigour. Which means I’ve had an interesting array of tasks filling up my to do lists.

Firstly, one client realised they have no process in place for ensuring good customer service. A customer makes a purchase online, their item arrives; that’s the end of it. To combat this I’ve spent the week looking at ways to improve the customer journey and help build a relationship between the business and the real live person at the other end of the transaction.

They now have email templates to thank them for their order, to confirm their item has been dispatched and a follow up email asking for feedback on both the quality of service, value for money and the product itself. In conjunction with a networking colleague we’re also setting up a bespoke CRM system to help them capture the information they want from their customers. This will include birth dates, so vouchers can be sent out offering discounts based on their previous purchasing decisions.

Other than that I have written a total of 25 blogs for clients (including one on how to protect yourself from a bear), scheduled a combined total of 89 Tweets and researched removal companies for a client who is moving house next month.

My biggest challenge

Mentally, I was entirely ready for 2017 to start. For the first time in five years I took the time between Christmas and New Year off. I joined the ranks of people who ate Quality Street for breakfast, had no idea what day it was (every day felt like Sunday) and started happy hour at 3pm. I loved every second of it. My soul felt completely topped up and when I officially went back to work on Tuesday, I was ready.

However, my desk was not.

Last year I made the decision to move my office back home (primarily because the exhaustion of a fifth pregnancy meant I occasionally needed a nap!). As a result my “office” is now in the kitchen, which means when it’s not in use it becomes a dumping ground for everyone else’s stuff. Over the Christmas period it has been used for writing cards, reading, knitting, drawing, painting and playing computer games.  It was also, inexplicably, covered in glitter and clumps of soil!

On Tuesday I merely worked around it. I was so eager to start again, to be “back at it”, that I didn’t want to lose time having to reclaim space. Wednesday was much the same, I was focussed and busy concentrating on the task at hand; though I confess wiping blobs of dirt off my pristine diary was becoming a bit tiresome.

Yesterday, I’d had enough. The final straw was Elvis. For those that don’t know, Elvis is my Frenchi-hauhau and work companion. He spends his days asleep in a bed, on my desk. However, with all the other “stuff”, his bed was pushed perilously close to the edge. Yesterday morning he stretched, admittedly more energetically than usual, and consequently fell in to the bin. He was unscathed, but I think I’ve pulled a muscle laughing.

We agreed it was time something was done.

It was hard, mainly because I felt it was distracting me from what I actually wanted (and needed) to be doing. I had a deadline, and therefore getting the polish out and cleaning didn’t feature on my list of priorities. However, as is often the case, it’s made a huge difference and has meant I can now work more productively.

I feel like I’m back in control, and really ready to tackle 2017 head on now.

My highlight

That’s a tough one for this week because in all honesty, my highlight hasn’t happened yet – but will do later today.

A client and I are taking seven children to Birmingham (oh no we’re not; oh yes we are!) to see the Panto. It looks like it’s going to be utterly exhausting, but all rather a lot of fun.

Why not pop over and like the Time Saving Heroes Facebook page to find out what we get up to?

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