Our Blog
April 18, 2024

It all started on a Saturday afternoon a few months ago. I'd just made my kids blueberry pancakes for breakfast and was looking forward to my morning scroll and cup of cold brew. That was when my wife handed me this black box. She did it with the same matter-of-fact casualness you'd expect from someone passing you the salt. Except this wasn't salt. It also wasn't the latest iPhone that I'd been hoping for. It was a smartwatch. And little did I know at the time, but this piece of technology would change my life forever.

Before long, I was obsessed with tracking. And not just the how-many-steps-I-walked-today kind. I used this watch to track everything from how much water I drank, to my calorie intake, my stress levels, my heart rate, and even my sleep. You name it. I tracked it. I never quite got why people were so obsessed with lifestyle design. That is - until this smartwatch. Within a few weeks, not only was I sleeping more and stressing less, but I couldn't imagine my life without this smartwatch. I felt on top of the world and was ready to tackle other areas of my life. Before I knew it, I didn’t really remember what life was like before.

That's when I got the idea for a crazy-ish work-related time-tracking experiment. I'm the Head of Go-to-Market at Jigso, which means I'm expected to juggle an insane amount, from sales pipeline, client expectations, and growth to overseeing operational processes. It's a lot. At any given time, I manage dozens of clients, a robust sales pipeline, customer success, and sales team members. This requires more context switching and multitasking than is probably healthy, human, or I'll ever admit to. 

Then there are the hours and hours wasted babysitting as many as 8 different apps, dozens of Slack channels, and email. At the back of my mind, there's always the very real fear that I'm going to miss something. And like a stack of dominos, all it takes is one slip for everything to come tumbling down. But this isn't new to me. As a customer success veteran with more than a decade on the frontlines, I know this world. I know what it takes to manage all this. And over the years, I've developed some solid separate systems so all the dominos remain standing. And then Jigso came along. 

Now safe for work: The time-tracking experiment

If I'm honest, even though I’ve only been using it for less than a year, I don't really remember what life was like before I started using Jigso. See, since I joined Jigso, I've been using Sidekick AI as my assistant and command center. It streamlines all my apps into one place and allows me to interact with all of them in chat form. It has been the ultimate lifesaver and is the reason I don't have to babysit my apps or team members constantly. It's also the reason I get to give my kids a bath and do storytime almost every night. Yes - it's that much of a game-changer. PS. Don't take my word for it. Give it a try and see for yourself. 

Anyway, Jigso integrates seamlessly with all apps I lean heavily on, from Slack and HubSpot to Salesforce, Apollo, Zendesk, and even Gmail. This frees me up to focus on more important work because I know Sidekick has my back. It updates me on anything that's important to me, whether it's the status of a new lead, a client's ticket, or an upcoming meeting. It reminds me when I haven’t responded to a message or to send a follow up. The custom alerts I set up free my mind of the FOMO and reduce the noise of so many irrelevant notifications. It's like having a safety net to catch all things I could easily miss, from an open ticket or lead that’s stuck in the pipeline to an important email or action item. And this is truly priceless. I'm a living example of what our marketing team repeats like a well-worn mantra: no more dropping the ball. 

Enter the experiment. My smartwatch and all the time tracking I'd been doing made me curious. How much time and energy did Jigso actually save me? And if I stopped using it, how would it impact my day-to-day and overall efficiency? Would I be back to caffeine-fuelled all-nighters and jarring tab hopping? I decided to go cold turkey. No Jigso for 30 days. My plan was to track my Jigso-free work day for 30 days. What I discovered blew me away.

The challenges

One day, there was Jigso. The next day, I was on my own. It was brutal. And things started to slip pretty quickly. At first, it was the small things. There were no more morning briefing messages from Jigso showing me where everything stood at a glance. I was now forced to spend tons of time analyzing my dashboards, trying to find the data and answers I needed from all my core apps. And when I finally did find it, I was too distracted to remember what I was looking for in the first place. 

I finally moved to Slack and email to catch up on anything important, and before I knew it, it was nearly lunchtime. I had gotten used to receiving summaries of conversations, as well as mentions or action items I missed. Now, I find myself spending nearly an hour scanning through Slack channels and emails.  And then the notifications started pouring in. Out of all the notifications, there was the request from the marketing team that got buried under all the notifications I was fielding. Of course - these were small slip-ups. "No biggie," I told myself.  

But by the end of the first week, I felt I was unraveling. I caught a client's ticket and their email a couple of days late, and by that time, the issue had escalated. I became overwhelmed and was highly strung. And what's worse, I found myself micro-managing my team, something I hadn't had to do in over a year. “Hey, did you see that email Debbie?” and “Joe, what’s the status on your opps in contract?”. I'd become that guy again. And we all hate that guy. Even my smartwatch was unhappy. 

But my rock bottom came a little later. At 6:30 pm on the following Thursday, to be precise. On this particular Thursday, I was about to head home when I saw it: A contact us request from a big customer asking for a demo. More than a week had already passed. Somehow, I'd completely missed it. It, along with my good intentions, had been buried under other priorities. 

Clearly, I wasn't coping. I was dropping the ball at work, and my team and boss were starting to notice. I thought about the message he'd Slacked me early that day. "How is it going with that task we discussed? Have you managed to speak to that client to discuss their renewal? You said you'd handle it. Everything okay?" his message said. No, everything is not okay; I wanted to reply. But I didn't. I'm not sure what's worse, that I wasn't getting any real work done or that I was letting my family down. I hadn't made it home in time for bath time once this week.

My first two weeks were about the small things. The things that are hard to quantify but quickly add up: a missed email, a ticket that gets overlooked, and time wasted looking for and making sense of data that, with Jigso, would have been at my fingertips. But now weren't. And while these aren't the things one gets fired over at first, I had an almost chronic case of heartburn that no antacid or meditation app could soothe. My stress and anxiety had become crippling. This was survival mode, and I was chasing my tail just to keep up. There was no more thinking outside the box or being able to apply more time and attention to team members, prospects, clients, or projects. Forget about going above and beyond. The more time that went by, the more my work, team members, and home life suffered. 

Insights and learnings

One of the first things I'll admit about this experiment is that I didn't expect it to be so difficult. It was. It took everything in me to finish those 30 days I'd committed to. And while I had systems to fall back on, I'd forgotten how hard I had to work before Jigso. How hard I tried to focus through all the noise and how much that hampered my ability to really add value. In this brave new world, Google Calendar had become my life raft. If it wasn't manually added to my calendar, it didn't happen. I also went back to handwritten to-do lists and Post-Its. My screen and desk were covered in well-meaning, colorful Post-Its, reminding me of a billion things that didn't belong on Google Calendar. Most of which I ignored.

It fascinated me how quickly I reverted back to my old ways. This was survival of the system-iest, and I like to think I was the system-iest of them all. After all, I developed systems and habits for everything. And I mean everything. I had mapped out my entire morning routine and priorities to do before 9 am. I committed to checking emails only a few times a day. And created a checklist of items for each client to make sure I was on top of everything. Most of the time, I wasn’t. I also started texting myself action items and reminders:  A loosely connected, fragile house of cards that kept me on top of things. It was haphazard and ineffective. 

As a manager of other team members, weekly one-on-ones come with the territory. We had these even when I was using Jigso. The difference is that now I found myself spending more time preparing for each meeting, making sure everyone was on the same page and on top of their work. It got so bad that I soon felt I was spending more than half of my week on meeting admin or micro-management. It sucked.

Towards the end of the last week, I noticed if I worked hard enough on my systems, I could almost outwork my inefficiencies. But this also meant that I only had time to do the bare minimum. I worked enough to keep customers satisfied, but no more. I kept the boat afloat but not full steam ahead as I could with Jigso. I didn’t have the capacity. Gone were the days when I'd set aside time to brainstorm ways to take the customer experience to the next level. Done is better than good became my approach to everything.

But if I took a step back and reflected, these weeks taught me more about my limitations than anything else. I learned that no matter how hard I hustle, I just can't work without Jigso. James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, has this theory that "You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems." And while I'd agree with this up to a point, I also think there's no system robust enough to help me do my job without dropping balls. Yes - My workload is that intense. 

Overall impact 

I know how it sounds, but Jigso changed my relationship with work and time. It freed me up to do important things and gave me the extra hours I needed to do things well. This wasn't about more time to do more work. It was about more time to do the work that really mattered. Not using Sidekick for a month made me appreciate that to another level. No more 'done is better than good'. With Sidekick, I could strive for perfection. Or, at the very least, exceptional customer experience. 

But that's only part of the Jigso's impact. I wanted a better sense of Jigso's real, bottom-line impact. So, over the 30-day experiment, I manually tracked how much time I spent doing everyday work tasks. These are the hours I'd get back with Jigso.

During the 30-day experiment, most days looked like this:

  • Slack and emails: At least 60 minutes
  • Dashboard Analysis & Reporting: between 60-120 minutes
  • Searching apps for data & answers: 60-90 minutes
  • Meeting prep: 30-60 minutes
  • Team management: 60-120 minutes
  • Client issues and tickets - 45-60 minutes
  • Come in at least 30 minutes earlier
  • Left at least an hour later each day 

That's at least 5 hours spent searching for information and answers, analyzing data, prepping for meetings, and making sure everything from clients and prospects to team members is on track. These were all tasks that held us back from adding value and moving the needle. Think about that: FIVE HOURS EVERY DAY!

But here's the thing: what I'm learning is that there are the five hours of quantifiable time-sucky tasks, and then there’s the other stuff. This is the stuff that’s almost impossible to measure, but can make or break a team. Think of things we don’t have KPIs for, like time management, stress, anxiety, and happiness. Jigso was a game-changer for me in this area. It allowed me to focus on the important things, reduced my stress, made me a better team leader, and boosted my team's efficiency because we were all just happier campers. Win!

For me, there's this unmistakable line in the sand, carved in neon read. "Do Not Cross," the line seems to say. This line separates my life before Jigso and everything that comes after. For me, there's no going back. And it's not that I can't imagine life without Jigso. I lived that life for years. It's that I'm not willing to go back there. Why would I willingly do that to myself?! I've left the world of time-stress, overwhelm, and ball-dropping behind for good. And I invite you to do the same. 

Give Jigso AI Basic a test drive today or book time with the team to learn about the enterprise version here and see how it makes work simpler.

Shai Ritblatt
Head of GTM & Customer Success
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