Tidying Up My Practice Step 4: Time Management and Processes

Tidying Up My Practice Step 4: Time Management and Processes

Starting and growing a private practice can be a real time suck. There are so many things to accomplish and to balance the management of the business along with the clinical work, well it’s often something we don’t plan for. So all the management stuff gets shoved in between appointments with clients, or late nights after the kids have gone to bed.

In the beginning, it can be fun. It’s like finding a new love. You are all excited and have a new found energy. But over time, you get comfortable and maintaining that kind of energy long term can really wear you down.

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How to Take Time Off in Your Private Practice

How to Take Time Off in Your Private Practice

We are just coming back from having the month of December off and as we ease back into the saddle of running a business, I find it so relevant to talk about time off instead of the typical New Year's resolution fan fare.

Before the year ended I set aside some time to plan my 2016. The first thing I did was get out my calendar and block off my time off. I blocked off

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Time Management Challenge

My husband has this awesome goal in life - to work less and enjoy more. I think it is brilliant. However, the more I strive to work less, the more worried I get about not doing enough (that's my own head trash I am working on) and out of that fear, I create more work than is necessary.

Necessary. How do you know if what you are doing is necessary? In your business, the tasks that are necessary are the ones that give you the greatest return on your investment of time. For ZynnyMe, our webinars are a huge pay off. We give great value and information, build our list, sell entries to our bootcamp and create amazing relationships within our community. On the other hand, email doesn't give me a huge return on my investment. It is one of those things I need to do, but doesn't necessarily equate to huge returns. Yet - I spend a ton of time in my inbox when I need to be creating the things that give us the biggest return.

I have an "idea" of how I spend my time, but I haven't really taken a hard honest look. Who has time for that? Snicker, snicker. Do you have any clue as to where your time goes? You might have an idea but your brain tends to forget that hour long detour on facebook and the giving into other distractions. 

I am constantly striving to improve, to be efficient and effective.  I want to maximize my time - to not only increase the bottom line of my business, but to increase the bottom line of happiness in my life. So over the next few weeks, I am going to implement time tracking. Here is what I am going to do:

  • I am going to sign up for the 14 day free trial with RescueTime and add it to my browser. It will track my online behaviors and with the free trial I can also track my offline work as well.

  • I am going to look at my report every day and be held accountable with a partner, explaining why I spent my time the way I did.

  • I am taking the facebook app off of my homepage on my phone. If I find myself still going there often, I will take it off my phone completely.

  • I am going to practice time blocking. Setting a timer, focusing on one task and limiting how much time I spend. This is meant to incentivize my focus and help me prioritize. When you have a limited amount of time, you start making your choices differently.

  • I am going to play around with different schedules for my work day to see what is best for me.

And through this challenge I have some goals in mind: 

  • Reduce amount of time on email to 2 times per day.

  • Reduce social media usage to 2 times per day. There is an exception to this when bootcamp has started, but that won't be for another month.

  • Increase personal development time - CEU's, online courses, book reading, etc.

  • Increase time for health and wellness.

  • Feel more balanced with my time.

  • Walk away with a clear sense of where my time is going and feel good about it.

With simply tracking my time and evaluating the return on my time investments, I can determine which activities are wasteful and which are essential to my business and livelihood. Tracking will impact my behavior because I do better when I am accountable and intentional. Want to join me? Want to really see how you spend your time running your business? 

I'll be updating you on the facebook page and I welcome you to share what you are doing differently too! 

Stay Focused!

I have a quick moment set aside today to write up a blog post for you. One of our coaching clients in program asked about how we stay balanced in managing business life and personal life. I for one will testify, it ain't easy! BUT it is doable. So I am going to just do a quick list of tips that have helped me. Of course, we would love you to comment and share what has helped you!

  • Social Media Management - Before you get swallowed by the Facebook vortex, get important tasks done and reward yourself with time on facebook or some othe social media site. (Pinterest for me - around the holidays)

  • 20 minutes rule - When you have a task to do, sit for at least 20 minutes. This gives your brain time to engage fully with the activity.

  • Get creative - I like to change up my workspace. When I am not seeing clients, you can find me sitting outside, listening to some awesome music, or standing up and working. Sitting down all day will kill you.

  • Calendar - Yep, if I need to do something, I calendar and plan it out. Gone are the days of mental checklists and "Oh! I will get to that" If it isn't written down, I know it won't happen. Miranda got me hooked on Calengoo if you have multiple calendars to manage. :)

  • Make room for you - After you calendar your business tasks and household tasks (yep, those have to be scheduled to some degree or I will avoid cleaning the toilets!) you need to look at your calendar and fit yourself in. Your calendar is a reflection of your priorities and YOU need to be a priority. For everyone, that looks different. For me it is lunch with girlfriends, getting a massage, going for a walk with my daughter, or painting. What is it for you?

  • Get the worst out of the way - The stuff you dread, do it first. That works for me at least. It is sort of like the whole, eat your veggies and get dessert concept. I find if I do those tasks I don't LOVE first, then I am motivated the rest of the day for stuff I really do LOVE.

  • Love TRELLO - Trello is a fun app on my phone that tracks my to do lists for me. Check it out in your app store.

  • Be kind to yourself - I am my worst critic. Truly lack kindness sometimes. Try something and if it doesn't work, be flexible until you find what works for you. This is all learning. No reason that you should have it perfected right this second. Approach your day with love. Let go of things that you don't NEED to do if they are holding down your energy. Do more of what is GOOD for you.

Not a comprehensive list, but a little list to get your ideas flowing. Like I said, share what works for you. We can all learn from each other.