In this podcast episode Gordon talks about productivity and time management in private practice. One of the main things that seperates really successful private practice owners from those that struggle the most, is how they manage their time and get things done.
How many times have you felt overwhelmed with the shear volume of stuff that needs your attention? For me, it happened a lot! So I decided to get a handle on it and look at how I was spending my time and what I could do to better manage not only my time but my productivity.
I have never been a very organized person. It is something I have to work at a lot! What I have found though is by putting the right systems in place and spending time each week (and daily) planning out my time, I can get much more done and see much more progress in what I am doing to build and grow my private practice.
One of the main productivity “hacks” for most people in private practice is to hire a virtual assistant. One of the biggest time killers for anyone in practice is doing follow-ups and answering phone calls. So Gordon has a conversation with his virtual assistant and intake coordinator, Nikki Carey, about what they have learned together about managing intakes and helping Gordon spend his time on things that truly need his attention and expertise.
Meet Nikki Carey
Nikki is the Intake Coordinator for Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC where she as served for the past year. Nikki works remotely and is able to have a lot of flexibility in her schedule because of this. She and her husband Nick also work together as business partners in a marketing company they started this past year. Nikki has been an integral part of Gordon’s growth and success in private practice. Nikki is the “front desk” face of Kingsport Counseling Associates.
There is only so much time in a day. We have a constant flow of things coming at us. Emails, phone calls, projects, new clients to see, and documentation are just a few of the things that keep us busy as counselors and therapists.
The key to productivity and good time management is to focus and plan. Also it is important to learn how to delegate and say no. But a good place to start with changing your time management and productivity habits is to take a look at how you are actually spending your time.
The way I have done that is to simply begin tracking how I am actually spending my time over several weeks. I created a simple spreadsheet broken down into 15 min intervals for each day of the week. You can download a free copy of that time tracker here. I would also color code each task just to give more of a visual of how I was spending my time.
What I realized, I was spending a lot of time on things that I could actually pass off to Nikki which freed me up to focus on the things that were much more meaningful and important for me to be doing.
Productivity and Time Management Hacks:
- Learn to batch your time. Block off time to work on the things that require your undivided attention and focus.
- Turn off phones and distractions when you are doing those things that are most important.
- Check email only a couple of times a day.
- Create “theme” days to help you focus on what you have batched. In other words create a schedule for doing certain tasks on specific days.
- Break things down into smaller action steps. Know the difference between a project and actions steps. (Projects are the bigger things that move us forward; action steps are the small things done to complete those projects)
- Spend time each week (or daily) in planning out how you will use your time each day.
- Schedule everything.
- Move towards “inbox zero”.
- When something new comes in:
- Do it immediately if it will take less than 2 min. OR
- Defer to later if it will take longer to do. Put it on your schedule or have a tickler/ to-do file you look at often OR
- Delegate it to someone else OR
- Save as a reference OR
- Delete it
- Create a long term goal map for yourself. For example: 5 years, 1 year, 3 Months and This Week. Write it down or draw it out.
Some of the resources here are affiliate links which means we get a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase using these links. It is just simply a way for us to help pay for the Practice of Therapy and the resources we offer.
Another one of the productivity gurus I follow is Michael Hyatt. Michael has a course called, “Free to Focus” that is offered a few times a year. (Join the waitlist here.) In the course he talks about stopping bad habits, cutting out time wasters, and putting more into action. Michael Hyatt has a free assessment you can use to see how productive you are. Click here to take the assessment.
Meet Gordon Brewer, MEd, LMFT
Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog.He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn and Pinterest “Like” us on Facebook.