The 4 essential questions you should ask yourself, to optimize your time, as a private practitioner.
Every day you invest money in your business: buying flyers or advertising, creating a website, learning how to improve your revenue, etc.
But when it comes to your most precious resource: your time, how do you invest it?
Your time is invaluable because you cannot get it back once it is spent, your time is money.
As a therapist-sole-trader, it is essential to invest your time to produce the desired results and to make sure you hit your goals.
In this article, we will define the four essential questions to ask yourself to optimise your time.
First, let’s start by conducting a self-assessment:
To optimise your time, it is essential to take some time and conduct a self-assessment. The objective here is to determine how you are currently using your time.
Question N°1: How do I use my time during the week?
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. What will determine our results is how we use them.
To become aware of this, you can carry out the following exercise:
Arm yourself with a notebook and a pen, and for a whole week, write down all the actions you take and how long each one lasts: from appointments with your clients to the time you spend on social media to writing a blog post.
If you prefer using a digital tool to do it, I recommend Toggl track, a free tool that will help you understand in detail how you spend your time at work.
Although this may seem like a daunting exercise, it is crucial to move onto the next steps and optimise your time. Cheer up, it will only last one week and the outcomes are always quite revealing!
At the end of the week, you will have a clear picture of how you are spending your time and will be able to examine precisely, whether or not, if you are serving your professional goals.
Now it’s time to align your time with your priorities:
Question N°2: What are the three tasks that have had the most impact on my business?
Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? Where 80% of the results are produced by 20% of the actions. It can sound a bit unrealistic but the theory behind this statement is to makes you focus on what matters or gives you the most bang for your buck!
“What is essential in optimising your time is not to try to do more, but to focus on what matters.”
Look at your 'typical' week and assess which task have the most impact on your work as a practitioner? Which tasks brings the most value to your clients?
“The more value you bring to your clients and potential clients, the more they will feed your business in return”
Question N°3: What are my priorities?
You have now identified the 3 critical tasks that will enable you to develop your business as a practitioner in the most effective way. These tasks will be at the centre of your timetable each week.
But what to do with all the other tasks left on the side? Well, let’s take a closer look at it and classify each into one of the four categories:
a. What is urgent and important
b. What is important but not urgent
c. What is urgent but not important
d. What is neither urgent nor important
Once you have sorted all your tasks for the week into these categories, you can identify how to tackle each one.
a. Urgent and important tasks
These tasks are the beating heart of your business. They may involve receiving clients for consultations or setting up your website.
The best approach to these tasks? Make them your priority!
Postpone them, and you postpone your business success.
b. Important tasks that are not urgent
Tasks that are important but not urgent should be scheduled in your calendar every week. This allows you to prioritise them by allocating a set amount of time.
A relevant example of tasks in this category are those that help build your professional network. This can have significant benefits for your business.
c. Tasks that are urgent but not important
These tasks need to be done but do not require talent directly related to your field of expertise. Most of the time, they take the form of administrative tasks.
The ideal course of action for these tasks? Delegate them. This will free up your time to do the jobs that matter and in which you excel.
isosconnect can help you with these tasks by:
Making the connection with your clients straightforward, less time spent on the phone and more time for your clients.
Streamlining the appointment booking process with your clients through the isosconnect magic-link which can send an appointment request and in 2 clicks you can confirm and book.
No need to build a website or spend hours on social media updating your offer or information, you can copy and paste the magic link almost everywhere but update it once and everything is updated at the same time.
Running simple and secure video consultations: Makes your patients feel at home and give them the best technology can offer. In 2020 we entered the digital revolution full throttle, now you can jump in and you will open your practice up to new clients and collaborations
Real-time note-taking during your video consultation and a simple storage system to keep all your client records, with GDPR covered.
Invoicing and online payment that streamline your financial reports
d. Tasks that are neither urgent nor important
This could be the time you spend scrolling endlessly through the stories of people you follow on Instagram or Facebook.
Simply put, these tasks are a waste of your precious time and should be removed. The outcomes for your business is close to 0.
Define your objectives over time
Are you clear on your priorities and your missions? To increase your results tenfold, let's move on to the fourth essential question.
Question N°4: What is the timeframe associated with each of my objectives?
If you are familiar with the SMART method, then you know that a goal, to be practical, must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
It is this last crucial factor that we will focus on.
You can set an ambitious but achievable goal, but if it is not associated with a deadline, then your chances of achieving it quickly are diminished.
If you find it difficult to set a deadline by which you would like to achieve your goal, break it down further.
With an eventual goal of 1,000 followers on your business's Instagram account, you can aim to reach 300 followers by May 2022 and then re-evaluate your plan at that time.
The final step not to be overlooked is tracking: look at your progress against your goal every week. Being able to visualize and measure your success is ESSENTIAL. You need to see that your efforts are bringing results.
I hope this article will help you improve your business and achieve your goals.
Julian Nenninger - Product Manager for isosconnect, and Osteopath