One of the most common questions I get from our internship students and new grads entering into practice is ‘How do you get it all done?’ My reply is, 'Many years of imperfect practice!'
I see you and your challenges as you transition from school to the work place or as you move on up into a new job. You no longer the school day (heavy!) routines where you might have four courses and three labs or seven courses and three meet ups or five courses and an internship 😅. You thought that was a firehose — until you jumped into professional practice (am I right?!)
Now you are trying to manage relationships with co-workers, learning how to report to a supervisor or two, juggling different personalities with every client coming in your door, writing client chart notes and reports every day, managing your pay check responsibly, paying your own bills and juggling personal relationships with your mate, family and friends. Phew!
My secret? I time block the heck out of (mostly) every minute of the day.
The key for me to get it all done (ok, well, mostly done!) is time blocking my calendar. When everything I need to do has a specific place on my calendar, it gets done. When a task or a project has no place? Forget it — it’s just not happening. For more tips on how to time block your calendar, check out a previous blog post right here.
My calendar is pretty boring — it's the same every week!
When I look at my calendar each week, it looks very similar. On Mondays, Wednesday afternoons and Thursdays, I see clients in their homes around Toronto. I have time set aside for record keeping, client related phone calls and emails. There is not enough time or energy for me to add anything else on those days — so I don’t try to jam anything else in there!
Tuesdays and Fridays are reserved for multiple two to three hour sprints of specific project work for my online education company, First Line Education. I might work on course content, record videos, have meetings with my team or plan future projects with outside partners.
On Saturdays and Sundays (after brunch!) I do long range planning. This might include working on project budgets, reviewing and updating my financial and marketing plans or planning ahead for the next quarter. My days are happily spent without interruptions writing, creating social media posts and videos, and doing deep thinking about business strategy.
On the weekends I’ll shuffle in a farmer’s market visit, a coffee date with a friend, a hike or swim in the lake, cooking for our weekly family dinner and walks with our family dog Trixie. That wraps up the week! Having time to de-stress and keep burnout at bay is a conscious choice. If you’re interested in learning tips to avoid burnout, read up on some great ones in guest blogger Giuliana Jakob’s post here.
I’m definitely a creature of daily habits.
I tend to hit my work day pretty early. At 6:30 or 7 am I can knock out an hour of client or course research and get some writing done when my brain is clearest. I just find that at this time of the day I can focus for longer periods of time.
Next I take a break and grab an hour every morning to exercise. That could be a walk, some yoga (while pushing the cats off my mat), or depending where I am, a swim in the lake or some paddling time in my kayak.
During the day, I switch from screen related work to doing some kind of movement like practicing or recording exercise videos, then on to reading a business or clinical practice related book with a cup of tea, and then taking a break outside to do some gardening in the back ‘jungle’ or going for bike ride in the neighbourhood. This seems to be the best mix for my brain, mind and body.
I couldn’t do all this without my small but mighty team!
In order to maximize my productivity, I’ve realized over the years that I need help (lots of help!) to keep all of my tasks in their respective lanes. I understand that I need to stay focused on two things: 1) show up and serve my clients the very best way I can and 2) research and write course content to help kinesiologists and other movement therapists uplevel and grow their professional practice. That’s it.
I delegate out as much as possible. This means grocery shopping, some meal prep, housekeeping, yard work, bookkeeping, project management, website updates and content management, social media content strategy and development, business analysis and the marketing and sales of our courses and master classes. It’s truly is a game to get as many of my 'to do's' off my plate as I can!
When you’re doing what you're best at, that will make you the money you need - to hire the help you need - to make more money - doing what you’re best at!
Consider what you can outsource to people who are likely better (and faster!) at doing the things that aren’t in your ‘zone of genius’. Start with something small and slowly build as your budget allows. To read more about what it’s like to realize and work inside your zone of genius, check out my blog post here.
Tell me how you ‘time block’ your day.
What are your best productivity tips? When are you most focused—mornings, afternoons or evenings? Hit reply and let me know or pop your comments below the blog.
Any other specific clinical or business topics you’d like to hear more about? Or maybe you’d like to create a guest blog for us? Drop me a line at [email protected].
We are now accepting applications for new Guest Bloggers! We encourage our fellow bloggers or aspiring bloggers to share their knowledge with the First Line Education community! If interested, please click the link below.