As of March 2018, the average American works 34.5 hours per week.
And when you’ve chosen a career in chiropractic, that number can easily increase by 10 or 20 hours or more, especially if you regularly hold office hours at night or on weekends to better accommodate your patients’ schedules and needs.
That’s why it can feel like a major struggle when you’re faced with the prospect of having to add more obligations to an already busy calendar, even if those obligations can ultimately help you create a stronger business. This results in feeling overwhelmed and stressed, factors that that the indicate can lead to health issues such as increased headaches, fatigue, back pain and higher incidences of cardiovascular disease.
So what can you do to decrease the amount of time you spend at your practice without having it negatively impact your ability to help others or earn a decent income? The answer to this question lies in finding ways to do things so that you’re able to cut your work hours without cutting your productivity. Here are a few strategies to consider.
Reduce your online time
Email marketing service provider Constant Contact reports that, over a lifetime, the average person spends a total of five years and four months on social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. So, how much of your time is spent on these platforms during the work day, time that could be better used to handle other important and necessary business functions?
One way to keep from letting your social media curiosity override your work duties is to simply stay off these types of sites during your work hours. This keeps you from going to them for “just a minute,” only to find that you’re still scrolling your feeds for longer than you intended.
Alternatively, if you manage your practice’s social media or simply want to limit your online time versus eliminating it completely, there are a few apps that can help with this. For instance, the Freedom app enables you to set times where it will block certain social media sites so you can’t access them during those hours and, if you need a stronger approach, Off the Grid takes you off the internet completely during the timeframes that you’ve set.
It also helps to set guidelines about how often you check your email and handle other online business too. By deciding up front how much time you’ll spend on each function daily, you will be able to save several hours per week, if not per day.
Create daily to-do lists
Sometimes your productivity is lowered simply because you don’t have a clear path to follow. You do a little here and a little there, but never seem to make any real headway in any of the areas you touch. This is where daily to-do lists can help.
When you have a list setting out what you need to get done each day, it helps motivate you to get those items done and get them done quickly, so you can cross them off. Having a list also keeps you focused on the tasks at hand, decreasing the likelihood that you’ll be derailed and stray from the list, causing you to have to work longer hours just to catch up.
Take the first five minutes of your work day and write down two to three things that you want to have accomplished by the day’s end. Don’t forget to cross them out as you go so they serve as a visual reminder of the progress that you’re making.
Delegate what you can
If you’re a person who believes that if you want something done right you have to do it yourself, it’s likely that you’re shouldering many responsibilities that you could potentially delegate. By passing off some of your work, you free up time to either tend to other more important duties or duties only you can do. Or, you can even use it to enjoy some much-needed and much-deserved time off. But what tasks are okay to delegate?
According to North Carolina State University, there are eight. These include routine tasks, tasks that someone else could complete faster or better, and tasks that take up a large portion of your time. Handing these types of duties off to others not only takes some of the pressure off your own schedule, but it can also give your staff an opportunity to use their own talents, allowing them to shine.
Review your schedule regularly
Keep in mind that this is not a one-off project as little things can easily creep into your calendar over time, robbing you of your work day and making it harder to tend to all your obligations without giving up a large portion of time you could be spending with family and friends.
Review your schedule regularly and constantly question whether your time is being spent as efficiently as possible or whether some changes need to be made so you can work less, yet get more done. Both you and your business will get further ahead when you do.