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Goal Driven Time Management Skills

Updated: Feb 27


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You may delay, but time will not.

Benjamin Franklin


Time is your most precious resource.


How you use it makes all the difference in your progress toward your practice goals.


I still remember my father remarking on my 5th-grade report card. On the back of the card was a space for comments from the teacher. The comment was something about: "Edward would do better if he did less daydreaming."


This "comment" has haunted me all my life. I daydream. I admit it. Sometimes, this is good – I learn something new. But the challenge is not wasting the time I need to complete projects.


Goal Driven time management procedures allow us to get more done during our day's working hours. And even though we all are familiar with the principles and techniques of time management, it helps to review them occasionally.


Here are a few techniques I have learned from others that help me. Maybe they can help you too.


GOAL DRIVEN TIME MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES IN YOUR CHIROPRACTIC HEALTHCARE PRACTICE


Breaks. Don't feel guilty. We all need to take breaks -- a short one every couple hours or so, longer ones every day, longer ones even still every week, and so on. Breaks are a physiological and mental requirement discussed in an insightful book called The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr. Just schedule your breaks.


Scheduling blocks. As a chiropractor and health care provider, you naturally block off time periods to see patients. You can use the same concept for team meetings, individual conferences, and "paperwork."


Goal Driven. Each time block should have a goal. The work you must do and the procedures you use should all focus on the desired outcomes.


No interruptions. As harsh as this may sound, unless there are emergencies, don't allow yourself to be distracted during the block of time dedicated to doing your work. Schedule a brief period during the day to return to the unplanned issues.


Cluster booking. Schedule blocks of time for similar activities close together. The general idea is to keep you doing what you are doing until you are done. For example, seeing 3 patients and then waiting for 10 minutes before seeing 3 more slows you down and takes you out of the Flow. The idea of Flow is not new but recently refreshed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book, FLOW. Flow is a mental experience when you are so lost in your work that nothing else matters – you are in the Zone. It is when you are "Lost in Service."


Cluster booking can also be applied to other services: specific therapies or rehab, a Thursday morning for seniors, or a Mom's Saturday morning with kids. Once you are in the Flow, you become more productive.


Prioritize: Take care of the Important and Urgent tasks as you must, of course. But do not neglect the Important Not but Not Urgent projects. This comes from Stephen Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, and Eisenhower before him. Covey notes that the more time spent on Important but Not Urgent projects, the less time needed for urgent matters.


Sort out the tasks - The 4 D's. As you review your inbox or new tasks that come up, sort them along these guidelines:

  • Do them now.

  • Delegate them.

  • Delay them.

  • Dump them.


Many of these points, and others, are covered in my book, The Goal Driven Business. We also worked these over in our Practice MBA program.


Yes, I still daydream. I recommend it. But now, I just schedule it!


Seize your future,

 

Ed

----------------------------------------------------


If your practice building efforts aren’t taking you to your goals,

there are reasons -- many of which are hidden from you.

Find out what they are and how to sail to your next level by getting and implementing my new book, The Goal Driven Business.


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The Goal Driven Business


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