The Secret to Time Management for a Successful Practice

Maya Angelou Quote

I am sometimes asked if I work full-time, and it makes me laugh.

It depends on what you mean by full-time…

I don’t see people all day, every day, five days a week, but yes, if you include all the other aspects of my work outside of clinic… yes my work is most definitely full-time!

Someone recently asked me,

“How do you create good time management? You seem to find time to get so much done! You work on your business as well as in your business. How do you do it?”

Another friend once commented that I seem to have an extra day in my week. I sometimes wish that was true!

I do think about how best to manage my time, and recently I’ve been making a note of how long things take. That has helped a lot.

But if there was just one thing that made a difference to how much I get done each week, it’s this …

…I Only See Homeopathy Clients Two Days Per Week.

Yes, just two.

I offer 8 clinic hours on a Monday and 4 clinic hours on a Tuesday and I do all my calls on those two days.

I start every week with my ‘people’ days. I’m refreshed after the weekend and it’s the most important part of my week and I want to be at my best.

You might be wondering:

  • ‘What if someone can’t come on a Monday or Tuesday?’ That has never happened.
  • ‘How about if someone can only come on Saturdays?’ As I work one early morning and one evening, that normally works.
  • ‘What if someone wants to see you the same week?.’ If they contact me from Wednesday onwards, they might not be able to.
  • ‘It must be tiring to see all your clients in just two days?’ Not really. I make sure I eat well and sleep well. I take breaks.

My Weekly Schedule

Monday
9am – 10am: Preparation for clinic
10am – 2pm: Clinic
2pm – 3pm: Break
3pm – 7pm: Clinic

Tuesday
8am – 12pm: Clinic
12pm – 1pm: Lunch
1pm – 4pm: Casework

Wednesday
10am – 2pm: Filing and preparing for post
2pm – 3pm: Invoices, ordering, and other admin

Thursday
10am – 3pm: Writing and a weekly review

I work longer hours on Monday and Tuesday, and shorter hours on Wednesday and Thursday.

Time Management: How My Week Works For Me

The impact of having such a clear schedule is that I know what I am focusing on and I’m less likely to be distracted.

Monday and Tuesday mornings I ‘dress for work’ – I have certain clothes I only wear when I am seeing clients.

Wednesday and Thursday mornings I have time for yoga or exercise, and then I dress more casually as I have no ‘face to face’ time.

I only go to the post office once or twice per week, usually on a Tuesday and Wednesday, after I have prepared remedies to post.

I have set up ‘Drop and Go’ with the Post Office which means that I top up my account online, and then just drop the parcels directly to the counter. I don’t have to queue.

Thursdays I write newsletters and blog posts, or maybe an article for a journal. I might also take photos on my morning walk or do some ‘flat-lay’ photos for Instagram.

I see Thursday as generally for being creative and using my mind.

(My homeopathy newsletters are normally scheduled for Sunday evening. I have experimented with different days and times in the week and this is when I get the most engagement.)

If I have time I will also write for my own website homeopathywithtracy.co.uk or for yourradiantbusiness.com. Sometimes I am writing for the ARH journal, or more recently, the SoH journal. Other times I write up interesting cases for CleverH.themag.

On Thursdays I also look forward to my weekly review.

This means spending time looking back through my journal, and reflecting on what I’ve achieved and where I got stuck.

I also sift through my email folders, journal, and lists for anything I might have overlooked. I also read articles I’ve saved during the week and tidy up my online filing systems.

This is when I look at the week ahead to see if there are any actions or communications I need to do.

If you don’t already set aside time for a weekly review, I recommend you try it.

It’s incredibly valuable in lots of ways.

Green Flatlay from Your Radiant Business

Rewind 5 Years

My schedule didn’t always look like this.

Five years ago I was seeing clients on Monday evening, Tuesday afternoon and evening, Thursday evening and Saturday mornings.

I would post out a couple of times a week and fit everything else in whenever. I multi-tasked but it wasn’t great and I felt disorganised.

When I worked with a business coach she challenged me to restructure my week.

She called it ‘chunking’ my time.

I didn’t see the value in ‘chunking’ initially and it took a while to figure out what would work for me.

Once I was seeing more than 30 clients per month I realised I could no longer continue with my ‘ad hoc’ approach to daily scheduling.

I knew I had to ‘batch’ more tasks together.

Now I’m seeing a minimum of 40 clients each month, and usually closer to 50, so I have to batch my time. I couldn’t do what I do otherwise.

Time Management For Growth

I’m not keen on the term ‘marketing’ and prefer to call it ‘growth activities’.

My tried and tested approach involves three things:

  1. Updating my website (primarily by writing blog posts)
  2. Sending client newsletters
  3. Asking for reviews and updating my online Google Business profile

Blogging and newsletter writing are both things I have got better at over time.

It’s the same as anything, the more you do it, the easier it gets. I’ve only been able to do that by blocking out distractions and creating chunks of time to focus on it.

Social media marketing is very popular but it’s not my way of marketing my practice.

I find it time-consuming and distracting.

I left Facebook because it was too distracting.

When I had a Facebook Homeopathy page I had over 1000 people following, but the only engagement was from friends and colleagues.

I still have Instagram, but I don’t ‘promote’ my practice directly there.

I do have a page for Your Radiant Business which keeps me connected to homeopathy colleagues.

New homeopathy clients are either referrals or find me through Google and they all tell me they read my reviews.

Google reviews are good for SEO and so I make sure I remember to ask happy clients to write them for me.

Flow

My schedule is not only efficient but it also enables me to focus on one thing at a time, for hours at a time and this means I get into ‘the flow’.

There has been a lot of research into the psychology of happiness that cites ‘Flow’ as a state of mind when we are challenged but engaged, and this allows us to ‘perform’ at our optimum. It also makes us happy.

Watch and read more about Flow here.

We can’t be in ‘flow’ and be distracted.

They are two opposite things.

This is the other reason I try to avoid multitasking (and social media).

Over To You

How could you streamline your week to make more time for flow or for ‘growth activities’?

Streamlining your schedule and planning your practice are the two things I recommend to help you take your practice to where you want it to be.

This can be hard initially if you currently see clients throughout the week. It can also feel ‘counter-intuitive’ and I totally get that.

Everyone I’ve worked with through mentoring and on the Radiant Business School course has initially expressed disbelief or resistance to reducing their practice days.

BUT, once they try it they tell me they wish they had done it before. The word they often use is ‘game-changer’.

If you’d like the idea of streamlining and you’d like more tips and tools, you may be interested in the Radiant Business Startup.

I have a free Practice Planning Workshop coming up in June.

You can find out more and sign up here.

Free Practice Planning Workshop

“I highly recommend your course, especially for newly qualified but also for us with a few years under our belts.

Having been in practice for a long time I may be doing many of your suggestions already but it has made me think.

The course is great. Thank you for being so inspiring.

Your warmth and support are lovely.”

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Hi, I’m Tracy,

I’ve been a homeopath in east London since I graduated from CHE in 2007.

Your Radiant Business is my passion-project where I share what I’ve learned in 13 years of making a living from doing what I love.

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