Five time management tips for private practitioners

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Running your own practice can be overwhelming. Administration, marketing, finance, CPD…and then you’ve got to fit in seeing your clients!
time management tipsIf you’re struggling with a mountain of paperwork, if you find yourself burning the midnight oil, or if you’re getting up at five a.m. to do your accounts, have a look at our top time management tips. And, if you have any of your own, let us know in the comments section.
1. Think about how many hours you need to spend treating clients in order to make the income you need, then allocate specific fixed time slots accordingly. For example, you may decide to offer appointments on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, plus Thursday and Friday evenings. By having set time slots you will give yourself clear ‘non-client’ time to do all the other tasks such as admin, marketing and accounts. Try not to waver from this – if you start bending the rules and seeing clients in ‘non-client’ time, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed.
2. Use practice management software to manage and automate tasks such as accounts, your diary, clinical records and documenting your CPD. We’ve used practice management software for several years and couldn’t do without it.
3. Make sure you leave enough time between client appointments for making notes and updating treatment plans. Doing this immediately after each appointment will ensure they’re accurate and will save time later. Read more about caseload management here.
4. Get a good diary. You may prefer to use a traditional, old-fashioned diary that you can carry with you wherever you go. However, these days many people prefer an online diary that they can access from their computer or phone. Online diaries are usually easier to manage and can send you automated reminders. They can also be accessed by colleagues or employees where necessary.
5. Schedule time for social networking. We’re big fans of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and so on here at The Private Practice Blog, but it can be easy to get sucked into checking your feeds all day, every day. The best way to manage your social networking activity is to schedule time for it – for example half an hour every other day. To some extent, this flies in the face of the ‘spontaneous’ nature of social networking, but it’s essential if you want to stay in control and get the most out of it.
We hope you find these tips useful. Have you got any of your own that you’d like to share? Let us know below.