Have you ever felt like you were working tremendously hard and not getting anywhere at the same time?
Yesterday, during a conference call with my cousin who owns her own business, she shared how much more focused and productive she felt when she was seeing patients on a regular basis in her chiropractic office. The structure allowed her to feel like she was truly accomplishing things on a daily basis and making an impact. Unfortunately, most days she feels scattered and unproductive.
To be on top of your game requires the ability to manage your priorities effectively. Your focus determines your priorities.
I shared with my cousin the idea of block scheduling, it’s a time management and patient scheduling strategy used with dental practices years ago in my coaching & consulting business. If you want to maximize your schedule, consider implementing these tips to become more focused and productive this year.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and share your success stories! #coachmkay #focus #MakeEveryDayCount
- Schedule your most demanding tasks during your peak performance times of the day. If you are a morning person, block schedule activities in the morning, if you are more of an afternoon/evening maximize those time slots. I am a morning person and rarely accept evening speaking engagements or training sessions. On the occasion that is needed, I make sure and block of at leas half of the day so I’m rested and refreshed.
- Dentists were advised to schedule large cases 8am-1pm to achieve 80% of their daily production goal by lunch. This allowed time for more focus during demanding procedures and most professionals are fresher mentally and physically in the morning. The afternoon was reserved for shorter procedures, rotating from one operatory to the next kept providers alert and moving. Time went by quickly and the financial pressure was reduced because the bulk of daily production goal had been met for the day.
- Color code your online Google calendar or use highlighters if you still use a paper calendar. Note: I made the switch two years ago to an online calendar – it was a HUGE adjustment and it’s saved me LOADS of time. My biggest challenge is scheduling too quickly, not reviewing the entry and information populates on the wrong day. I have missed a few meetings and showed up one day early for a speech 1.5 hours away (at least I was early and not late). These have been valuable learning lessons for sure. This is a template, not mine:
Sample Calendar Color Codes:
Coach MKay’s color codes: Light Blue, n2 Publishing – Red, Young Living – Purple, Community/Volunteer Service – Yellow, Emma Freda – Pink, Harrison – Green, Deadlines – Orange.
There are seasons when one of my businesses may require more time, for example – when I was ramping up the Sedgefield Living newsletter for n2 Publishing, it required 70% of my weekly schedule, so there were many days covered in Red. When my calendar displays too much yellow, that will negatively impact my revenue, so at this stage of the game, I’m much more selective on the community/volunteer service activities I say ‘yes’ to. Remember, say ‘no’ to the good, so you can say ‘yes’ to the great! I rotated off two boards as president and past-president last year and one of my goals was to join Rotary. This rotation allowed more time units to be available, and it’s exciting to be a new member of the Guilford Rotary Club and serve our community with this group.
- Block vacation days so you have something to look forward to, it will keep you excited and give you momentum during tough days. I usually schedule a big trip in January or February to avoid the winter blues. Next week, five girlfriends and myself will be traveling to Turks & Caicos for a three day getaway. We planned this in the fall and it’s been a joy to group text about the adventure. Each day is a gift and if you don’t plan, it usually won’t happen. No one is going to require that you take your vacation days, only you can do that. Even if it’s a staycation at your own home, make sure you turn your phone off and really be on vacation.
Lastly, continue to find ways to maximize your professional strengths in your work and personal life. Next month, I’ll share more about strengths to help you on your journey of making 2019 the BEST YEAR EVER. You can be a catalyst for change. Blessings and make it a great day!