Someone recently asked me,
“How do you manage your time? 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 wish I did! That would be lovely!
It’s true that I’m always trying to get the most out of my time. I’m aware of all the ways I can waste 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, it’s this …
…I only see homeopathy clients two days per week.
Yes, just two.
I have 4 clinic hours on a Monday evening and 8 clinic hours on a Tuesday daytime/evening and that’s all.
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.
I know what you’re thinking:
- ‘What if someone can’t come on a Monday or Tuesday?’That has never happened, but if it did I would refer them on to someone else.
- ‘What if someone can only come on Saturdays?’As I work evenings, most people are happy to come after work.
- ‘What if someone wants to see you the same week?.’If they contact me Wednesday onwards, they might not be able to. Usually, people are fine with that.
- ‘It must be tiring to see all my clients in just two days?’Not really. I make sure I eat well and sleep well the day before. I have a long break in the afternoon, and I can nap if I need to.
My weekly schedule
8am – 10am: Mentoring
3pm – 8.30pm: Homeopathy
8am – 10am: Mentoring
11am – 8.30pm: Homeopathy
10am – 1pm: Filing and preparing for post
1pm – 3pm: Invoices, ordering, and other admin
10am – 3pm: Teaching or writing
7pm – 10pm: Neal’s Yard party (once per month)
9am – 1pm: Planning and ‘loose ends’
2pm – 5pm: Neal’s Yard party (once per month)
You’ll notice that I work long hours on a Monday and Tuesday, and shorter hours on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Sometimes I have a Neal’s Yard party to do. That is usually on a Thursday evening or a Saturday afternoon. I just have a couple per month.
How my week works for me
The impact of having such a clear schedule is that I spend only the minimum amount of time on each thing.
Monday and Tuesday mornings I ‘dress for work’ and spend time on preparing for clinic.
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 per week, usually on a Wednesday, after I have prepared remedies to post (to Skype clients only). Some weeks I take the trip to the post office on Thursday or Friday. It depends on my schedule. But I do the preparation on a Wednesday.
Thursdays I currently teach the 3-part Radiant Business courses.
If I’m not teaching I see this day as generally for being creative and using my mind. I am free to do this with all my client work completed for the week.
I prepare the outline of my newsletters on Thursdays. If I have the main part completed I can adjust the wording later.
(My 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, so Sunday evening it is.)
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.
Fridays I look forward to spending time sifting 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.
I also look at the weeks ahead to see if there are any actions or communications I need to do.
Rewind 2 years
My schedule didn’t used to look like this. Up until a couple of years ago, I used to see 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. I felt disorganised.
When I first started working 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 50-60, so I have to batch my time. I couldn’t do what I do otherwise.
Making time for ‘growth’
I’m not keen on the term ‘marketing’ and prefer to call it ‘growth activities’.
My tried and tested approach involves two things: improving my website (primarily by writing blog posts) and sending newsletters regularly.
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 doing things.
It’s time-consuming and incredibly distracting.
I love Facebook and very much enjoy the groups I’m part of, including my own, but I want to spend less time on there, not more, so I close it down completely for hours at a time.
I use Freedom.to, an online App that blocks any online distraction that I ask it to. It’s easy to set up and then you can work without the temptation to just hop on to Facebook to check something.
My schedule 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.
We can’t be in ‘flow’ and be distracted. They are two opposite things.
Over to you
How could you streamline your week to make more time for flow or for ‘growth activities’?
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 courses 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!
If you’d like the idea of streamlining and you’d like more tips and tools, why not take a look at Your Radiant Business School 30 day e-course?
- Authentic, heart-centred marketing
- Simple, effective systems
- Clear, personal communication
Plus a friendly Facebook group for daily support