Do new year’s resolutions work? Well no, not really. In the field of mental health, you probably caution your clients not to set unrealistic, overnight expectations. Instead, you probably advise that they make small but distinct and conscious positive lifestyle changes.
The same can be true for yourself when looking at your practice management in the dawn of the new year. January is an excellent time to take a good look at the operations of your private practice and to take steps to optimize processes for this year and beyond.
Make Better Use of Your Time
There isn’t a single industry where time management isn’t a factor when it comes to productivity. There are general tips that can go a long way in helping you manage your time more effectively. Start by planning to complete your most important tasks first each day, and set enough time in your schedule to be able to accomplish those tasks before you start seeing patients.
The key to making the best use of your time is to value your time, because your time is certainly worth a lot. When you value your time, it can help you stay focused and be more effective.
Start Calendar Blocking
Schedule similar tasks in blocks of time rather than jumping back and forth between task-types. You’ll notice a big difference in what you can accomplish in a day when you group client appointments, calls, and meetings together. Along with calendar blocking, delineate a time limit in which to complete each task. This can help you stay focused and give you the push you need to check tasks off so that you don’t have them hanging over you until you have the time to return to them.
Owl Practice’s calendar management system for mental health practitioners enables you to schedule client appointments much more fluidly, and to connect your calendar blocks with your session notes and other important client documents. The online booking feature can also help you to streamline the way that you’re interacting with clients.
Be mindful and devote your entire focus to one task at a time rather than multitasking. This includes the time that you spend with clients, as well as the time after a client meeting when you’re updating their file. Make sure that you’re leaving yourself enough buffer time in between client appointments so that you can carry the focus that you brought to your client meeting directly to your note-taking while the details of the session are still fresh in your mind.
Get Enough Rest
Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep will go a long way for your overall health this new year, and also for your focus and energy on the job. When you get enough rest (and that includes taking off proper time for yourself on the weekends) you’re better equipped to walk into the office feeling refreshed and ready to give it your best. One of your primary goals this new year should be to find a better work/life balance that includes rest and downtime.
Reduce Your Global Footprint
The right time to go paperless is yesterday. There are two reasons for this. First, you’ll reduce a large amount of clutter and chaos in your office. Even if you have a good system, the use of valuable office space for storage purposes is becoming out-of-date . And secondly, going paperless is better for the environmental impact that your practice makes.
Going paperless is now easier than it’s ever been with Owl Practice. The secure online client data management system manages all of your client contact details, clinical notes, to-do lists, and billing details. It’s a great way to move your practice data from filing cabinets to secure Canadian servers while complying with PHIPA and College Compliance.
Upgrade Your Invoicing & Accounting
We’re lucky to live in an age when mundane tasks like accounting and bookkeeping are actually becoming easier. As part of your plan to go paperless, you can rely on Owl’s always-there account balances to track a complete history of all of your practice invoices and payments in one place. You’ll also be able to send and manage your invoices and receipts digitally. You’ll find tax season goes a lot more smoothly once you’ve made the transition to online management.
Eliminate the Nonessential from your Practice and Your Life
Whether it’s in your practice or elsewhere in your life, prioritize what’s important and what isn’t. Learn to let the non-essential go. Today’s world is busy and excessive. It can be truly liberating to let go of those things you don’t really need and just focus on what’s truly essential. This goes hand-in-hand with being open to change.
New year’s resolutions are all about perspective. This is a great time to reflect on systematic changes that are realistic and that will help make your life and business better. At Owl Practice, we believe in finding easier ways to manage your practice. We value efficiency, continuous improvement, and personal well-being very highly. These are all positive things to think about, both in January and all year long. As a psychologist, therapist, or social worker, finding better ways to manage your practice can mean less stress, smoother operations, seeing more clients in a day, and finding more free time to enjoy the important things in life.
While you’re pondering your practice goals, this is a great time to set up a personalized practice demo to see how Owl can help you save time, get organized, and see more clients. Happy New Year!