14 Productivity Hacks for Therapists in Private Practice
You have built your private practice, created content for your website, learned about marketing and built a good network. Now what?
With freedom and creativity that comes with running a private practice, there is also a lot of stress. Such flexibility will sometimes tank your productivity and cause burnout.
These are some of the best productivity hacks that will help you progress in your practice and get more work done in less time.
1. Categorize your tasks
You could consider categorizing your tasks depending on the kind of work involved in finishing these tasks. Schedule these tasks accordingly.
- Clinical Work - This is the time you spend with your clients.
- Administration Work - These involve writing notes, doing paperwork, pay bills, track claims, and finish monthly reports.
- Creative Work - Writing content for the website, blogs, learn new skills.
- Interactive Work - Returning phone calls, replying to emails, networking
2. To-do List
The moment you sit to start your work for the day, create a to-do list. You could also choose to make a to-do list for the entire week so that you can save time and stay organized throughout the week.
Create or use templates to manage your documentation that will improve the quality of the work. You could consider using a weekly planner.
You could also use the old-school way of pen and paper. Crossing off items on your checklist with a pen is very satisfying.
3. Turn off email notifications.
When notifications are on, every ping that indicates a new mail in your inbox is a distraction. You can't help but get carried away by it. Next thing you know, you have stopped working on a task at hand. You end up checking out your inbox for an email that may not be important at that moment. Instead, turn off the notifications to avoid unnecessary distractions.
4. Finish all paperwork during office hours
Be it therapy notes, billing, insurance-related paperwork, or creating invoices, it is best to complete all paperwork during office hours. If you have to take an extra hour to finish it, do it. Do not let it stop you from relaxing.
5. Checklist for marketing
For your marketing efforts to be successful, there needs to be a system. A marketing checklist will allow you to decide how much marketing you would want to do every week. The list should include what type of marketing strategies you wish to try and how often you would implement it.
6. Create an ideal week
Design your ideal week and assign tasks such as administrative work, networking, marketing, exercise or yoga, and social time.
You can create this on your google calendar, notebook, or anywhere you like. It will allow you to focus on self-care as well as organize your day to day tasks.
7. Fix the amount of time to spend on your tasks
Every time you add an item or task on your to-do list, mention the amount of time you need to accomplish it. This practice allows you to be realistic. If the total time required to complete all tasks of the day is more than the time you have available, then you could push it to another day.
8. Get offline
Don't get habitual to online life. While working or finishing up a particular task, avoid jumping from one website to the other. If an idea pops up in your mind, write it down and tackle it later. Get offline to take a break. Take out the time to think, relax, unwind, and cleanse your mind.
9. Don't Multi-task
Even though multi-tasking is considered an enviable skill, it is actually switching tasks. It might take some time to refocus on the original task. It is crucial to focus and concentrate on a single task. Having fewer interruptions or distractions will produce better quality work.
10. Decide when to respond to potential clients.
If you decide to cut back on checking emails and notifications, make sure you do not miss out on inquiries by potential clients. Set a time to spend on responding to the queries of your potential clients. Set a boundary to ignore all other distractions during this time, so that you can focus on the task at hand and move on.
11. Choose a target
Choose a target and set realistic goals. Try to keep it simple and make sure it aligns with your standard of work. Consider the following:
- What is my productivity goal of the day?
- What is the limit to the number of working hours?
- How much of case documentation and management would you be able to complete?
You could consider writing down your goals so that it could be measured.
12. Take small steps
Don't rush into getting things done, take one step at a time. When you have multiple things to consider, pick the most important one. For example, you want to write a blog on anxiety, but do not know anything about creating a blog page. You should first figure out how to build a blog page and then move on to writing the blog.
13. Fix a time
Set a time for every task on your list. Till the timer goes off, you aren't supposed to change your focus from whatever it is that you are doing.
14. Plan at the end of every work-day.
Spend the last few minutes of your work-day planning for tomorrow. Review your to-do list, prioritize tasks, and schedule the same. But, you must also be flexible and adjust accordingly if your plans change.
It is common for everyone, especially therapists, to feel overwhelmed when swamped with work. It may cause you to freeze and not know where to start. So, train yourself with these hacks to increase productivity at work for great success, maximize work efficiency, and grow your practice.