As you all now realize from my recent emails and blogs – I am becoming more and more aware of how I use each and every minute of my day and make sure I get the best possible return from every working minute.
Whilst I agree – I can become a little obsessed with the concept of productivity and time management – I fundamentally believe there are many time management lessons that health business owners can use and benefit from.
We need a range of highly effective time management strategies to help reduce the impact of ” time vampires” in our businesses.
You know who I am talking about – those people in your business that suck valuable minutes out of your day and dramatically reduce your productivity.
It may be the therapist who appears regularly at your office door with the recurrent question :
“Have you got a minute?”.
Or the admin team member who calls you three times a day and says:
” I just need to check a few things with you – it will only take a moment“.
These unscheduled and highly irritating interruptions dramatically reduce your work output and cost you thousands of dollars each and every month.
So – how do you reduce the impact of these “time vampires” in your health business.
The most obvious strategy – and one that I used incredibly effectively in my health businesses – was to make myself unavailable and uncontactable most of the time.
I was not in the office every day – in fact for the majority of my business life – I was only onsite one day a week – usually Mondays.
As a result – the team all knew they could ask me that pressing question on a Monday – which meant that by the time Monday came around – they had often solved the issue themselves.
I did not have a mobile phone for a long time – and when I finally got one – very few people had the number – mostly just my wife and family. Even now very few people have my mobile number.
Now I realize that my “off-site” business owner style is not suitable for many of you – who may still be in your clinics a lot of the time – so you need other strategies.
One of my best “time vampire reductions tactics” is what the gurus call “setting the bomb“.
This strategy involves responding to the “have you got a minute” question – that you know is going to take 20 mins – with the script:
” I have a call in 3 minutes – so if you can quickly get to the point – I can help you now – otherwise I have 5 minutes at 3pm”.
Can you see what this powerful script has accomplished?
It has made “the vampire” think very clearly about the issue and force them to get the item cleared up in 3 minutes rather than dragging it out for the usual 20-30 min disaster.
A work of warning – you MUST end this discussion in exactly 3 minutes – say you need to get to that call – and escort the vampire out of your office.
Regardless of if you even have to make a call or not.
This “set the bomb” technique can greatly increase your productivity and make all team members aware of the value of your time.