Most commonly, when we have the opportunity to work with the clinic owner that comes to us at the start of their journey, they are feeling out of control. They’re feeling overwhelmed by their business and their life. They just don’t feel like they’ve got a handle on anything really. And one of the most fundamental things that we do is looking at the diary and where they’re taking or could be taking control.
Time management – it’s a constant evolution. It is never set and forget, it’s never perfected. As a business owners, we go through months and years where there are life-changes and priority-shifts. So, how can you exactly craft your ideal week with all these unstable shifts of priorities?
How do you get into a state where you’re in control of your focus? Where you are in control of where your energies are at in business? How do you craft your ideal week?
Ideal Week Vs Default Week
You have to start with your ideal week. You have to have a clear vision on what your week should look like after a certain period of time – let’s say, 6 months. What ideal arrangements do you want for your week? Your ideal week might be completely unrealistic for the current time, but that’s what you’re gonna work towards over the short term.
However, you’ve got to be currently, you need to be present and practical. And so, a default diary is what you can use to define how you currently spend your time and what subtle shifts you want to put in place.
We had a couple of podcast episodes around time blocking. But a couple of key little distinctions that I’ll be talking here on defining a default diary or a current reality is some themes.
Having a theme for a day means designating a key focus for a particular day. What that means is that across a week, you might have five different focuses, Monday to Friday.
Let’s look at Jack’s week, for example. So, Monday for him was for marketing; Tuesday was for To do’s; Wednesday was for wages and finances; Thursday was for team; and Friday was for fun and family.
These theme allows one to delay or push back something to its dedicated day, thus one does not need to clutter his or her thinking and focus.
If you don’t have that literally blocked out in your diary, then you will blow with the wind when the phone call or the email happens or that person interrupts you and comes comes into your life. You’re really just not even the best most resourceful state to answer that question, solve that problem.
So by actually having structure in your diary, you’re actually more resourceful as a business owner because none of us can create more time. We’re all living on the same clock, right? But what you can do is actually chunk it down and focus it in specific areas so that you’re taking control over your focus. And so then, you’ll find your actions more purposeful and you’re getting better results or at least more sustainable results in your life and in your business when you control that diary of yours and where your attention is.
As a clinic owner, you have a little bit more control over where you can work from. And I would suggest that you may be as productive, if not more productive, when you’re away from your clinic. That might be working from home or working from a cafe.
There are times in your diary when you have to be at the clinic, a.k.a. when you’re consulting. But there might be other times, like on Wednesday for wages and finances, when you don’t need to be physically present.
And so set your default diary up in a way that allows you to be most productive on the themes and locations that work for you.
So, how can you exactly go from your default week to your ideal week?
One way is that on a monthly basis, you can have a recurring Asana task that asks you to review your default diary in more alignment with your ideal week.
So every month, you’re incrementally shifting your default diary towards your ideal week. And in every six months, twice a year, you can reset the vision for your ideal week. And so, you’re setting that vision six months out and then your month by month chipping away and working towards it.
Remember, your ideal week will shift quite significantly. There are been times where you work in agreement with your spouse. There’s a lot of agreement on this. You’re setting yourself up for massive challenge. There are times when my ideal week was working fifteen hours a day, four days in a row, in order to allow me to have a Friday off, for example. And then there were seasons it had shift to more of a six hour a day, five days a week. Because that’s what works for kids, nap times, and consulting, shifts and changes, ebbs and flows with the different priorities of life.
We all need a bit of a guidance but it is up to you. This is not a cookie cutter approach. This is not one-size-fits-all. What does your ideal week look like? It might be spending three days with the family. It could be continuing to consult more but have more people help you in the running of the operations in the business. It’s really up to you as individual.
So the two keys are: First, reflecting on that ideal and make sure it’s personal for you and it’s in agreement. The second is really sticking to your default diary. When the opportunity pops up to have a referral meeting, make sure you don’t just drop everything to do it. But do it when you’ve assigned time in your default week. Or coffee with your team, or something pops up, don’t just squeeze it in. Fit it in and prioritize it according to your default week and be in control of your diary.
You’re an adult, you’ve got choices, and what you say yes to determines what you say no to. So if you’re going to say yes to doing something outside of your default week, you’re probably saying no to your family. It’s up to you to decide but don’t be a victim to your circumstances. Live by design not by default.