Make 2015 Your Best Year Yet

I read a study in Entrepreneur magazine a little while ago about entrepreneur’s expectations of themselves. (Hint: If you’re in private practice, you ARE an entrepreneur.) What the study found is that most people tend to grossly OVERESTIMATE what they can accomplish in one day and GROSSLY UNDERESTIMATE what they can accomplish in one year. That makes sense, right? We all start the day with great intentions of what we want to get done that day. (I personally have 23 “to-dos” that I’d like to cross off before the end of the day today.) But often things get in the way, and we don’t do everything we’d set out to do. Here are my top three tips for increasing your daily productivity:

  •         Accept that you WON’T accomplish everything you want in one day. Release the expectation that you should get everything crossed off your to-do list. Part of what drew us to private practice is that we are creative thinkers; we have big plans and dreams, with more dreams surfacing each day. That’s the powerful energy that will drive your success. But as long as you are in business for yourself, you won’t EVER do all the things you want.
  •         Because you won’t get it all done, you must always ensure you are working on the most important items first. That way, even if you only get one thing accomplished, you’ll know it was the most important item. Here’s my suggestion for prioritization: top priority are any revenue generating activities, second priority are any relationship-building activities (networking, speaking, social media, blogging), and third priority are all administrative activities.
  •         Time block your tasks so you know in advance exactly how long you’ll spend on them. This is a little trick I learned in my consulting days when I was billing my time by the hour and wanted to make sure I was delivering high value for client’s time. As many of us are well aware, work expands to fill the amount of time we allot for it. For instance, this email I’m writing right now got one hour allotted to it. I started writing it at 7:30 and I’m committed to have it to my assistant by 8:30 so she can send it out to all of you. That forces me to be as focused as possible for that hour. Believe me, you’ll get more accomplished than you imagined in that hour. I encourage you to do the same thing. (This is especially valuable for all of you that are so caught up in getting things perfect that your tasks never get completed. You know who you are.)

By implementing these three tips, you’ll be amazed at how much more you accomplish each day.