Do you ever look back at your day and wonder where all the time went? Do you feel as though you’ve done so much but gotten so little done? Does it feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? I feel ya. As a business owner, time does truly equal money. It’s so easy to expend energy into areas that can truly suck your time and energy, and ultimately leave you with no money or less money than you had before.
This is something I have taken more accountability over the years, especially as I’ve transitioned into being a business owner. While working in solo practice, I was not as intentional with my time. However, growing into a group private practice owner and shortly into a consultant with another business, time was beginning to fall between my fingers and I was losing it rapidly. I was working more than 10 hours a day and still felt like there was more to be done. I was burning out faster than I could keep up with.
Some solid advice I obtained was about the importance of managing, tracking, and ultimately protecting my time. There’s only one real way of doing this accurately and objectively: A time tracker. That’s right, for two whole weeks, document what you’re doing with your time from the time you wake up, to the time you slow down, on 15 minute increments. I know! Sounds insane and time consuming right? But it’s beyond helpful: Time tracking every 15 minutes.
After you complete this task, if you’re like me, you’ll be alarmed by where your time is going. I realized many of my tasks were being interrupted by various duties, I was splitting time between home and work, trying to work while on the road, and all-around had no strategy. Shortly said, I was inattentive, dividing my time between multiple tasks, doing unneccessary things, and running out of time to complete the important ones.
By reviewing my time, I found tasks I needed to completely shave off, designate for a specific time, and/or delegate fully. When I realized I could no longer manage the backstage demands of my businesses (based on the amount of hours I was trying to work and also delegating to the clinical team), I realized I needed more admin support to help me! What a relief that was!
So don’t be scared! To help you get started, here’s a copy of your very own Time Study Tracker. You’ve got to be consistent! Be honest with yourself. See exactly where your time is going and don’t fudge time. This is something I’ve returned to about every six months. Feel free to do it more often, but I really wouldn’t encourage to do it less. Stay intentional and remain mindful.