Do you ever work long days and go home too exhausted to really be much of a family member? You stumble in after everyone has had dinner already or maybe it’s up to you to make the late dinner. You get through that and then the couch and the TV beckon you to come and crash.
Do you find yourself taking work home with you or maybe you end up staying late at the end of the day trying to catch up with charts and other matters?
Or maybe the hours of your practice are not working for you and you always find yourself rushing out at the end of the day to pick the kids up from school … and so you have to leave a lot of incomplete matters at the office to greet you the next morning when you walk in. Do these prey on your mind while at home trying to enjoy your family time?
4 Ways to Increase Quality Family Time
1. Do your Practice Hours Work for YOU?
Let’s start by looking at the hours of your practice. Are they workable for your overall life schedule? Some practitioners have children that must be dropped off at school at a certain time or picked up after school. There are many solutions for this such as nannies, babysitters, etc. However, those may not be available to you, and perhaps a shift in your hours might work better. For instance, you could start your practice hours early while your spouse drops the kids off at school and then you end your day early so you can pick up after school. Same number of production hours, just configured differently. You may be surprised how well your patients or clients will adapt to these revised hours.
2. Increase your efficiency and effectiveness.
Maybe it’s not about shorter or different practice hours but just being able to mentally leave work with a clear mind so that when you arrive at home, you are able to focus totally on your family with great enjoyment.
This could be achieved by increasing your efficiency throughout your day. For example, if you complete each task that you start till it is completely done, it will not be there hanging around till the end of your day to haunt you. For instance, when you are finished treating a patient, you should immediately complete your notes in the chart so they do not stack up throughout the day, necessitating that you stay late to write them up, and worse yet, waste minutes trying to accurately recall what the details were for each patient you saw that day.
3. Delegating to your Team.
Are you trying to do too much yourself and not delegating? Are you being fully supported by your staff? Almost all staff are willing to do as much as they can. Your job as the executive of the practice is to make it so that they can be and are highly productive. Look through your day … what are you doing that you are not legally required to do, and shift those tasks to the appropriate person within the practice. This may require a training step but most staff are willing to learn and want to become the best they can be.
By creating a team of individuals who are superior in competence, you will have minimized or streamlined your workload. This then means you can spend the hours you need to in the practice more effectively and not have to stay late or take work home with you.
By using your staff to their full capacity, you empower them and as a result they will take on even more, which of course will lighten your load
4. Revise your Scheduling Methods.
There are many, many ways of efficiently scheduling treatments, some of them more efficient than others. If you find yourself with little gaps of non-productive time during your day, perhaps you need to re-think how the scheduling could be done differently. Just because it’s always been done this way doesn’t mean that it’s the only way. Talk with your staff and think outside the box. See what can be done to tighten up your day.
Lack of family time tells you that you are NOT as efficient and effective at work as you need to be. Have a look at the 4 points above and see what you can improve in your practice.
More quality family time is a valid and important goal. So go for it!
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