Sitting at your desk, nothing urgent needing attention, chin on hands, wearing holes in the elbows of your jackets or shirts, dreaming up some future improvements for the practice?
Haha! You wish! Probably nothing could be further from the truth for most practitioners. But seriously, wouldn’t it be nice to have everything in the practice so well under control that your weekly Executive Time included some down time? Whoa, hold it … did I just say “Executive Time?”
Yes, as the owner of a business, you should have 2-3 hours per week allocated for executive functions! Otherwise you are just managing things willy nilly, coping along without any strategy except to get through your day.
The practice needs direction and constant review and updating and tweeking. Is it as efficient as it could be? What could be done to take it to the next level of service to the patients? How to create a better team experience as well?
No Fortune 500 company runs without a major management strategy and directions down through the ranks to accomplish it. It’s virtually impossible to create a great future otherwise. So if you are not allowing yourself the time to do this, you are coping at best. Coping is fine for a short time, but must carry with it time to organize if you are ever to earn Executive Time and patches on your elbows.
Where does Executive Time come from?
This in itself requires some strategizing and is probably the first thing you need to organize. How do you carve this time out of a very busy week? There are MANY ways it can be done but for an example, if you are working 5 days per week, perhaps you should change it to 4.5 days of production and a half day for Executive Time. If the Executive Time is used well to make improvements in the efficiency of the practice and to streamline how the service is scheduled and delivered, you should be able to produce as much or even more in the 4.5 days than the 5 days. Plus you will feel happier and less stressed, the patients will get better care, the staff will be calmer and more productive, and so on.
Otherwise burnout is on the horizon from coping too long. There are as many ways of improving efficiency as there are practitioners, but you have to have time to look for them and implement them. Basically, this is not something you do in between patients. So if you have a very busy practice, you might have to put in a few extra hours per week for Executive Time to start off with to give yourself some future. If you are not fully booked, compress your schedule and carve out some Executive Time that way.
Helpful hint: I would not schedule your Executive Time at the end of the day when you are too pooped to strategize and sanely handle situations, and definitely not Fridays because it won’t then materialize for real. A prime time might be to go into work one hour early on Monday morning and block out the first hour of production as well so that you have two hours to plan out your week and the growth and efficiency steps you are going to implement.
As the owner of the business, you are the source point for its growth, prosperity and longevity. So protect your own longevity and sanity by taking some Executive Time!