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To grow your practice and balance a life outside the clinic, owners need to have better control of their schedule.
This week, I talked about how private practice owners can achieve practice freedom—the freedom to set their own schedules, treat as much or little as they want, and regain a quality of life outside work. (Missed that video? Check it out here.)
Creating efficiency to your treatment schedule frees up valuable time. And yet, it’s all too easy for practice owners to fill that time with “busy” stuff that is not productive. There’s no shortage of work and many decisions that need to be made every day.
If you’re not careful, you can find yourself reactive to every issue that arises, stealing your non-treating time to put out fires (only to realize there’s more smoke somewhere else).
Smart practice owners know that creating a more efficient and concentrated treatment hours allows for more time for business development and growth.
Here’s four ways to better use your non-treatment hours:
- Think BIG.
When you’re in the trenches, seeing back-to-back patients and handling all the responsibilities of practice ownership, it’s tough to dream about the life and business you really want. All your energy and attention are consumed by getting through the day.
Making time for unhurried reflection is one of the best time investments practice owners can make. Thinking about the future, daydreaming about your ambitions for life and work, visualizing your most cherished goals: these aren’t luxuries or indulgences. They’re essential to charting successful business growth—and making sure the path you’re on is the right one for you.
- Be strategically out of the office.
One of the most important steps owners can take is to start a practice of working someplace other than their clinic. Effective delegating is critical to developing a practice that runs without your constant involvement. But even the most expert delegator can get sucked into low-priority work (what we at Practice Freedom U call “low energy activities”) if you’re onsite at your practice all the time.
The goal isn’t just a practice that CAN run without your daily involvement, but one that actually DOES. That means strategically separating yourself from daily operations.
- Go back to school.
Remember how it felt to be in PT school, learning the skills and information you needed to pursue your professional dream? Now that you’re a business owner, your dreams have grown, and it’s important to get back into learning mode. PT school prepared you to treat patients’ musculoskeletal pain. It did not teach you how to run and grow a successful business.
That’s knowledge you need to acquire on your own. But you don’t have to go it alone.
Becoming a reader can deliver you the wisdom of others’ experiences. Seeking out mentors can align you with other professionals who’ve walked your path, and are willing to share their knowledge. At Practice Freedom U, we’ve designed a series of customized courses to supply you with the business school education you never got, all tailored to the physical therapy private practice owner.
- Rest, recharge, rejuvenate.
I talked recently about the myth of working harder as the key to success. People think endless, nose-to-the-grindstone hard work is the secret to making more money. It’s not. Time off is essential your ability to build a sustainable, profitable business.
At Practice Freedom U, we guide our practice owners to working smarter, not working harder. That includes identifying your most productive work, leveraging systems and processes to get more out of every hour in your workday, and building a team that’s all-in on your mission. It also includes plenty of regularly scheduled time off for practice owners.
In addition to recharging your batteries, time away from work serves another important purpose: it reconnects you with your fundamental whys for being in business at all. Spending time with your family, and pursuing the activities you love, reminds you why you work so hard, and what’s at stake in the choices you’re making for your practice.
Ready to take control of your treatment schedule and take back your freedom of time?
For a limited time, get your FREE copy of my guide, The 5 Biggest Mistakes Physical Therapists Make in Growing Their Practice, and learn how to avoid an out-of-control treatment schedule.