I don’t know a single PT owner who hasn’t been overwhelmed by their workload at some point. But the happiest and most successful practice owners are the ones who’ve learned how to manage their time and their workload.
For PT owners, managing time and managing workload are both essential. You can employ all the PT-friendly time management tools in the world to boost your productivity. But if you’re still carrying a relentless, unsustainable workload, those time management tricks are nothing more than a Band-Aid for a much bigger problem.
Here’s where your team comes in.
Delegating IS time management, and the key to creating a manageable workload for yourself. As business owners, we don’t use this valuable time mastery tool nearly enough. Why?
We’re PT perfectionists.
We’re afraid to let go.
We haven’t taken the time to prepare our teams to work independently, without our constant involvement.
It’s such an ingrained behavior for so many of us, that sometimes PT owners aren’t aware that they’re hanging on to way too much work. Do you never stop working? Is it tough to get a day off, much less a week or two? Would your clinic have trouble functioning if you weren’t on site? Does your staff need you for every decision?
Those are some big red flags warning you that you’re not delegating enough.
Effective delegation lets you make better, more productive use of your time. Delegating also actives your team, helping them become more deeply engaged and involved in your practice goals and mission. And every time you delegate, you get one step closer to being operationally irrelevant. That means your clinic can run like clockwork, without you there managing every detail.
Here are my quick tips for delegating:
1. Focus on low-energy activities and areas where you’re overwhelmed
Pick the low-hanging fruit first. Identify the tasks and activities that drag you down and sap your energy. Make those low-energy activities your top priorities to delegate to your team. Look also at the areas of your workload where you feel overwhelmed. Can you get the help you need from your team? Or are these areas where you need to look outside your organization for assistance, expertise, and coaching? Delegating doesn’t only involve transferring work to your in-house staff. Looking outward for help and guidance is another important avenue toward time mastery.
2. Start simple
Delegating isn’t something we’re born knowing how to do. It is a skill we must develop, like any other. As hard workers who are often perfectionists, PT owners aren’t always natural or comfortable delegators. When it’s your business on the line, it can be tough to let go of control. If letting go is a struggle for you, begin by delegating small, straightforward tasks. Use these small tasks to get comfortable with the process of giving work to others, making sure they have the tools they need to do the work as you want them to, tracking that work is getting done, and tracking the changes to your own time so you reallocate that time wisely. Gradually move on to delegating more complicated and important responsibilities.
Delegating simple and low-energy work will leave you more time for the work that brings more patients through your doors. That important work can also be surprisingly simple—when you understand how to approach it.
I tell practice owners all the time: If you’re gonna let it go, let it go. Don’t give away a task and then look over everyone’s shoulders. Take the time up front to make sure your employees have the information and training they need to handle the additional work you’re giving them. Be available for questions and to offer support and troubleshooting. If you pay attention to the offloading process of delegating, you shouldn’t need to micromanage.