Time is an incredibly precious resource. It is the one thing we cannot buy, borrow, or reclaim once it’s gone. As the iconic Steve Miller Band lyric reminds us, “Time keeps on slippin into the future.” Each passing moment is an opportunity, a chance to make a difference and create the results we desire, especially in the realm of business.
Regardless of our background, age, or circumstances, we are all granted the same 24 hours each day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. How we choose to utilize this finite resource determines the outcomes we experience. Throughout my own journey, I’ve come to realize that the results I’ve achieved, both the successes and the failures, are directly correlated to how I’ve used my time.
I have utilized one fundamental aspect of optimizing my time more than any other – setting clear priorities. Identifying what truly matters, both in the short term and the long term, has helped me allocate my time and energy accordingly.
For example, when I’m confronted with multiple projects and tasks, I often ask myself, “what is the thing that is creating the most friction in my life?” This term “friction” helps clarify what I am worried about or what is keeping me up at night. This helps cut through the clutter and identify the MOST important project I should be focusing on.
Henry David Thoreau said, “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” There is a great distinction between being busy and being productive. I’ve come to appreciate “space” in my schedule. Having blocks of open space to clear my brain and break the habit of doing, doing, doing. This has increased the results I have achieved in less time.
I have seen too many practice owners use time management strategies to open up time on their schedules only to pack it with more stuff.
It’s about LESS stuff on your plate, not MORE.
Engaging in too many activities can create an illusion of productivity, but it doesn’t guarantee meaningful results. If you want to grow your business, focusing on marketing and patient acquisition activities will produce better results than doing administrative tasks. Yet, it’s all too easy to get caught up in mundane tasks or distractions that consume our time without contributing to our bottom line. It’s important to consciously evaluate your actions and eliminate non-essential activities.
Once you’re clear on the activity that is most important, you can begin to off-load other, less critical activities. Opening up time on your calendar can only be done delegating. Nobody can single-handedly accomplish everything. Delegating tasks to capable team members will allow you to leverage their expertise and skills while freeing up your own time to focus on strategic decisions and business growth. This collaborative approach not only maximizes productivity but also fosters a sense of teamwork and empowerment within the organization.
With the explosion of artificial intelligence, it’s easier than ever to use AI to do activities that used to take hours and hours, into minutes. I’ve seen practice owners save 5-10 hours per week using AI with social media posts, increasing their youtube views and creating email campaigns to promote a new service or program.
There are countless tools and software available to streamline repetitive tasks, optimize workflows, and eliminate manual errors. You can start by asking ChatGPT what tools you can use to save time and money. This list is changing everyday with the advancement of AI-powered tools.
Time is an equalizer that grants all of us the same 24 hours each day. It is up to you to choose to utilize this precious resource. By prioritizing effectively, distinguishing between busyness and productivity, delegating, embracing AI, we can harness the power of time to create the results we desire in our businesses. As Steve Miller wisely sang, “Time keeps on slippin into the future,” so let us make every moment count and shape a future filled with success and accomplishment.
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