The four essential steps to the PROCESS of doubling your production are: (1) Make the decision, (2) Identify needed resources, (3) Develop the right support team, and this one…
Step 4 — IMPLEMENT AN EFFECTIVE TIME MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Too many people think managing their time should be easy, so they have no system whatsoever in place. They just say, “I’m going to work” — and that’s the whole plan! As a result, they are highly unproductive. In reality, the workplace is where most doctors get very little done because of all the interruptions… which means they’re serving other people’s needs instead of their own need to grow the business.
Time management (or calendar management) is about INTENTION — planning what you intend to do, then planning how you will spend your time so you get it done. Doubling your production will REQUIRE that you use some sort of time management system… and one that’s DIFFERENT than the one you use now. Reason being, whatever system you’re using now — if you’re even using one — only produces whatever your average production currently is. That’s as good as your time management system is. So you have to have a different system if you expect a different outcome — and doubling your production is certainly a different outcome!
Every single day on your calendar needs to be assigned one of the “three P’s” — Production Day, Planning Day or Personal Day.
A Personal Day is a day that you DON’T WORK. It means you don’t swing by the office,… you barely check email,… you don’t make work-related phone calls,… you don’t even think about work! You REST, REJUVENATE, and work on your RELATIONSHIPS. You’re out with your family or friends — present and engaged. You’re doing some physical activity or enjoying an experience. If you don’t regularly rejuvenate, you can’t be in great shape on your Production Days… which means you won’t be capable of doubling production.
On Planning Days you “set up” both your Production and your Personal Days. Without effective Planning Days, your other days can’t play out the way you intend for them to. Remember, time management is about being INTENTIONAL. The further you can look out on your calendar, the better. Consider how your physical office is set up, and where you go to get planning done without interruption.
Planning Personal Days
If you don’t plan to be free and undistracted on your off-days and weekends, you won’t be. And great family vacations don’t just “happen” — they take a lot of planning. If you don’t get all the details planned out and taken care of, you’ll be stressed about it… which defeats the whole purpose of a relaxing vacation! And, your family will be mad at you for not making the time to plan it well.
Planning Production Days
Plan out your Production Days — your money-making days — with your people. Hold staff meetings to discuss these types of questions:
- Did we time all our procedures? What were our times? Are we getting faster or slower?
- How can we manage to see more patients in a day?
- How can we increase referrals?
- What new service can we offer to boost dollars per transaction?
- What could each of you (support staff members) be doing that I (the doctor) am now doing?
- What new resources do we need to significantly boost our production?
Get your team to be creative and think out of the box. Whatever you come up with, decide on a systematic way to do it. For example, you have to plan to talk to every patient about referrals or about the new service, or it won’t happen.
Most doctors avoid planning time because they don’t know how to run effective meetings. Be clear about the purpose of that particular meeting up-front, and then control the discussion so it’s ONLY about how to double production. The outcome is that you’re leading your people, setting expectations, getting everyone aligned and motivated around your goal.
Planning Staffing Needs and Development
You must also PLAN the training and development of your staff so they can effectively do what you need them to do. Separately from your all-staff Production planning meetings, make time for these types of people-planning activities:
- Plan the needed training and development of each staff member.
- Discuss and reinforce learnings with those who just returned from SI University.
- Anticipate and plan for future staffing needs, and other resources.
- Make one-on-one appointments with staff members who have requested your time.
Planning Other Functional Areas
Practice management includes financial and HR functions, marketing planning and execution, facility management, special projects, etc.
- Make all your financial transactions in the morning before you leave the house.
- Plan out a hiring process that brings in the best talent.
- Plan the culture you want in your Practice and how you as the leader will create that culture.
- Plan all those elements of great service that will distinguish your Practice as THE BEST in your area.
- Plan your marketing efforts well in advance, and track the success of each initiative.