Many nurse practitioner entrepreneurs have problems with managing their time. This is totally understandable seeing many of you are following The Elite Nurse Practitioner Model where we have a part-time job, a side business, family, friends, etc… Basically, we are busy! The busy aspects of being a nurse practitioner business owner can be problematic though…
Have you ever completely forgot about an important phone call? I know I have…
Have you forgotten about important tasks that needed to be completed in your business? Happens all the time…
Did you forget about a family or friends’ special event? Whoops!
Is there a particular task in your business just sucking up your time? Yes and it is driving me nuts!
Do you find yourself doing more busy work vs. income generating work? I fall into this trap often!
Are you working IN YOUR BUSINESS vs. ON YOUR BUSINESS? As a nurse practitioner, it is hard not to…
Essentially, are you having a hard time managing and prioritizing your time?
Welcome to the club of being a nurse practitioner entrepreneur…
We all have problems with this, and it is very important you begin figuring out ways to manage your time more effectively before you turn your business into another job that you loathe. You must be utilizing your precious time to the fullest!
Time management is a huge concept, and I will be writing a few articles about how to effectively manage your time better over the next month or two (check out these other articles HERE and HERE for more time management advice). But first, I want you to do two quick exercises:
The first exercise is to simply ask yourself “When do I work best?”
This question determines what part of the day you are most productive. By determining this, you will figure out what time of the day that you need to set aside to get important tasks done in your business.
I will use myself as an example. I am most productive the first 1-2 hours I am awake. I typically wake up around 5am when the house and world are quiet. I make myself coffee and go straight to my office to work on The Elite Nurse Practitioner for an hour (at a minimum) most mornings. I do this because my mind is fresh, and I am free from distractions.
That is the critical component of utilizing the time you work best at to its full potential: freeing yourself from distractions. By utilizing the time of the day that your mind is optimal in addition to freeing yourself from distractions, you will create a POWERFUL hour in your day where you can get an enormous amount of work done. I can get more work done in 1 hour than most people do in a full workday… It is because my mind is fresh, my motivation is high, and I am free from distractions. This is very important for utilizing your time to the fullest.
Giving yourself 30-60 minutes a day to work on your business during this “when I work best” time frame will increase your productivity significantly. Trying to get important business tasks done at 2pm in the afternoon while being bombarded by distractions will result in decreased productivity, thus poor time management. Utilize the time you set aside to its fullest and watch your success increase 2-fold!
The second exercise I want you to do is to create a list of all the work-related tasks and activities you spend time on in a given week. This can be everything from answering emails, doing prescription refills, seeing patients, paying bills, working on your social media pages, and so forth. Next, I want you to write down about how much time you are spending on these tasks a week. After you do this, write next to each task “busy work” or “income generating work.” Then, draw an up arrow next to the task that gives you energy and a down arrow next to the task that drains your energy (be sure to read the article on busy work vs. income generating work here.)
What you will find is that most of the tasks that are draining your energy will be considered “busy work.” This is the type of work that you must do to keep your business running but could easily be delegated to others. Busy work will be activities like bookkeeping, inventory management, supply ordering, paying bills, etc… They must be done, but they suck your energy!
On the other side of the coin, you will find that the tasks that give you energy as a nurse practitioner will be things like patient care, procedures, writing content for your website, creative activities, and work that requires the use of your education and skills. These are typically “income generating” tasks. The great thing about these tasks is that they not only generate income, but they give you energy. THAT IS THE KEY TO THIS EXERCISE! As a busy entrepreneur, your time and energy are precious resources, therefore should be treated as such.
Once you make this list, look at the tasks you wrote down and separate out the ones that give you energy and the ones that drain your energy. You need to delegate or totally cut out tasks that are draining your time and energy and focus on those tasks that increase your revenue and energy. Simply doing this will open your eyes to where you need to be focusing your time and energies on as a nurse practitioner business owner.
You need to do this exercise on a MONTHLY basis. It will keep you focused and is the foundation to managing your time effectively.
I recently accepted that fact that the urgent care I work part-time at is an energy sink and becoming busy work. Yes, it generates income, but it is taking away from my other businesses at this point in my journey… I am not managing my time to the fullest. Instead, I should focus my efforts on tasks that generate the most income while giving me energy, and the urgent care is no longer doing that. The above exercise really brought this to light, and I am now going PRN at the urgent care. My time should be focused on expanding my men’s health clinic and providing additional service lines within it.
Complete these 2 simple exercises and watch your efficiency and productivity increase! I know mine certainly did!