Jan 3, 2022
As we start the new year, I will give you some ideas around setting priorities and goals; it's a topic that I tackle at the beginning of every year. First, I talk about the importance of having a planner that uses good old-fashioned pen and paper. When we write things down, we tend to process that information differently. Plus, I talk about what exactly is a brain dump and how it can help you find clarity in your private practice. Later, I chat about the importance of knowing your numbers, getting your systems and processes cleaned up, and finding community on your journey.
One of the things that I've been doing this past week is going through my planner. Writing things down in a planner rather than typing them out on our phones allows us to process information differently. It forces us to slow down, think, and process what is going on in our minds. There's that brain-hand connection that is made; if you write something out, you have a way of remembering it and processing it differently. That's why I love to use a paper-based planner. Overall, it helps me stay productive and organized. I use The Full Focus Planner. Check it out here: www.practiceoftherapy.com/fullfocusplanner.
It's essential to write things down and think about the new year on paper. I like doing something called a brain dump, which is just really getting a sheet of paper, planner, or notebook. Then, write down everything that comes to mind that you want to accomplish, things that you're thinking about, and tasks that you want to do. It gets everything out of your brain onto the paper. The Full Focus Planner has something called Your Big Daily Three. You fill out the three most important things you want to accomplish for that day. Overall, a brain dump is a great way to set your priorities for the new year.
One of the things that you've heard from me a good bit over this last year is the importance of knowing your numbers. If you're going to be successful in your business and your practice, you need to know your numbers. You need to understand how the money is flowing through your business and through what you do day in and day out. Doing a deep financial dive at the beginning of the year can give you a baseline for where you are now. Then, you can think about where you want to get to with your finances. I use QuickBooks to manage the finances of my practice. Make sure you know where your best income sources are coming from for the year. Plus, you'll want to know where you are falling behind. For instance, I discovered that we haven't been collecting all of our copays; it's something that we need to fix for the new year. A deep financial dive will help you find where your money leaks are.
When we start getting isolated from folks, we lose a sense of community and support from others. Finding a community will help you get clear around your goals for your practice. Having a community and a group of trusted colleagues to bounce things off of goes a long way in helping you have some clarity. Plus, it will help you have some accountability with accomplishing goals and keeping straight with your priorities. I encourage you to find a community within your practice and daily life. A focus group is a great way to find community. That way, you can learn from others and bounce ideas off of each other.
Look at how you can fix your systems and processes. It's time to get rid of the deadwood. You can be outsourcing – it will be a much better use of your time. That way, you're not spending time on things that aren't going to bring you any income anyway. I want to shout out Uriah Guilford; he's the owner of The Productive Therapist. If you have more tasks to complete than hours in the day, Uriah wants to help you get things done. Sometimes you neglect your self-care and other essential items in your life when you're too busy with your practice. That's why Uriah likes helping therapists find world-class virtual assistants. You can learn more about The Productive Therapist here: https://productivetherapist.com/.
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Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog. He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer, and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast wherever you listen to it. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn, and Pinterest, “Like” us on Facebook.