Feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, and like there is simply not enough time in each day? Most home care agency owners feel the same, especially during the start-up process. You can beat the anxiety and increase your productivity by taking time to improve your time management skills. No matter if you are a procrastinator or an over-achiever, a perfectionist or a creative, good time management habits can help you get the most out of your day and out of your business. Here’s how to get it done through daily and weekly habits.
Prioritize Your To-Do List
Your to-do list is long, but it isn’t realistic to think you can complete fifty tasks in the course of one day or week. Begin prioritizing your list by noting the top three tasks you must complete during the day. Then, work on those three items before tackling the other chores on your ongoing list. You’ll be surprised at how productive you feel and how quickly you work through your long list by prioritizing the top three “must do” activities.
Eat the Frog
There’s a saying in time management that you should always “eat the frog” first. This means that you should tackle the one task you are not looking forward to or that you feel is most difficult before doing anything else. Eating the frog tasks are different for everyone and not all frog tasks are time consuming. However, eating the frog first will get the hardest part out of your way so that you can focus on other tasks throughout the day.
Many busy professionals find that batching their work makes their week more routinized and helps them be more productive. Try lumping similar activities together and tackle them during a set time of the day or week. For example, instead of answering emails as they come into your inbox, set your email time from 8am-9am and then again from 3pm-4pm daily. Then use those hours to crank through your email box and send responses as needed. You can also batch tasks like interviewing caregivers or assessing new clients. You can set all interviews on Tuesdays from 1pm-5pm and all assessments in the mornings of Mondays and Fridays; this will open up your week for other events and obligations.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Home care agency owners are notorious for not delegating enough, especially those that have been leading the business from the beginning. However, delegating tasks not only opens up your day, but it also empowers your staff to make good decisions on behalf of the agency. When delegating tasks, choose to pass off the tasks to responsible and capable staff members who have the skillset to handle it. Start with small tasks before increasing their responsibility and compensate them as needed.
Document Your Day
One of the best ways to increase your productivity is to document what you are doing throughout the course of the day. While the days in the home care industry are hardly ever the same, you can still get a good glimpse of where most of your time is spent by using paper or an app to see what you are doing during the day. Commit to writing down your tasks every thirty minutes of the day for one week and see what happens. You might notice that you are spending too much time at networking events and not enough time auditing client charts. Or, you may see that answering non-emergency text messages takes up too much time during your morning and that a batch system would be more efficient.
Your time management strategies and habits will change throughout your career, and that’s okay! Remember to stay flexible and creative as you develop new skills that will work for you. Then, if you find something that works, stick with it, and even consider sharing your approach with a colleague. We can all learn from one another!
Article written by Haley Burress.
Hi, my name is Wendell Scott and I help Home Care Agencies who are experiencing high caregiver turnover rates, have trouble coordinating client care and feel frustrated with their team to easily increase efficiency and scale their Home Care business.
I’d like to share with you my free Caregiver Recruitment Engine™ framework. In it, are the tools to help you develop a system to easily attract & hire caregivers (aka a repeatable system for recruiting quality staff), so you can organize your process, reliably recruit staff and efficiently scale your home care team.
The end result:
Faster than ever.