Continuing our theme of how to be productive in the summer (especially if your practice is seeing a summer slowdown), I wanted to share the concept of a time audit with you.
You see, many therapists feel pressured for time, and as if there is never enough time. In some cases, yes, you might be just too busy- but, more frequently, it’s likely to be a question of not using your time as efficiently as you could.
This is where the time audit comes in. It’s a process where, for five typical days, you chart how you’re using your time, on an hourly basis. So, that means if you wake up at 7am and get ready until 8, you would mark down 7-8am, shower and get ready for work. You repeat this for five days, charting exactly how you’re using your time, by the hour.
What you find might surprise you.
One client Ann* did this exercise, and she found that part of the reason she was never getting her clinical notes done each day was because she sat down to work on them during an afternoon break, and then spent hours checking out Facebook and shopping online instead. And she did this everyday for the first three days.
Once she saw this pattern, she decided to do something differently on days 4 and 5. 🙂
And that is the power of attention and focus. When you observe yourself through the process of a time audit, you will see that you start to become really conscious of how you’re spending your time.
The key is to first observe, without trying to change anything. Once you’ve identified a pattern- something you’re doing most of the time that you want to change, then you can decide how to change that behavior.
But unless you are booked back to back with clients each day, and everyday, and literally have no time to do your notes or send out your billing… you are probably not utilizing your time as you could.
(And if you are really that busy where you are booked solid day after day, it might be time to hire some help for your billing!).
If you’re curious about how you’re spending your time each week, I invite you to keep a log for a week and audit where your time goes.
You might be surprised!