Time vs. Energy: Discovering the Real Key to Practice Freedom
Many of the clients I work with are in a place I call “Practice Prison.”
They’re running a successful practice and making good money – but they feel trapped. They’re overworked, overwhelmed, and unable to take a break.
The question on their minds is often: “How do I manage my time better?”
There are 10,000 time management gurus who will answer that question by suggesting an app or a time management system or a new way to slice and dice your day so that you can productively do even more than you’re taking on right now.
That whole thought makes me tired.
When I hear someone ask, “How do I manage my time better?” what I hear is “How do I do even MORE work?”
To me, that’s a recipe for burnout.
Let’s look at this another way.
The reality is that for most of us, time is not the challenge. Energy is the challenge.
Energy is the real problem when:
- You no longer feel excited about your business and future vision, you’re just going through the motions trying to get through your days.
- You “waste” time on social media or with unproductive (and even unenjoyable) activities like watching TV (because you feel too tired to do anything else.)
- You put off big decisions and high-level business planning and strategy because you feel too tired to think.
If you can relate to any of that, here’s a prescription for 5 things you can do to escape the “I have no time” trap.
Known side effects include feeling excited about your business again, enjoying real rest and relaxation, and yes…having more time.
1. Recognize when you need a break…and take it.
Take a week off. Take a day off. Start with an hour off if you have to.
This can be hard to do in the moment.
As owners, we often feel like we must make sacrifices because we are ultimately the responsible party.
But…if you don’t stop and put on your own oxygen mask first, you won’t be able to help anybody.
And burnout is no joke.
2. Arrange your schedule around energy, not time.
We all have certain times of the day when we feel more energetic. For most people it’s in the morning, but for some it’s later in the day.
Identify when YOU are at your best energy-wise and schedule that time for working “ON” your business instead of “IN” it.
Use that time to take on the tasks that only you can do – like visioning, planning, and executing on projects that will eliminate problems and move your business forward.
3. Stop doing low-value work.
Running a successful practice and making good money?
Are you spending a lot of time doing things that someone else could do (for a whole lot less money than YOU are worth?)
You can pay to buy back some time.
If you’re in this situation and resisting the advice, you may find that you’ve gotten attached to making a certain income and you like it, so you’re reluctant to pay other people to do things. Especially if you also believe that you’re the only person who can do these things (or that they are “no big deal.”)
Which is closely related to the next item.
4. Start thinking like a business owner.
I’m working with a client right now who recently lost their business partner and now feels like ALL of the work falls on their shoulders.
My advice was that they needed to start thinking like an owner instead of an employee.
An owner thinks: how can I delegate tasks so that I have more bandwidth to focus on the most important things?
They know they can’t focus on growing the business or developing systems to improve customer service if they’re trying to figure out how to pay a bill (a simple task that a bookkeeper could easily look after.)
And ultimately, it all comes down to this.
5. Make better choices.
We often think that we don’t have the time, or we don’t have the energy, but we’re really just dealing with the fallout from making poor choices.
I recognize that this news can be hard to hear.
It’s hard to hear because it’s the truth.
The upside is that when you embrace this truth, you leave the place of feeling trapped and like a victim of circumstances – and move into a place of empowerment.
From there, you can take command of your business and decide to do things differently.
Until you do, nothing will change.
It’s time to break free from the belief that you don’t have enough time or energy.
Instead, focus on using your strengths and passions.
Invest the majority of your time in tasks that truly move the needle forward and bring back the excitement for your business.
If you’d like some support with this, book a complimentary strategy session.
In 30 minutes I can help you cut through the chaos and make a plan to get your life back.
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