3 Simple Ways Counsellors Can Beat Private Practice Overwhelm for Good
When you’re running your own private practice business, your workload can sometimes feel like it’s spiraling out of control. With a todo list that grows instead of shrinking it can be hard to know where to start, giving rise to feelings of stress and overwhelm.
Knowing how to proactively reduce your own stress and private practice overwhelm will help you to regain your passion and purpose and enable you to grow your business on your terms.
Set Your Business Goals and Prioritise Your Todo List Accordingly
By taking the time to set your business goals you will give yourself a good foundation to decide which tasks you want to add to your todo list, what priority they should be given and any relevant deadlines.
Setting one or 2 overarching long term goals for your business enables you to then decide upon smaller, short term goals accordingly. By only carrying out tasks that contribute to these smaller goals – and, therefore, your overall business objectives – you can ensure that you’re working smarter not harder.
With a clear idea of what you need to do for your business in order to meet your objectives, you will instantly be able to recognise those tasks which are just ‘would be nice to do’ instead of ‘must do’.
Most of your time and effort goes into paid client hours so it’s OK to say no to work that doesn’t contribute to achieving your goals. Although it can be tempting to say yes to every opportunity that presents itself, saying no can prevent you from spreading yourself too thinly. Own your niche, your time, and your strengths!
By saying no when you need to and eliminating the ‘would be nice to do’ tasks from your workload you could feel an instant weight lifted off your shoulders!
ProTip: Don’t set yourself unnecessary or arbitrary deadlines.
Only set relevant and meaningful deadlines for tasks. When setting yourself a deadline to complete something consider the consequences of missing that deadline. What happens?
Batch Your Time and Implement Calendar Time Blocking
I can’t emphasise this enough if you’re looking to improve your efficiency and productivity outside your client hours. When used in conjunction with setting your business goals, it will be a real game-changer for your workload and how you think and feel. Batch and block. Batch and block!
My previous articles 7 Tips to Help You Start Calendar Time Blocking Like a Pro and How To Improve Your Productivity with Task Batching give you a really good introduction to batching and time blocking so I recommend you give them a read.
Batching similar tasks together will help you to stay focused and get work done much more quickly than if you flit from one thing to another.
Similar tasks you could batch are:
- Sending emails
- Raising invoices
- Scheduling your social media
Time blocking your calendar gives you a visual representation of your time. It helps you to plan for future work and ditch the endless lists once and for all!
Once you know what you can batch, you’ll want to time block:
- All the things you must do
- Everything you want to do
ProTip: Be sure to batch and block for your personal life as well as your business life.
By batching and blocking both your business and personal life everything will be put into perspective. You’ll avoid the stress and worry of forgetting or missing things ever again. Just don’t forget to schedule in some self-care and relaxation!
Delegate As Much As Possible
You might find that even after you’ve decided upon your business goals and priorities and batched and blocked your socks off, you still have more work than there are hours in the day. That’s not unusual when you’re trying to run a business on your own.
You might want or need help getting to a point where you can effectively implement your new way of working.
You might just hate doing certain tasks… bookkeeping, anyone?!
If you’re experiencing private practice overwhelm you’ve got too much on your plate – physically or emotionally – and it’s time to ask for help.
Delegating tasks is a great way to help clear any backlogs or blockages, implement effective processes, save time, and stop you from feeling like you’re constantly swimming against the tide.
It can be super cost-effective too!
How much is your time worth?
If you charge £60 for a therapy session and you’re spending the equivalent of a session a week on social media it’s costing you around £240-260 of your time.
Now, If you could outsource that task to someone else for half that cost, have more time to focus on what you love most, and potentially make more money than you’re spending… why wouldn’t you?
When you think of tasks in terms of how cost-effective it is to spend YOUR time on them you’ll quickly begin to realise that you’re not always the best person to do the work. By delegating tasks you don’t like, aren’t great at or that you feel are just necessary evils of business you can focus on what you do best.
ProTip: Start small if you need to.
As a small business owner, you might be put off delegating because you’re used to being in control and overseeing all elements of your business. It’s your baby. If you feel this way, start by delegating a small task to ease yourself into outsourcing. Before you know it you’ll feel much more comfortable and confident.
So there you have it: 3 Simple Ways Counsellors Can Beat Private Practice Overwhelm for Good
Have you tried any of the suggestions mentioned in this article?
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
If you need help with social media, diary and availability management, graphic and imagery creation, website maintenance, or bookkeeping:
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Samantha is a Virtual Assistant and owner of Koala VA. Koala VA provides tailored and affordable virtual assistance and business support packages to private practice counsellors and therapists in the UK. Services include Social Media Support, Website Maintenance, Diary Management and General Admin.