016: My Secret to Running 3 Businesses
All the time, I get asked: how do you leverage your time to get more done, focus on the things you want to do, and spend less time doing the things you don’t want to do?
It’s easy to stay in our own lane and do what we know we can do. However, when we take on work we don’t enjoy, even if it needs to be done, we can find ourselves feeling grumpy, irritable, and overwhelmed.
Today, I want to walk you through the three things I do that help me get it all done.
- Why feeling out of balance means you’re doing something you ought not to be doing.
- Why I focus on what I’m naturally good at – and why this can be hard for solopreneurs.
- How to use time blocking to eliminate distractions and get more done
- How to delegate, even if you have a tendency to be a micromanager.
TweetableIf your life feels out of balance, then you're doing something that you ought not be doing. - @DrRondaNelson Click To Tweet
Connect with Dr. Ronda Nelson
Rate & Review
If you enjoyed today’s episode of The Clinical Entrepreneur, hit the subscribe button in Apple Podcasts, (or wherever you listen) so future episodes are automatically downloaded directly to your device.
You can also help by providing an honest rating & review over on Apple Podcasts. Reviews go a long way in helping us build awareness so that we can impact even more people. THANK YOU!
Welcome to The Clinical Entrepreneur, a business podcast that’s dedicated to health care practitioners, just like you, who are hustling every day to build a business and a life you’re proud of. Join me, Ronda Nelson, as I share my own experiences and extract actionable advice from industry experts about what it takes to build and scale a profitable wellness practice.
I am so glad you are here. By the time you are done reading this, I think you’ll have some different perspectives about how to leverage your time in order to spend less time doing the things you don’t want to do and more time doing the things you do want to do. “How do you get it all done? How do you seem to do it so effortlessly and you keep showing up and doing all the things? How do you do it and have a life?” These are questions I get asked frequently. These are great questions, my friend, because truth be told, I sometimes feel like I don’t have a life. But when that happens and I start feeling like my life is out of balance, I know that it means I’ve taken on something that I don’t need to take on. If you take away anything from today’s podcast, I want it to be just that. If your life feels out of balance, then you’re doing something that you ought not be doing.
When we stay in our own lane, do our own thing, and do it well, there’s no effort to that. It becomes easy. It’s what you love. It’s what you do very well and very easily. But when we swing over into the micromanaging department or we take on a project for the sake of taking it on and then you end up being grumpy, irritable and overwhelmed, you are now out of balance. Your life no longer feels easy, free or nice. It doesn’t feel fun and life is way too short to not have a fun life. So, here I am going to share with you the top three things that I do to stay happy and be able to make sure that I’ve got balance in my life.
Here are my top three secrets of things to help me get it all done. Number one, I stay in my own lane and I do what I’m naturally good at. Now, when you’re a solopreneur, that’s a little harder to do. You have to do everything, but you can still focus on the things that you do well and things you really love to do. If you love to see patients but you don’t love the invoicing side, the inventory management side, the accounting side… those are easy things to find someone to help you with. You can find a virtual assistant to work for you five hours a week and that leverages your time, takes the stress off, and allows you to stay in your own lane. So, stay in your own lane and do what you do best. Number two, time blocking. Nobody likes to time block but here’s why this is so important. Time blocking allows your brain to be fully focused on one particular task at one time. When we do not incorporate time blocking, your life begins to look like this: Your phone or computer goes off with a Facebook notification, another text message or a reminder of webinars starting, in which you forgot about. We are inundated with pings and dings and things that vie for our attention. Just look at Facebook, Instagram or your inbox. It is overwhelming.
There are so many things that are vying for our attention, and every time there’s a ding for an email and you look up from whatever task you’re already doing to check it, you now completely took your brain out of what you were working on and are now focused that email. Whether that is writing emails, creating a Facebook post, scheduling, working on something for a patient, or looking at new patient intake forms, you are now completely distracted. When you allow yourself to get distracted by checking that email, you’ve basically just hijacked your brain so that it can’t go back and efficiently focus on what you were doing before. In fact, the research shows that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to get back into that deep state of thought to the task that you were originally working on when you got distracted.
When I time block, I send a message out to my team and say, “I’m going to be offline for the next two hours.” I shut down my email, Facebook, our social community Mighty Networks, and I close anything that could make any kind of sound. I even put my phone on Do Not Disturb, because I know that I’m going to be right in the middle of figuring something out or writing the best email I’ve ever written in my life and someone’s going to text or call me. I literally turn everything off so that I am not distracted. Now, I am usually using my computer, either reading notes, looking at intake forms or researching something inside Clinical Academy on a topic that I will be teaching. So I do remain online but I close out the programs that are going to be pinging, dinging, and vying for my attention. That way, I can focus in and get work done. Time blocking, I will say, is one of the biggest secrets to cranking out a bunch of content and getting it all done when I have a specific project or thing I need to accomplish.
It’s hard the first time that you do it. It’s tough, no question. But you’ll get better at it and I think you’ll find that your brain actually enjoys the quiet because there’s no one trying to get at you. There’s a sense of peace and quiet in your soul. Your brain, heart, soul get quiet. Even your nervous system gets quiet, and that allows you to think and focus. I’ll link it in the show notes, but there’s a great book called Deep Work. This book really opened my eyes to the value of doing deep work and the concept of time blocking. I love it because I’m so much more efficient when I time block. So, that’s my number two.
Lastly, number three is to delegate. For those of us that have a tendency to be micro managers, the D-word is a bad word for you, because there’s that old adage that says, “If I’m going to get something done, I might as well just do it myself.” That is such a lie. It might take you a little more time to train someone how to do something the way that you want, but there are a few secrets I’ve learned about delegation that make the process easier. I’ll put this in a practical sense. If you are reading and are a solo practitioner, who are you going to delegate to? Yourself. You want to find someone that you can delegate to but if you’re the only person there, so what are you going to do? Delegating doesn’t mean you have to hire someone full time. You may decide that for your follow-up patient appointments: the invoicing, collecting payment, running it through your payment processor, etc., you may be able to hire a virtual assistant. At the end of the day, the VA processes all of the invoices, collects the money (using a saved credit card), and places your product orders if you’re doing any kind of drop ship.
Your VA might be able to do that if that’s how you’re set up in your clinic. I am the only one that can do the clinical stuff because it’s all in my brain. I’m the one that talks about the business and marketing because that’s in my brain. I’m the one that can do the business coaching because it’s in my brain. I can’t delegate that but what I can delegate is all the stuff behind the scenes. So, finding a VA whom you can delegate and give some responsibility to for just a few hours can help to bring balance back into your world. However, here are the three keys if you are going to do so. Number one, when you delegate, do not micromanage. No one wants to be micromanaged. Not you, not me, and not the person that you’re delegating to. When you delegate, you have to be clear, which is number two, be very clear about your expectations. Don’t delegate and say, “Here, I want this report by this date. Okay, there you go. Bye-bye.” That’s going to be a train wreck. The person you’ve delegated to needs a clear direction or they won’t know exactly what you want them to do.
Be very clear with them and have it all written out. Yes, it takes more time in the beginning but you’re not clear about your expectations from the get go, that’s going to result in you feeling the need to micromanage, and I can guarantee you, people who feel micromanaged, don’t stay. Now, you’ve wasted all this time and energy, and you’ve left kind of a bad taste in your mouth for the whole process. It doesn’t have to be that way. When you find someone to delegate to, be clear about your expectations. Make sure they’re reasonable. Don’t ask someone to prepare a full financial analysis if they didn’t graduate high school. I know that’s an extreme example but you get my point, right? We want to be very clear with our expectations and set that person up for success. When delegating, the three secrets are: number one, do not micromanage, number two, set reasonable clear expectations, and number three, hold that person accountable for the outcome.
That language about holding someone accountable has a little bit of a negative connotation, at least it does to me. Maybe a better way to explain that is to make them responsible for the outcome. They’re responsible for the success of the outcome. If I give someone a project and I know that I want to outsource the rest after I see the patient and I’m drop shipping all of any supplements or tests, I am going to give that to the VA. Here are the steps and here’s how it should turn out at the end. Let her be responsible for the outcome. If the outcome doesn’t turn out, say, “Tell me what happened with this because this is not the outcome that you and I agreed to. What do we need to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again? How can we improve our process so that it doesn’t happen again?” When you make the accountability or the responsibility, you put it on that other person, the other person can take ownership, and that’s what you want. We don’t want to micromanage. We want to let the other person that we’re delegating to, have ownership and full responsibility for the outcome. If they know they’re responsible for the process, they will own it, rather than it just being a checklist to make you happy.
So once again, number one, do what you do best. Number two, time block. Set the time aside and take away the distractions. Number three is delegate and when you delegate, don’t micromanage. Set clear expectations and make the person that you’ve delegated to make them responsible for the outcome.
So, there you go, my friend. Those are my tips and secrets for getting it all done. Thank you so much for hanging out with me today. I love having this conversation. Please share with me what you love, what spoke to you, where you know you struggle, and what you’re going to do about it. You can reach me on Instagram, Dr. Ronda Nelson. You can DM me, I respond to every DM. You can also go to my Facebook page, which is Dr. Ronda Nelson, and let me know what you think about this whole delegation, time blocking, and doing what you do the best. I would love to hear from you. So, thanks again. Have an awesome week. I’ll be back with you next week for more of The Clinical Entrepreneur Podcast. Take care, my friends. Talk soon. Bye.
To learn more and get access to all episodes, visit our podcast page!