Practice managers wear many hats – from finance director, HR manager or administrator, director of ambience or shoulder to cry on. With so much to consider and so much to manage – effectively – it can feel that you are in a continuous state of frenzy – jumping from one task to the next! Royston Guest, author of Built to Grow, shares four simple strategies to help you to juggle less and to juggle like a pro
We are all juggling multiple balls every single day. Some balls are work-related, some relate to home and family while others can be our hobbies or our personal interests. At times it can feel like you’re leading a pinball life, bouncing around at ridiculous speeds, feeling out of control, reacting to the next task or challenge in front of you, whatever that may be. But the question is, do you want to become a better juggler, or do you want to eliminate some of the things you’re juggling in the first place?
Despite our best intentions we can all end up focusing our time and energy on things we can do but shouldn’t be doing
Despite our best intentions we can all end up focusing our time and energy on things we can do but shouldn’t be doing. Without realising it, we can be sucked into the small, menial tasks that are not going to move the business dials – or even our personal dials – anytime soon; over the short term they simply waste our time but, over the longer term, they can have a determinate impact on business profits and even our health.
Four simple strategies to help you juggle less and juggle better
- Learn to say ‘no’ to the unimportant things
Sometimes in life it’s about learning to say ‘No’ to the unimportant things, so you can say ‘Yes!’ to the important, value-adding things. Sounds obvious, I know, but just remember every time you say ‘Yes’ to something that is unimportant, you are saying ‘No’ to something that is important – that’s your trade-off.
You can’t be all things to all people so know your priorities, know your goals, know what needs to get done over the coming weeks and months for you to feel that you have played your best game. And if you can’t do it all, learn to say ‘No’!
- Create thinking time to work on your business and on you
It’s so easy to get caught on the hamster wheel – continuously doing the same things, the same way, without making time to STOP, THINK and EXPLORE better options and more effective ways of working. It’s a must for all business professionals to allow for thinking time at work.
Whatever your role you need to create quality thinking time to work on your business and life. Try blocking appointments in your diary with yourself even if it’s just 30 minutes. This is an appointment for thinking time. If you don’t do it, no-one else will.
- Question what is worthy of your time
In today’s fast-paced world it’s so easy to lose focus – not just monthly or weekly, but on a daily basis. Here are five simple questions you can ask yourself to keep you on track. I call them the ‘focused five’:
- What do I need to stop doing? (Stop)
- What do I need to do less of? (Minimise)
- What do I need to keep doing? (Maintain)
- What do I need to do more of? (More)
- What do I need to start doing? (Start)
- Replace your ‘to do’ list
Instead, call it your ‘success list’; see how changing the words from ‘to do list’ to ‘success list’ refocuses the mind on what’s important rather than just what must be done. Making this simple change you’ll find you’re always working on your highest priority items. Our ability to truly focus on the things that really matter can be the difference between hitting our goals and being massively off track.
And, just remember…
And, finally, I want to share with you a quote from James Patterson which is this. “Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls…are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”