Productivity

How To Work 10 Hours Less Every Week

 January 18, 2023

By  Uriah Guilford, MFT

minute read

Growing your practice takes time. A LOT of time! You might wonder if it's really possible to work less every week?

Join me as I share with you some simple ways you can decrease your work hours while still growing your practice.

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

The 10 ways to work 10 hours less every week. 

  1. Stop doing clinical work
  2. Stop providing only 1:1 services
  3. Stop doing admin work
  4. Stop doing marketing work
  5. Stop doing repetitive work
  6. Stop doing unnecessary work
  7. Stop doing leadership work
  8. Stop doing chore work
  9. Stop working entirely
  10. Add your creative idea here 😁

Resources:

⬇️ Click for full episode transcript ⬇️

Hello there. Thank you so much for listening to the Productive Therapist podcast!

I am very happy to be talking to you today and sharing something that I think will be interesting, thought provoking, and super useful for you. So one of the biggest projects I'm working on right now, and this year in general, is writing a book and creating a coaching program that goes along with that that book. So the book is going to be called The Productive Practice.


And the subtitle will most likely be something like how to Grow Your Group Practice While Working 10 Hours Less every week. And I'm going to be sharing so much more with you about all things related to this book and this coaching program. It's going to be amazing. But what I wanted to talk to you about today is ten ways to work 10 hours less every week. And this is information that's going into the book.


And I'm obviously going to flesh it out in much, much more detail. So this will be a short episode, but I wanted to kind of give you the list and give you a couple of ideas and hopefully this will spark some further ideas for you about how you can continue to grow your practice and also work less. Believe it or not, the best way to grow your business is to delegate, build a team actually, that's probably not a surprise to you and get yourself to the position where you are doing more leadership and visionary work instead of a lot of other types of work. So I'm going to give you the list here of ten ways to work 10 hours less every week. And then I'll say a few things about each one just to kind of, like I said, spark some ideas for you.


Okay, here's the list. Number one, stop doing clinical work. Number two, stop providing only one to one services. Number three, stop doing admin work. Number four, stop doing marketing work.


Number five, stop doing repetitive work. Number six, stop doing unnecessary work. Number seven, stop doing leadership work. Eight, stop doing chore work. Number nine, stop working entirely.


Can you imagine that? And then ten, I don't have a number ten yet, so I put in add your creative idea here. So as you can kind of tell from the list of things there, a lot of this is focused on building a team and delegating. And then a few of these are more geared towards elimination or stopping doing certain things altogether instead of delegating. Now, only you know what, you are spending your time on a daily and a weekly basis.


So some of these will really click for you and you will realize, my goodness, I am just spending so much of my time on this one area and it's not really working for me. So as you're listening to me talk, think about that. And then my encouragement to you would be to find one or two of these things and really take some action on it and figure out who could do this work instead of you. So the first one is to stop doing clinical work. And the most obvious suggestion here is to hire more therapists.


And then you can also, as you hire more therapists and get them full, see less and less clients yourself. And then if you want to, some of us do, you can stop seeing clients altogether and just manage the group practice. So that's number one, stop doing clinical work. And there's a lot more I could say about that. And it is challenging to decrease your case load and actually get down to zero if that's a goal of yours.


But it's totally possible. Number two, stop providing only one to one services. So whether this is for you, it also applies to your therapist in your practice as well. But you could start doing some groups, whatever that might look like. You could replace three or four sessions with one or two groups pretty easily.


And there's a number of things you can do to move from one to one to one to many. You might want to create a membership site of some sort. You might want to offer paid webinars, just basically anything that takes you out of being in the room or in the zoom with just one person. So that's number two, stop providing only one to one services. Number three, stop doing admin work.


This is obviously why productive therapist exists for the most part, to take those things off of your plate. We can provide you with a virtual intake coordinator, an assistant who can handle general admin tasks, and various different things for you. So this could include, like I just mentioned, an intake coordinator. You could also consider hiring a biller or a credentialer if that's something that you're doing yourself. You can also hire a bookkeeper.


I don't know how many therapists out there are doing the books for their practice, but I'm sure there are some. And then at a certain level of growth, it actually does make a lot of sense to hire an executive assistant just to support you. That might be more appropriate for a larger practice. But whatever you can do to stop doing admin work and delegate that to a team, whether it's freelancers or people inside of your practice, that's going to give you a lot of return on investment. So that's number three.


Number four is stop doing marketing work. You may or may not be a person who loves doing marketing work. So if you are not a person who loves doing marketing work, this is 100% something you should do and continue to do, even if you do really like marketing work, it might be something worth delegating. So this might involve hiring a paid advertising company for Facebook and Instagram ads or Google AdWords. It might involve hiring a social media manager to take that off of your plate or to start it from scratch.


Could also involve hiring an SEO company or a freelancer who does search engine optimization work. One of the things I'm working on right now is outsourcing all the marketing for productive, not for productive therapist, but for intune family counseling rather to productive therapist. So I'm going to have one of the team members at Productive Therapist write a monthly blog post and then turn that into social media posts and then also turn that into an email campaign to send out to our list. I'm really looking forward to that and I'm hoping that goes well. So that's number four, stop doing the marketing work.


Number five, stop doing repetitive work. So anything that you're doing on a regular basis that you could automate in any sort of way or even eliminate, right, so if it's something that you're doing on a regular basis but it's not really helping you get closer to reaching your goals, just take it off. Actually that kind of bleeds into number six. But let's go with the automation, right? So leverage the tech tools that you have to automate any processes that could be done quicker.


This is a tiny one, but I often talk about using Text Expander, which is a text expansion tool that allows me to type less and just do things quicker, especially email and things like typing my email address or the domains for my various websites, links to certain things that I share oftentimes. So check out textexpander.com for that. And then other things that I've talked about a lot in the past, like using the automation features of your electronic health record system, whether that's automatic credit card charging or automated invoicing sending statements, super bills, et cetera, any of those things that you can use technology to automate, you're going to save time. Number six kind of related to that, but stop doing unnecessary work. So take a look at your task list, your current projects, take a look at your calendar and anything that you've committed to on a repeated basis and just reconsider and reevaluate.


Are these things that I need to do? Are these things that I should do? Are these things that I want to do? And you truly are in control of your calendar. Almost anybody listening to this podcast right now.


You are your own boss and you get to decide what you do with your time and your energy. So make sure that you're not doing unnecessary work. Number seven is stop doing leadership work. So this is a more advanced type of thing. Once you've had your practice for a while and you can start developing other people to step into leadership roles that will be really, really beneficial for you.


So this could be hiring a clinical supervisor, could be hiring a practice manager, it could be hiring a site supervisor or an executive director. Those are just a couple of ideas I'll touch on the site supervisor one. I don't know if everybody has one of these, but for a number of years I've had somebody whose role was site supervisor in addition to being a clinician. And it's not a huge role. Mostly they are helping me onboard new clinicians.


They're also in charge of making sure the physical location, our physical offices, are looking good and kind of kept up. Sometimes they water plants, they order ink cartridges, they stock the kitchen with snacks, those kind of things. Now, those are things that, of course a practice manager or an office manager could also do. But that's something that I've enjoyed having, and it doesn't cost that much money. I pay my site supervisor.


I think it's like $125 a month to just handle certain things now. That's not per se a leadership role. Maybe I should do a podcast in the future on how I'm working with my new executive director. Actually, that's a good idea. I want to put that down.


I want to make a note of that as that is truly a situation where I promoted somebody into a leadership role to take over core functions that I was previously doing. And I would say at this point, we're about, let's see, what are we, like six months? In a little bit more than six months, it's going quite well. So that's number seven. Stop doing leadership work.


Number eight is stop doing chore work. I made that up. I don't know if that's the way to say this, but basically these are mostly going to be things in your personal life that just take up your time and energy that you could find somebody else to do. And not everybody thinks of getting help with these certain things. It could be a landscaper contractor, housekeeper, math tutor, or maybe it's even like signing up for a meal delivery service.


That's one that I did last year and I'm still currently doing is getting delivered prepared meals from Thistle Co. And it's been fantastic. So it just cuts down on the time that it takes for me to prepare my lunch a couple of times a week. So consider the things that are taking up your time in your life, maybe outside of the office or outside of your practice, and could you get help with that? I know some people even hire someone to do their laundry for them.


Nanny would be a good example of this as well. And if you can afford it, and if it's a good balance of trading, sort of buying back your time with money, then you're not going to regret it, most likely. So that's number eight. Stop doing chore work. Number nine is something I'm sure you've thought about retirement.


Stop working entirely. So at some point, you're probably going to want to stop working entirely or decrease your work hours significantly to a point where you're not doing too much. And maybe you want to grow your group practice to the point where you just are the owner and you're not operating. So you've got a full leadership team in place and you maybe do very little or maybe nothing at all. And then at some point you might want to fully retire where you have literally no work obligations or responsibilities.


And I don't know, for some reason this week I'm just feeling tired of running my two businesses. And the idea of not having any meetings or any goals is actually feeling quite that would be amazing right now. Maybe I just need another vacation. I think I might need to do that. So number nine is stop working entirely.


And number ten, add your creative idea here. What else can you think of as a way to decrease your work hours on a weekly basis? So there you go. Those are the ten ways to work 10 hours less every week. And it's not as hard as you might think to decrease your work hours.


Maybe it's not 10 hours, that's kind of a big number, but maybe it's 2 hours less a week, or 5 hours less a week or seven, something like that. And maybe it's a gradual process, but the more you build a team and the more you delegate effectively, the less you need to do. And if you do that well enough for long enough, you will find yourself in a position where you have free time and you maybe have the option to invest in other things, whether that's hobby or time with family or any number of things. Volunteer work, which would be a great place to be. So I'll repeat it one more time and then sign off here ten ways to work 10 hours less every week.


Number one, stop doing clinical work. Number two, stop providing only one to one services. Number three, stop doing admin work. Number four, stop doing marketing work. Five, stop doing repetitive work.


Six, stop doing unnecessary work. Seven, stop doing leadership work. Number eight, stop doing chore work. Number nine, stop working entirely. And number ten your creative idea.


I hope you enjoyed this short podcast and keep your eyes out for the productive practice book coming most likely in February of 2023, and I can't wait to share that with you. If you're not already on our email list, go ahead and sign up at productivetherapist.com for our newsletter, and that's where you will be able to get notified of all the cool stuff that we're up to. Enjoy your rest rest of your day and I'll talk to you in the next one. Bye.

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Uriah Guilford, MFT


Uriah is a group practice owner and the creator of Productive Therapist. He is a technology nerd, a minimalist travel packer, a rock drummer and business development enthusiast.

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How to grow your group practice while working 10 hours less every week

Brand new book for mental health group practice owners. Build your team, delegate like a boss AND create a life that you love. 

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