How to Take Time Off
Being in private practice the idea of taking time off and not seeing clients can be scary, since that would be time there is not revenue coming in. This was and can still be a stress for me when I have not taken the time to plan out my budget.
How do you take time off in your practice? How do you plan for those weeks that are going to be slow? What can you do to make sure you don’t fall into the red?
In your calendar right now I want you to block out the last two weeks of the year, the week of 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and now choose one other time that is based on your life schedule. The reason for these blocks is those are typically the slow times of the year in private practice. Yes, you might have a few clients that are off from work or school that want to come in, and you need to also have some vacation time. Once you have those times blocked off, try to see what feels good for you to actually not be in your office. Can you tolerate closing the office the entire week of Thanksgiving, or would you rather start with taking off Wednesday to Friday?
Next, I want to think about all that you have to typically do during the week to make sure your practice still functions?
- Blog post, social media post
- Rent check in the mail by what date
- chatting complete
- What emails must be answered
- Confirmation emails and appointment reminders set
What can be automated, and what needs to be done before you office closes for holiday? Put all these to do items in your calendar as the deadline so things are checked off and you can leave all the office stress at the office as you take your time off.
Budget For it
Finances can be the main reason entrepreneurs don’t stop working or take time off,which leave people feeling burnt out and not wanting to get anything done. This time I want you to budget for and plan ahead for time off.
You know how much each client bring into your practice and you know how much you typically bring in a week and even a day. If you are not sure check out What’s Stopping You- we go over how to figure this out quick! Let’s say you typically see 10 clients a week, which covers your business expenses and provides you with a nice revenue. Since you will be taking a week off you will now have a loss of 10 clients, which means we need to add 10 clients to the 2 weeks prior. Maybe the week before you see 13 clients and 2 weeks prior you 15 clients, and the week you get back you see 12 clients.
Enjoy and Rest
The week of no clients and your office is closed- and yet you still feel that pull to just check your work email or “see” what’s going on. STOP! NO!!! You need to take this time off too, to rejuvenate, rest and get some space from your practice. I really want you to turn off your phone, put your computer away and take care of you for a few days. This is one of the hardest things for me because I get so worried that my inbox will explode with emails and I don’t want to come back to an inbox of 200+ emails. How I was able to get past that, is on my first day back- I don’t see clients I use that day as an office day!
The out of office auto-responder may say I am back on Jan.3 but actually, I am back in my office on Jan. 2nd checking emails and getting organized.
Give yourself the gift of time off and a vacation to take you practice to the next level!
Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties.
She is the owner and founder of I Live Well Nutrition her Dietitian practice which started in 2007 and serves clients in the Austin, Texas area in two locations. Fearless Practitioners, the division of her business that offers training to dietitians and wellness professionals.