5 Ways To Make Your Tomorrows More Productive, Today

Do you walk into work feeling swamped before you even sit down at your desk? Do you not know where to start? Work gets busy and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s tempting to just end the day at 6PM and think about everything else tomorrow. But with these five tips, you can increase your productivity and reduce your stress. By taking just a little time out of the end of your work day, you can set yourself up for success.

1. Review Your Calendar

Checking your calendar a few hours before you intend to head out mitigates the possibility of forgetting about a commitment that requires prep work. If your prep is a large commitment (use your judgment on this one), start on it today. Otherwise, make a note to prep for your meetings first thing in the morning.

2. Review Your To-Do List

With a few hours left in the work day, triage your to-dos. What can you realistically finish today? Then prioritize. What NEEDS to be done tomorrow, this week, etc. Are their non-essential items that you can be delegated or removed completely?

3. Update Tomorrow’s To-Do List.

At the end of the day, when you’ve finished everything you need to, take two minutes to review tomorrow’s to-do list. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do tasks need to be completed in a certain order?
  • What items do you absolutely need to finish tomorrow? (Rank these high priority.)
  • What items can you tackle later in the week? (Rank these low priority.)
  • Do certain items need to be completed by a certain time of day, and have you made note of this (instead of relying on your memory)?

4. Make as Many Decisions About Tomorrow as Possible

Choose what you’ll wear and eat, along with any anything else you need to decide tomorrow the night before. This will free up your brain and help preserve your willpower for the more consequential decisions tomorrow. With more brain capacity and better decision making, you’ll see your productivity and energy rise.

5. Sleep 8 Hours

You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true. There’s no better productivity booster than sleep. When you get enough sleep, you can better focus on your plan for the day because you’ll have more self-control. Not only will you get more of the right things done, you’ll also notice your interactions with other people to be easier going. This is hard for those of you who do a lot. My advice is to see adequate sleep as one of your most important tasks to accomplish every day. Make it a priority.

How to Set Better Content Goals and Achieve Them

When I’m writing blogs every week, I learn new things all the time. While looking for an idea to write about this week, I stumbled upon a great article by Copyblogger about wide versus deep content. I’ve read a lot about creating content, but this article made me think about content in a whole new way. When you’re writing content, there should be many goals attached to it. Usually, you want to inform the reader about the topic you’re writing on, but what else are you trying to achieve? Gain your readers’ trust? Attract new readers? There are many things you can achieve when you create content. So how can wide or deep content help, and when should you use them? The following is a bit of Copyblogger’s article discussing these questions.

“Creating effective content is hard. I don’t want to deter you from crafting content for your business, but you need to set goals for everything you create.
Whether you produce content that is timely or evergreen, audio or text, knowing your goals will ensure you maximize the return on your time and resources invested in content marketing.
Each piece of content needs to be placed into one of two categories: wide or deep.
And each category has one specific goal:
• Wide content attracts new audience members.
• Deep content strengthens relationships with your existing audience members.
An effective content marketing strategy uses both wide and deep content, but an individual piece of content shouldn’t try to meet both goals.
Let’s explore each type of content goal.

Going Wide with your Content

When you create a piece of wide content, you attempt to reach the most readers, listeners, and customers as possible. In short, going wide is how to use content to find customers.
Wide content is not about immediate results. Instead, it positions your net to continually find new people who fill the top of your funnel.
You will notice a pattern with wide content: it’s perfect for repurposing. With a little planning and forethought, you will be able to repurpose wide content into different formats to reach a broader audience.

SEO Helps you Go Wide

The foundation of all wide content is built upon SEO, and Google is a top source of new traffic and visitors to websites.
Because of this, we need to consistently create useful and relevant content for our website visitors. It’s an excellent first step for all wide content pieces.
Our net spreads even further when people link to and share remarkable wide content.

Wide Content and Podcasting

With the recent rise in popularity of podcasting, content creators should utilize the reach of audio. Think of iTunes the same way you think of Google: it’s a massive search engine that helps your audience find you.
Starting a podcast does not have to be a daunting task. You just need the right platform.
In fact, podcasting is an excellent way to repurpose popular content from your website. If an article has been popular as a written piece, with minor alterations to the text, you may be sitting on a great podcast episode or two.
Cast your proven content far and wide, and craft audio content as you would any other content you publish on your website:
• Write engaging headlines for titles.
• Provide keyword-rich show notes.
• Keep a consistent publishing schedule.

Going Deep with your Content

When creating wide content, your goal is to reach as many potential readers, listeners, and customers as possible — but you shouldn’t try to reach everyone.
Always keep your focus on your perfect customer.
Going deep with your content nourishes and strengthens your relationships with those people you attracted with your wide content.
Deep content moves people from cold audience members to warm audience members, and then to customers. It’s like the second date and beyond with your audience.

How to Use Email to Go Deep

For years, people have been touting the death of email. Yet, to this day, email is the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal as content marketers.
There is no better way to deepen our relationships with our audience members than through access to their inboxes.
Email content, when done right, is powerful value exchange. You’re able to provide multiple points of value to your audience in exchange for their attention.
You could:
• Write a newsletter.
• Curate content your audience will love.
• Craft a useful email autoresponder series.
All deep content marketing strategies need to include email marketing.

Is your email marketing lacking? Here’s the easiest way to optimize your email marketing campaigns.

Can Social Media be Deep?

Social media is often viewed as a wide content vehicle, but when you think about it this way, you overlook its deepest value.
For example, think about why you follow someone on Twitter. Are you there to see an endless stream of promotion, or are you looking for a behind-the-scenes view?
Of course, social media can and should be used to promote your content, but without interesting personal insights mixed into it, your social media presence will flounder rather than flourish.

Clarify your Content Goals by Going Wide or Deep

As with everything in your business, crafting content without specific goals will diminish both the short-term and long-term benefits of the work you are putting in today.
As a bonus, there is often an overlap between content created to go wide and content created to go deep.
For example, your goal may be to go deep, but the same content may also help you find new audience members. Remember that this is a side benefit and shouldn’t be confused with your original goal.
Always focus on one type of goal for each piece of content you create.
Your goal is to either find new audience members or form deeper connections with existing audience members.”

Creating a Patient Recall Program

Patient recall programs are activities that bring the patient back into your office on a routine basis. The program should be directed at both active and inactive patients.

The Method

The only effective method for activating inactive patients is to have a well-trained person from the practice initiate telephone calls. Even for someone who is effective at this task, it’s probably their least favorite thing to do. Knowing that up front means it is important to set goals and monitor their activity, both in terms of time allocated and the successes they are having. Attaching incentives for the person charged with this activity can only improve performance.

It is important to differentiate between patients who should be followed for medical reasons and patients who are being recalled to maintain their active status within the practice. A determination needs to be made at the end of the initial office visit which category the patient will fall into. For existing patients where the determination was not made at the initial visit the staff needs to be given the criteria and the chart should be reviewed prior to making the call. Again, you will be calling three types of patients. They are:

  • Patients who purchased hearing aids from the practice but are no longer active.
  • Patients who were tested and did not purchase.
  • Patients were seen for medical reasons and were not candidates for hearing aids, but who should be monitored.

Each month your files should be reviewed and patients who need to be recalled should be identified. You can contact them with a reminder card and then follow-up with a telephone call taking the same approach above. Your staff should have a much higher success rate with the active versus inactive patients. There may still need to be some prompting on their part but the majority should make appointments.

Why is a patient recall program a good idea?

  • By updating your files, you eliminate mailing correspondence to patients who are inactive.
  • You will increase the opportunity to provide existing patients additional products and services.
  • The value of your practice will increase based on the active number of files you have, should you decide to sell it.
  • You have an opportunity to reclaim patients that may have switched to a competitor.
  • You can eliminate an unhappy patient making negative comments about your practice.

Not sure how to get the ball rolling? Call us. We can help you to identify and to train the right person in your practice. A effective patient recall program is an ideal way to lessen your reliance on advertising to meet your monthly goals.

It’s That Time of Year

Out with the old in with the new.  Time for a fresh start, make a New Year’s Resolution to organize the office, focus on staff training, really focus on marketing and so on.

We’ve been helping people to run their practices for a long time.  Here are 5 things you’ll want to make sure add to your to-do list, just in case you have already stressed yourself out enough.

1.  Revisit your goals.  Goals are meant to be set, to be revisited and to be changed.  What was a priority last mean may no longer be on the table.  Things change over time and your goals should change too.

2.  If you’re changing your goals, change the parameters to meet those goals.  Need more income, less income, more time for you, have more time for the business?  Then change the parameters as your goals evolve.

3.  Track what’s going on in your business.  Yes, we know it’s boring, yes we know it takes time but we both know it’s the only way to know what’s going in your business.  It’s the quickest way to identify a little problem and nip it in the bud before it becomes a disaster.

4.  Speaking of disasters, make sure you have contingency plans in place in case of the inevitable.  Key personnel leave, natural disasters strike, computer hackers infiltrate your database and remove every piece of patient information you’ve ever collected.

5.  Relax – you’re only human and you’re doing the best that you can.  You’ve been in business for a while now and pretty much everything usually works out okay.  And if it doesn’t, well that’s why you have us.

Teaching Your Front Desk Employee to Make You Money

What is the job of your front desk employee?   If you ask them, my guess is that nothing on their list of responsibilities would include making you money.  It would probably look like this:

  • Answer the phone
  • Mail batteries
  • Take messages
  • Enter data into the computer
  • Recall patients

If this is the case (and I’m sure that it is), it’s time for an employee/employer chat.   The majority of practice owners want to make money.  The majority of front desk employees want to get paid to do their job.

Make it clear to everyone you employ that your number one goal and therefore their number one goal (while employed by you) is to make sure that your practice is as profitable as is humanly possible.   The concept may seem simplistic, but the goal should be to change the mindset of your employee’s so the next time you ask them for a list of their responsibilities it’ll should look like this:

  • Answer the phone and make an appointment or solve a problem
  • Mail batteries – as quickly as possible to increase patient satisfaction
  • Take messages and make sure they get to the correct person and make sure all calls are returned.
  • Enter data into the computer making sure that the information is complete, accurate and up to date.
  • Recall patients with a plan to exceed the required monthly goal.

In a perfect world you wouldn’t need to explain the primary goal of your business.  We don’t live in a perfect world, so take the time to make it clear to your staff what’s important to you.

 

 

 

 

What Motivates You?

You get up and go to work everyday, why?  Unless you’re the beneficiary of a hefty trust fund, paying the bills, (car, life, health insurance, the mortgage, food bill, college tuition) and so own tend to be great motivators.  But what’s your dream.  What is the one thing causes you to pause and say, some day.  Some day I will ____________.

Why do we need the dream, because some days paying the mortgage just isn’t enough.  It’s the end of a long day at the end of a very long week.  You’ve had 6 sales and 2 returns, no reason to panic but somewhat demoralizing.  So far today one secretary called out sick, the copier broke, and the repair that is to be delivered in 30 minutes is nowhere to be found.

What is the solution?  Take 5 minutes.  Go into your office and lock the door.  Take out a piece of paper and write down the following.

5 Things I Want That Aren’t Rational

Make sure the lists include the following.

  1. A range of costs (free is allowed).
  2. Encompass several time periods (tomorrow, in six months, in five years)
  3. Permanent to fleeting (think exotic vacation versus vacation home)

Make this about what you want, not what you think you should want.  You are making those lists for those days, sometimes weeks and every so often those months that we all have.  The ones that threaten to force you to bring out the for sale sign, pack it in, move to the Cayman Islands and try your hand at selling seashells by the side of the road.  Yes that’s on my list and if you’re curious it’s currently at number 3 with a bullet.