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With our lives getting more hectic, to-do lists getting longer and the constant pressure to be “on” 24/7, I think we are all looking for ways to get more out of life with a little less work.  As the old adage says “work smarter, not harder” here are 10 things you can implement immediately to reduce stress and increase productivity.   Create a Morning Routine             This one is in all the self-help books, but I think for a good reason.  Even though it has changed, I’ve had a morning routine for years now.  The great thing about a morning routine is, it can be so personalized.  They can range from very short and simple to long and elaborate.  It all depends on your beliefs, your needs and time in the mornings.  The idea is to get grounded, centered and calm before the chaos of the day begins.  Some examples of a morning routine would be; meditation, prayer, gratitude journal, inspirational/religious readings, a few pages from a favorite book, motivational podcasts, working out…any combination of the above examples will be a great start to setting the tone for the day.  A morning routine means “You run the day, and you don’t let the day run you”   Set Your Week up for Success             Pick a day (I do Sundays) and take an hour to review your goals, what your week looks like and formulate a plan or a rough draft of the different tasks that need to be done every day (don’t forget appointments). I try and have a big picture in my mind of the coming week…what should I accomplish this week? Who do I have to talk to? Who do I have to see? Workouts? I find I forget less stuff when I have it all written down.   Daily Tasks             After you have your week set up for success part of my morning routine is to review what I have going on that day.  I mentally take note of my appointments, where I have to be and when and I also pick the biggest and/or most urgent tasks that should get done that day.  For example: today I had an appointment at 9:00am, a meeting at 1:00pm and one at 4:00pm.  I know I need to write two blogs to catch up for the month, call the bank, return patient phone calls, put a FB video up for my employees and respond to a few emails.  If I get through all this today than I won’t have forgotten anything and I won’t be behind for the week.   Focus Especially with everything at our fingertips with phones, tables, computers, beeps, messages, phone calls it’s easy to get super distracted.  Even writing this blog I found myself on FB, in my email and responding to text messages.  Or I could just focus for 45 mins on this blog, knock it out and then move on to my next task.   Bite Size Pieces How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.  Let’s say you have an enormous, overwhelming task to do this week.  Think about how to break it up into chunks.  What two or three little things can you do today to help that project without getting in over your head but still make forward progress?   Mojo Hours What time of day do you do your best work? We all have a 2-3 hour window where the creativity flows, our focus is on point and when utilized properly this window can get a lot of work done.    Eat the Frog One of the fathers of personal development/motivation speaking was Zig Ziglar.  I love listening to Zig.  He has this phrase he calls “eat the frog.” Eat the frog means, if there is something you absolutely dread doing that day, do it first. Eat the frog and get it over with.  That way it’s done, you clear out the mental energy and space because you aren’t dwelling on it.  Remember, that frog won’t get any prettier as the day goes on.   Write it Down With the advent of technology this can be in the literal or figurative sense of the word.  Just decide what really works for you.  I’m like Moses coming down off the mountain with my stone tablet.  I love writing my schedule down, my to-do lists and anything else I need to do on real paper.  I know they have plenty of apps, online resources or even using Google calendar to keep track of what’s going on. If you can, find a resource that also allows you to track how much time you spend doing your tasks.  You may be surprised by how much time you are spending on certain tasks compared to others. Try a free time tracking software like Toggl .   Delegate You don’t have to be a business owner or the boss to have the ability to delegate.  Your spouse/significant other, kids, maybe family or friends might able to help you. Delegation only really works when you have a handle on the big picture of what needs to get done, the breakdown of how to make that possible and then a follow-up system.  For example: I owned my first house in the Midwest.  The great state of Ohio entails both grasses to cut and snow to shovel.  As a young woman, I did not think that through before I purchased a house. I figured out how to get those two horrible tasks done without me physically having to do them. I worked an extra couple of hours to pay a professional to do them I bartered with my neighbor I should have found a man friend to do them for me (let’s face it, there is a cost in that one too).   Clean House Again, this can be literal or figurative…clean out your work space.  Declutter your office, your desk or any place that you look and go “OMG” or have a sense of dread over when you think about.  That dread will diminish your productivity.  Clutter can be physical, mental or emotional. Consider things that take up space, take away from your joy or move you farther from how you want your life to look and feel.  The more you “tidy up” all the unwanted things in your life, the more energy and focus you will have for things you do want.
Facebook can either be an amazing ally in the advertisement of your Chiropractic Practice or it can be allusive, frustrating and a tangle of algorithms.  Previously, FB was a simple and relatively effective means of getting the good word out about your business but now with over 2 billion consumers using the platform, ads have to be flashy, concise & compelling.  It’s stiff competition out there but using some of these simple techniques will help bump your FB ad reach and make your life simpler and more profitable.   Target Audience aka Your Perfect Patient Before we get into the nitty gritty, close your eyes for a second and imagine your perfect patient.  How old are they? What kind of education (if any) would they have? What would they live in relation to your office? What are some activities/hobbies do they engage in? How much money would they make? Where do they work? What would be some of the reasons they are coming to visit you? MVA’s, worker’s compensation, PI cases, wellness, specific injuries, etc? The more details the better.  Once you have the specifics let’s put that information to work. Geographical Location : how many miles (or kilometers) do you want your ad to spread out or reach around your office? This also depends on where you live. A big city like London or New York City where people are stacked on top of one another will have a smaller radius than someone who lives in the country.  Think about how far people are willing to drive, walk or take the public transportation to get to you. Age/Gender: What is the age range of your perfect patient? Hypothetically let’s say, you specialize in pediatrics. You aren’t going to specifically target children (hello it’s the internet so don’t be creepy) but you will want to target their parents.  My guess is specifically mothers.  Would a 25-45 year old, female age range makes sense vs women over 55 or 60 who probably don’t have small children anymore? Detailed Targeting : the more you can focus and hone in on why your perfect patient will want your chiropractic services the better. This is where specificity is important like “neck pain,” “low back pain,”, “headaches,” etc.  Facebook will allow you to scroll through a zillion different buzz words for you to pick from. Placement : the fancier the ad with complicated copy or long videos, etc will require “placement” for desktop computers over having your ads appear on a mobile device. Think about this…if we go back to the pediatric example of targeting mothers, will busy mom’s with little kids have more time to scroll through their FB newsfeed on a desktop or when they are hiding out in the bathroom for 5 minutes of alone time?   The Ad Is this going to be a still picture with a bunch of copy or a video? What do you seem to post a lot of? If you have been trying a still picture with a lot of copy try a short video and see if it gets more hits. One thing to keep in mind (especially if you are not a millennial) is that the millennial's and even the next generation after them love videos. Have you heard of YouTube? Especially for young people who are busy, they can listen to your quick, snappy video while driving, at their desk at work or while they get dressed in the morning.  Reading requires attention and focus and a video has a lot more flexibility in consumption. Different ideas for the videos could be you talking about something at your office, why your the best chiropractic ever, a patient testimonial or even a “before/after” given by a patient with all the amazing benefits they have received because of your magic hands. Videos should be engaging, short, sweet and to the point. Anything longer than 30-45s is going to be too long if your targeting millennial's. Also think about…why should this potential new patient click on your ad or click the flow through to your website? Why should they opt in to your newsletter? What problem of their’s are you going to solve if they come to you for chiropractic care? Ad Nurture Let’s say you nailed it with #1 and #2 but then you drop the ball on this last step.  #1 and #2 might has well not even have happened.  There is so much content on the internet & all the social media sights it’s important to try and stay as human and as connected as possible to not lose potential new patients.  Let’s go back to your awesome video with ad copy that is getting traction on it with likes and comments.  It’s now going to be important to go and respond to all those comments.           “Hey Susie thanks so much liking my video and saying how much you love chiropractic. That is awesome, how long have you been seeing a chiropractor? Are you currently going to one now?” Acknowledging their question or comment and then following up with one of your questions is a great way to continue the conversation.  Part of what FB does is, when the FB gods see that your ad has a bunch of likes and comments it automatically gets more attention.  Even without putting more money on the ad, FB will begin to show your ad to more people.  Then the more people see it, hopeful the more they comment/like and the more you respond which will continue to enhance the performance of this particular ad.  If the ad is doing really well, keep putting money on it until it runs out of steam. Final thought…a great way (and cheap way) is to ask your current patients, friends and family to “like” your FB business page.  If you have a bigger audience, then anything you post on your page will immediately have more viewers.  Encourage your patients, to comment & share on your posts and check-in on FB when they arrive at your office too.  
As with 95% of the blogs I write, the inspiration for them come from my own experiences and mishaps inside my own businesses.  Once again, life has given me another topic to discuss.   Wikipedia says, “ Onboarding , also known as organizational socialization, refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors in order to become effective organizational members and insiders. It is the process of integrating a new employee into the organization and its culture”.   What does that mean exactly? It means making sure you have all your T’s crossed and I’s dotted when it comes to training manuals, policies and procedures and your company values.  The stronger your onboarding process the better the start your newest hire will have.  As experience has shown, it has become an absolutely necessary process so that you, as the employer, do not pull your hair out and for the new employee that they do not get frustrated and walk down to the unemployment line.   Learn from me and check out the top three reasons you should have an onboarding process.   The Lay of the Land             With any new relationship, communication is monumental in keeping both parties relatively satisfied and happy.  When your new hire walks through the door on day one, they should know exactly what to expect. This is the beginning of the onboarding process. Some examples would be: giving them a tour of the office ( hey there’s the bathroom ), have their work station set up and ready for use and any training manuals.  This is where I went wrong. I had all the above except the training manuals & company protocols were not explained well enough.  Don’t forget this step because even though it was written down, do not assume it will be read.  I have trained numerous employees previously why did this step only get half my attention and effort? I was in a hurry to get them fully trained.  We had a major upset with employee turnover and the employees remaining had not been properly trained by the previous manager.  It was up to me to maximize training hours so people could work.  In my haste, it led to a lot of dissatisfaction for both the new hire, for myself and for the rest of the team.   Trust             The other necessary requirement in a new relationship is trust.  Having the ability with either written or digital documents to lay out everything from pay structure, company goals, policies & procedures, etc leaves no one in the dark and sets expectations.  I do believe especially for new hires who don’t know you or your company, it’s a great stepping stone to building a solid foundation.  As I have learned, it would have been more beneficial to me (even in a crisis situation) to have slowed down and really gone through all the materials besides just handing out the manual.  Even if training would have taken an extra month because of this step, that is still faster than starting the hiring process all over again.   A Players             Way back when, when I was the one applying for jobs I always appreciated a company who was organized and appeared to be competent.  I think that in and of itself will help communication, trust and attracting the kinds of people you want working for you. Organized, motivated, hardworking, dedicated, etc are going to appreciate the ease of transition in working for your company when the beginning stages are laid out.   Google says the top three companies for onboarding processes are Netflix, zappos.com and Mastercard…well I guess if it’s good enough for those companies it’s good enough for me.   If you are looking for some advice on how to recruit the right candidates for your practice visit our blog . Once you are ready to list your job, simply click “ Sign up or Sign in ” on the menu bar and start listing.
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