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This week we’re talking about how to know if you’re prioritizing the right things. So this week in the group we’re talking about business traps; common pitfalls that you may find yourself in as a massage practice owner, or even for those of you who are just starting to think about opening your own practice.

We’ve talked about perfectionism and shiny object syndrome so far. And now, it’s time to talk priorities. Because the inability to prioritize the right things in your business is a massive trap that can quickly derail any business owner. It can be easy to get caught up in the daily grind of running a business, sometimes letting our goals fall to the wayside, or letting our focus drift all over the place because we’re constantly juggling and trying to wear 37 different hats at a time. Massage therapist, bookkeeper, janitor, receptionist, manager…the list goes on. We just never have time, right? But is that really true? Is it that you don’t have time or you’re not using it wisely? Is it that you don’t have time, or that you’re not prioritizing the right things?

So here’s a few steps to figure out if your priorities are on the right track. You’re going to need a piece of paper, or a few for this; or if you’re the digital type, use your phone, by all means. So grab a little notebook or your phone and keep it with you at all times for the next week.

#1: Write down what you do every day over the next week

I mean every single thing. From the time you hit ‘work mode’ to the time you check out for the night, write it all down. Drive to work. Listen to an audiobook. Grab a coffee. Get things turned on and ready for the day. Check your emails. See a client. Check out the client and flip your room. Scroll through Facebook or Instagram. See another client. Check your schedule. Post your openings on social media. Write a blog post. Go to lunch. You get the idea. I know that seems tedious, but give this one week. Please. Every day for one week, write every single thing down that you do throughout each day.

#2: Right next to each of those tasks or activities, write your start and end time

You need to see, not just what you’re doing, but how much time you’re spending doing it. This is critical. I can look back through a to-do list and think, ‘wow, I got a lot accomplished’ but if I look at how much time I spent doing those things, sometimes it’s a wakeup call to how much more efficient I could be with my time.

#3: At the end of the week, look back at the tasks you did every day and ask yourself these questions…

What kind of return do you see on each of these activities? This could be monetary, or it could be a number of clients, or it may even be a very general concept; like building brand awareness or something like that. What did you ignore? In those long lists of tasks you got done, what were some things that you had to put on the backburner, schedule for later because you couldn’t fit them in, or just ignore them completely even though you know they have to get done soon or you want to get them done soon? What return could you realistically see on the things that got ignored? Again, this could be monetary, a client number, or something more general; but think about what you could project would be the outcome IF you hadn’t ignored those things. Now…Were you putting things in your own way? Were you spending far too much time on social media or long lunches? Or were you busy reading yet another business book when you haven’t implemented the first thing from the last 15 books you’ve read, or swearing off writing all your website copy because you just have to get it all done in one sitting or it’s useless and you haven’t had a full day to work on it yet? These are what Jon Acuff refers to as hiding places and noble obstacles. You have a great plan, like gathering all this knowledge, or completing a big project, but you’ve made it such a large thing, you refuse to move forward on even the smallest component of it.

#4: List out the 5 things that took up the most time that week

That’s what your priorities are right now. Are you happy with that? Are those tasks what not only keeps your business going, but pushes it forward to whatever your next goal is? If so, fantastic! If not, let’s move on to…

#5: Decide what you can change

Is it to limit yourself to 15 minutes a day on social media? Is it to outsource your content creation? By the way, you can sign up for a membership with us over at MyMassageWorld.com and we can take care of a lot of that content creation for you. Is it to outsource your bookkeeping, cleaning services, or phone services? Or maybe switch to online booking to cut down on how much time you spend on the phone? Is it to devote 20 minutes a day to writing that website copy? Because eventually you WILL get it all done, probably much sooner than you can set aside a full day to work on every single bit of it at once. Is it to read one book, take notes, and implement as much as possible before you allow yourself to pick up another one? You are the boss! Act like it. Put yourself in charge damn it. You can change your schedule. You can change what you’re spending your time on to make the most important aspects of your business and your growth the real priorities.

So what have you been prioritizing? What changes are you going to make? Let me know in the comments. I would love to know if this helps you shift your priorities.

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