I’ve been a traveler for over fifty years. I’ve been blessed to visit virtually every nook and cranny of our country, as well as another 30 countries around the world. But, like most travelers, my experiences have mostly been a fleeting week here or week there. Enough time to enjoy the sites, but not enough time to really immerse myself in the culture. While I’ve been able to get out of most of the New York winter for the past eight years, this year’s trip is a big leap…or is it?
I share this with you because my adventure is simply the result of the execution of a plan. For more than two decades, on my goal list has been the vision to live in another country for an extended period. My ability to live elsewhere, and still deliver on client and team needs, has been an important element of my overall life’s plan and has impacted my business decisions on an annual basis. For almost the entire history of our firm, I’ve worked remotely from time to time. The pandemic sped up the process by providing us with technology…and technology acceptance. This year, the stars have aligned for me to deliver on my goal. The visioning process has delivered for me…and can for you, too.
Are you doing what you want to do? Are you going where you want to go? Are you living your life to the fullest? Or has life gotten ahold of you and taken you with it? Now’s the time to begin your plan for change. As a beginning, let’s look at ways to gain more control over your schedule…and your life.
Ask one of your staff members to count the number of open exam slots that you’ve had over the past year. My guess is that the number will surprise you. Just two unfilled slots a week turns into a week of downtime. That time, spread over a year, is what I call “garbage time.” It’s not concentrated enough to allow you to accomplish anything. But what if you took an additional week off? That would simply force a full schedule. Your empty slots would disappear, and your income would not suffer. Said another way, eliminate the holes in your schedule by crunching the space out of it. It’s really pretty simple.
Another important tool is to book your vacation time a year or more in advance. Block your calendar. You don’t have to know what you’re going to do with your time off…but blocking your calendar is the first step to planning those trips, or projects, of which you dream.
Now, while I’ll be away from my office for almost two months, I will still be working. My business allows for me to work remotely and be productive as I’m doing so. But that’s not the case for optometrists…or is it? For some of our clients, we’ve worked together to get you out of patient care completely. To run your business as a business. So, taking long trips is readily possible. But what if you’re booked solid with patients? Well, technology now exists that allows you to see patients remotely. We’ve one client that spends a week a month in Florida and maintains a reasonable patient care schedule while she does so. Technology, and the acceptance thereof, opens many doors.
Time. As one gets older, it becomes ever more important. I’m entering my 67th year. While I’ve lots of energy, it’s become evident to me that the time I have remaining on this plane is finite. It also drives home the importance of planning. As Lewis Carrol said, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”
If you’re not getting all that you’d like from your practice and profession, give us a call. We’re here to help you reduce stress, increase personal time, improve your professional fulfillment, learn new skills…and build wealth!