Time Management Tools for the Therapist
Time management is one of the most crucial talents for any therapist, but especially important for all school-based therapists. Between managing your appointments, needing to respond to emails, and filing paperwork, time can suddenly feel elusive. To combat the need for more time, here are some tricks and tools that you can utilize to help manage what time you have.
Create Tangible Tasks
The first trick is to create a to-do list for your day. Create tangible tasks. Although we are in a very technological age, take the time to write it down on a piece of paper. Don’t worry; this is your rough draft. By physically writing the initial list, you are solidifying in your mind what all you need and want to accomplish. If it is too long, don’t stress because we are going to whittle it down.
The next step is what can you delegate? By delegating some of the tedious tasks to someone else with more time, you can focus more on pressing matters. After delegation, separate your list into priority with high priority being at the top of your list. Now you can start organizing your calendar to squeeze in those tasks in between your sessions and meetings.
One key note: break things up to something easy to do. If you can find 30 minutes to check email, great! Otherwise, answer emails in 10-minute increments of if you have an appointment with a student, parent, or teacher who is running behind schedule.
The latest in time management is the DaPulse application. You can create and duplicate tasks for each week. This is especially helpful if you bring in your team to delegate and manage tasks amongst everyone. An excellent feature is setting the priority for those tasks and creating a timeline to complete them. You can add notes regarding progress being made on those tasks that each person with access can see. The application is free to try for a month and can be used on your laptop and your Apple or Android smartphone.
Ditch the Timesheet
If you are using an Excel or Word Doc timesheet to track your time and tasks, it’s time to reconsider that tool. Toggl is an app that will track how much time you spend on your tasks for the day. Ideally, you will be able to spot your trouble areas more effectively and delegate or change how you do those tasks to complete your workload. There are three levels of subscription available, all depending on how you want to use the tool and how many people will be using it with you. Fortunately, there is a 30-day free trial to see if it helps you.
Time management doesn’t have to be the horrible beast many of us make it out to be. With smart planning and a team effort, you will be able to achieve your goals as a therapist!