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5 Ways to Optimize Your Private Practice Schedule

As a nutrition entrepreneur, the demands from your business (and clients) can pull you in many directions. Beyond seeing clients, you’re also responsible for the day-to-day administrative, marketing and business tasks that are required to grow a private practice.

Being a successful entrepreneur depends on how well you can manage your time, and prioritize your tasks.

The Healthie Calendar was designed with your nutrition private practice in mind. With a host of automatic features, and customizations, your Healthie Calendar is a powerful time-management tool that can be used to help you organize your time.

Implementing strategies to optimize your private practice schedule will allow you to:

  • Manage a multitude of different responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed
  • Effectively focus on higher priority projects
  • Strategically accomplish lower priority tasks over time
  • Establish healthy boundaries between clients, work and personal life
  • Clearly see your task list for the day and week at a glance

Follow our strategies below to leverage the Healthie Calendar and effectively manage your time:

1. Add consistent time-blocks to your calendar for different tasks

With any business, there will always be an ongoing list of important administrative and business responsibilities: billing, payment reconciliation, website updates, referral relationships, taxes, legal tasks, etc. The first step in optimizing your private practice schedule is to set aside regular, consistent time for these tasks.

Building out time blocks in your Healthie Calendar, can help you decide how much time you want to dedicate to certain initiatives and consistently make progress towards your business goals. Start by listing out the regular responsibilities you need to accomplish and assign them to specific categories and priority levels.

For example, most private practice dietitians divide their time between:

Connecting with clients

  • Client sessions and charting
  • Discovery calls
  • Checking in with clients or answering questions via email and chat
  • Reviewing food diaries

Administrative tasks

Marketing and business development

As you build out your list in a spreadsheet, make a column indicating how much time and how often you want to work on these tasks. Maybe you want to spend 3 hours/week writing blog content and 3 hours/month creating your newsletter. Block off every Friday 9am-12pm to write your blog content, and one Friday a month to write your newsletter.

The same goes for client-facing time, client connections and administrative tasks. Create time-blocks (or session availability) within your Healthie Calendar so that you’ll know how every hour of your work-day should be allotted.

5 Ways to Optimize Your Private Practice Schedule

2. Set your private practice “office hours”

Set your open availability for client sessions each day/week in advance. Keep in mind that setting aside “regular” hours, even if you work part time and/or virtually with clients, can help you have a good handle on your time-management.

Many private practice dietitians set aside their “client session” hours and stack their appointments within that time, to help them be more efficient. This can be incredibly helpful with focus, so that you’re not switching gears between many different tasks.

For further customization, within Healthie you can open up availability in your schedule for specific sessions types (ie. Mondays 4-8pm for follow-up sessions only). This can allow you to control the flow of your day, and most efficiently manage your client sessions. You may not always be able to fit every appointment request within your available time, but having these set hours and granting some special requests will help you stay in control of your schedule.

Pro tip: stick to your time blocks! If your client sessions are 60 minutes long, then consistently end sessions on time. Make sure you tell clients upfront how long sessions are, and give them gentle time-prompts (ie. “we only have about 10 minutes left, and I’d like to make sure that we accomplish xxx before we break for today”)

3. Allow clients to book with you directly through your calendar

Scheduling (and rescheduling) clients can be a huge time demand for your practice. Eliminate the back and forth by allowing clients to directly book appointments through their Healthie client portal, or through your website. Your Healthie calendar can be easily embedded into your website or linked to a button for convenient client booking.

If you prefer to control the appointment scheduling, you can simply offer for clients to book a “discovery call,” through your website. This will allow prospective clients to get on your schedule, and you can set aside the specific time you’d like to dedicate to taking these calls. Many providers embed a discovery call into their website, or through a button on their site.

5 Ways to Optimize Your Private Practice Schedule

4. Setup automatic appointment confirmation and reminders

Part of optimizing your schedule, is automating time-consuming tasks like appointment confirmations or reminders. Through Healthie, when clients book an appointment, they can automatically receive an email confirmation, along with any new client paperwork that you’ve designated. If you prefer, you can turn on the “confirm appointment” feature to have a client request an appointment, that then requires your approval.

For automatic appointment reminders, you can determine how many appointment reminders a client receives, and if they receive them via text and/or email. Not only will this save you hours of time each week, but it will also help reduce late cancellations and no shows rates. We recommend establishing a cancellation policy for your practice, so that clients can respect your time.

Download a sample cancellation policy

5. Use downtime for strategically tackling “lower priority” tasks

Have a lighter client load day or month? Have a gap in your schedule between clients? Utilize this time to your advantage. As part of your comprehensive “business task” list from earlier, you may want to list out tasks that you can work on if you have the spare time. These can be lower priority action items that you chip away at as time allows, such as: catching up on latest research, creating new resources for a program, following up with past clients who fell off your schedule, etc. Leave your regular blocked time to work on your higher priority tasks that need to be accomplished that day/week.

Having control over your private practice schedule, and utilizing every moment of your day is an essential skill as a business owner. From the very first moment of launching your business, having a great time-management system in place allows you to find focus, prioritize important tasks and maintain work-life balance.

Want to learn more about Healthie? Start your free trial today or email us hello@gethealthie.com

Stefanie Mendez, MS RD CDN

Stefanie is a New York City-based dietitian, with a master's degree in clinical nutrition from New York University. As a dietitian, Stefanie has spent her career working in private practice, helping her clients achieve healthier, more fulfilling lives. Looking for ways to support and mentor other dietitians, Stefanie found her calling when she joined the Healthie marketing team. Although she still counsels clients, she is able to write, connect and inspire other dietitians to make the leap as entrepreneurs.

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