Saturday, December 5, 2015

7 Things to Do While You Ignore Your Email

This was advice from a recent article in PC World, and I agree. How often have you been endlessly lost in cyberspace clicking on emails and Facebook posts, only to find that all of a sudden it's 11:45AM and that's all you've done today?

If this sounds familiar consider: a recent study done at UC Irvine suggests that checking email fewer times reduces stress and increases productivity. What should we be doing first thing in the AM instead of being lost in cyberspace? Tons of things could get done and leave us knowing that we accomplished something (which reduces stress) before the day has had a chance to make too much mischief.

• When was the last time you updated your web page with new material, photos, videos? Why not use the early morning to write a 3-4 minute video script (a kidney-boosting qi gong exercise, a warming self-massage routine, a description of a winter soup recipe or home-made liniment, or how to make a hara-maki to wear at home) and then gather whatever show and tell materials you need to complete this project. Call a friend to bring their new Galaxy or iPhone to shoot the video later in the week.

• When was the last time you scheduled a series of talks with local groups or associations? If you are a parent, could you give a talk on stress reduction to your PTA? What about specific disease support groups in your town? What about creating your own "Meet-Ups" for patients to bring their friends? Do any local companies have brown-bag lunch talks for employees? If so can you get on the list of speakers? Are there parenting groups, women's groups, sports groups to whom you could speak? Are you a member at a local gym that might offer a health lecture series? How many calls can you make before 10 AM to any or all of these connections?

• Is there a local radio station in your town? If so, do any of the programs do interviews? Might you start your own radio show once a week on health related topics? (I know one very successful practitioner in CA who keeps his practice full using this strategy while sharing good information in his community at the same time.) Find out who to speak to and follow up.

• When was the last time your website had a facelift? Look at 3-5 of your competitors websites and honestly compare yours to theirs. What could you do better? Who or what resources do you need to make these updates? If you can do them yourself, write down a plan listing needed or wanted changes and additions in order of importance. Follow up.

• Look through your patient files. Who has not been in for 6+ months? What personal message, article, blog post, or snail mail could you send to these folks? Make a personal outreach or some type to 10-or-more of them this morning.

• Alternatively to working on your business, why not go for a good walk or take a trip to the gym? Start your day with a work out to stimulate your qi and blood and take care of yourself first!

• Read the local paper(s). Take notes on any and all possible co-marketing or co-service projects that you could organize with other local businesses or non-profits. Follow up with some phone calls. Another possibility is to create an event with 5-6-7 or more other acupuncturists in your community. Find a service project in your town that needs doing and organize yourselves to do it and get publicity while you're at it.

Remember, email is busy work. It may or may not produce any new patients or any additional opportunities. And, it'll all still be there when you are done doing something more productive.

Good luck and thanks for reading.

Honora Wolfe is the author of Points for Profit: The Essential Guide to Practice Success for Acupuncturists.
She has taught and lectured at almost every acupuncture college in the US as well as spoken at conferences all over the world.


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