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Holistic Wealth

By Sharon Desjarlais, CC and Michele McGrew

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A Four Step Protocol for Manifesting More Time

If you could wave a magic wand and create three, four, even five extra hours in your practice each week, what could you do with the time that would make a dramatic impact on your life? Have a few more conversations with potential clients for your packages, programs or retreats? Take some training in a complementary modality that adds a new dimension to your hands-on work, like holistic coaching? Or maybe you'd finally start mapping out that book you've always dreamed of writing.

Whatever you'd choose, time will always be one of your most valuable commodities. Because what you can manifest with it, when you create with intention, can transform your practice into a rich holistic business that gives you the freedom to follow your highest spiritual calling.

That's why we're delighted to share our favorite protocol for turning one hour every week into multiple hours of free time you can use to build your business, to nurture your relationships, or simply to pamper yourself so you feel calm and balanced as you move through your week. It's a 4-step process we call the Power Hour. We first heard about it from Leslie Cunningham, who runs a successful coaching company called Impact and Profits. Here's how it works.

Step 1

Designate one hour of uninterrupted time every week as your Power Hour. Put it in your calendar and treat that time as sacred. We do our Power Hour on Sunday mornings, but Friday afternoons work just as well.

Step 2

Get a feel for the rhythm of the week ahead. First, make sure all your appointments are already in your calendar — everything from client sessions to parent-teacher meetings to dinner reservations. That way you'll know exactly what to expect. And you'll be less likely to overextend yourself when you're in the thick of things.

protocol - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark And be sure to include your self-care. If you're still using the "I don't have time" excuse, drop it. Fast. Self-care is actually a high-impact activity because it makes you more focused and productive. So put it on your calendar, just like you would a client session or a dentist appointment.

Plus, here's a bonus business tip: Schedule at least 60 minutes each week to work on a catalytic project. We learned this priceless nugget from Jim Bergquist, the business genius who put the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market on the map. A catalytic project is one that's so transformative, it requires you to stretch into a new way of being to pull it off. For example, if you don't consider yourself a speaker, book a speaking engagement, create a live workshop, or film a series of client-attraction videos. These would all be considered catalytic projects because they require you to become someone you aren't ... yet. And they all cause you to grow in ways that push you past your fears and into the leader your clients need you to be.

Once you've got everything for the week ahead on your calendar, take a good look at it. And simply get a feel for the rhythm of your week and what it holds for you.

Step 3

Tame your to-do list. As a healer, especially if you're in private practice, your creativity is one of your most valuable tools because you'll use it to manifest all those catalytic projects that are calling your name. That's why keeping a to-do list is critical. When you get all those pesky little tasks out of your head, you free up internal space for dreaming up the next big thing. And that's where the real fun begins.

Yet keeping a to-do list is one thing. Using it effectively to increase your productivity and decrease your guilt and overwhelm is something else altogether. That's why, in your Power Hour, you're not actually going to do any of the tasks on your list. Instead, you're only going to:

  1. Review each one so you know what you'll be working with.
  2. Prioritize the tasks you're going to do in order of importance.
  3. Then delegate or delete the rest.

Which leads us to a question we hear from our clients all the time: "How do I know which tasks to do first?" Here's the skinny on prioritization: Always put income-generating tasks at the top of the list. These are tasks that directly impact your ability to make a healthy living doing the healing work you love. Like scheduling phone consults with potential new clients. Attending practice-building training events. Reaching out to potential promotional partners. And writing articles and blog posts that add to your credibility and establish your expertise.

High-priority, income-generating tasks shouldn't collect dust on your to-do list. Instead, we recommend time blocking. That means you schedule the time you'll need to complete each task on your calendar. Be realistic about how much time each item will take. And leave a little space in between each one for your brain to recharge before moving on to the next one. And consider scheduling at least one income-generating task first thing in the morning, before you do anything else. That way, no matter what life throws your way, you can rest easy knowing you accomplished something important.

After you've scheduled your tasks for the week, it's time to delegate or delete. Want to know which tasks to delegate? If it meets any one of these four criteria, pass it off to someone else:

  1. You don't know how to do it.
  2. You don't have time to do it.
  3. You're not good at doing it.
  4. You don't like doing it.

Now, we get it. You might not have a big team working for you to handle all the tasks you don't like or you don't have time for. But moving even a few of these tasks off your shoulders can free up your time and a tremendous amount of creative energy. So, never seem to have time to get to the grocery store for the organics your body craves? Strike up a deal with your husband or wife to split up the shopping. Hate doing laundry? Pay your teenage son or daughter to handle it, or drop it off at a service once a week.

And by all means, if you're a healer, you shouldn't spend your time or talent editing your own website or trying to manage a bulky email list. That's when hiring a technical VA for even 5 to 10 hours a month can be the best business decision you ever make. Then you can use the time that frees up to focus on the income-generating tasks that'll help your holistic business take off.

Finally, look at your list and see which tasks are left. Chances are, most of them probably aren't as important as you think. In fact, you can probably delete a whole slew of them. For example, if you've been meaning to clean out the garage or organize the files in your computer, but it never seems to get done, get it off your list. Looking at those lingering tasks every week eats away at your feelings of accomplishment. And that drains your energy — even though you're not actually doing the task. So if you're not going to get to it and you can't delegate it, give yourself permission to delete it. And if you can't delete it? Add it to a mid-range goal list that you review every month.

Step 4

Whip your email into shape. There's nothing worse than logging onto your computer Monday morning and finding yourself assaulted by email. That's why, once you've got your schedule and your tasks in order, it's time to tame the email beast. But, just like you don't actually do any of your tasks in your Power Hour, you're also not going to answer any of your email messages. Instead, you're just going to organize them.

Start by deleting email messages that aren't important. Then — this is the key to making this whole step work — create email folders for everything else.

The first one you should set up is for email that requires your response. Then, whenever you get a message that needs your attention within the next day or so, file it there. That way it doesn't clutter up your inbox or get lost. Inside that folder, you can even prioritize certain messages with a star, so you remember which ones to get to first. Then later, once you've responded to a message, you can either delete it or file it in another folder.

We've got email folders for everything from finances to client correspondence to projects we're working on. And whenever we need something specific? We know exactly where to find it.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out that magic wand and create one Power Hour each week. That's all you need to free up hours worth of time. Plus, you'll wake up Monday mornings feeling clear, focused, and ready to heal the world.

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