What to do with your “downtime”

I guess now is a great time to talk about “downtime”.

The holiday season is upon us.  You know it.  You see it.  You live it every day.

The traffic is heavy, the malls are crowded, people are irritable… the list goes on and on.

When you are in Private Practice, you might notice a few things too:

  • Clients with increased stress, resulting in exacerbation of symptoms
  • Calls from clients y0u have not seen in a long time
  • An increase in demand for you time, with an increase of cancellations and no shows (even though you fit them in)
  • A decrease in calls for appointments
  • Clients who want to “take time off” until after the Holidays

Although you may be busy with your own holiday hustle-bustle now, you will likely get a bit of downtime during your holiday season too!

What do you want to do with that downtime?  Now’s the time to think about it.

So, whether you want to…

  • Lock away your computer and pull out a couple of magazines
  • Meet up with an old friend
  • Spend more time with your family
  • Sleep till noon
  • Spend a couple of hours at the spa
  • Work on a fun new project to build your Practice in the new year
  • Get through some not-so-fun things to build your Practice in the new year
  • Take it one day at a time, at your leisure

… make a plan of action.  Don’t let the time get away from you without your intentions being satsfied.

Take care of you this holiday season; no matter what you choose to do with your downtime.

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4 Comments

  1. Laura Hoskins /Reply

    I would love to find some down time, but I feel caught with wanting/needing to spend time with my two elementary school-aged children who are off from school (and I have taken off a week to be with them) and needing to get caught up with paperwork (getting notes onto the computer, closing out some cases, …) and reading that pile of books I have been purchasing with certain clients in mind, not to mention the ones regarding my own children and parenting.

    1. Deborah Legge PhD CRC LMHC /Reply

      @ Laura – you’ll have to decide where to spend your downtime. When I think back over the almost 20 years I’ve been in private practice, the things I remember most aren’t the books I read, the flyers I sent out, or even the money I generated. I remember most the moments of time I spent with my son. More time with your kids is a perk of being in private practice — nothing to feel guilty about 🙂

  2. Emily /Reply

    Great points! My problem with my downtime during the holidays is that it breaks up my schedule just enough to drive me batty, but not enough to allow me to do anything meaningful, like spend time with my kids. Every year, I tell myself I’m not going to work the week of Thanksgiving, nor the week between Christmas and New Year, and every year I feel pressure to work any way.

    1. Deborah Legge PhD CRC LMHC /Reply

      @ Emily – I wonder where the pressure is coming from? If it is financial, perhaps there is a way to plan for the breaks. What I do is to figure my budget based on 4 “paychecks” a month. That leaves me 4 weeks that I can use for sick/vacation/snow days or whenever I want to use them — and I don’t feel the hit since I did not include them in the budget.

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