Managing the transition time between checking a client out and getting ready for the next in a small office with no receptionist, can consume a lot of time. I found myself rushed and unprepared for the next customer. I rectified this by scheduling more time in between appointments. But since there was nobody waiting, they just stayed longer to chat. If the next client came early I felt pressured and hurried. Then there was the awkwardness of taking payment while the subsequent client observed. In total, this was now taking two hours of my day.
“Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have. “– John C. MaxwellMeanwhile, I would watch my office mate easily breeze though this process. It seemed that her clients were already taken care of before they even left the treatment room. I sat at the desk trapped and helpless to extricate myself. I couldn’t see what she was doing behind closed doors and oddly, I never thought to ask. A father and his small son stood before a big rock too heavy for the son to lift. The father instructed his son,” Pick up the rock with all of your might”. The boy tried to pick it up with all his might, but failed. The father said again, ” Use all your might.” The son cried in frustration,” But I did use all my might!” The father then replied, “If you had used all your might…you would have asked for my help.” -Unknown Duh! I made an appointment with my office mate to discuss her checkout method. She was more than happy to share. She explained, when she finished her treatment, she did not leave the room but proceeded to process payment and make the next appointment. If they wanted to talk more, she would then ready her room in their presence. When done, she would walk them out and greet her next client. This ended the chitchat and she was ready for the next client. But, I had to leave the treatment room while my client dressed. How would this work for me? She thought about it and then suggested, “Before you leave the room, tell the client to go ahead and dress while you wash your hands but that you will return in a few minutes to make their next appointment.” Wow, simple and brilliant! The next day, I tried it out. My client took less time to dress because she knew I was coming back in. We made the next appointment and took care of payment. While she stood talking to me, I changed the sheets and made the bed for the next client. It worked. I’m no longer rushed. And I had time to schedule one more client. If only I had asked sooner. Do you use all your might to solve a problem?