The Importance Of Shutting Off
If you are like most busy practitioners, especially if you own your firm or are a partner, you can’t shut down. It’s just full-on with your clients and your to-do list – and it leads to long hours and lots of evening and weekend work. So what is the importance of shutting off?
There’s lots of advice on how to manage your time. Do any of these sound familiar?
- Prioritize (and schedule) self-care
- Turn off email while working on complicated tasks
- Do your most complex work first thing in the morning
- Delegate anything that doesn’t require your level of expertise
All of this is great advice, but it assumes you are actually in control of your day and can actually make these changes.
This article will first unpack why most practitioners are not, in fact, in control of their day, and then we will suggest a way to take back that control so you can actually get to a place where you CAN shut off, knowing that everything is in control in your practice and your clients are well taken care of.
WHY are you not in control of your day?
The first issue is that most practices do not have a single source of truth for each client that can be shared with staff. Instead, it’s all in your head and in your inbox. Because you have the primary relationship with your most important clients, almost every client communication is coming through you, (via email, texting, phone calls, etc), and you have to route it all to your staff.
The second issue is that clients are not sending the necessary information on a timely basis, and they send it in too many ways, so it’s always a scramble to find what your team needs.
This octopus situation creates confusion and a massive amount of stress.
Unfortunately, the way most firm leaders have tried to solve that (to ensure quality is maintained) is to have pretty much everything come through them. And this leads to never being able to shut off. Long hours, evenings, weekends, and no one can find the time to truly relax.
Leverage Your Time
To get out of this circle of pain, it’s important to step back and understand what your role truly is in your firm. You are the leader – this means you need to see the forest for the trees, hire and mentor your staff, schmooze with your important clients, and focus on growth and profitability. But it DOESN’T mean you need to control every little detail about each client, and work yourself to death.
The solution is to create leverage with your time. If you haven’t read Andrew Grove’s book High Output Management (written in the 80’s and a very quick read) – be sure to do so. In the book, Mr. Grove sets out just how important it is for a leader to leverage their time and ensure that delegation can happen while still ensuring that quality and speed can occur even when the leader steps away to focus on other things.
Create a SYSTEM to Support Leverage
You have great staff who do great work. But the way things are set up now, you can’t reliably delegate because everything’s coming through you. You have no leverage at all for your time – because you are involved at every level.
How different would your life be if you had a secure, shared, space where every staff member could see the status of all their clients, plus all client notes, messages, texts, documents, signatures, and outstanding tasks, at a glance?
What if you, as the firm leader, could see how any staff member was engaging with any client, just by clicking a couple of filters on your firm’s dashboard?
And what if you could make it easy for your clients to understand what was needed from them by the firm, and couple that with a mobile-enabled solution that is drop-dead easy for them to use?
This tech exists and we would love to show you how it can give you back control of your practice, your clients, and your life. Wouldn’t it be great to have a tax season with no overtime, and to leave the office each day and really unplug?
Teams Move Faster with Liscio, and Quality and Security are enhanced
With Liscio, you’ll get a single shared secure workspace for staff to easily see and collaborate on every client they are assigned to. As a firm leader, you’ll have a birds-eye view of everything client-facing in your firm. And clients will respond faster than you ever thought possible, with no chasing.
- Firms that use Liscio get responses from clients 19 times faster than the same requests made by email.
- The median client response time is just 6 minutes when the secure text messaging feature is used in Liscio.
It’s time to stop having everything on your shoulders and create time and space so you can shut off. We stand ready to help you do that. And the best part is that you don’t have to change any of your accounting, tax, or practice management solutions because Liscio plays well with everything.