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[00:00:00] Hey everybody. This is Dr. Jeremy Sharp. Welcome to The Testing Psychologist podcast, episode 15.

Hey, y’all. This is Dr. Jeremy Sharp again. Welcome back to another episode of The Testing Psychologist podcast.  I’m sitting here looking out of my window on a beautiful spring day here in Fort Collins. We had a little run of cold weather last week, but we are definitely getting into the spring/summertime, which is great news for me. I think I mentioned that I’ve grown up in the south and I’m definitely used to more heat and humidity. So that kind of thing just feels like home, but we are getting there here in Fort Collins. So I’m super excited about that.

Today is a little bit of a different episode. To be honest, I really [00:01:00] considered just not even publishing anything this week, but I decided to just go for it and put something together real quick.

I was out of town last Thursday, Friday, and all through the weekend. Typically, the weekend or Thursdays and Fridays is when I work on my podcast. I got back to town on Monday and I was feeling all this pressure to get the podcast out. Honestly, some other things came up here in the practice where I’m our clinical director. I’ve been working on handling some of that and just making sure that things are running smoothly here.

What happened was I got into this place of… that old perfectionistic stuff started to kick up, and I just said, rather than release an unfinished episode or a short episode, I think I’ll just skip it this week, wait [00:02:00] and hone the episode for next week and release it back on Monday again. But then I got to thinking, okay, this is probably good practice, some exposure to not give into that perfectionism and need to do everything exactly right every single time. I also had some really cool experiences while I was out of town, and that got me thinking about some things that I think are relevant to talk about here on the podcast.

So I’ve decided here for today, I am just winging it. I don’t have any notes typed up or guidelines or anything like that. I just wanted to share some thoughts from my weekend trip and some things that have been going on here in the practice.

One big thing that came out of my weekend trip, and there are really two things I’m going to touch on today. One was the value of actually taking some time [00:03:00] to go out of town and take a little bit of time away from the practice, slow down a little bit, and be very deliberate with reflection. I do not do this very often, to be honest. This was a little bit of work for me. It’s much easier for me to stay here and work on the practice, work on my reports, and just constantly be doing, doing, doing. And there are any number of distractions here from day to day and week to week. So this is a big deal.

I took some time off to go out and spend some time with good friends but also got to hang out with Connor McClenahanfrom Cupla Media. If you haven’t looked those guys up, you should. They’re great. They do video marketing for therapists. I got to have a really cool meeting with him. We talked about video marketing for therapists, our practices, and that kind of thing.

Generally, this trip was really [00:04:00] just to give me some time to get away. And what it ended up turning into, this wasn’t deliberate necessarily, but when I found myself with some free time, and really, this was just two hours on the plane ride out, and then maybe 2,3,4 hours each day on Thursday and Friday, that’s all that it took for me to just to step away.

I could have worked on reports and business stuff, but I didn’t. I was able to let go of some of that anxiety and just having little small windows like that where I went on some walks. I sat out in the sun. I was in Los Angeles.

It was nice and sunny and easy to spend some time outside. And I just spent some time thinking about the business, our assessment process, our staff, and [00:05:00] needs in the community.

It was really nice to just take a little bit of time away. I was struck by how little time it took to really gain some clarity around some of these fairly big issues that have been going on here in the practice, big picture stuff that I lose track of and don’t work on as much as I should because I’m wrapped up in the day to day in the clinical work.

That’s one piece I wanted to speak briefly to the value. If you’re not doing that, it’s not like you have to take a trip and get out of town necessarily, but even taking a half day where you’re out of the office every other week, or if you can do a two-day trip, that can be really helpful for your business development and for your own mental health too. I came back so refreshed, recharged, and excited to get back in and really work. So that was super helpful.

If you’re looking to do that in a really structured way, [00:06:00] something that I have signed up for for the summer is Joe Sanok’s Slow Down School, which is a, I guess you call it a conference, but I almost think of it as like a retreat opportunity. It’s a week-long event where there’s really deliberate slowing down and days of doing nothing, but then I’m going to be paired with some pretty structured coaching for building your practice, building your business, things like that. So I’m going to be there. It’d be great to see some listeners there too if that kind of thing sounds appealing to you.

So just a brief plug, like I said, getting away, slowing down, reflecting on your processes. That was super helpful for me.

Then the second component that I really wanted to speak to today, again, just briefly, is just some thoughts on not having to do things perfectly. I mentioned that at the beginning that this [00:07:00] podcast, I almost didn’t record it just by virtue of not having a really well thought out, put-together podcast, but then I thought, okay, there’s a little something to say here. Let me just go for it.

And I think that this is a good metaphor to keep in mind or an idea to keep in mind just for our practices. I see this coming up a lot, day to day. Particularly for me, I have trouble with getting reports absolutely perfect. I can just comb over and over and over my reports, writing the interpretation exactly right, including every big bit of information that I think I need to, and really speaking to what the parents or the client needs to hear in this assessment.

I think that 90% of that is probably really good, and part of what sets us apart with our evaluations, and that last 10% is maybe going above and beyond what actually needs to get done, and in fact, just wastes time [00:08:00] that I don’t need to spend on reports. And so, like I said, this is a little bit of practice for me just in another context to let go of the perfectionism a little bit.

I see that coming up in reports. I see that with tools that I’m researching for our business or ways of doing things. I can often get lost in the research and lost in finding exactly the right way to do things. That ends up just taking more time, and of course, it’s time that I’m not necessarily getting paid for. And often the outcome does not justify the time spent on it. So that incremental increase in accuracy or effectiveness or whatever the metric might be usually doesn’t justify the time.

So, just two thoughts on that. I’m sure that a lot of you’re familiar with perfectionism and wanting to do things [00:09:00] right. I think to some degree that’s really valuable. And it’s always worth coming back to, revisiting, and maybe even practicing not doing things absolutely perfectly once or twice and seeing how that goes.

Just thinking back, I’m sure this podcast is not one of the best ones necessarily, but hopefully worthwhile just to get a few thoughts out there about slowing down and maybe not being quite so hard on yourself to do things absolutely right every single time.

I appreciate it as always. It is really cool to see our listening community continue to grow and to see the Facebook community continue to grow. If you have not joined the Facebook community, you can definitely check us out. You can search for the Testing Psychologist Community on Facebook at that search bar at the top. You can also go to the [00:10:00] website, which is thetestingpsychologist.com. There you can find articles, a link to the Facebook group, and information about building your testing services via articles, past podcast episodes, and things like that.

Thanks to all of you who continue to listen and pass along the podcast to your friends. It’s really amazing to see things continue to grow and spread the word about testing and the business side of things.

Stay tuned. I have some really great interviews coming up over the next few weeks. I’ve got Kelly Higdon and Allison Puryear who are both, I would say superstars in the mental health consulting world. We have some really good conversations about building your ideal practice, about money mindset, how to talk about charging big fees for testing, wrapping your mind around that, and how to create the practice that you really want.

Also, [00:11:00] I’m speaking with two psychologists with some really interesting specialty areas within testing. So, I’m talking with Dr. Erika Martinez about how to apply neuropsychology training to more of a therapeutic assessment model, and helping millennials and young adults be successful. And then I also hope to be talking soon with Dr. Aimee Yermish who specializes in assessment with gifted and twice-exceptional kids. She has a really cool practice going on over on the East Coast.

So keep your eyes out for future episodes. I think we’ve got some cool stuff coming up. In the meantime, feel free to pass this along and share it on your own Facebook group or with friends or on your blog, or wherever you might pass along information to other folks.

Thanks as always. I will catch you next time. Take care.

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