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[00:00:00] Hello, everyone. Welcome to The testing Psychologist Podcast, the podcast where we talk all about the business and practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment. I’m your host, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, licensed psychologist, group practice owner, and private practice coach.

The BRIEF®2 ADHD Form uses BRIEF2 scores to predict the likelihood of ADHD. It is available on PARiConnect-PAR’s online assessment platform. Learn more at parinc.com.

Hey, welcome back, everyone. I am happy to be here with you. We are firmly in the summertime here in Colorado, which is saying a lot because there’s always the threat of snow here in Colorado through the end of May. So the fact that we have made it to June, we can let out a collective breath and trust that it will not snow again, at least until September. [00:01:00] So we’ve got a few months to enjoy the warm weather. That’s what’s happening here. It is hot. We are at the pool most days and it feels like a totally different world than really the past 18 months.

Now, in honor of the summertime, I am doing a short series called Summer Slam. If any of you watched Pro-Wrestling as a kid, you might remember that they would do a mega wrestling event called Summer Slam. This is where all the stars got together. There were these crazy high-profile matches. It was a ton of fun. Of course, there were a lot of pageantries and a big to-do about everything in the wrestling world, especially during the Summer Slam. So, when I was looking for a name for my series, [00:02:00] I’d already done a Summer Sprint a few years ago, so I didn’t want to repeat that. Summer Slam seemed like a natural choice.

So, what is the Summer Slam? The Summer Slam is a series that will give you just a few quick-to-point episodes with really simple, actionable tips that you can put in place immediately.

The episode today is all about your schedule. This is an ongoing concern for a lot of us, keeping our schedules intact. I would like to use this opportunity to give you an opportunity to take back your schedule and make some deliberate changes to get yourself to a better place over the next several months. So, if that sounds interesting to you, stay tuned.

Now, if you are interested in getting CE credits for your practice, you can visit athealth.com and search for The Testing [00:03:00] Psychologist, you will be able to find most of the clinical episodes there, and you can take a short quiz, pay a nominal fee and get some CE credits for a podcast that you’re already listening to. If you use the code TTP 10, you will get a discount off of any CE credits that you purchase. So, keep that in mind and get some CEs.

Okay, let’s dive in and talk about getting your schedule under control.

All right, let’s dig right into this idea of creating your ideal schedule or at least revisiting your schedule. So again, this is [00:04:00] something that I do at least quarterly. And the reason I do it so often is because what I found in my practice is that my schedule does not shift overnight by any means. I often liken changing my schedule to turning the titanic. You’ve probably heard that phrase before in that it just takes forever because I have things that are always booked out. I have clinical meetings that are booked out. Podcast stuff that’s booked out. Any number of obligations. Speaking engagements. Things get booked out.

So, when I think about changing my schedule or revisiting my schedule, I’m often talking about changes that can happen 3 to 6 months down the road. You may or may not be in that circumstance, but that’s the reason that I do it so regularly. It’s because I’ve just found that if I get the urge to change my schedule, it usually [00:05:00] means that it feels kind of urgent and that I’m tired of something or overwhelmed or overworked, and I’m trying to head that off before it gets to be a real big problem. So, looking ahead can be a good way to do that.

So, in this exercise, what I would like for you to do to try to revisit and get your schedule under control is basically to take a look at what you’re doing right now. So, look back at the last let’s say a month, maybe two months, and just go through your calendar. First of all, look at all the things that you engaged in or found yourself enrolled in that you did not want to do. This might be not just testing appointments, it could be testing appointments, but I’m thinking more. Are there meetings you took on? Are there people that you got together with? Are there things you [00:06:00] committed to? Anything like that that you have gotten yourself involved in that you do not want to be doing anymore.

Once you identify some of those things, that’s sort of point number one. That’s the first thing that you’re going to try to change in your future schedule is eliminating the things that you really don’t want to be doing.

The next thing that you can do in this process is taking a good hard look at your availability for the things that matter for you. So, do you have enough time in your days or in your weeks to do those personal activities that bring you joy, that help you rejuvenate, that give you energy? Do you have [00:07:00] the time to do those things? So, if you are looking back at your schedule and recognizing that you haven’t got to work out in X number of weeks, or haven’t gone on a date or a hike or read a book or whatever it might be in a certain period of time, that is some good information.

So, that’s the second thing that you’re going to write down is figuring out what are some of the things that you personally love to do that you’re not doing enough of? And that’s going to be guidepost number two as you devise a more ideal schedule.

Let’s take a quick break to hear from our featured partner.

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All right, let’s get back to the podcast.

The last thing that I want you to look at is just the amount of clinical work that you’re doing. Now, all these things are related, obviously. You can’t have one without the other. It is at least time-wise a little bit of a zero-sum game. So, taking something away creates an opening for something else. But look at your clinical work and just be honest with yourself. [00:09:00] Are you doing the amount of clinical work that you would like to? That’s the first question. Are you doing that clinical work on a schedule that works for you? By which I mean, do you have your days blocked? Are you sticking to the same activity each day so that you’re not task-switching over and over and over?

I like to do all of my intakes on the same day. Testing happens on the same day. Report writing happens on the same day. And I really don’t mix those things at all. So, really take a good hard look and figure out if your schedule is laid out the way that you would like it to be. And again, you also want to figure out if you are doing the kind of work that you want to do or if you are working too much, for example. A big one, of course, is that [00:10:00] people don’t set aside time for report writing. So, this is an excellent time to revisit and try to restructure your schedule so that you have time set aside to write reports when you need to.

After you have these 3 or 4 points written down or in your mind, then you just take that information and roll it forward to the next time on your calendar that you can feasibly change things and bend your schedule a bit more to your liking. The best way to do this is just to flip ahead to whenever you have an open calendar where you can manipulate your appointments and literally go in and put blocks of time for the events that you would like to engage in each week.

There’s a lot of good research around increasing the likelihood that you’re going to do something simply by putting it on your schedule. So that’s what this is about. You go in. You block off that time. Do not leave it to chance. Eliminate any temptation that you might have by staring at an open calendar to put things in those openings that you don’t want to put. It sounds kind of crazy, but even when your schedule is “open,” it should look pretty full because you have blocked out the time to match the way that you want to spend your weeks.

So that’s the challenge. This should be a pretty short exercise for you. You should be able to do this in probably an hour if you are focused. So that’s the challenge here. I would love to have you find an hour sometime in the next week where you can go in and [00:12:00] restructure your schedule a little bit.

I know some people, you’re probably saying like, “Oh, I can’t do that. I have to keep working. It’s financially motivated.” I have these families to help. There’s such a need. There is any number of reasons that we would just continue to maintain the status quo and engage in a schedule that is not ideal for us. So, my challenge to you again is to put some of those voices to rest and really strive to create a schedule that will at least incrementally improve your quality of life. So, if you can’t change everything, at least change one thing that’s going to make a difference in your life.

I hope that you can engage in this exercise. I hope that you found it helpful. Like I said, this is Summer Slam number one. [00:13:00] In the upcoming Summer Slam episodes, we will be talking about revising your test battery and possibly raising your rates. So, stay tuned for those. They’ll be coming out in the coming weeks on Thursdays, like all business episodes.

In the meantime, if you need CE credits for your license renewal, I know ours is coming up here in Colorado. You can get CE credits for The Testing Psychologist podcast over athealth.com Just search The Testing Psychologists.

Thanks as always for listening to these episodes. I hope you are also enjoying the summer and doing well. Otherwise, I will catch you on Monday.

[00:14:00] The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologist website are intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here. And similarly, no supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with an expertise that fits your needs. 

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