Tidy time is important in the visceral sense: make sure my tax stuff and books are at least all in one box, if not organized, all set for the tax man. I also like to get some statistics: How many massages have I done, daily and weekly averages, etc.
An important part of this look-back is to check and see when I have been feeling good or overworked. I can often see some times when I should have done a little less or spread my duties out more.
Gone are the days when I could work straight through an 8-hour spa shift and then see two private clients after hours. I don’t miss that a bit. But when I was foolish enough to have done those things, I learned, as I laid prostrate on my bed the next day, not to do so much in one day. Days off are no fun if they are spent flat out zombie-fied.
Days off for a massage therapist are for stretching, tai-chi, family, errands, the beach, all the things that days off are for. I learned not to work so much that I felt drained.
Another lesson is to not drown in paperwork. If, like my therapist friend, you use a bookkeeping program, you still have to plunk the numbers in. Amazing how many other things you can find to do before doing the books. To save myself some angst, I found a good bookkeeper.
Outsourcing is great for the things you do not want to do. For me, it is the bookkeeping. For others, it might be the laundry. The key is figuring out what you do not want to do, or what you are truly bad at doing, and if you are willing to pay for it.
In hindsight, “outsourcing” is what many of us do when we work for employers. We take a pay cut because we don’t want to book clients, make re-appointments, keep track of permits, negotiate leases. There is nothing wrong in that, by the way. Some therapists enjoy being able to leave work at their appointed time and not keep a to-do list. A lot of us have to pick up kids, make dinner and a host of other things for family.
When I’ve looked back at my year, I then look forward. More about that next blog.