Why do Partners never have enough time to get things done?

If you are a Partner reading this then congratulations! You have already found some time to focus on managing your own business. This is rare as most practitioners continue to work very long hours and do not earn an appropriate realistic return on the true time they spend working. Time is absorbed often with dealing with technical compliance work instead of doing what only a partner can and should be doing. Surprisingly, the majority of partners do however make time to check Smart Phones regularly during the course of each day! This proves if you really consider something important enough it will get done and perhaps it is now time to consider how to prioritise the job role and responsibilities of a partner in practice.

Ask yourself the following;

  • How many hours do you actually work in a week- remember time spent at home or whilst travelling and dealing with phone calls or e-mails?
  • Calculate the annual hours worked from your answer above and then what you earn/draw from your business. What is your effective hourly rate? This will tell you to what extent things need to change.
  • Are you happy and able to take regular holidays/time away from the business?
  • What systems are in place to deal with work flow production, client meeting bookings and strong financial management of your practice? Without these you will be eternally ‘firefighting’ and never in control of how you spend your time.
  • Do you have a business plan with an action plan? You need to sort that action plan into order of priority and then book time in your diary to work on these areas.
  • Go for ‘quick wins’ first. Things that take little time to deal with but yield results. This will motivate you to keep the system going.
  • A partners week should be filled with equal amounts of time devoted to; marketing and business development, practice management, financial management, client meetings and staffing/resource management. That’s about 1 day per key area.
  • Brush up on time management skills with regard to managing e-mails/social media/client calls and other things that steal your time unexpectedly in a day. There are several easy ways to manage these interruptions. E.g.- batch up calls, check e-mails only three times a day, use ‘holding’ replies to say when you will be dealing with the e-mail/correspondence, book tasks in Outlook and block time in your calendar to deal with items requiring your attention.
  • Your role is to lead by example. How do you expect your team to be effective if you are guilty of poor time management yourself?


Make a start now! Book out 2 hours in your diary to make your action plan list. Consistent small periods of time will keep the process going. Regard those timeslots booked out for practice management as important as any client meeting- this means you are less likely to postpone or delete it. Be realistic that results will take time to measure but be confident that your working life will become one that is more enjoyable and will get you to where you want to be sooner.

Have a plan about how you would spend the extra free time once you have reduced working hours and earn a more appropriate level of profit from your business. Make your business work for you and not you working for the business.


June 2015 Copyright - Finola McManus Practice Perfect

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