Podcast

Episode 386

Nov 12, 2021

Allissa and Michael discuss how and why you should start planning for 2022 NOW so you can be intentional and have the practice you want.

Listen to "E386: Plan Ahead for a Better 2022 Schedule" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 386

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

Plan next year’s schedule now

Quick Tips

Clean your workspace. Keep your desk and workspace bare. Treat every object as an imposition upon your attention, because it is. A workspace is not a place for storing things. It is a place for accomplishing things. Link to our latest column on the topic here

Sponsors


Transcript:

Sponsor message:

ABMP is proud to sponsor the Massage Business Blueprint podcast and we are delighted to have them. One of the many, many benefits of ABMP membership is ABMP Five-Minute Muscles and ABMP Pocket Pathology. These are quick reference apps designed to help you quickly find information that you need to make a decision about your massage session planning. The Five-Minute Muscles includes muscle specific technique and palpation videos for the 83 muscles most commonly addressed by professional massage therapists and ABMP Pocket Pathology can help you sort out contraindications before any treatment. These apps are included with ABMP membership and you can and go to abmp.com/apps to access them. And nonmembers can sample demos as well. Again, that's abmp.com/apps.

Michael Reynolds:

Hey everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money and improve your quality of life. I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

I'm Allissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

And we're your hosts. Welcome. We're glad you're here. Hey Allissa, what's going on?

Allissa Haines:

Nothing. How'd you guys do for no, not Thanksgiving yet. Halloween.

Michael Reynolds:

That's slow your roll. It's not Thanksgiving yet. Although I'm excited about Thanksgiving because my favorite dessert in the whole world is coming, which is pumpkin pie. But to answer your question, Halloween was very standard, very traditional, lots of fun. Eli went as Herobrine, which for those who are not familiar with Minecraft is this mythical computer virus, evil, sinister character in Minecraft that may or may not exist according to the developers and has become this legend in the gaming community. And Herobrine infects the characters and basically possesses them and their eyes glow white when Herobrine is possessing them. And so he got a Steve costume with the blocky head and I got him the sword and everything and Arianna painted the eyes with these white, glowing paint things. And so his eyes glowed in the dark and he was thrilled. He was Herobrine for Halloween, had a blast, ate too much candy, the whole nine yards. That was our Halloween.

Allissa Haines:

Wow.

Michael Reynolds:

How about you?

Allissa Haines:

I'm impressed that your kid's got that touch of the dark side.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, you have no idea. Oh yeah. It's a little concerning.

Allissa Haines:

Oh, we're going to get along just fine.

Michael Reynolds:

Yes. Definitely a dark side. How about you? How was your Halloween?

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, it was good. The little guy was Woody from Toy Story and that was only because his Buzz Lightyear costume from the previous two years didn't fit. And also he was really excited because he used to have Woody pajamas. He was Woody.

Michael Reynolds:

Nice.

Allissa Haines:

But it was really hard to find a costume. They make little kid costumes and then they make like adult costumes and it was really hard to find a Woody costume that fit him. Thankfully he's a little small for his age.

Michael Reynolds:

He pulled it off great. I saw the pictures.

Allissa Haines:

He looked really cute. Oh my God. They got to wear their costumes to school on Friday.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh nice.

Allissa Haines:

But the Woody hat that comes with the costume doesn't have a little string to hold it snug under your neck so he just has this really shallow plastic hat balanced on his head all day. He came home I was like, "How was your costume day?" And he's like, "Good, but really hard in gym because I didn't want to put my hat down and then forget it there so I had to wear my hat for the whole gym class." My kid ran around the gym, holding his hat on his head in full Woody costume.

Michael Reynolds:

Nice. Love it.

Allissa Haines:

He's so cool. And the older one was some character that I don't know. It's some meme character that has pink, fuzzy bunny ears and then a red and white striped outfit. I don't know. It's some I don't know, internet meme character. I don't understand that kid anyway. But it was good. Lots of candy. I put the bowl of candy on the front porch and hid on my living room floor, watching TV with the curtains closed and eating shepherd's pie because I had a long day at work and then got home and everybody left to trick or treat. And I was like, I'm not getting up to answer the door 20 times.

Michael Reynolds:

Ugh, shepherd's pie is I thought pie filled with meat?

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. But you know what? I just need you to get over it. It's just like a burger and mashed potatoes together.

Michael Reynolds:

I know. I know. I'm just going to not think about it.

Allissa Haines:

And also it was just something that was in my freezer so I got home from work and put it in the oven and it was ready and then I eat it.

Michael Reynolds:

And by the way, everyone, yes we know it's two weeks after Halloween. We're recording this shortly after Halloween. There you go.

Allissa Haines:

Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot about that. I didn't even mean to banter. I just actually got distracted and had to mute to blow my nose when we first started the episode.

Michael Reynolds:

Well let's kill this banter.

Allissa Haines:

That's why I asked.

Michael Reynolds:

What you reading?

Allissa Haines:

Folks, I am reading Ian Harvey's new Massage is Weird, which is coming out December 1st. It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. We have a link in the show notes but you can just Google Ian Harvey massage on Amazon. It's an ebook. I don't know if there's going to be hard copies or not. I'm not sure but I got an early copy because we are going to be interviewing Ian on a podcast episode that will release the day his book launches on December 1st. Oh my God you guys, it's so good. It's just so good. I adore Ian. He's my favorite internet crush in the massage world and the book is just so good. Go pre-order Massage is Weird on Amazon and I understand if you're not an Amazon person, I try to not buy stuff from Amazon either. Make the exception, this book is worth it. Your karma is fine and that's all I'm going to say about that for now. What are you reading, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

I am reading actually, I'm listening to a podcast episode from The Journal, which is one of the Wall Street Journal podcasts I listen to and it's about the Merck COVID pill. It's interesting. I kind of cling to good news about COVID because I just have to. I just need something. I'm really excited to kind of hear about this treatment for COVID that has come in pill form from Merck. And also I was kind of listing further in the episode, they kind of go into how Merck is basically giving the formula away to the world so that other manufacturers and other countries can use the formula to develop this treatment as well. Apparently it reduces the risk of hospitalization by about 50% if you take this treatment and again, it's in a really easy pill form. Just kind of listening to the story about the production, how it kind of was manufactured and how the planned rollout is. I'm really interested to kind of hear about more of this stuff and that's what I've been listening to. Yay.

Allissa Haines:

I'm sorry. I lost my Zoom screen.

Michael Reynolds:

Well, we can hear you now so I think we're good.

Allissa Haines:

Excellent. Listen, I'm not at the top of my game today but Michael who's our first sponsor?

Michael Reynolds:

Our first sponsor is Jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

Yay Jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

That should get you back on your game.

Allissa Haines:

Yay. You know how I feel about Jojoba. It's non allergen so you can use it on any client and every client. You don't have to worry about an allergic reaction. It's not going to clog pores and make people break out. You use so little of it to get whatever glide you need, that a gallon bottle is going to last you a very long time. It doesn't go rancid so you don't have to worry about storage and stuff. It can get warm and cold and warm and cold. It's great for hot stone massage because it can get warm and it will not stain in your 100% cotton sheets. You can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba to get 20% off the price of the product. And I know that I've said this before but I will say it again, go to the website, get on their email list because they're sending a lot of really wonderful offers, including some free shipping stuff. And you will hear about it first, if you are on their email list so you should totally go to that and massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

Yay. Thanks Jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, so I've been thinking recently that is basically 2022 at this point and I think you read my mind because I think that's what you're going to talk about.

Allissa Haines:

Okay. Yes. And when I was skimming through the list of potential podcast topics, this one jumped out at me because it was actually inspired by a post last year in Ian Harvey's Massage Sloth clubhouse discussion group on Facebook. Someone posted asking something about how do you plan your vacations, da, da, da, da, da. And some genius, brilliant, seasoned, experienced massage therapist left a very long comment. And I had screenshotted at the time and I could not find it when I was prepping. I cannot give this person credit and I apologize but know that a lot of these ideas did not come from me. Some of them did though. And this wonderful massage therapist who responded and took the time and the care to do so, really talked about how at the end of every year before she starts booking clients into the next year, which might look different for all of us. Some of us book our clients four weeks out, some of us book our clients five months out, whatever makes sense for you.

Allissa Haines:

But she noted that before she started booking clients out for the next calendar year, she would go through that calendar year and immediately block off time that she knew from experience she needed to keep herself sane. And it might mean two weeks of vacation here and two weeks of vacation there or at least one three day weekend or three days off in a row once a month. But they were really clear about putting those boundaries up proactively so that you could have the year that you wanted to have. And that is what this topic is about today, plan next year's schedule now. And if for some reason you can't plan the whole year, which I get is hard, plan at least the first quarter now.

Allissa Haines:

And what does that mean? What's that look like? You got to think back. What did you not like about your schedule in the past year or so? I understand the past few years of working as a massage therapist, especially self employed have not been predictable. The last year is probably not an accurate read on what you want your schedule or your income or your life to look like. That has to be taken into account. But think back, maybe you can even think back to the last time you were really happy with your schedule. What did that look like? Think back, consider the last year or whatever and think about what you want to change. Maybe you want shorter days versus longer days. Maybe you want fewer days in a row and a more of a break day. Maybe you still want to see 15 clients a week but you want to do that over four days instead of six or maybe you still want to see 15 clients a week but you want to do that over three days instead of four.

Allissa Haines:

Your body, your family, your schedule, your mental, what's the word I'm looking for? Resilience, is all going to factor into that decision. And there is no one schedule that is perfect for everyone. And it really helps to think through what weeks were your best and what weeks were your worst and why? Because if there's any work related solution to that, any schedule related solution to that, you can fix it. Like the brilliant commenter on Facebook last year noted, plan now to avoid your burnout. What does that mean for you? Do you need longer weekends in order to recover from a work week? How often can you do that and still keep your numbers where you want them to be? Does that mean you need more of a full week long vacation? Great. Does that mean that you need to make sure you're not working holidays or the morning after a holiday? Is it going to help you to be able to take more time off during school vacations? What's good for you?

Allissa Haines:

And I'm just going to share, I veer off a little bit on this because I don't like longer vacations. I don't like anything longer than four days of rest in a row. I get really twitchy really fast and I found that if I take more than four days off by the end of that fourth day, if I'm out of town, I just want to come home. And I just get so antsy. And even if I'm home, I get so bored with myself. I know how I need to rest and it's occasionally means a three or four day vacation away from my home. But more often than that, it means a full day home where I'm mostly alone to recoup. And I need that. At least once a month, I need a day where I am home, I am alone and that's all I need is a day to just not have anything on my schedule and do whatever I want with that day, whatever I need at the time. I do better with that than I do with longer stretches of vacation. You got to think about what works best for you.

Allissa Haines:

Practical stuff, do you need to make adjustments for practical things like dentist appointments and doctors' appointments and are you going to do better right now if you schedule a full day off just to tackle all of your tax stuff maybe at the end of January or beginning of February? Or schedule half a day for that or schedule half a day so that you can have your tax appointment and not feel hurried and stressed out about it? Do that. What are the practical things in your life that you need to do? I know when I was a kid and it was really hard for my mom and dad to both get days off from work at the same time, there was always one day in August and one day in February where my parents took both of those days off of work and they both went like for their physicals and their dental appointments and their eye doctor appointments. They just did it. And they grouped it all into one day and it was really efficient and it worked and they'd go out to lunch in the middle of the day.

Allissa Haines:

I don't know, do what works for you but think about the practical things you need to schedule around that often just cause little inconveniences in our schedule. If you cannot plan for a full year, like I said, plan for what you can and make a note for the next round. For me, I looked at January, February, March and I made a note in the middle of February to go and look at April, May, June. I can plan a quarter at a time that makes a little bit more sense for me. At any particular day I can kind of look at the next four months and have a pretty clear view. I looked at just the first quarter and maybe a little bit into April and that worked really well for me.

Allissa Haines:

Make a clear note in your calendar about why you are marking a day off. If you just block the day off but you don't make a note and say, "This is for tax prep and a dentist appointment," then you're going to forget why that block is there and then you might think it was an error and then schedule clients over it. I do this all the time because I have almost no short term memory. It helps. Or almost no long term memory either but make the notes so that you are really clear and you don't fumble over it later.

Allissa Haines:

Now I've talked to a lot about taking all this time away from work but what if you actually want more time to work? Now is a really good time to think about that and figure out what other supports you need to have in place so that if you want to work more, you can. If you're seeing 12 clients a week but you're full with those 12 clients a week and you know you want to take on three more, where are they going to fit in? Where are they going to fit in that's best for you?

Allissa Haines:

And maybe you've got a project you want to work on. We've talked a lot about building courses and other resources or taking a class, maybe an online class that you want to take. What do you need to do now to be able to make that happen? Do you need to make some childcare arrangements? Do you need to rework the space that you're sharing? Do you need to just straight up schedule admin time in your week so that you're not always doing it at 9:00 o'clock on a Wednesday night? Do you need creative time for bigger projects? Where can you put that? And what supports do you need to put in place to be able to be respectful of your time and your desire to work on that bigger project?

Allissa Haines:

The moral of all of this is really a reminder that your business should serve you so making sure that you have good balance, whatever that looks like for you is key. And I don't necessarily believe in balance for everyone the way we often see balance, like you need to have a certain amount of time every single day for work and then for family and then for just yourself. I and most people I know cannot work on that on a daily thing. I do better if I just dedicate a few days just to work and then a few days just to family or household stuff and then a certain amount of time for me. It doesn't have to be on a daily thing. And even sometimes in my household, it goes week by week or month by month. If my partner has a really big project that he's working on and he can say to me, "This next month is going to be insane for me." And then I know that I've got to make some adjustments so that I can be in charge of more household stuff and vice versa.

Allissa Haines:

And obviously the balance on those things is harder if you don't have a partner or you're single parenting or you're just single and you don't have that kind of backup. Maybe it's good time to think about setting up some networks and support for yourself but whatever balance looks like for you, I don't really like the word balance but I can't come up with any of other word, but figuring out what is best for you and how your business can best serve you financially, fulfillment wise, any other way, is going to help you have a much better 2022 and that is the end of my notes.

Michael Reynolds:

I really like it. I really needed this because I'm a type A, self imposed achiever kind of personality. And I'm like, go, go, go. And so if left to my own devices, I will just fill up my time willy nilly and so I really needed this to remind me to plan ahead for downtime, to give myself permission to structure my schedule in advance so I don't end up just grinding it out. Thank you. I really needed this.

Allissa Haines:

You bet. I hope it's helpful. And if people have tips about, I actually would really love some feedback on this. I would love to know what people do for themselves. What works for you in terms of making sure that all of this is sustainable for you and doesn't make you want to rip your hair out or cry on a daily basis? People, give me some feedback, podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. You can always leave a comment under our Facebook or Instagram post. I don't check our Twitter so don't do that. And what works for everybody.

Michael Reynolds:

Does anybody check our Twitter?

Allissa Haines:

No.

Michael Reynolds:

Maybe Rianne does.

Allissa Haines:

Just go on every week or two and I retweet stuff from Ian and ABMP and Ruth and that's it. Sorry.

Michael Reynolds:

Well, there you go. All right, well, thank you for sharing that. Before we move on, let's talk a little bit about our sponsor PocketSuite.

Allissa Haines:

Yay PocketSuite. Flipping pages here. PocketSuite is an all in one app that makes it easier for you to run your massage business. You can schedule clients, clients can schedule themselves, you can manage your forms and notes and contracts and payments and all of the things go right through PocketSuite. It is a HIPAA compliant app. Even your texting and phone calls can happen via the app so that you can have a work phone number and then a regular phone number for your personal life on the same device. Yay. You can be up and running in 15 minutes or so. Massage Business Blueprint listeners get 25% off your annual premium subscription for your first year with PocketSuite and you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/pocketsuite to check it out.

Michael Reynolds:

I don't think we highlight, or maybe I just missed it, but I love that we can highlight the fact that PocketSuite has a business number because a lot of times we're talking in the forums about, "Hey, what service do you use for your business line?" And PocketSuite takes care of that as part of its all in one package. It's really cool.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, it is really neat. It's cool that it happens all within that app. When someone texts you, you can actually text back with your business phone number or when they get an appointment reminder text, they can reply to that and it will come right to you. A lot of other services, they don't have that specificity, that feature and being HIPAA compliant is pretty great. It is a really neat feature.

Michael Reynolds:

Nice. All right. Quick tips. What do you got? Anything?

Allissa Haines:

I don't think, I'm having a really hard time switching tabs today, so I apologize. No, so I don't have my own quick tip but I do want to point out that if you like, Michael's quick tip. I think it's actually what our last column of the year for ABMP is. You should have just gotten your paper issue in the mail or you can go online and see the latest issue of Massage and Bodywork magazine and our column actually covers a lot of this.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, okay. Well how about that? All right my quick tip is this, clean your workspace, keep your desk and workspace bare. Treat every object as an imposition upon your attention because it is. Workspace is not a place for storing things, it's a place for accomplishing things. I really find this therapeutic. Whenever I feel like I'm just stuck or I'm not being productive or I just find my energy feels off and I'm just not getting anything done, I say, "Okay, you know what? I think it's time to just stop working and clean my workspace."

Michael Reynolds:

And usually I look down, I find there's a bunch of papers on my desk and a bunch of crap everywhere. I put things away. I put papers away. I clear my desk. I organize my office. And after I do that, it's a whole different feel. I just feel so different and so much better. And I feel so much more productive. That may not work for everybody but it works great for me and it might work for you as well. If you find yourself feeling stuck and unproductive, look around, see if it's time to tidy up your workspace and get really organized and clean off your surfaces and that does wonders for my productivity and headspace.

Allissa Haines:

It really does. It works for me too and forgive us for almost forgetting about what our column, most recent column was about but we hand these in six months ahead as time. I just checked and it really is what our last column of the year is about is about kind of cleaning out whatever needs to be cleaned out in order to make you much more effective and more calm. And I can only agree because we are so much on the same page with that. And the column is called End Well and Begin Again. It is on page 18 of the November December 2021 Massage and Bodywork issue, which everyone can get free online at massageandbodyworkdigital.com.

Michael Reynolds:

Well, there we go.

Allissa Haines:

Just threw that in there.

Michael Reynolds:

Great fricking tie in. How about that? All right. Well, thanks everyone for joining us. As always, you know where to find us or if don't, I'm going to tell you, it's massagebusinessblueprint.com. That is our website. It is the starting point for everything you might need to know about us if you're not familiar with what we do. And we have a really amazing community called Blueprint Mastermind, it is better than all those crazy Facebook groups out there and it's a safe space for you to talk to like minded, super smart massage therapists, get help from Allissa and I through office hours and access to a ton of resources to help your business. If you're not a member yet, check out Blueprint Mastermind on our website. And if you want to email us, Allissa gave you the email address it's podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. Thanks for joining us today. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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