Kenyon HomeCare ConsultingSpecialized Support Archives - Kenyon HomeCare Consulting (206) 721-5091

Kenyon Connects

Specialized Support

Use Psych Nursing To Improve Patient Care And Your Profit Margin. Mental Health Management Is More Important Than Ever To Keep Patients Safe In The The Home Where They Want To Be!

Specialty ServicesThere is a shortage of almost every type of specialty nurse today. This is true in home health specialty services. To improve patient care and boost bottom line, market what makes you different and better. Hiring top talent in psych nursing and developing a streamlined psych program makes you elite.  

Special Care Is Needed With Mental Illness:  

Mental illness needs specialized care. Don’t assume every nurse can effectively handle this type of care without specialized training. If you wouldn’t do that with other specialty services, then why consider it with mental illness?  This is even more complex in patients with both mental and physical illness. This patient needs special consideration formulating a care plan. Someone who suffers from mental illness may be able to manage self-care when stable but need a completely different type of care with an exacerbation of mental illness.   

Psych Nurses Will Enhance Care From Other Nurses: 

The point of a specialty RN is not to minimize the education or expertise of the RN, but to differentiate the training. A psych nurse can better develop a care plan balancing the mental with the physical considerations. Your patient census may consist of certain mental health categories of illness. Are you in an area with a large pediatric mental health hospital? Are you near dual-diagnosis treatment centers? This means a higher population of those with both substance abuse and mental illness issues. If so, then this makes a big difference which psych nurse you add to your staff. In the end, adding one or more psych nurses to your homecare team will improve patient outcomes (of psych patients) and boost this type of referral which can lead to increased profitability.

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting Can Help: 

Contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting today by calling 206-721-5091 or by filling out our online contact form! We can help you work through development and improvement of a specialty program while marketing it effectively.

Home Care Partnerships Are Needed If You Want To Succeed Today. Become More Relevant, Successful, And Valuable With Chemo-Certified Nurses Who Can Serve A Pediatric Population.

Home Care PartnershipsForming and improving home care partnerships becomes even more challenging when cancer treatments are involved. In an ACO, you want to be a partner that stands out above the rest. Chemo-certified nurses can boost your pediatric census and create a genuine market differentiation.

About Home Care Chemotherapy:

How cancers are effectively treated varies greatly with the type of cancer. Some chemo requires inpatient care. Others are done at home and don’t require any special chemo certification. Nurses must be chemo-certified in order to administer treatment to pediatric patients. This service is in greater demand and supply is not always present, especially in rural areas. What often happens is pediatric hospitals or oncologists can’t find home health partners with chemo-certified nursing.  This means the patient must complete the service in the hospital. When pediatric cancer patients make trips to the hospital it increases risk for nosocomial infections and other complications.  This is why home care for this patient demographic is better.

Three More Reasons To Add Chemo-Certified Nurses:

Besides the need and safety issues involved, here are three more reasons add chemo-certified nurses to your staff:

  1. In many rural areas, there are few home care agencies. There are even fewer with pediatric or other home care chemo services.
  2. Many organizations help fund home pediatric cancer care. Since home care is the cost-effective alternative to inpatient care, you also help financially.
  3. You can’t expect patients, families, or other providers to trust you with cancer patients unless you have the training. Then, nurses provide the highest quality to your patients.

Cancer is way too prevalent and there are far too many children suffering from it. Those agencies that prepare for the task by hiring chemo-certified nurses and developing a program will be attractive to healthcare partners.

Let Us Help You Expand Your Partnerships:

To learn more about how to create and maintain home care partnerships that will help your home health agency grow, contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting today by calling 206-721-5091 or by filling out our online contact form.

Key Elements To A Successful Wound Care Program In Homecare

Ok, so you invested in a CWCN or WOCN, but nothing really changed? Agencies often invest the money in a wound care program, but don’t see programs flourish. Here are a few reasons why you may not see outcomes and changes to your bottom dollar even with a wound care nurse on staff.

Wound Care Nurses Are Nurses First

Remember, having a  CWCN/ WOCN on staff doesn’t mean that nurse has EVER developed or implemented a program. This is a critical point. Administration needs to provide the tools to help do so. An Educational Director or someone in Quality Improvement can help with operational changes and data needed for success.

Time Is Not Allotted For The Program

It would be nice if you could see a program thrive while the wound care nurse makes 6 visits a day while taking call. This is not realistic if you want to see the program succeed. This nurse can’t be a full time staff nurse, run the program, and make it grow all. There simply is not enough time in the day. Allow your expert nurse to use her knowledge wisely. Now, that is easier said than done for small agencies with limited resources. However, consider growth potential when strategic relationships are made. That key contact is crucial for outside providers such as infectious disease practices, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities. It is a balance of time in the field and program follow through that sets up the win.

Ongoing Education Is Always Key

As previously stated, these nurses are experts in their field. They should be utilized as one. A good CWCN or WOCN nurse is constantly working to educate staff.  A good wound care team leader provides ongoing education including assessment, treatment options, and outcomes. To learn more about how your homecare organization can benefit from having wound care nurses and other specialists on-staff, feel free to contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting today by calling 206-721-5091 or by filling out our online contact form.

5 Ways Cardiac Nurses Help Manage A Homecare Chronic Disease Program?

chronic diseaseCurrently, CDC says 80 million Americans suffer from cardiac disease or chronic disease. 1.5 million Americans suffer heart attacks annually. With serious heart conditions in the U.S.,  a good homecare agency benefits from programs dedicated to cardiac care. To have that program, you need cardiac nurses on staff.

What Roles Do Cardiac Nurses Fill?

Nurses at the “primary” RN level are still highly trained. Many of them hold certification in cardiac care. Cardiac nurses are skilled in every step of both acute and chronic care. From time of diagnosis and treatment to prevention and education, a well trained cardiac nurse is integral in education, treatment, and prevention.

How Cardiac Nurses Can Help Your Homecare Agency

Cardiac nurses are (like the whole healthcare industry) moving more and more into homecare settings. Whether starting up a home health agency or looking to branch out into cardiac and chronic disease management/care, cardiac nurses are key assets. But how can cardiac nurses help manage your homecare cardiac program? Here are 5 important ways:

1. Develop ideal cardiac intervention and plan of care goals.

By reviewing all patient data, cardiac nurses develop more realistic, patient-centered goals and care plans. Ongoing monitoring then allows nurses to better adjust the plan of care and interventions as needed.

2. Educate your other clinicians and act as a constant resource on “heart matters.”

A well trained cardiac nurse educates staff and patients on all issues related to prevention, diagnosis, and management of cardiovascular conditions. Staff nurses are better equipped to provide high-level care to those with congestive heart failure, hypertension, and other common heart conditions. But don’t expect your other nurses to magically become cardiac RNs themselves without the full training. That’s why your cardiac specialist acts as the go-to within your agency for all clinical cardiac-patient management issues.

3. Improve communication with cardiac specialty physicians.

Reporting assessment data, recommended care, and prescriptions from a cardiac specialist are best done by another cardiac specialist. You save time and avoid potential errors by having an in-house cardiac nurse handle physician communications. Chronic disease management is crucial to home health success.  Being able to communicate well with cardiac practices is key.

4. Boost Your Agency’s Marketing Efforts

Your current and prospective patients feel secure knowing you have a cardiac specialist on-staff.  Past clients will refer other people because of it. And hospitals, MD offices, and cardiac clinics want to work with agencies possessing cardiac expertise.

5. Focus Extra Attention on High-risk Conditions

When you need someone for high-risk patients such as those out of the hospital from heart surgery or who have coronary heart disease, assign cardiac nurses to these cases. In the final analysis, a cardiac nurse on-staff will improve outcomes for cardiac patients, increase retention and referral rates, and boost your bottom line and help prevent re-hospitalization.

To learn more about how your homecare organization can benefit from having cardiac nurses and other specialists on-staff, feel free to contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting today by calling 206-721-5091 or by filling out our online contact form.

Strategic Partnerships Are Key to Patient Care

ICD-10 CodingThe changing face of the healthcare industry has many facets to explore, both unexpected and also quite complex. But the whole industry fits together and functions as a single whole, and ideally as a united system of strategic partnerships that put patient’s needs first.

Home health & hospice may seem like a totally separate branch of healthcare, because care is delivered in the patient’s home and not an institutional building. But in reality, home health functions largely through strategic partnerships with other providers.

Home Health’s Growth Is Based Upon Strategic Relationships

Even the largest hospitals rely on strategic partnerships to secure the best possible care for their patients. And so do small home health organizations, from startup support to accreditation and training to joining an ACO, no home health agency is born in a vacuum or exists in one.When diseases and conditions can be handled at home, this allows institutions to care for those that truly have to be there while home health works cares for the others.

And it is this very relationship with other providers that is causing the big boom in home health that we’ve seen in recent years. That, and the simple fact that the US (and world) population is aging and in ever-increasing need of chronic disease management and other in-home forms of care.

Specific Home-health Strategic Relationships and Their Benefits

Home health & hospice agencies are part of a healthcare network that work together towards the common overarching goal of high-quality, patient-driven care. This cooperation should lead to better outcomes, successful follow through, improved communication, and referrals for all concerned.

We have already touched on home care’s relationship with hospitals, but their strategic relationships do not end there. They also take patients from or recommend them to:

  • MD practices and outpatient clinics
  • Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs)
  • Wound care clinics
  • Assisted living facilities

Developing strong relationships across providers is imperative in the healthcare world today. Considering the increasing number of people that are cared for at home, this industry must be at the forefront in development and maintenance of strategic professional relationships.

Conclusion

The lesson to be learned is that each branch of the healthcare industry relies on each other to function and provide optimal care to its clients. Home health is no exception and is designed to have more interaction with other providers on a daily basis to successfully manage all aspects of care at home.

To learn more about how your home health organization can develop strategic relationships that benefit clients and agency alike, contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting by calling 206-721-5091 or filling out our online contact form.

Maintaining Ongoing Successful Partnerships With Doctors

doctor partnershipsForming and developing strategic partnerships with MD’s is key to success of today’s home health care agencies. In fact, competition is fierce in the arena of doctor-homehealth relationships. And the rapid growth of the homecare industry in recent years has created a situation in which doctors and homecare practitioners must work in harmony for the good of patients.

Why Must Doctors and Homecare Agencies “Partner Up?”

The fact is, many patients have a strong desire to stay at home and live active lives, rather than be confined to a hospital or nursing home. They would also prefer to avoid unnecessary trips to hospitals, MD offices, clinics, and other medical facilities when possible.

But there are many services that require a doctor’s oversight, approval, or prescription to be both legal and safe. Even when patients are cared for at home, they often need to be under the umbrella of a local physician’s office as well.

This means your home health agency needs to be on the same page with other providers, especially licensed physicians, and always have the lines of communication open. In fact, you need a designated “relationships manager” to coordinate all the details of your agency’s ongoing relationships with MD practices.

Managing Your Ongoing Partnerships With Doctors

To ensure you can nurture and hold onto valuable partnerships with local doctors once you get them started, you’ll need to appoint an official “go between.” There must be someone assigned to the task of managing this potentially complex relationship.

Here are some tasks that your MD practice relationship manager should regularly engage in:

  • Serve as the contact person between the doctor and your homecare agency, and at times meet personally with physicians.
  • Organize a step by step operational flow and ensure both ends are aware of, comfortable with, and are following that same “flow chart.”
  • Ensure that you are communicating to doctors your agency’s true capabilities and full capacity, and that you are delivering on every promise made to patients and doctors alike.
  • Be alert for problems that develop and be quickly troubleshoot them, so you cultivate ongoing growth and boosted referrals.
  • Make sure you are on the same page as doctors when it comes to ICD coding and documentation.
  • Develop and implement specific care-protocols with each MD practice. This will minimize calls to the MD and empower nurses to work more independently without any risk to the patient.

Whether you are just starting up a new home health agency, or you are simply trying to hone and perfect your growth strategy, managing well your MD relationships cannot be ignored. You need to make the relationship beneficial to your agency, to the MD practice, and to the patient.

To learn more or for a free consultation on optimizing your homecare growth and your bottom line, contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting today by calling us at 206-721-5091 or by filling out our online contact form.

Boosting the bottom line with specialty infusion services

Improving care with infusion nursesWhether you are just starting up a new home health agency or contemplating striking out in a new direction to expand you horizons (and boost your bottom line), adding specialty infusion services to your agency’s expertise will create a significant market differentiation.

Predictions are that demand for infusion specialty nurses will continue to rise at least till 2020, and probably well beyond, given the ongoing phenomenon of an “aging” US population.

The Place of Infusion Nursing in HomeCare

“Infusion nurse” can mean several things, both in the homecare industry and in the context of a hospital or clinic. It may be simply administering the most commonly used antibiotics by IV and monitoring patients for potential complications.

At the most basic level, then, infusion capability is needed for many of your homecare nurses, not just one or two, and yet, it doesn’t create a market advantage.

But when managing acute, complex or rare chronic diseases, you need nurses with more rigorous training and certification processes. Add immunoglobulin (IVIG) and chemo infusion capability, for example, and you capture a high-end niche market, which is always good for growth!

Hire nurses specially trained to administer specific drugs, who know how to properly monitor for specific potential side effects/reactions, and who can work directly with physicians and pharmacists to ensure top-level care and maximized efficiency.

Forming a Specialty Infusion Nurse Program

If you want to find new partners through your ACO or directly through communication with local specialty physicians, you need specialty infusion nurses on staff and a well developed program.

An attractive, effective infusion services program should focus on “individualized” care. Your nurses need to administer the drug correctly, closely monitor patients’ responses, recommend possible therapy, and educate patients and their families.

Your nurses should also be in a position to collaborate with local physicians and pharmacies to ensure optimal therapeutic effect and overall care. In addition, a well managed program will account for staff that always manages equipment needs in conjunction with the infusion company to ensure the patient is never without supplies and never misses a dose.

Educational pamphlets, booklets, flyers, and other printed materials for specific condition should be available to the agency as teaching tools. And you need to allow time for nurses to “customize” these materials as the apply to each specific patient.

Finally, it is essential to include protocols for measuring outcomes and progress, and for all ICD-10 and other medical reporting and record keeping purposes.

Marketing Your Infusion Services

Once you have hired infusion specialty nurses or certified existing nursing staff, and developed an infusion specialty program, you want to maximize your referrals and new patients.

When advertising or presenting your services to possible referral sources, be sure to stress your infusion services as “specialty” and then list the various types of specialty nurses and services below.

Approach specialty doctors like those involved in infectious disease, Rheumatology, genetics, internal medicine, oncology, and hematology. And also market to local hospitals and clinics that may have outpatients with special infusion needs but who risk infection/complications by constantly coming in to get them done.

Building a strong infusion specialty program is one of a number of ways to improve patient outcomes, gain new clients, and boost your reputation and your bottom line.

To learn more, contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting today by calling 206-721-5091 or by filling out our online contact form.

Top 6 Ways to Begin Developing Strategic Partnerships

Developing strategic partnerships with other providers is not optional in the home health & hospice industry. Without them, you rely on “random” walk-ins and call-ups without any reliable source of new clients.

You might survive without strategic healthcare partnerships, but you will certainly not thrive. Partners help you improve care for patients, greatly boost referrals, and ultimately improve your community reputation and bottom line.

But how do you form these strategic partnerships, and what kind of partners are you looking to “team up with” anyway?

Selecting Partners (And Being Selected by Them!)

You first look for a wide variety of other providers as potential partners, from hospitals to doctor’s offices to assisted living facilities to outpatient clinics. Sometimes, which ones you seek partnerships with depends on your staff’s skill sets, as when you team up with wound care clinics when you have wound care nurses and a wound care program at your agency.

Other times, mere geographic proximity is a key factor in selecting a partner, depending on how many healthcare organizations (and of various types) are located in the area.

But otherwise, look for providers as a partner that are reputable, willing to work closely with you to improve care levels, and especially if you are accepted as a “preferred providers.”

In the past, for example, hospitals would just hand people a list of post-acute care options; but today, more and more hospitals choose a smaller number of preferred partners to work with. You need partners whose services you can complement, not duplicate. And remember, partners will affect each other’s reputation and bottom line, so choose wisely.

And don’t neglect to join an ACO, which might lead to referrals and partnerships!

Tips on Making the Partnership Work Well for All Involved

To gain new partnerships, as well as to manage them well and thus maintain them, you will want to follow these six strategic partnership development tips:

  1. Assign a “designated relationship coordinator” to be your official contact person for all your partners, and prospective new partners.
  2. Set up data exchange protocols with partners to facilitate efficient and accurate communication/billing.
  3. Ensure partners are aware of your capacity and capabilities, and can quickly get updated on the current situation.
  4. Establish transition-of-care milestones, and work to eliminate any glitches in inter-agency work flow issues.
  5. Have issue escalation procedures already in place to deal with emergencies. Know how/where/when to get help with critical conditions that go beyond your on-staff expertise.
  6. Make specific service level commitments with partners so they can count on you for such and such number/types of services.

Finally, let your managers and coordinators focus on their specific tasks and not get bogged down in other duties. And consider outsourcing your ICD coding rather than to tie down managers/clinicians with coding assignments.

To learn more about forming/managing key strategic partnerships for your home health organization, contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting by calling us at 206-721-5091 or by filling out our online contact form.

 

Meta Description:

Strategic partnerships are key to home health growth. Find out how to form and develop optimal partnerships.

Social Media Posts:

1. Have a plan for establishing and developing your home health strategic partnerships.

2. Learn how to develop new strategic partnerships that will help your agency grow.

3. Learn what kinds of homecare partnerships to seek and 6 ways to develop them!

4. Don’t neglect homecare partnerships: they’re key to quality patient care and referrals.

5 Sales Hacking Fundamentals To Improve Home Care Sales

Ankota’s marketing director, Jed Hammel doesn’t come from the home care world but instead is an expert is social media marketing, film making, event planning and more.  Jed wrote today’s article about how “Sales Hacking,” a term coined by the startup world, can be incorporated into your home care agency’s sales strategy.

What is Startup Growth Hacking?Sales Hacking

A few weeks back, I wrote an article about “Growth Hacking,” entitled, “Growth Hacking Tips for Home Care via Startup Marketing.” The piece went over the basics and some different definitions of a new kind of marketing/sales approach used in many startups and a growing number of other industries.

I suggest you click the above link and read the full article, but as a way to sum up:

Uber growth hacker Andrew Chen offers this as a definition for growth hacking:

“Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph. On top of this, they layer the discipline of direct marketing, with its emphasis on quantitative measurement, scenario modeling via spreadsheets, and a lot of database queries. If a startup is pre-product/market fit, growth hackers can make sure virility is embedded at the core of a product.”

What is Sales Hacking?

Good Question, glad you asked!  In this article by Vinod Mehra“What is Sales Hacking?” the author defines Sales Hacking as:

“Sales Hacking is shortening the sales cycle by authentic means.  For examples if sales process says you move from A to B followed by C to receive the Order D.  How can you short circuit step B & C to receive an order D is SALES HACKING.  In simple words what tactics can be used to short circuit B & C to reach D.”

I suggest that you read the entire article here since it outlines 7 tips for hacking sales that I feel you will find useful.

 5 Useful Sales Hacking Tips

One of the leading inbound marketing/sales companies, Hubspot, posted an article, “5 Small Sales Hacks That Will Increase Your Results in a Big Way” written by Brian Moseley that offers some easy ways for you to get started with sales hacking as well.  You should read the entire article here to get an in-depth perspective, but as a start, here’s what the author suggests:

1) Shorten Your meetings

2) Split Up Your Inbox

3) Label Your Emails

4) Pin Tabs

5) Use the Right Tools

What are some of your sales hacking tips?  What tools do you use to prospect, nurture, and close sales?  Share your tips in the comments below!

Also, one of Ankota’s recent whitepapers, entitled “Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals” is available for download and we think you’ll find it useful.

This article was posted by Jed Hammel and first appeared as “5 Sales Hacking Tips for Home Care via a Startup Leader” on the Ankota blog on Nov 28, 2016. Jed Hammel is the marketing at Ankota LLC whose mission is to improve the efficiency and coordination of care outside of the hospital.  Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care, focusing on efficiency and care coordination.  Ankota’s primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care.

 

9 Time Management Tips From A Home Care Social Media Expert 

Ankota’s marketing director, Jed Hammel doesn’t come from the home care world but instead is an expert is social media marketing, film making, event planning and more.  His recent blog article on the Startup Institute website is inspiring and his time management tips will be helpful to our home care audience. Managing time effectively is a skill that every one can benefit from as we pioneer the future of healthcare at home.time management

How do I, Jed Hammel spend my daily life? I split my time between:

  • marketing director for a small startup
  • teaching as an adjunct video production instructor
  • putting on entertainment events for the public
  • building volunteer social impact organizations
  • running a film festival,
  • producing a feature film,
  • going to Startup Institute’s immersive program
  • producing commercial videos for corporations

Time Management Is Essential

Time, as they say, is of the essence for me.  Yet managing that time and finding the productivity system that works best for me has been a challenge.

I’ve spent the past three years searching for the perfect productivity or time management system. I’ve read a cavalcade of books and blogs and attended a number of talks on the subject. On top of that, I’ve used as many systems and software that I could get my hands on.  Throughout my research, I found a lot of helpful step-by-step systems available.  But I also found that a lot of them tend to assume that each method works well for everyone.

The number one takeaway I found in my research is that when it comes to managing productivity, one size does not fit all. More specifically, often the methods are ones that simply could not be implemented by many people.

As an example, productivity expert Tim Ferris and his book The 4 Hour Work Week suggest productivity hacks, such as convincing your boss to let you work from home one day a week.  Another idea he suggests is to only check your email in the afternoon.  I’ve learned a great deal from Ferris’ work and I enjoy his podcasts and blogs, especially 5 Morning Rituals That Help Me Win the Day.  That said, neither of those ideas are time management systems I could ever implement based on my particular work situation.  I’m betting those hacks may also be difficult for a number of other folks to implement as well.

Time Management Tips Mashup

If a person’s  job is to work on as a food server, or to teach in a classroom, or to manage a team on-site, then working from home is an impossibility. And the idea of only checking email after a certain time during the day is a nice idea, but for a lot of people, their supervisors would never allow it. My advice is to do some research, try out a lot of different time management systems and tools, and pick the elements from each that work best for their lifestyle and particular situation.

With all that in mind, here’s a “system,” actually a collection of general concepts, practices, and use of software, that works well for me.  It’s a mashup of elements that utilizes a number of different techniques and tools that have cobbled together over time.

PLAN YOUR NEXT DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE

The first rime management step is to plan what you want to accomplish during the next day.  For many folks, once the morning starts, their day is a sprint to evening.  I’ve found that if I can take 15 minutes ahead of time to plan my next day before I go to bed, not only do I tend to rest easier, but my day becomes easier to manage and I feel more like my day has purpose.

Another part of this habit is to review what worked and what didn’t during the day that you just had as a way to learn and improve.

Extra credit: I also suggest finding time to plan for a menu of your upcoming week’s meals.

MORNING RITUALS

This is something I don’t do enough, at all!  The excuse I tell myself is that I’m not a morning person.  But if I were to do it, I’d have a few habits:  30 minutes of working out, 30 minutes of meditation, 30 minutes of enjoying a healthy meal, and 15 of reviewing my notes from the night before.

MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE

With work and family responsibilities, plus a longer work week, on top of a commute, it seems to get harder and harder for a lot of us to find time or energy to exercise.  Aside from the obvious health benefits, regular exercise can often affect your brain and your overall mindset in a positive way.

Working out boosts your energy, your mental focus, and releases endorphins that can both figuratively and physiologically improve your outlook on the world.

Extra credit: Check out the Headspace meditation app if you’d like an easy way to do guided meditation.

SCHEDULE FLEX TIME

This is another tip that may be impossible for people depending on your work and life realities.  That said, I do suggest taking a hard look at your schedule to see if there are any nuggets of time—even 15 minutes—that you can schedule in time to do nothing or anything.  Call it a break, free time, flex time, whatever you want—but leave it open.

BE REALISTIC

Don’t try to do or plan too much.  Don’t try to change your habits over night and  give yourself a break if you don’t always maintain the habits you are trying to adopt.  It’s a process, you’re not just flipping a switch.

STEPS AND RESOURCES FOR SUCCESSFUL TIME MANAGEMENT

FIRST STEP: LIST EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GET DONE

Trello is an incredibly simple system of “tiles,” similar index cards, that you can use to organize your to-do list and your progress.

From Trello: “A Trelltime managemento board is a list of lists, filled with cards, used by you and your team. It’s a lot more than that, though. Trello has everything you need to organize projects of any size.”

Agile development systems often use Trello.  But the way I use it is to create a master list of every to-do I have that I can think of for the next three months so that I know exactly what I want to get done. When I complete a task (or if one is in progress) I move the tile along the pipeline.  It’s a great way to know that nothing can fall through the cracks and it feels great to see the progress I’m making.

SECOND STEP: STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR BIG ACTION ITEMS

Momentum is a Chrome Extension designed to focus your day.  When you open up a blank browser, Momentum offers a beautiful image of nature and asks you type in the answer to: What is your min focus for today? Throughout your day, if you’re ever unsure of what your priority is, Momentum is there to remind you.

It also has a to-do checklist as part of it, which I like for “broad stroke” to-dos, but I tend to have such a long granular list of tasks that listing them in this fashion becomes counterproductive. But as a way to filter out the noise and be reminded what my big action items are, it’s great.

THIRD STEP:  MANAGE YOUR EMAIL LOAD

Email Game is a great (and free) way to do email “triage,” or organizing your emails to either respond to, delete, or set a “Boomerang” reminder to deal with later.

Essentially, it’s a program that takes the emails in your inbox, offers them up one by one in a bare bones UX/UI look, gives you a time limit countdown to deal with each email, and offers you success rewards and a score once you’re done.

FOURTH STEP: BE STRATEGIC WITH YOUR TIME

A tomato saved my work life. No, not really, but sort of. I use the Pomodoro Technique, a time management strategy developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.

By breaking up way time this way, not only do I get more total work done, but I also tend to feel more refreshed and accomplished, but I also feel that I did as much as I could throughout the day.  That last part really helps me with feeling that I can give myself a break if I don’t get everything done on my list.

This article was posted by Jed Hammel and first appeared as “9 Time Management Tips from our Home Care Social Media Expert” on the Ankota blog on Sep 6, 2016. The article originally appeared on The Whiteboard.