How do you handle scheduling?

This may seem like a bit of an off question, but I bet there are a lot of different answers to this question. How do other electrologists handle scheduling and time management?

As a a newbie to the providing services aspect, I am probably not very practised at handling both treatment length and scheduling in between time. I’m wondering how others go about it? Allow me to explain

We use an online scheduling application so I am able to put my hours I want to work and clients can book online the time they want.In general I try and leave time after every appointment at this point, because I know several things, first , that I will almost ALWAYS treat for more time than what is booked with me. Maybe its lack of confidence in my speed, or wanting the client to feel like they got what they paid for, or maybe it’s that almost always clients will book for less time than what its actually going to take to complete the work needing doing. Then it takes a few minutes at the end of appointment to record treatment notes . Also I do tend to be concentrating on the job at hand, not watching a clock. If I am not paying attention it is very easy for me to run over on time.

Now because I am not booked solid at this point only just starting out, I can do this. However it does affect my efficiency.

Now normally, this is not an issue. Hoever yesterday something happened out of the norm. My partner was not well, and was faced with having to cancel her days appointments.It doesnt happen very often but I stepped up to the plate and offered tot take any appointment who didnt want to cancel.I should say that she’s a busy electrologist who has her time management skills to a fine art. She will regularly have days where there are 7-8 hours of rapid succession 15 minute appointments all day long, with no space in between. Now we were able to move some things around to give me some time in between , but in reality, I had someone on my bench the entire time I was in. I’m completely intimidated at the pace at which she is able to handle things. Going over in time on one single appointment would be enough to throw her schedule off for the entire day.

So, I’m wondering how others approach this, given that we seem to be at two extremes. Do you use treatment timers ? Leave time between each appointment to make sure you have enough time? Have a receptionist ushering clients in and doing the billing/payments? Some things I’m not thinking of? We’ve got some very busy electrologists on this board surely there must be some time management tricks.I know that by the time I went home yesterday I was completely flustered!

Generally, I try to schedule 15 minute gaps between people, knowing that I might go over by a minute or two, they might be a minute or two late, and we still need to handle aftercare, payment and scheduling, in addition to needing to make my history notes and then cleaning everything up between people. For the consumers reading this, this is half of why, per unit of time, 15 minute appointments generally cost more than hour long appointments with electrologists. The other half being the cost of supplies. Basically, I can get two 15 minute appointments into a one hour time frame and I use twice as many supplies as I do with the one hour appointment.

So, with that in mind, I use the timer built into my machine to keep me on time with a warning that goes off when 90% of the time is used up and a final alarm when time has been completed. Occasionally, I end up booking people back to back without the 15 minute gap in between and, in those cases, I also have a small digital alarm clock next to the machine on my cart, which I set to go off 10 minutes before the appointment ends.

Minus that spare minute or two that might be needed to just grab a last few hairs to even someone out, if I have someone booked right after someone else, I have to end the appointment (and I try to keep track of my time as we go, so I know when to switch sides to keep them roughly even). I don’t like going to someone’s office and being told to wait, so I do my best to not make my next person have to wait either (and if I do, that means it’s going to set my schedule back for the rest of the day or until my next break).

I tend to be very OCD and I have routines, lots of routines, that are practiced and orderly, so I don’t even stop to think about what has to get done in between people. Over time, you become a pretty well oiled machine. My clients are also trained to be here on time and that we’ll have plenty of time for chatting while we work, even if it’s on the face. I have days that vary from a single 8 hour appointment, to a mix of 8 or 10 15-120 minute appointments, to a day like tomorrow with a 2,4 and 5 hour appointment. In the end, everyone gets exactly what they wanted, unless they’re late, which is out of my control, but it all starts with me staying on top of things and not letting myself fall behind… and that’s where the timers come in. If I have a more leisurely day (they aren’t all 9-14 hour days with no breaks), I’m happy to sit down and chat with someone for a while… Phone calls go to voice mail if I’m working on someone and returned when I have free time.

Edit to add:
Before I leave every night, files are pulled for the next day, all supplies are restocked (also done in down time during the day), the sterilizer is run, the floors get cleaned, etc. I still get to work 30-60 minutes before I open just in case I have to deal with any last minute stuff in the morning. Officially, I’m open 9 hours a day, but I’m here closer to 11, and that’s assuming I don’t come in early or leave late (way too frequently, both) to accommodate someone’s needs.

It sounds like you handle it the same way I do. I have a timer on my phone I should be using to keep track of treatment. It also means I cant pack 8 15 minute appointments into a 2 hour period like some people are able to. My hats go off to those that can, because I dont think I could do it! I should definitely put a treatment timer into my routine though, I guess that is a part of the learning process.


If someone is doing four 15 minute treatments per hour, they probably aren’t doing a full 15 minutes worth of electrolysis on each person, but doing 10 minutes of electrolysis and 5 minutes of prep and aftercare, even if they aren’t doing the billing, scheduling and cleaning between people themselves.

The time has to come from somewhere… and that’s why I give myself that 15 minute gap between people.

Just a bit of my experience: i plan a time buffer of about 15-20 minutes to each treatment for preparation/ introductory talk/ payment/ planning of appointment and the like. And i plan breaks of 30 minutes between two (usually long) sessions.

It is not uncommon that i need to extend a treatment to achieve my clients in a “reasonably finished state” which can be left untouched for 2 to 3 months. And then the next client comes early…

Which means that these apparently long breaks are actually pretty short and do not always give me sufficient time to recover between the jobs.

Another approach is to plan 50% surplus of the treatment time - including breaks. And again that will come out as a realistic number.

This is good advice!