As an NDIS Support Coordinator, one of your primary goals (outside of supporting your Participants) is ensuring you reach your weekly billable target. This can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to the industry, you haven't a large enough caseload, or you aren't great at managing your time effectively.
In this blog post, we will share with you some tips on how you can maximise your time and ensure you are reaching those weekly targets.
Before you do anything, ensure that you have a good understanding of what you can and can't bill for. Get familiar with the legislation, including Section 34. Ensure you are familiar with the Price Guide and if a new Price Guide is released, ensure you are aware of all the changes and updates as they may impact you and your Participants.
Support Coordinators can bill travel for up to 30 minutes to the Participant and up to 30 minutes back to their usual place of business. In regional areas, you can charge up to 60 minutes each way. You can also bill for non-labour costs such as parking, kilometres and tolls - if it has been agreed upon in the Service Agreement.
Different organisations will have different increments in which they bill for completed work. For example, some organisations will bill in 15-minute increments whilst others may bill in 6-minute increments.
From my experience, billing in 6-minute increments allows you to capture many of the small tasks, emails and phone calls that are completed during the day but may not be significant enough to warrant a 15-minute charge.
Sidenote: I believe 6 minutes is the smallest increment for which you can claim from the NDIS portal.
Astalty Professional allows you to select which type of increments you would like to bill in, whether that be 6, 10, or 15-minute increments. It is completely customisable.
Review your current work habits and look for ways to optimise your time. One of the best ways to increase your billable hours is to simply take a close look at how you're currently spending your time. Are there any tasks that you're doing that could be delegated or outsourced? This might include some of the administrative un-billable work. Is there anything that you're doing that could be streamlined or done more efficiently? If so, make changes to your work habits accordingly.
Create a schedule and stick to it. One of the biggest roadblocks to billing more hours is not having a set schedule. If you don't have structure in your day, it's easy to let time slip by without accomplishing anything. But if you sit down and map out exactly what you need to do each day, it'll be much easier to stay on track and make sure that all your hours are accounted for.
Another great way to increase your billable hours is to take on additional tasks. Your manager may have additional tasks that need to be completed that could easily be incorporated into your day. These additional tasks could be anything from conducting home visits to writing up reports. If you're able to take on more work, it'll be much easier to reach your billable hour targets.
Be mindful of overextending yourself, we don't want you to end up burning yourself out.
Another way to make sure that you're billing for all the hours you're actually working is to set priorities. When you have a long list of tasks staring you in the face, it can be tempting to just start working on whatever is easiest or most fun. But if you take the time to prioritise your tasks, you'll be much more likely to get the most important (and billable!) work done first.
One of the most effective ways to manage your time is time blocking. Time blocking is a productivity technique where you break down your day into manageable chunks and then focus on one task during each chunk. This helps to eliminate distractions and ensures that you're making the most of your time. For example, you might block out the first two hours of your day for calling Participants, the next hour for administrative tasks, and you might assign an hour to case notes and NDIS reports.
Read more about time blocking here.
It might seem counterintuitive, but taking regular breaks can actually help you to be more productive. When you're feeling overwhelmed or bogged down, stepping away from your work for a few minutes can help you to clear your head and come back refreshed.
If you're not already tracking your time, now is the perfect time to start. There are a number of different ways to track your time, but one of the easiest is to simply use a spreadsheet. Simply create a column for each day of the week and then fill in the tasks that you worked on during each hour. This will not only help you to see where your time is going, but it will also be helpful when it comes time to billing for the work that you've completed.
We also have a free tool - Astalty Lite, which allows you to track your daily tasks and billable hours.
Click here to find out more.
As a Support Coordinator, you work very closely with your Participants. Participants will often call you when they need help with something, and it can be tempting to drop everything and attend to their needs.
However, it's important to set boundaries with your Participants so that you're not spending all your time on non-billable tasks. For example, you might let them know that you'll be available during certain hours of the day or that you'll only be able to respond to their emails once per day. By setting boundaries and putting some agreements (See the video below) in place, you'll be able to protect your time and make sure that you aren't bogged down in potentially un-billable work.