Proper time management can get the best of all of us. It's easy to procrastinate, get distracted, or even hyper-focused on something and lose sight of priorities. As a dentist, you can potentially be managing not only yourself but your entire practice. The better you get at managing your own time, the less stress you and your team will feel. Today we are going to look at tips and tools to manage your time.
Prioritize But Don't Procrastinate
The way you start your day makes a big difference! Implementing a morning routine will help you start your day right. Having a goal list you make in the morning will create a focus for your day. Implement the S.M.A.R.T. Goals method when writing them down.
Make a list of everything that needs to get done. Prioritize what needs to happen tonight and what can happen tomorrow. Move those things to a list for tomorrow. After narrowing down your list for today, arrange them in order of when they should happen.
Analyze Where You Are Spending Your Time
Think about how long each task takes when creating a list of priorities for the day. If you aren't sure how long things take, spend a week timing each task. You'll be shocked by how fast you can complete tasks. When I did this, I realized it took me 1 hour to clean my entire house but in my head it had always taken 3.
Also, track how much time you waste on things like social media, web browsing, or tasks that weren't on your list. Between running a business and performing countless dental procedures, it can feel overwhelming. It's easy to get caught up on social media to give your brain a break.
Find Ways To 'Make More Time'
Creating more time for yourself starts with building a strong team. You can't do it all on your own.
- Optimize your morning huddle time to encourage your team and give them goals for the day.
- Extend your team beyond those who are in the practice every day.
- Hire a coach/consultant.
- Hire a marketing agency to take marketing tasks off your list.
- Train your staff
- Make sure your Office Manager is well trained to run your practice efficiently so you don't have to micro-manage your team and processes.
- Have enough staff for the amount of appointments coming in.
- Have a minimum of two dental assistants.
- When you begin turning down hygiene appointments, you'll know that you need to hire a hygienist.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest dental procedure equipment to optimize your efficiency. See this catalog for some 2019 inspiration!
- Schedule your procedures to make the best use of your time. Helping your front office understand the time and resources each procedure will take. This will help with overall efficiency.
- Use your downtime wisely. If you have downtime during the day, see it as an opportunity to catch up on special projects or tasks. Make a downtime list you and your team can chip away at throughout the week.
3 Time Management Tools:
Here are our recommended tools for improving time management in your practice.
- Get trained in 4-handed dentistry to help you and your dental assistant work in tandem, minimize time spent on procedures, and decrease stress on your body.
- Use a Task Management System. A task management system is essentially an online project management system to accomplish daily tasks to keep you and your team on track with your goals. Here's a resource on Top Task Management Systems. When you choose a task management system, take the time for proper training. This will ensure it's a tool and not another frustration you pay for.
- Use a KPI Dashboard. Your Key Performance Indicators tell you what you're doing right and what needs to be done better. You may need to adjust where you are spending time based on how well you are trending in respective KPI categories. To see a demo of a dental KPI system click here.
Good time management is a skill! Your goal with time management should be to have more time in your day to meet your goals and have time for the things you love. Being able to manage your time at home and at work allows you to be more present at each because you're not worrying about the other one. It takes time to become an expert at time management, but if you stay focused, organized and motivated, you'll get very good at this important and necessary skill.