Confessions Of A Distracted Dentist

Episode 034

Do you ever find yourself distracted when you know you should be doing something productive in your practice? This week I give a confession on some of the things that have turned me into a distracted dentist. Check out episode 34 of Business of Dentistry podcast to see if you may have a similar problem, and what to do about it!



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Have you ever taken stock of where your time goes each day? Or maybe you’ve just mentally checked in with yourself during the day, and noted whether you were working on a productive-type task or something else.

That’s what I recently did: I spent some time mentally evaluating myself and where I was spending my time. And I discovered a number of distractions were keeping me from being as productive as possible.

In an effort to keep myself accountable and to also help you, I’m sharing those distractions and the productive tasks to substitute them with on today’s show.

For most of us our practice is our livelihood, so we want to focus on that first and foremost. However we often get sidetracked by distractions! When I evaluated where I spent my time I found social media, the Internet, email, small talk and new projects have been my sidetracks.

I encourage you to do the same thing: look at where you are spending your time at the office. Are you taking your eye off of your practice to deal with non-dentist business tasks? If so, I have numerous ways to refocus your time and attention on your office and ultimately, your business.

1. Patient care.
The first of which is patient care. You should be dealing with patient care for most of the time you’re in your office. not watching cat videos or jiu jitsu videos if you are me!

2. Patient administration.
The second is patient administration. Rather than looking at Facebook or getting into a Facebook messenger conversation, you should be finishing the administrative components of patient care. My staff does most of the paperwork but I still need to review their work and make sure the files are completed. And the goal is to do this on a daily basis and wrap up the clients’ paperwork on the day they visit.

3. Coordinate with your staff.
Coordinating with your staff can make you and your office much more productive and efficient. For example, do you work with them and have them get medical clearance when necessary? Or do you have them coordinate appointments with multi-disciplinary specialists?

That’s got to be done, it should be one of your focal points. Coordinating with your staff and other professionals will improve your patient care.

4. Overall treatment planning.
Do you spend the time needed to review x-rays, to plan your surgical guides and implant cases? Do you review clinical photos, models and look at your lab cases? Do you go over the lab images with your staff?

There are a lot of things we should be doing more efficiently, and treatment planning is one of them. I’m just as guilty – I’m good at it but I could be more efficient and effective with the time I spend on this task.

5. Working on your practice.
I’m talking about working on tasks and projects that will help grow your practice, not the day to day activities that keep it running. This is when you put your executive hat on and look at the long-term planning in your business.

For example, plan your vacations with your family and put them on the big office schedule for all of your staff. I do that as well as my Navy reserve time, I add it to our long-term calendar that projects out 6 to 12 months. I’m not great at doing this consistently but I should keep at it and get better.

Now that you’ve got a list of where to put your time and attention, do some self-evaluation on your time spent. Check out what you’re doing over the course of the next week. Personally, I  didn’t do a log or track my time. I just did some mental notes: I asked myself what am I doing right now?

That’s your for action item for the week: mentally check out what you’re doing throughout your day and let me know what you find either on the comments below or via email. Thanks for being here and listening to episode 34 of Business of Dentistry!

Tweetable: The multi-tasking mindset doesn’t work.

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