By Don Khouri, PhD, Managing Director Fortune Northeast

As a dentist, you wear three important hats. In your clinical role, you are usually the primary producer, you are the entrepreneur and owner of the business, and the leader of the team. Along with that, you have personal commitments to honor as well. How can you effectively integrate all of that for what we call an extraordinary practice and extraordinary life?

June 20th was world productivity day when people celebrate their own productivity in their own ways. It’s also a time to reflect and identify ways you can be more productive. Here are four tips to consider.

Tip #1: Optimize Appointment Scheduling

Effective scheduling is the cornerstone of a productive dental practice. Consider adopting the following techniques:

  • Goal Setting: Ensure every provider has a daily goal and assign someone responsible for ensuring providers are scheduled to that goal.
  • Implement time blocking: Allocate specific time slots for your most productive procedures. This enhances the patient experience and allows for a smooth, stress-free day.
  • Utilize your practice management software to streamline appointment scheduling, Most software programs allow you to setup templates for your most common procedures and allocate assistant time and doctor time for you to maximize doctor time.

Tip #2: Delegate and Outsource

I often hear from dentists that they carry the weight of the practice on their shoulders. However, effective delegation and outsourcing can lighten the load and free up valuable time. Consider the following approaches:

  • Empower Your Team: Train your administrative team to own their own responsibilities: scheduling, financial aspects of the practice, patient care, and treatment presentation. Effective delegation not only reduces your workload but also empowers your team members to learn and grow. We are most fulfilled when we are learning and growing.
  • Delegate Personal Responsibilities: Just as you delegate administrative tasks, consider delegating personal responsibilities when possible. Outsource tasks like home maintenance, grocery shopping, or errands, allowing you to focus on your professional and personal priorities.
  • Outsource specialized tasks: For specific functions like bookkeeping, insurance verification, marketing, and team training, consider outsourcing to professionals who specialize in those areas. This allows you to leverage the expertise of other while focusing on what you do best.
  • Schedule some time off: One of my clients shared with me that works for him. He always had his next vacation scheduled whether is was a two-week break or a weekend getaway. The anticipation kept him motivated and excited to do his work knowing there was a reward ahead.

Tip #3: Prioritize Self-Care and Time Off

When the flight attendants review the security procedures on the plane, they always tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first before taking care of others. The reason for that is that you can better take care of others when you are breathing. Same is true when you are on the ground. When you prioritize yourself, you can better take care of others. Some may see this as selfish act, but actually I see it as exactly the opposite for that reason. It better positions you to take better care of your patients, your family, and others.

This is a must if you want to be more productive.

Know when to say yes. We prefer not to say no to others. It may be uncomfortable or we may just want to help as much as possible. When you know when to say yes to the most important things that align with your roadmap and priorities, you will be able to set boundaries and stay focused.

Tip #4: Work-life Balance Doesn’t Really Exist

If it did exist, you would allocate the same amount of time and energy to work life and home life. While possible, that is highly unlikely. More likely, you are putting more time and energy into one or the other. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin America and similar companies, said, “there is no work, there is no play, it just living.”

The idea is that sometimes business life spills into personal life, and somethings personal life spills into business life. It’s ok. What you may want to strive for is business-life integration which suggests embracing the intermingling of business and personal activities. The focus is on finding harmony and flexibility between business and personal life rather than a strict balance (Kossek & Thompson, 2016). I don’t like to call it work because that has a negative connotation – it’s difficult and not fun. For some of us, it actually is fun.

I encourage you to put this into action today – optimize your schedule, delegate and outsource, prioritize self-care, and seek business-life integration.

If you want to be more productive in business and life, we are offering a complimentary personalized productivity assessment with a coach. Learn more at: Dental Practice Coaches – Fortune Northeast