It’s no secret that one of the most important factors in your success is better time management for your dental practice.
The more time you dedicate to your business and practice, the better performance you’ll achieve. While it may sound simple, it’s true, nonetheless.
But, as you’re probably well aware, time management in dentistry is often easier said than done.
Beyond the hours you plug into your practice, you may be raising kids, studying, exercising, or even just trying to find a little time to kick back and relax.
That’s okay! You have a lot on your mind; you want to excel in your practice yet still enjoy the things in your life that make you feel happy and fulfilled.
Let’s take a look at some key time management strategies you can use in your dental practice today.
The Importance of Good Time Management
With such a long list of things to do and think about, it’s easy to see how life can become chaotic without proper time management. But, if you find yourself disorganized and trying to squeeze in everything without a plan, you may actually be hurting yourself.
Just because you get everything done in a day doesn’t mean it’s done well.
People with poor time management often produce low-quality work, because they focus on rushing through a task, rather than doing it well. Those same people might also miss deadlines, struggle to find a good work-life balance, and generally feel more stressed.
Alternatively, people who have good time management practices reap several benefits. They often achieve their goals quicker, get more done, avoid friction and problems, and clear up more time for leisure.
So, what are the things you can do to get these benefits for yourself?
Well, while the latest Instagram influencer might tell you the only solution is rise before everyone else and start hustling, that’s not actually the case.
Here are a few different tactics you can try to improve your time management in your dental practice.
Planning ahead remains one of the simplest, yet effective means of improving time management for your dental practice. It’s a simple strategy that allows you to better organize and prepare for your upcoming day.
Start by creating a to-do list. Think of the list of chores your mom for you to do before she got home from work. Simply lay out all the tasks you want to get done, decide how much time you want to apply to each task and settle on a time you want to have those tasks finished.
Also, try organizing your lists by priority.
Start with the biggest or most important task you expect to face, then move on to the second. You’ll get the most difficult jobs out of the way first, and your remaining jobs will only get easier.
With the largest obstacles behind you, you’ll experience less stress and feel a sense of control as your day moves forward.
To-do lists help you stay focused, plan an effective strategy, and better control your time.
You’ll complete each job properly and save yourself the stress of needing to go back and redo it.
Although it’s useful to organize your day with a list, some daily items simply remain beyond your control.
If you run a business, you rely on the availability of your workers, and, as a dentist, you must do the same with your patients. Focusing on the scheduling of both of these parties allows you to find time to do what you need to do, while also juggling the time of others.
Generally, patient scheduling is something you can find a bit more control over. No one can come in for treatment if there is no one free to treat them. When you sit down to plan ahead organize the time for your tasks, simply block out some times that work best for you to treat your patients.
Maybe you want to dedicate your early morning to do your administrative work. Simply set aside blocks of time outside of that work to treat patients.
“From 7-8 a.m. I want to complete my administrative work. From 8-8:30 a.m. I want to organize my emails. I will be free to treat my first patient after 8:30 a.m.”
Build your appointment opportunities around your schedule. You’re the core of your office. Patients can pick from the times you offer, allowing control and better time management for your dental practice.
Staff scheduling is another important aspect of planning ahead, and a task you’ll probably need to share with your team. After all, they’ll be the ones in charge of fulfilling it.
One way to do this is by introducing a scheduling program into your business. This allows your team to view each other’s shifts, and even swap if necessary.
This helps create a team response that keeps you updated and prepared for requests-offs or other expected circumstances. The fewer surprises you encounter, the less stressed you’ll be.
A popular tool you can use to organize your team’s schedule is WhenIWork, a program capable of showing your team a full schedule, and keeps them up to date.
No matter how you go about it, find a way to make scheduling easier for yourself.
Use Technology to Improve Time Management for Your Dentistry
A crucial part of better time management for your dentistry is organization.
But, you can also use technology to eliminate steps and automate work you’d otherwise perform manually. That’s why certain technologies are being developed to help you stay up to date and prepared for what lies ahead.
Let’s take a look at a few particularly useful items.
Electronic Dental Record Systems (EDR)
These systems have a few important uses, including organizing and document patient information, such as contact information and dental records.
EDRs can also take data from your office and compare it against national statistics. This provides you a better understanding of where your work is and where it should be. The best part? All of this is done automatically, saving you time.
These systems allow you to create an organized database that you can maintain much quicker than saving all of your data on paper or otherwise.
Artificial intelligence can almost do something that would help make time management worry-free: predict the future.
Of course, the future is far from predictable, but emerging AI can use algorithms to help you better understand what’s coming your way.
Perhaps one month out of the year is particularly busy in your office compared to others. Some AI technology might be able to pinpoint that increase months in advance, giving you plenty of time to plan ahead.
Mastering Time Management
Time management is extremely important for your success and overall happiness. Ironically, it also takes time to master.
Not every method works the same for everyone, so you’ll need to experiment with different strategies to discover what’s best for you.
Different tactics work for different people. You may find success with a simple pen and paper planner, or you may find that using time management technology works best for you. Take the time now to figure out which methods work best for you.
The minutes you spend exploring could save you hours in the future.
About First Choice Dental Lab
First Choice Dental Lab is a full-service dental lab with locations in Downers Grove, Il. & Wauwatosa, Wi.
We manufacture & customize quality dental restorations for general dentists. We create smiles based on your needs and budget.
We’re here to help you give your patients a reason to smile!
Request your fee schedule today by completing the form on this page.