As an orthodontist or dentist, you may not have the luxury of handing over the reins of the practice to your team, so it’s a constant juggling act between you as a clinician and you as a business owner.
Time management can be difficult, with the majority of your time patient focused, it can be hard to find time to concentrate on practice management, marketing and other administrative tasks.
Sometimes it’s not a matter of needing more hours in the day (because you’d just be even more exhausted), it’s just about harnessing the ability to make the most out of the hours you already have.
Here are 5 time management tips you may find useful if you’re operating a busy dental practice and balancing working as a clinician.
Make a to-do list that works
Utilising a to-do-list is not a new concept, but to-do-lists have come a long way with the invention of digital technology.
When it comes to compiling a to-do-list, it may feel great to cross things off a written list, but there are a few drawbacks. Written to-do-lists can get lost, aren’t flexible when you want to reorganise the order of tasks and can’t be linked to your calendar for reminders.
Benefits of digital to-do-lists
- Flexibility to change and reorganise tasks.
- Access online anywhere, anytime.
- You can link the list to your calendar to set reminders and notifications.
- The ability to share your calendar to collaborate on tasks.
- Link your to-do-list to other documents.
We recommend creating your to-do-list the night before, so you’re ready to hit the ground running in the morning.
The hardest part of writing your to-do-list will be prioritising your tasks. You may find that all your tasks seem to demand priority, so you’ll have to delve deeper to determine the real deadline of each task.
Ensure you don’t overestimate what you can get done in one day and don’t underestimate how long each task will take.
Your time between patients is probably very limited, so make sure you set realistic expectations on what you can complete in one day.
For your list to work, sort your tasks into items that can be completed quickly and others that require more time. This will help determine what you can get done between each patient.
To avoid going off track, always set aside a period of time for those unexpected tasks that might pop up during the day.
Manage your emails
Along with your to-do-list, how you reply to and send emails requires careful time management. Randomly replying and sending emails multiple times during the day may not be the most effective use of your time.
To save time, only check your emails at certain times throughout the day, actioning the most urgent emails immediately.
Another technique that may work for you is creating folders within your email account to separate emails that need a reply, emails that need to be printed or saved for future reference. This will reduce the overwhelm that can occur when your inbox is overflowing with emails.
Onboard an effective payment plan solution
The cost of treatment is one of the biggest barriers as not all patients can afford to pay for their treatment upfront and practice staff spend a great deal of time converting patients to get the treatment they need.
The DentiCare Payment Plan Solution saves time by making it easier to help patients get the treatment they need.
The DentiCare Payment Plan Solution:
- Creates a consistent and reliable revenue stream.
- Improves patient retention.
- Helps your practice convert more patients.
- Includes real support from real people.
- As a fully-managed service – saves your administration team time.
Get started today and see how the DentiCare Payment Plan solution can benefit your patients and help time management within your practice.
Single tasking – do one thing at a time
It’s normal to want to juggle more than one task at a time, but when you’re muli-tasking you’re not giving 100% of your attention to anything.
While it may feel like you’re getting a lot done, multi-tasking isn’t necessarily more productive than concentrating on one task at a time.
Focusing on one single thing at a time will help you get your tasks done faster and at a higher standard than when you flick back and forth between jobs.
It’s always great to conduct a debrief of your weekly tasks, highlighting what you have and haven’t completed and anything that is still outstanding.
It will also give you a good indication of the effectiveness of your to-do-list and allow you to keep track of upcoming tasks for the following week.
Remember to make the most out of your time you need to ensure you’re being as productive as possible. Time management isn’t always easy, especially within a busy practice, but if done properly it will help decrease your stress levels as well as improve productivity within your practice.