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How to Master Time Management in Your Dental Practice

Managing time is a skill that always has room for improvement. With all the modern distractions that pervade our daily lives, many of us need to retrain our brains to get the most out of our precious minutes. Dental blogger Shen Chao has a few tips that can get you started on the path to focus and organization.
Shen Chao
PUBLISHED: Wednesday, August 16, 2017
 
Resist the urge to pick up your smartphone between appointments and meetings — you may end up with more free time.

 
As an owner of a dental practice, you often need to wear various hats on any given day. In such situations, do you often find yourself running late between meetings and appointments? Do you struggle with time management and often work longer hours than intended?

RELATED:  Effective time management plays an important role in making your practice successful. Various factors, from planning to prioritizing to your dental team, influence your time management approach.
 
These 5 valuable tips will help you master time management in your dental practice.
 
1. Assess the Time Required for Daily Tasks

Your first step toward efficient time management should be assessment. You need to have a clear idea about the time you spend on your daily tasks. This will help you identify the areas where time is wasted and also where you can save time. You can get a better insight for planning an ideal day with minimal to no wastage of time.
 
2. Plan and Prioritize

Depending on your assessment, plan your day and delegate time limits to each task. Transition time should also be allocated between two tasks to avoid chaos. The next move is to prioritize. Choose a combination of procedures which is suitable for you. For instance, a majority of your day can be assigned for substantial cases such as crowns, bridges, veneers and partials. A small chunk of your work day can be allocated for restoration procedures such as root canal and composites. Miscellaneous tasks such as checkups, emergencies and adjustments can be taken up in and around the major tasks as time permits.
 
3. Make Optimal Use of Your Dental Team

Your team members should have clearly assigned duties, and you should restrain yourself from taking over their roles. Don’t listen to the voices telling you, “This will only take a few minutes, let me just do it myself.” Those few minutes are precious. What’s more, intruding on your employee’s responsibilities may lead your dental team to feel undervalued and lose interest in their work.
 
If you feel that any of your staff is undertrained, you should ensure that they are trained appropriately so they can fulfill their duties. If everyone on your team does their work diligently, that allows you to manage your time better.
 
4. Manage Files and Emails

Patient information files and other records are an important resource. But once filed, most of them are rarely used. Valuable time is wasted looking for lost papers and trying to decode improper files. Create a proper filing system to ensure your records are updated as and when required. These files should be easily accessible. You can also use technology to manage your records efficiently.
 
When possible, allocate a few hours from your work day to deal with emails only. This way, you can deal with them quickly and not be distracted throughout the day thinking about them.
 
5. Do Not Multitask

Most of us are usually multitasking because we believe we can get two things done simultaneously and increase productivity. Shuffling between two tasks at once actually reduces our productivity and increases the risks of blunders. For instance, smart phones are one of the major modern distractions, so consider putting yours down between treatments or during meetings. Just sitting down and dealing with one task at a time increases your efficiency. So, if you really want to get more done, focus on doing one thing with successful results, not two or more things with mediocre results.
 
Apart from these tips, a well-rested body and mind are necessary, so ensure that you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep. A disciplined routine will help you function optimally and deliver quality dental services to your patients.
 
Dental blogger Shen Chao posts regularly at www.joshuahongdds.com. He knows how content marketing can be effectively used to drive more traffic and frequently shares tips and insights into a wide variety of dental problems. All his posts are informative, updated, and well written.

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