Time Management – Ask a Busy Person

This blog comes from Mayer Levitt of Jodena Consulting. Mayer is a long-time dental consultant, and we are pleased to feature his wisdom on the MDPM blog!

Time Management-Ask a Busy Person

Mayer A. Levitt, DMD | February, 2011

I am in awe of busy people who somehow are able to take on anything that is asked of them, yet still continue to do their jobs well. They are rare! From my observations over many years of coaching, here are suggestions for dentists trying to be more effective in the use of their time. It is all about creating efficiencies and systems that work reliably. There are only so many hours in the day when you can avail yourself of staff, high-speed suction, and compressed air – and you need to make the most of those hours.

1. Surround yourself with excellence. You can’t have a great practice without a great staff. Build a team that you can depend on.

2. Delegate to the extreme. Assign specific tasks and hold people responsible for their actions and the results. Allow people to fail and then learn from their mistakes. You can’t do it all yourself – it is way too complex and way too much work.

3. Incentivize your staff. The greatest management principle in the world states that if you want to receive more of a particular behavior, reward that behavior. There is a need for reward, motivation, and challenge in order for a person’s skills to be maximized in the workplace.

4. Compliment and coach every day. Your staff needs to know that you appreciate them. Don’t assume they know. Assumption is the lowest form of human behavior.

5. Allow staff to share in the management decisions in the office. Many times the best source of new ideas comes from our staffs.

6. Work hard every day you are in the office. But don’t forget to play hard when you are out of the office.

7. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn to go with the flow, and find ways to have fun and enjoy yourself with staff and patients.

8. Set realistic daily, weekly, and monthly goals for production and collection. Write them down where you can see them every day. Share them with your staff – they are not mind readers. Learn the proper scheduling techniques to reach those goals.

9. Above all be timely.  Stay on time. Patients will respect your time in direct proportion to the way you respect theirs. And don’t forget to respect staff because working through lunch and finishing late every day gets depressing.

10. Eliminate personal phone calls during business hours for both the doctor and staff. Especially the doctor.

11. Don’t do definitive treatment for emergency patients while keeping your scheduled patients waiting.

12. The most ideally scheduled day can turn into a disaster if the doctor doesn’t comply. Don’t get hung up in hygiene rooms doing extensive treatment planning. Schedule a separate consultation visit. If a clinical procedure isn’t going well, for whatever the reason, know when it is time to regroup and reschedule. It is called knowing when to punt!

Here is your prescription for success. Now go fill it.