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Top 3 ways to make planning a priority

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
-Zig Ziglar

As a dentist and business owner, it is imperative that you order your priorities. Working time should consist of both clinical and business aspects of dentistry. This can only happen if you plan to plan.

But, we’re so busy with the myriad responsibilities of being a clinician and business owner. After the patients are seen, we have to pay the bills, change the lightbulbs and a thousand other details related to being your own boss! The old I just don’t have the time excuse really isn’t valid. Here are a few ideas for adding time to your day!

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Whether you’re a self-professed night owl or always up with the sun, everyone can manage to wake up 15 minutes earlier once a week. Use that time before the world awakens to quietly reflect on your business priorities for the coming week. Add everything you can think of to the list. It may not get done right away but you have the option of prioritizing what is most pressing and working towards those goals. After all,

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”

— Greg Reid

Use scheduling to your advantage

As clinicians, we live and die by the schedule –leverage that precision. If you are reviewing the schedule and see your assistant has allowed more time to seat Mrs. Smith’s crown than you actually need, turn that excess into planning time. Another great option is using your lunch hour for planning time. Many offices close for lunch and while we all need a break from work, midday, you still have the energy to critically think about your business. Let your staff know you are not to be disturbed and close the door to your office. Make it a working lunch once a week and use the time to plan for your business.

Let it go

Elsa sang it best.

Sometimes you just have to re-prioritize and move some tasks to another day (or week). The biggest hurdle is making a firm time to put thoughts to paper. After that, it is just a matter of what task is the most pressing vs what can wait. There is no shame in moving a goal (or two) to future dates, or removing something that will not be possible.

Dr. Bobbi Stanley has practiced dentistry for over 25 years and has established best practices for setting daily, monthly and annual goals. In her Dental Entrepreneur Summit, she details the methods she has used to build one of the oldest and largest comprehensive dental practices in the Southeast. 

In 2020, the course will be offered in-person and virtually for dentists that are serious about making 2021 their best year yet!