For many of us, even though we have a full workload, at the end of the day we still feel overwhelmed with everything we didn’t get done and many times don’t do what we originally set out to. Whether your long-term goals are to grow your dental practice, have more work/life balance, or just to get back to enjoying dentistry, it is important to focus your daily workload towards reaching those goals.
What I have found from personal experience and studying experts’ solutions is that implementing a few key steps can make you more productive and put you on the path to success.
Look at the big picture
The first thing to do is look at the big picture and understand what your long-term goals are, and then WRITE THEM DOWN.
There was a study conducted on the 1979 Harvard MBA program where graduate students were asked “have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” Only 3% had written goals and plans, 13% had goals but they weren’t in writing and 84% had no goals at all. Ten years later, the same group was interviewed again and they found:
- The 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down was earning twice the amount of the 84% who had no goals.
- The 3% who had written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% of the class combined.
Plan to achieve your goals
Once you have your goals down it’s time to put together a plan to help break them down into obtainable, actionable tasks.
- Empty everything out of your head and get ALL of your to-dos onto paper (or your computer, tablet, phone). This is essential so that your brain can focus on other things instead of trying to remember each of these individual tasks.
- Once all of your tasks are out, prioritize them according to your written goals. Determine what daily tasks are really going to help you achieve your big picture objectives.
- You don’t have to do it all yourself. Once you have them prioritized, determine what you can delegate to team members or outside vendors/consultants.
- Schedule the rest of the tasks on your calendar. This will help you stay on task and be realistic about what you can accomplish.
- Come back to your list on a weekly basis to review and go through the process of prioritizing, delegating and scheduling again. While this might feel redundant it will help you refocus and make sure you are staying on track.
Following these steps can help you focus your time and end the day feeling accomplished and less overwhelmed.