3 Tips for Productivity and Time Management for the Overwhelmed Office Manager

time management blog by nicole sperone

The dental industry is a very fast paced moving one. Of course, some days are going to be slower than others, but for the most part, your days are going to fly by. Every day I go into work I tell myself I’m going to have a productive, great day. When 5PM rolls around, yes, I have accomplished a lot, but I still have piles of work on my desk that looks to have not been touched! I soon came to the realization that my productivity and time management skills were lacking and needed work. The “overwhelm” was real!  Time Management is tricky as you never know what fires you will need to put out throughout the day, but if you have the time to really focus on prioritizing your responsibilities, the day is yours! To help you get the most out of your day, and to make sure you don’t spend any time running around in a panic, here are three tips to help you manage your time to be a productive office manager.

Tip #1: Delegating Tasks

Delegating is a vital management skill. If there is something that is brought to my attention that needs to be done, I usually drop everything I am doing to complete that task. Asking for help and delegating to other team members is not a downfall; it will free up more time throughout your day to help you focus on other important job duties. Delegating is not always easy though; it takes a lot of trust and accountability. You need to have confidence and trust in your team to complete the task at hand. You also need to know your teams’ strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t delegate, not only will you overload your schedule and prioritize the wrong tasks, but your team will miss out on valuable learning and growth opportunities. You have to be open to failure, not because your team might fail, but because learning from their mistakes is a crucial coaching moment.

Tip #2: Blocking Set Time for Administrative Work

As a Dental Office Manager, you can tend to feel like “the hub” of the office; responsible for everything. While that might be the case, it is important to find the time to set aside for uninterrupted administrative work. Whether this is at the office behind closed doors, or outside of the office where your team cannot interrupt you. For example, Payroll is very important, something that should be within your uninterrupted time. If you have team members coming in and out of your office, asking you for assistance, how will you know if you make a mistake on someone’s payroll? You also don’t want to make more work for yourself where you have to go back over your tracks so many times because you keep getting pulled. Make sure you really enforce this uninterrupted time with your team as well. If you constantly allow them to interrupt you, they will not take that time seriously moving forward. As we all know, multitasking is very important as an Office Manager, but during some job duties, you should be focused strictly on that item at hand. Having this set administrative time block will help with keeping you focused on those tasks.

Tip #3: Daily / Weekly / Monthly Check Lists

Maybe this is just me, but I love working off of lists. At the end of the day, it gives me a great sense of accomplishment when I look back at my list and see everything that I was able to check off. But besides feeling accomplished, it’s an amazing way to keep you on track throughout the day / week / or month. For example, depending on the size of your office, your AR may be very time consuming. Setting aside specific days with specific time slots to work on AR will help you not let it consume all your time. Posting insurance checks will also take up all of your time if you don’t plan it right and stay on top of it. Keeping track of all the reports that need to be ran may be difficult throughout the year as well. Creating a schedule that breaks down when you should work on your AR, post insurance checks, run specific reports and so much more, will help you stay on the right track in being a productive Office Manager.

Let’s face it, we’re office managers, our heads are always on a swivel. It feels like there is never enough time in the day to complete everything that needs to be completed. Hopefully these three easy steps will help you manage your time and keep you on track with your workload. Remember, the best way to predict the future is to create it. Set aside the time you need to create your bright future as an Office Manager.


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About the Author

Nicole Sperone

Nicole Sperone, DA, FAADOM

Nicole Sperone is an office manager at Clermont Family Dentistry, with 8 years in the industry. Her passion was in dental assisting but soon learned her potential and grew into dental management. She enjoys spending time with her family and also helps students achieve their Dental Assistant Certificates while working at The Dental Education Institute on the weekends. Nicole is a proud member of the American Association of Dental Office Management and earned her FAADOM in 2023.









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