Boost Your Productivity Through Organization
As practice managers, it is no secret that we have a lot on our plates. We wear many hats, such as manager, patient care coordinator, insurance coordinator, treatment plan coordinator, IT person, plumber, counselor, and cleaning person, just to name a few (and I know I’m missing a lot.)
There are times we sit there and wonder how we are going to get it all done. As soon as one task list gets finished, we already have fifty more tasks lined up on our next one.
It never ends! Yet every day, we still roll up our sleeves and jump in to get it all done.
These are five ways that helped me organize my day better and, as a result, increase my productivity.
1. Set Goals
By setting achievable goals for the day and the week, you can prioritize your task list and approach the day in an efficient way. Try to take care of urgent and important tasks first. That way, if something is important, but not urgent, you can tackle it later.
This is extremely helpful if you have a team constantly approaching you with requests. You can hear them out and give them a deadline of when you will get back to them with an answer, or just let them know you will take care of the task if no follow-up is needed.
2. Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are so many amazing apps and software programs designed to help make your professional work life easier. With the correct resources and tools at your disposal, you can easily manage meetings and deadlines and increase communication with your team.
Figure out which tools are most important to the daily operations in your practice and start becoming more efficient and streamlined. Many of the best apps and software programs are budget-friendly or are offered at no cost.
Allowing technology to help you stay on top of your workload will ensure you have more time to be present for the dentist, the patients, and your team.
3. Designate Uninterrupted Time
Most of us like to have an “open door policy” because we want to be accessible to our team. However, it is also equally important to have a few hours per day that are designated as uninterrupted time so that you can go into deep focus and get your projects and tasks done more efficiently. Constantly getting interrupted throughout the day is actually counterproductive and results in lower quality of work in most cases.
By setting this small boundary, you will be able to power through your tasks and have even more time to help in other areas of the business.
Often, we practice managers can easily get bogged down with many tasks that use up a lot of time, but do not need to be done by THE practice manager.
In these situations, it is best to delegate the tasks that other members of your team can do or help with, so you can be freer to work on tasks that ONLY YOU can do. This means training your team properly and coming up with protocols to help empower them to handle situations without you.
It can be difficult to delegate sometimes because, as practice managers, we are often the people whom others lean on and we are simply used to taking care of everything. However, it is necessary and important to delegate to help get tasks completed and to help you avoid getting burned out by taking on too much.
By dividing and conquering, your whole team will get a great sense of accomplishment, and you’ll be able to continue forward to exceed your practice goals.
5. Organize, Declutter, and Make Your Space More “You”
Papers and sticky notes everywhere can increase chaos visually and mentally, so taking some time to organize and clean your workspace or office is going to give you a fresh (and clean) start. You will save time looking for papers or notes by having an organized system.
If you have a designated work space, spruce it up a bit with some fun pens or a small desk plant. Customizing your space is fun and gives it personality so that you can feel good at work. Positive vibes in your work environment will help kick-start your day.
In a busy office, we can sometimes feel like a chicken with our heads cut off. There is so much to do and so little time. Yet we can get everything done, and we will – that’s what office managers do. By utilizing the above five tips to stay organized, your day will start to become more streamlined and productive so that you can spend time on the most important tasks in your office.
About the Author
Lan Alexander, MAADOM, grew up in Cambridge, MA, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience. Lan’s dental career passions include creating a positive, fulfilling work culture and providing exemplary service to patients.
She has been an AADOM member since 2017 and serves as a board member for the Boston Chapter of AADOM. Lan received her AADOM Fellowship (FAADOM) in 2019, and in September 2022, received her AADOM Mastership (MAADOM).
Outside of work, Lan loves spending time with her husband, Ron. She loves movies, exploring new restaurants, and going on walks.