News |3 min read

How to Lighten Workload in 4 Steps

Sandy Touchton, MAADOM with text, "Real-world insights from AADOM authors"

As managers, we tend to run from one item to another, “pillar to post,” as I like to say. Unhappy parents or patients where you’re trying to calm the seas, staff issues, computer problems… the list goes on.

Sometimes I really do feel like my hair is on fire, running around in an endless circle trying to put it out while dealing with all the other issues – only the fire never goes out!

Fortunately, there are a few ways to work the “water hose” and get some relief.

1. Delegate

Although we feel like it’s quicker to do it right if we just do it ourselves, we all benefit by delegating tasks.

Delegation helps take items off our plate that others are perfectly capable of handling. It also allows others to step up to show what they are capable of.

It builds confidence in your team and lightens your load.

2. Look for outside help

If you’re spending a lot of your time on tasks like insurance verification, going to insurance websites for EOBs, payroll, and financial responsibilities, and don’t have a team member that honestly does have the time to take on these tasks, consider looking outside your practice.

There are reputable companies that provide outside assists with these types of tasks.

Part-time team members are also good options, including those that have left the practice to stay home, who might be interested in something part-time for some extra spending money.

They already know your system, and you know that they work well with your team!

3. Set real expectations and work hours

It’s easy to find yourself working late in order to complete what you thought you would complete that day. In reality, it wouldn’t matter if you stayed half the night; it wouldn’t all get done.

Go home.

Your doctor doesn’t expect you to work 24/7. Nor do they expect miracle workers.

I’ve found that accepting the reality of what I can complete each day will be different. Sometimes there are bigger issues, where smaller tasks that can wait until tomorrow.

I’m not saying to lower your expectations or quality of work; just be realistic on what can be completed depending on what the day throws at you!

4. Accept help when it’s offered

There are times when others offer help, and we turn it down for whatever reason, although we know it would be great to have them lend a hand.

Letting others support you allows them to learn new tasks, creates accountability, and confidence in their abilities. It also gives them a boost that you trust them enough to allow them to help. It’s a win-win situation!

Now head back to work – delegate, search for alternate methods, set realistic expectations, and accept help from others. If you do, you can put the fire out.

Meet the Author

Sandy Touchton wearing glasses outsideSandy Touchton, MAADOM graduated from college in 1981 with a degree in engineering drafting technology. She spent over a decade working in the aerospace industry and IT recruiting before smoothly transitioning into the completely unrelated field of dental practice management! However, her years of administration and systems management experience gave her an advantage in leading a team.

For almost two decades, she has worked as practice manager at Dentistry 4 Children and Bay Area Dental Specialists… This text opens a new tab to the official website….

Sandy achieved her AADOM Fellowship designation in 2019, and most recently, she was inducted as an AADOM Master in 2021.

She and her husband have two sons. In her free time, she enjoys triathlon (she’s also an Ironman!).

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