How to Find More Time in Your Schedule
As a practice owner or manager, your day is full of duties and commitments. The busier you are, the more you need to keep the day moving efficiently. One technique some dental consultants suggest is schedule blocking. Many people find that it seems to create more time in the day.
What is Schedule Blocking?
This technique creates chunks of time for different tasks. Many people find that using a color-coding system to differentiate task types, for example, helps them organize time. There are any number of ways to set this up, but using colors creates a visual cue that is easy to decipher at a glance. Different hues can represent patient appointments, emails, planning, team meetings, CE, and even personal commitments.
Make Each Minute Count
Your goal is to schedule time increments during the day, whether that is measured in minutes, 15-minute blocks, half-hours, or whatever works for you. When you schedule the day, it allows you to get more done, knowing you have deadlines, and it leaves you with more free time. Whether you use an online scheduler, paper, or a desk calendar, as dental consultants we recommend committing your scheduling system to writing.
Take Inventory of Your Day
Before you commit to mapping out your workday, write down what you do each minute of the day for a few days. You will quickly realize where you can grab some spare time. Are you taking 20 minutes to get coffee in the morning, or spending 10 minutes every hour to chat with team members? While people are not machines and collegiality is essential to a successful office, perhaps you can cut that time in half on busy days or come in earlier.
Recording what you do each day will help you gain perspective on how much time a given task actually takes to complete. Set deadlines for each task and longer-range due dates, but be flexible initially. You will soon see whether the allotted time you have scheduled is sufficient, too short, or too generous. Sometimes a timer app can help reset your expectations.
Another way to maximize your time is to work with our experienced dental consultants. We have strategies that can be tailored to your practice, individual roles, and dental consultant team members’ work styles. Contact us for more information and see how efficient your workdays can really be.