“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life!”
This sentiment, while good natured and well intentioned, is hyperbolic at best. If you didn’t love dentistry, you probably wouldn’t own a practice and dedicate your life to it. Nevertheless, even the happiest individuals deserve a vacation. If you are a practice owner so dedicated to your craft that you would disagree with that sentiment, you should be aware that travel is scientifically proven to improve health and reduce stress, allowing you to perform your duties even more effectively once you get back on the clock. Even if you don’t like to travel, not taking vacation time actually hurts productivity, which in turn hurts your practice.
Now that you’re convinced, how can you carve out enough free time to allow a vacation with such a demanding position and so many responsibilities? Start by implementing efficient systems and practicing strong time management.
The first step toward effective time management is to assess how much time you’re spending on daily tasks. This will give you a visual understanding of how time is spent and where there are inefficiencies that can be trimmed down. It will also help you in the next step of planning and prioritizing your daily tasks. Shen Chao of Dentist’s Money Digest suggests, “a majority of your day can be assigned for substantial cases such as crowns, bridges, veneers and partials. A small chunk of your workday can be allocated for restoration procedures such as root canal and composites. Miscellaneous tasks such as checkups, emergencies and adjustments can be taken up in and around the major tasks as time permits.” Compartmentalizing your day in this manner can help free up time to book more appointments while maintaining quality care, allowing you to hit your goals sooner and find time to get out of the office.
Another method of saving time and increasing the efficiency of your systems is to upgrade your computer equipment. Not only does each new generation of computer technology operate more quickly, the capabilities of these new systems can help streamline or expedite processes. On top of that, it can even help with automation, which can save a significant amount of time. These automation services can help eliminate a significant portion of work for your office staff. In addition to automated services, new systems will allow you to outsource services like virtual billing, which will not only save time but increase revenue.
Saving time and earning money are both deserving of a vacation!