Dentists Wear A Lot Of Hats! Clinician, Leader, Parent, Business Person……
It can be debilitating if we are not careful…overwhelm and lack of focus can lead to burnout and as a result we don’t reach our goals….or get what we are looking for out of our life and practice.
Here are some routines and rituals that help you keep your focus, reduce your stress, and get you to where you want to be quicker….
- Transition routine. (increases concentration and intention/focus)
- Clear desk routine. (reduces carry over lag)
What is Carry Over Lag? In neuroscience and psychology the concept of Carry Over Lag is well studied. Essentially it boils down to this: If you do not release yourself from or complete one task before starting the other the weight of that previous task stays with you. The consequence: stress, lack of focus on your current task, and ultimately poor outcomes.
This can be applied to going from one patient encounter to the next, from home to the office, from the office to a meeting etc. As you know it is not always possible to complete each task completely before moving on. So how can you reset yourself to minimize the risk of lower performance and stress?
I will discuss 2 strategies I use every day…..Each serves as a valuable reset button in my mind and enables me to close the task I was working on and open the next task with a clear mind and intention.
I transition myself between tasks and patients, as well as different settings or environments.
- Patient to patient: I repeat to myself, “Presence, efficiency and the particular procedure into which I am walking (Example: root canal).” This allows me to release from the last patient encounter and give the next patient the attention they deserve. The best gift we can give our patients is total focus and presence. As well it transitions me from the previous procedure the to one I will be now performing.
- From the parking lot to the office doors: I repeat to myself, FUN, LEADERSHIP and PRODUCTIVITY.
- Between tasks: I release myself from the last tasks and set the intention for the new one.
- In my driveway before I enter my home from a workday: Your family deserves the best of you not what is left of you. Nothing is more important than your family. This puts things in perspective and allows me to be present with my loved ones versus coming home from a stressful day and brushing them off or being stuck in my own head.
Doing this has allowed me to Reset and Concentrate on what is most important now!
Concentration and concentrated effort will save you time, energy, and money!
Clear Desk Routine
At the end of the day, I complete any unfinished or lingering tasks to free myself of them. Of course, I don’t address anything that would require an all-nighter or days to complete.
The goal is to transition from activity to activity without loss of enthusiasm. Hit the reset button along the way and build your high-performance practice.
I recognize this is easier said than done. I slip up often. Life, dentistry and business are stressful and there is no shortage of fires to put out. You are so much more prepared to handle those tough moments when you have great habits and rituals to back you up. Perfection is not the goal–it’s progress. Anything is better than nothing at all. In fact, just the intention is a good start, as it demonstrates awareness and a shift in mindset.
Don’t delay, get started today!