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A Crash Course in Learning to Plan Your Day

A Crash Course in Learning to Plan Your Day

A Crash Course in Learning to Plan Your Day

Feeling as though you don’t have control of your schedule? Does it seem like everything else predicts your day? You are not alone! Just about everyone in the dental office is busy, busy, busy but you don’t have to be a victim! Even making an attempt to plan your day/week/month can help. Below are some tips I used to break my habit of NOT planning:

Create a habit – pick up a yearly calendar that contains all twelve months on one page, buy some silver or gold star stickers and for each day you plan, put a star on that day so you can track your progress.

Start here: Look at your calendar for the next 3-6 moths and write down 3 main goals for each month, and 3 goals for each week. For example, start with marketing goals. Don’t try and plan out the entire year, just some big picture items. This is called “brain dumping” so you are not starting from scratch every day.

Once you do that, start planning your days! Make sure you have enough room for details and leave empty space for when things get pushed out or something throws off your schedule.

  • Try to schedule your “repetitive” tasks for the same time everyday
  • Always have 3 “MUST HAPPEN” tasks every day and do everything in your power to get those done
  • Put your personal devices away in a drawer
  • Only keep internet tabs open that are necessary – yes, I know what it probably looks like. I’m familiar. But multi-tasking in this way is going to hinder your productivity.
  • Declutter your desk and your computer desktop – and block off some time on the schedule to do it

Using a paper planner?

  • Use a special notebook such as this one from Best Self
  • Buy a paper stand that keeps the book open and standing upright on your desk
  • Put planning hours on the schedule and stick to them!
  • Let your team know when you’d prefer not to be interrupted and have “second in charge”. This person should be able to deal with unexpected situations and know whether it’s something that you can be interrupted for.
  • Don’t wait until Friday afternoon to plan your entire week

Rather be paper free? Online calendars have lots of advantages.

  • You can create recurring tasks easily
  • Set up reminders galore!
  • Access from multiple devices
  • Allows you to invite and share with team members or people within or outside of your organization

Give your team time to check their calendar, especially for those that oversee ordering or tracking lab cases. Print a copy and attach it to your forehead.

I’m a recovering un-planner and used to let my days get away from me. I would stop a task before it was done and start another one, especially if someone needed my attention. Multi-tasking isn’t great for your brain, but it’s unavoidable in our industry. Be smart about it! Plan for success, be a success!

Bridget Fay Cseko, BBA

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