Making Your Lists and Checking Them Twice

Not to be all ‘bah humbug’ on you but I feel like a Scrooge when people don’t maximize their time and get enough things done.  Yes, you’re busy (especially this time of year) but busy doing what?

If you can learn one thing from Santa, it’s that you need The List.  Without it, important priorities, tasks, and (in his case) people get missed.


I personally love lists, probably to a fault.  It is how my mind works and how I like to stay organized.  Regardless of how you feel about them, you can’t deny their most powerful trait: they have no feelings, there is no subjectivity – either it’s been done and crossed off or it’s there untouched, taunting you with incompletion.

So, instead of Santa’s list of the Good Boys and Girls, what you need is a list of positive actions, new opportunities, patients to follow-up on, highest priorities, and everything that’s supposed to be getting done.

Sure, if you are feeling like jolly Old Saint Nick, you can make a list of good patients and bad patients if you are screening into comprehensive exams or cleanings or consults or whatever.


But for today’s purposes, I’m talking about taking a hard inventory of who is doing what and what else needs to get done to make sure that every team member is firing on all cylinders and taking action accordingly.

My hope is you gift yourself the organized discipline of productive Morning Huddles that start your day off with success and that you end your day with your Debriefs that close up loose ends, check off lists, and account for every responsibility, patient, action and opportunity.  The more you take a closer look at these things the more you will find results start to compound one patient at a time.

You should have a list of patients to follow-up on unscheduled treatment TODAY, not sometime soon or when you get around to it – TODAY.  You should have a specific person owning every minute and appointment slot in the day for tomorrow.  You should have someone who is ensuring every dollar of treatment is accounted for, every dollar of collections is followed through on, every outstanding (hate to say the word) insurance claim is executed on so it doesn’t expire when it could be productive treatment.

I’m really not here to give you a hard time.  I just want to make sure you aren’t beating your head into the wall and wondering why you can’t breakthrough when you could just be overlooking the obvious.  

Today, begin making your lists and checking them twice – and if everyone had their own they were responsible for you’d have an action-taking team driving results like no other.  Then it would be easy to see who really is naughty or nice.

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