What 2020 Actually Revealed About Your Practice

I hit hard last week, didn’t I.  There may not be a more dramatic principle to refocus on to bolster the integrity you have with your time, your values, your commitment, and your goals than the cut and dry, never out of style, always truth telling 80-20 rule that dictates life and dentistry.

The reality of it is, if you want to boil it down to nearly twenty years ago when I had the privilege of working with my first doctor and with every doctor since, it has been my sole promise and objective to set-up their practices and lives so that they could have balance between life and dentistry.  

The only effective way to ensure you have more time for yourself, your health, your hobbies, and most of all your family – it is to align your practice with the profitable business principles that allow a doctor to focus on the 20 percent of the highest value functions that produce 80 percent of the results.  All of the leverage in dentistry to achieve a complete lifestyle practice is found right here.

My focus last week and today is to help you find that alignment not just for the next 90 days but for the next year ahead.  Now is the time to assess where you’ve been, where you’re at, and most of all determine where you are going.

Absolutely I want to make you think, I want to force you to challenge the status quo, and I want to push you beyond the limitations that have been placed upon you this year so you can focus on creation, growth, opportunity.

Think about this… are you close to being on par with 2019 (and most of my doctors are going to beat 2019 in 2020), with 6 to 12 less weeks in the clinical year?

The point is: no matter where you are, if you can do what you’ve done this year – with less days in the office – why not every year?  (But instead of being forced to stay in your house, you can go anywhere).

The revelation is that there’s more leverage in your days than you thought.  It is NOT the volume of days, let alone patients, that is the end all be all to get the job done for your goals.  

That’s what is possible when your focus on the correct “P” in your practice, not the one you used to: Production… but instead: Profit.

There’s no doubt that done right you can out profit yourself and have your best year ever with far ‘less’ of any of the things you don’t like and far ‘more’ of the things you do.

Last week, I challenged you to re-examine and maximize…

Your schedule

Your patients

Your team

Your time

In other words, what have you learned about yourself, your team, your practice, and your patients this year and how can you use that to your advantage not just to ‘survive’ 2020 by making it to the fast approaching end but to stretch yourself to take your…

Balance

Autonomy

Lifestyle

Profit

Fulfillment

Fun

…that your Practice provides to you to the next level!

In fact, while most practices have come back in the second half of the year to incredible performance, they have also allowed themselves to get watered down in busyness, the volume rush, the battle of the schedule, and running patients through like a turnstile albeit with longer appointments.

When the real focus should have been literally treating every patient like a new patient.  We have extra time so why not use it effectively.  That means complete reassessment of their health by reviewing, reimaging, and re-discussing the long-term vision for their overall health and smile.

I know what you are thinking.  And yes, you are correct, it is exactly what I have been advising you to do for years.  It is these seemingly minor details that make such a difference; details that you finally had the time to focus on.

So, if we really want to get specific, then you will ask yourself and your team what are the highest value – top 20 percent – actions that make the greatest amount of impact with our patient experiences, patient health, practice goals, and individual performance.  Then ask every team member about their own responsibilities.  Then ask as it relates to how you prioritize the schedule, how you prioritize diagnostic opportunities, and the list goes on.

Last week, you got the big picture.  This week, it’s time to get into the details (including yourself).  What takes up the most of your time?  How about your emotional and mental energy?

Surely this year has taught you lessons about how to better apply your focus, your time, your emotional energy, and your mental energy.  

Here’s what I know: you really can have it all, as long as you are clear on what “all” is.  You must take deliberate action to organize and orchestrate your practice to work for you and to be aligned with what you want – not just for your dentistry – for your life.

That’s why I challenge you to look at your 80/20 breakdown right now.  When you are focused on the highest value priorities, actions, and tasks, you are able to achieve much more with a lot less.  

Imagine actually finding balanced in your life, all because you were forced to abandon the notion that more always equals more.  If taken seriously, this exercise will lead to the greater satisfaction and fulfillment… and at the end of the day, what could be more worthwhile than that.

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