Author of the book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg stated:
It is the natural habit of human beings to revert to their natural habits under times of stress.
In a growing office, there will certainly be stressful times for your team. Same-day dentistry, an extra-busy schedule, or a complicated case can really heat things up. Stress is OK or even healthy at times, it’s excess stress that’s harmful. Just like our muscles in a workout, some stress makes us stronger, but too much of it can make your muscle snap!
What you really need to avoid in your practice, is TENSION! That’s where chronic, unhealthy problems develop and plague the productivity in your office.
As I like to put it, you need to:
Love what you do, so you can love your life
when you’re not doing it too.
If you weren’t happy with how your life went while you were in dental or professional school, or when you started your practice, or when you hit your five or ten-year mark as a practice owner, then how will you be able to find happiness where you’re at today?
It doesn’t mean you won’t continue to strive and push for more. We have a philosophy of always reaching higher in my practice, but we also don’t expect perfection, and we continually find new ways to celebrate and have fun along the way.
As our economy and practice environment continue to get more competitive, you have to continually innovate, and then most importantly implement to thrive and survive today. I’ll be candid — if you aren’t prepared to make this level of commitment, then you shouldn’t own a practice. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it simply is what is required.
You need to leave your work laptop, computer or iPad at work or in your car to make a separation when you get home. As an owner, you may feel the need to be doing things all of the time to be productive, but it’s actually your efficiency (as I like to call “Return on Time”) that really matters.
I personally leave my iPad in my car most days to signify stepping out of my office and into my home, and you should do the same with your work so that you are more effective at the office and more effective at home. The “Work-Life Balance” notion is a fairy tale. It’s a work-life mission that you need to strive for instead.
Obviously, someone has to be on watch in your business at all times to generate new patient appointments and help your emergency patients get care. But it shouldn’t be you on watch at all times — because you aren’t the best at it, and you bear the weight of the business all of the time. You need to be the one managing and monitoring the accountability, not all of the doing.
Since we just celebrated Independence Day, and now we have an election right around the corner, it is a great time to think about your freedom and your country regardless of your political position. We are fortunate to live in the best country in the world with the most possibility to grow your practice in, but we are also the most overworked developed country as well. So stay focused on what’s most important, and delegate everything else that you possibly can.
This month, I challenge you to read or re-read our Declaration of Independence. It talks about the “pursuit of happiness” but nowhere does it guarantee happiness. We have to stay focused and work for it.
Keep strong in your own endeavors!