The Monday Morning Quote #566

“Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity.”

Jean de La Bruyère

What makes some people more productive?

Time management in Dentistry continues to be a massive stumbling block to success especially when “speed” and “effectiveness” are confused, one leaves you knackered at the end of the day and not earning properly, the other brings rewards that you can appreciate.

We all have the same amount of minutes in an hour, hours in a day, days in a week etc. But some people clearly get more done than others. Often there is resentment from the “doing less” camp who say that the achievers cut more corners, don’t do things properly and so on but I find this is mostly sour grapes.

My experience of being in dental practices, operating theatres and offices is that the people who get most done are the ones who plan their days, roll their sleeves up and get on with it, start their day on time, who “eat the frog” as early in the day as possible and build in flexibility for when “stuff” happens.

Pozen and Downey found that the most productive people were good at:

  • overcoming procrastination
  • getting to the final product 
  • focussing on daily accomplishments &
  • delegating clearly and effectively

On the other hand those who scored lower:

  • did not plan their days in advance
  • were easily distracted by the avoidable 
  • did not have great routines &
  • (frequently) blamed others for their lack of productivity

If you want to have a good day you have to decide what a good day is and work backwards. Sadly too many people still let the tail wag the dog.

Summertime and the living ain’t always easy.

The current Newsletter from The Dental Business Coach is available to view here:

Here’s a section:

“Sophisticated Procrastination”


Most people know what they ought to do to succeed but can usually find something to stop them. Frequently they are guilty of getting in their own way. The reasons can be challenging to discover from depleted self-worth, having no idea of what success looks like for them through to not acknowledging that they are in the wrong place.

Although they have the problem and it is their’s alone, they are likely to want to blame something, anything, else. The practice, the principal, the patients, the position, the NHS, the associates.

Often this becomes a form of “sophisticated procrastination” which includes all sorts of excuses. Telling your teacher that the dog ate your homework may be acceptable when you are 10, using an equally lame excuse as an adult makes no difference because it’s only yourself that you’re trying to fool.

One of my roles in life is to hold up a mirror to people, businesses and teams to help them see themselves with greater clarity. Contact me to find out more here.

Put down your smart phone…

The more I watch the way people behave with mobile devices the more uncomfortable I become. I was secretly pleased a couple of years ago when my son justified his use of a Nokia (non-smart) phone, “Makes and takes calls, sends and receives texts. What else do I need?”

I have regular conversations with dentists and practice managers who face resentment at best and mutinies at worst because team members aren’t allowed to keep their phones with them (and on line) at all times, on the pretext of “what happens if someone has to get hold of me?” which really means, “but I’ll have to go without Instagram/FB/Snapchat/Twitter/etc.” (Perm any 3 from a multitude).

This comes from The Economist via “Memex” (the blog of John Naughton which I consider to be essential reading).

Distraction is a constant these days; supplying it is the business model of some of the world’s most powerful firms. As economists search for explanations for sagging productivity, some are asking whether the inability to focus for longer than a minute is to blame…..

….Distractions clearly affect performance on the job. In a recent essay, Dan Nixon of the Bank of England pointed to a mass of compelling evidence that they could also be eating into productivity growth. Depending on the study you pick, smartphone-users touch their device somewhere between twice a minute to once every seven minutes.

Conducting tasks while receiving e-mails and phone calls reduces a worker’s IQ by about ten points relative to working in uninterrupted quiet. That is equivalent to losing a night’s sleep, and twice as debilitating as using marijuana. By one estimate, it takes nearly half an hour to recover focus fully for the task at hand after an interruption. What’s more, Mr Nixon notes, constant interruptions accustom workers to distraction, teaching them, in effect, to lose focus and seek diversions.

Too much time wasted on one man.

Having some “free” time this morning before the Wren Boy run at the local GAA ground, I was browsing The Guardian online and completed “The Donald Trump Quiz of the Year”.

The object is to answer 10 questions on “The Donald”. Here’s the link.

Being a competitive sort of individual I was disappointed that I started badly but I really couldn’t imagine Trump admitting to “a bad hair day”. I was correct with the other nine answers.

The paper concluded,  “I worry that you have not quite managed to break free of Trump’s vice-like grip on  the world’s attention. You have been thinking about him too much. Remember, that’s what he wants.”

Our civilisation seems to be controlled by narcissists, encouraging the rest of us to either join them in their self-centred universe or be subjugated by it.

The Brexit politicians and the 45th President are not people who appear to put “service before self”, they take little or notice of what I think – perhaps I have been guilty of paying them too much attention.

From today I will be spending far less of my time on them.

I suggest you do the same.

 

 

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