Time and Effort vs. Results

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We were born into a time and results based world. We think if we work harder and longer, we will achieve our dreams. Our fathers and families are part of this culture and it is so ingrained, we do not see another avenue. We work long hours, more days then necessary, Saturdays and evenings. Some Doctors do not take lunch, thinking they will produce more. It requires a paradigm shift to move from a time and effort thinking to a results based thinking.

The results based thinking is being paid for creativity and you are more creative when you take time away from work and are refreshed. Instead of thinking vacation is a reward for working long hours, think of vacation as a requirement for creativity. How do we create the opportunity for six to eight weeks of vacation?

Our most productive offices are working the least amount of time. Working three days a week, they are discovering taking every sixth week off will increase creativity. It doesn’t matter if you leave town or stay and enjoy activities with friends. When Doctors are working six days a week, they fearfully drop one day and production increases. They drop to four days a week and production increases. Why?

You need time away to refresh and be the most effective when you work. What happens in a five day a week practice, Doctor and staff is tired and they take “vacation” at work. They are inefficient and ineffective. They are in a low productivity mode. Team is probably being paid by the hour so why not continue to work and even have some overtime? Work can never be completely finished in a dental office.

Have you noticed some very creative moments come when you are running and exercising? Your mind needs time away to dream and develop solutions and plans. We need to create a new cycle of rejuvenation and a higher level of creativity.

The mechanical stage of time and effort thinking creates burnout. Then, we feel we need a vacation. As a profession, we need to take more time off and think bigger. Our teams are currently on time and effort based economy as this is the thinking of their environment. Moving them to a results based economy demands an effective bonus system which creates accountability for results. For the paradigm shift to be effective, a team will form when they are paid for their professionalism by being on a salary. The outcome is accountability for results rather then working more hours and making a greater effort.

Ask any team member working a five day week, “If we paid you the same as you are earning now, do you feel you could produce the same or better in four days or even three days?” What do you think the answer will be?

Dr. April Ziegele works three and one half days a week and in the book, Playing Your ‘A’ Game, she relates the average bonus is currently $3100 each above their salaries. The goal is to double that which means two more smiles per bonus time and equals to talking with about ten guests of their dream smile. Team is actively looking for the opportunity. “There is no more complaining, gossiping or whining because we don’t have time anymore. We have a credit balance because the team recognizes that is their money. They have bought into the “ownership” of the practice due to bonuses and “it makes my job so much easier,” says April.

Dr. Curtis Chan of San Diego makes a point of vacationing every six to eight weeks. He and his wife Mae are madly in love with their four children and take every opportunity to grow and create with them. The team takes turns manning the office and answering the phone but all take vacations at the same time.

If real results are your goal, the profession of dentistry offers you the opportunity to shift from time and effort economy to results based thinking. Take time to regenerate, rejuvenate and recreate. Shift your thinking from working hard and squeezing in a vacation to using off time to reinvigorate your practice.