Feeling overwhelmed is the antithesis of Being Productive. If you’re a business leader or practice owner, you might have accepted stress as part of your job description – but it doesn’t have to be.
Implementing software like Monday.com and Todoist into your practice might sound like an onerous task, but it will soon become evident how quickly yourself and your team can advance with proper management and accountability.
It really is a no brainer. Let’s dive into why these systems are important in a dental practice and which ones I’d recommend.
Why are project management systems important to a dental practice?
Task management systems are crucial for enabling staff to be in control of their workload and be held accountable for their actions. As with any business, your practice is an intricate machine made up of many moving parts – your team – and real progression only happens when all parts are performing their functions together.
Dental focused software that manages patient databases are lacking in crucial areas that could massively benefit your business, such as project management and automated integrations. The power of programs like Todoist and Monday.com extends way beyond just a centralised database – you can categorise, file, and even communicate with your team. This means that important business data isn’t just static, it’s actually being used to further your business growth.
In a dental practice, project management tools can be used to track and assign the most minor tasks all the way through to those big business growth projects. For example, it could be something like keeping a record of who is responsible for the waiting room display, ensuring the lines are flushed through on the dental chairs, or ordering stock, all the way through to developing your marketing plan, sharing content, and scheduling.
Having a database of evidence helps HR processes and holds team members accountable
Project management software is great because the entire team can see the individual responsible for each project and each part of the patient journey. This allows the team to know exactly who to go to if there is a problem, ensuring more streamlined communication and less confusion or wasted time.
It’s also a way to future-proof your business and monitor the role each employee plays. I’m sure I speak for a lot of practice owners when I say that we want to avoid disciplinary situations from becoming formal grievances. Having the data available to back up any claim or offer supporting evidence to an employee can save huge amounts of time and money in tribunal action for instance.
How can these systems help a practice become more productive and ensure a successful business?
At East Midlands Orthodontics, we’ve been using Monday.com for almost four years now. Using the templates and scheduling tools it offers, you can essentially create a bespoke app for your business. This software can be used as a patient database above and beyond the standard platforms still used by many practices, because of the added integrations and automations available.
For example, there are options to set up email sequences that will be sent out automatically to your contacts. This is particularly handy for sending out those digital communications we talked about in my last blog post, which are massively beneficial to your marketing strategy. Using the status updates function on Monday.com, you could set an automated sequence that is triggered when the patient is at a particular point in the patient journey, such as pre-appointment reminders or post-appointment follow-ups with requests for feedback and useful know-how.
This then becomes a part of your patient journey, helping you to turn leads into patients, and patients into returning loyal clients.
How can personal task management help your practice?
For personal task management, I recommend Todoist. The great news is that there is both a free version and a very affordable pro version at only £48 per year. Todoist is a fantastic tool to focus productivity in your practice. You can set up boards for each ‘category’ of your life and the tasks associated with it – for example your personal tasks, your work tasks, and your home tasks.
These boards can then be broken down into actionable pieces and further subdivided into levels of urgency, a waiting list, and a list of things that are in action. I recommend keeping a list of things you’ve accomplished, too, so you can monitor your progress.
Programs like Todoist are great for starting every week with a clear vision. At the start of every day you should ask yourself, “what are my three major tasks for today that I need to achieve to compliment my weekly objectives?”
Ultimately, you want to feel productive without feeling overwhelmed and overworked with everything piling on top of you. Having categories allows you to avoid this feeling of burnout.
What are the results?
For myself and my business, the major benefit of digital project management is that I have overcome that feeling of overwhelm. As a business leader, it is so easy to get dispirited when you see a ridiculously long to-do list with no idea where to start. I now notice that when I start to feel this way again, it’s because I’m not utilising the systems detailed in this blog.
Both of the systems that I’ve talked about are completely customisable. This means I’ve been able to get them to really fit into our practice in the way that I need it to operate. If your team are technophobes or there is simply not enough time to put into customising the task management system, you can outsource the initial set-up, after which the system will run by itself.
By using Monday.com, we’ve got a digital filing system for every different department and system in our business – everything has its own place and it’s easy to locate. The benefits of this alone are enormous. Not having to store every detail of my business in my head is the difference between being overwhelmed and Being Productive.
With Todoist, having a personal task management system allows me to effectively manage my priorities. It’s not a case of “how much do I have on my plate?”, it’s a case of “what are the really important things for the business and my personal goals?”
It might sound hyperbolic, but just implementing these tools and management systems has allowed me to grow so much as a leader and develop my business. From a personal perspective, I’ve never been as strong-minded and at ease with who I am after having the necessary systems put in place to manage myself and my business to the best capacity.
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