Colin Powell once said, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” When dentists embody those words, they learn from past mistakes, work hard, and watch their practice grow. But what happens when too much of a good thing crowds out your schedule? What happens when success creates this new type of stress?
When you are struggling, you dream about having a good problem such as an overflowing schedule. It seems like a good problem to have until you have it. And then dentists worry that they can’t get to patients in need, a problem that could undercut their momentum.
If you go back to Colin Powell’s quote, you will notice he emphasizes preparation. We need to plan to achieve success just as we need to keep planning when we reach a coveted level of performance.
If your “good” problem means you are consistently booked solid for three weeks or more, then you will benefit from a return to preparation. Plan your schedule to accommodate patients in need by pre-blocking times each week for emergencies and treatment.
This will allow you to schedule patients for root canals, extractions, or immediate treatment that cannot wait until next month. Reserving time in your schedule each week allows you to treat patients in a timely basis despite having a cramped schedule.
It’s a good problem to have a busy schedule, especially if you remember leaner times. And the way to keep patients happy is to always pre-block times to see people when they need you the most.