An Excerpt From 100 Things I HATE/LOVE About Dentistry-

A Cluttered Desk

I absolutely cannot stand a cluttered desk. The truth is, a cluttered desk makes me feel extremely nervous and unsettled...I do not like disorder. Then why, you may ask, is my desk at this very moment in complete disarray? The answer to that question is simple: I have too many administrative duties. Whenever I take on too many administrative items, my desk accumulates clutter. Often times during transition, invoices, requests for narratives, and junk mail are placed on my desk. I may run to my desk in between patients to call the lab and pay a bill or shuffle papers. I have worked hard to prevent this from occurring but every now and then I slip back into bad habits.

If you find that your are handling too many things that are not pertinent to your ultimate objective of providing dentistry, it is time to complete a task analysis. This is where the doctor makes a list of all the things he/she does. The doctor then goes back and delegates tasks that can be carried out by a support team member. This facilitates the doctor time being utilized for dentistry. The office administrator should be opening the mail.

Be sure to allot time for administrative duties by blocking a period on your schedule to devote to these tasks only. In my case, it is Thursday afternoon and this is the only time I work on administrative duties. My remaining office time is dedicated solely to patient care, allowing me to be focused while seeing patients.

Finally, everything on your desk should be trashed. A wise man once told me that he throws everything away, because the important things will be mailed to you again. I will be doing a desk/paper purge tomorrow! Might I suggest you do the same.