Top 10 Tips from a Self-Taught Professional Organizer!

Andrea Greer

With the many hats I wore in dentistry, I learned that organization and time management are sometimes a challenge. We must be diligent and intentional in how we approach our work so that we don’t lose track of the elements of patient care or the dental business. And when we work from home, the discipline of organization and time management must be elevated to an art form! And sadly, I see so many solopreneurs approach their workspace as an afterthought; a place where all the clutter goes when company is coming because we can close the door. The result is distraction, limited productivity and creativity, and ultimately, burn out. 

Over the years, I learned some tried and true systems that have served me well, and I am excited to share them with you. Here are my top 10 tips for approaching your office workspace to maximize productivity and prevent burn out. 

  1. Prioritize your office space – your work is important, honor it!
  2. If possible, create your workspace with open space in front of you. A physical wall in front of you creates a virtual wall in your mind and will block creativity and productivity. You will tire more easily and will not get as much done! Try turning your desk around to face the center of the room or place it directly in front of a window with a great view.
  3. Take care of your body. An adjustable height desk and a great chair will work wonders for your longevity. Get a large monitor to take care of your eyes and prevent bending over to see the small print. 
  4. Purge your supplies and store them in one place, rather than stocking multiple stashes. Purge old, broken, and ugly supplies – you won’t use them, and they are only taking up space.
  5. Clean off horizontal surfaces. When there are stacks laying about your office, your brain will be thinking about what is in them: are there undone tasks? Unpaid bills? Incomplete follow-up? These stacks become a distraction to the day to day.
  6. Gather all the stacks together and sort them into four boxes or bins. Toss, Recycle, Resources to be Filed, and Actionable Tasks. Don’t deal with the items yet, just sort. Then manage the bins in the same order: take out the trash and recycling, file the reference material, create a system for getting through your tasks. 
  7. For your tasks, think about how you work and design an organization system that will support that. Will you need a physical system to stay on top of your ‘To-Done’ List, or will a digital system fit your day better?  
  8. Use the last 30 minutes of your workday to prepare for tomorrow. Wrap up the projects you worked on clean up the piles and clutter and create your task list for tomorrow. 
  9. Instead of building a lengthy ‘To Do’ list that seems impossible to make any headway, build a 5-task ‘To-Done’ list and prioritize the tasks in order of importance. Ask yourself “what is the one thing I can do on this list that will free my brain space once it is complete?”
  10. Bring the magic into your space. Is it a photo of your kids? A favorite coffee mug that makes you smile, or perhaps a beautiful piece of artwork. By introducing something magical and beautiful into our workspace, we inspire our hearts to create magic for our clients.

Organization is not a skill we are taught and is not always an intuitive trait. And many people find once they get organized, it can still be challenging to stay organized. It becomes a process of trial and error to find the supports and systems that work best for each of us. Using the steps above will start you on your journey to finding those systems that will work for you, leading to enhanced productivity. 

Dental Billing Tips and News for Pros; Edition #144


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