Dental professionals have a lot to do. We’ve got to treat patients. And we have to do all the tasks it takes to run a business. We have so many little things to address all day. And that’s only what we do at work.
With all we’ve got to do, it’s easy to find yourself swamped with your to-do list often seeming to never end. Many dental professionals finish all they have to do only to realize there’s something they forgot about. They find their to-do list spiraling out of control, which makes them feel like they will never catch up. That’s stressful.
In the Nifty Thrifty Dentists Facebook group, Dr. Glenn Vo shared a sticky trick to make your to-do list disappear. He shared a way to keep it organized and easy to deal with rather than something that evolves into a maelstrom of stress. Once you get your to-do list down to a science, you’ll become more productive and much less overwhelmed.
Get Lots of Sticky Notes
When you’re off work, go to the store and buy bunches of sticky notes. We are going to use a lot of sticky notes, so choose a color you enjoy seeing. Or, choose a color you can't stand so you are more motivated to get rid of them by being productive. Some people like to choose multiple colors to color-code different types of activities: red for work; green for home; yellow for personal. Or, they use different colors for priority levels: green for low priority; yellow for higher priority; red for highest priority. For this system, it doesn't matter. You can customize it however works best for you.
Bring these sticky notes to work with you tomorrow. When you arrive at work with all of these sticky notes, sit down and think for a bit. What have you got to do today? What’s on your to-do list?
Write each thing you have to do on its own sticky note. By the time you get through your to-do list, you should have a sticky note for each thing you’ve got to do. There might be a few of them if you’ve got a relaxing day or, more likely, you could have a lot of them. That’s okay. This system will help you get through all your tasks in record time.
Stack Them Up
Once you’ve written each task you need to get done on sticky notes, lay them out and order them by stacking them on top of each other. Put the first thing you should be doing on the top and the last thing you should be doing on the bottom. If you color-coded them based on priority level, your stack will look really cool with red on top, yellow in the middle, and green on the bottom. This stack might be as thin as construction paper, it might be three inches thick, or you might look like Margaret Hamilton standing next to the code she wrote to send humanity to the moon in 1969.
Post up with Your Sticky Notes
If you’re not a raving fan of basketball or the Dallas Mavericks like me, posting up means to get near the basket and turn around so your back faces the hoop. In basketball, this helps you keep the defender under control and protect the ball from them. For our sticky-note to-do list, it’s just to have some fun celebrating when we get things off our to-do lists.
As you complete things on your to-do list, take pleasure in crunching it up in a ball and making a jump shot into the wastebasket.
Pretend your Dirk Nowitzki, the best basketball player in the history of the Dallas Mavericks, and make a buzzer-beater shot to break the hearts of 18,000 fans at Madison Square Garden. Whatever you do, have a little celebration when you get things done. It’s fun. Be creative.
How Do You Stay Productive?
This sticky trick can work when you’re doing chores at home, too. It can work anywhere. No matter what you’re making a to-do list for, getting your to-do list organized will ensure that you get everything you need to get done without realizing that you actually have more to do. You’ll become more productive than ever and you’ll be able to slow down and enjoy life more. Only seeing one task at a time will help you to focus your mind and it’ll be really gratifying when you crunch up that sticky note after you complete a task. What are your tips on increasing productivity? Let us know in the comments below!
If you’re interested in tips on how to increase productivity, you can find plenty of them in the Nifty Thrifty Dentists Facebook group. Also be sure to Join the Dental Hub 360 and Trapped in an OP groups today, too!