This article uses information from the insightful book by the long-time dental consultant, Bianca Dornan at Practices Made Perfect.
When in the daily grind of running your practice, figuring out all the possible ways to improve your practice can feel overwhelming or even unproductive. You have enough on your plate, how can you be expected to set aside time to think about ways to add more work? If, however, you aspire to make the most out of your practice and possibly even expand it, brainstorming about what the issues are and how to address them is a necessary investment for you to make.
Figuring out which areas can be improved in your practice is so difficult because you are concentrating on something that you spend all day working on, your dental practice. If there are glaring issues and inconveniences, you have probably made an effort to address them already. Here are four tried and true ways to unlock the type of thinking that you need to uncover hidden potential. (Hint: none of them involve concentrating harder)
- Do something that is unrelated to your industry: You are consumed by the dental industry. And, within that industry, there may be people doing great things that you can apply to your practice as well. But, if you want to become truly inspired, it is useful to take a step outside dentistry and see the ways that other industries are dealing with issues and creating more possibilities; they may apply to you. Attend a lecture for an industry you’re not familiar with, visit and read about businesses in different industries, and talk to people who have had success in their careers! You never know what will spark an idea that you can use.
- Find inspiration online: Inspiration doesn’t need to take a lot of your time. You can find an unlimited source of inspiration for any topic online. Create a repository of interesting or inspiring articles, websites, images, and videos that you find online. When you have that, you can revisit these things to get your mind out of its regular routine to see things from a different perspective.
- Be creative: Working in a similar way to finding inspiration online, being creative on your own can also open up your thinking to new possibilities. It is said that problems often get solved only when you stop thinking about them. Doing something creative that is out of the ordinary will force your mind to concentrate on something new. Try something new, or revisit a hobby that you haven’t done in a while; anything that breaks the cycle that you may have fallen into.
- Map out your thoughts: Sometimes what is stopping you from figuring out the solution is the sheer amount of information that the problem has. To combat that, there is a process called mind mapping. The idea is that you take a large issue and break it down into smaller, more manageable, chunks. Then, you take those chunks and break them down even further. With that completed, all the action items or individual issues can be identified and addressed easily. Give it a try. Canva has a really useful, free mind map creator.
Which of these ideas appeals most to you? Give it a try and see what kinds of amazing things you could be opening yourself up to.