Do you ever find yourself in awe of dentists that seem like they can achieve so much? They seem to have it all and can do it all. They do a high volume of amazing dentistry which is documented to a very high standard. They also have other commitments such as mentoring and teaching possibly even internationally. They somehow have time to read and review research articles and they also have hobbies outside of dentistry and a full family life. I think a small number of people are in fact superhuman, everyone else (myself included) will have to make do with being mortal and the best we can hope for is training ourselves to become productivity ninjas. If you would like to learn how to become better at achieving more then this book really could help. It has definitely helped me.
It teaches some simple concepts you can follow to help organise your workflow and your time and unlike other books I have come across lately it feels right for the time particularly in our digital age with a huge number of inputs throwing a lot of data at us. You will learn to organise your time according to your capacity for attention. Proactive for high level thinking, active for most doing tasks and inactive for basic functions like filing, ordering.
A big part of the book is spent discussing CORD - capture data, organise, review, do. A great way of thinking about your examination and treatment planning. At uni a lot of time was spent on learning how to "Do" i.e. How to actually place an amalgam or prep a tooth for a crown. A fair bit of time was spent on learning how to capture the data i.e. Charting, assessing for caries etc. But looking back how much time do you think was really spent on learning how to organise the data, present it to the pt, work out overall treatment plans and the skill of reviewing those plans as you progress.
Personally I feel I left with a pretty good idea of "single tooth treatment planning" (when to try to fill and when to crown), but I was not confident in overall dentition treatment planning and I was woefully lacking in my ability to present the information to a pt and work out how they wanted to proceed.
So my C and D abilities were OK but my O and R skills needed a lot of developing. If you think of yourself as 2 separate people: 1) The worker getting on with the job of fixing teeth. 2) The boss worried about overall plans and the "business of dentistry".
By that analogy uni made me and OK worker but did not prepare me as a boss. Yet it is the skills as a boss that have the biggest impact on your stress levels and how successful you are.
The CORD model is also useful for organising your time overall. Since starting on this new path of reading and listening to books for my blog I am capturing a huge amount of information. But it's only useful if I actually learn from that data and put things into practice. It's easy to read the book but not so easy to really organise the best points and reflect/review how they could work for you and then ultimately make this changes/do.
So that's actually why the blogging process helps me. It forces me to make notes as I read these books about the best points. Then I think laterally about those points as I write a review to decide how it could work for me. All that's left is actually putting it into practice which comes down to self discipline and focusing on my goals. Remember that from 4DX?
The book also strongly encourages 5 minutes making a Daily checklist habit so that afterwards you don't have to spend time scrolling up and down the to do list but just carry on with your daily list.
As well as allocating time once a week to do a weekly review. This allows you to ensure any data/ideas captured are all in one place and your priorities are decided upon to help you focus on what is most important at that time.
One thing that has already changed for me is that I have now scrapped my old "To do" list that I have been using for a couple of years. It was a 4 page word document with some ideas that had been on there for over a year. Because it wasn't organised by priority and by the time/energy required I would often look at it and struggle to know what to do. Instead I have moved all that data onto an app, Google Keep. There are lots of apps you can use for this purpose. It makes it far simpler to give tasks priorities and you can even mark some to be done on a specific day in you 5 minute planning session and then click a button to hide all other tasks for the day. I am really finding it to be a great way of organising my tasks. And unlike my old to do list it is on all my devices.
So in summary, I have found this book so useful for me and I think pretty much everyone else would to. If you wish to purchase "How to be a productivity ninja" there is a link below:
Dr Chris Harper