The Power of Priorities

Time is money and money is time. you can always get more money in life, but time spent, is spent. Economize your time to be successful in practice. People often ask how did I see two hundred patients in a day. My comical response is, “Quickly.” The truth is we had a great staff and utilized and maximized time. My patients never felt rushed and I never rushed a patient. Sounds difficult? It was. My staff knew every person counted in the treatment of any given patient. To maximize your practice, maximize your time with patients.

The very worst use of your time is to do well what need not be done at all. The Pareto Principle is the 80/ 20 principle of time. It says that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of the value of your activities. This means that, if you have a list of ten items to accomplish, two of those items will be worth more than the other eight items altogether. Following that same formula, 20 percent of your patients will cause 80 percent of your headaches.

To achieve great things, you must always be concentrating on the small number of activities that contribute the greatest value to your life and your practice.

Conquer the Consequences

The value of anything in your order of priorities can be measured by assessing the potential consequences of doing it or not doing it. Every action will have an equal or opposite reaction. B.J. Palmer said, “Everything you think, say, or do today, will affect the lives of millions of people tomorrow. What are you thinking, saying, doing?”

Something that is important to you will have significant consequences on your life and your practice. Something that is unimportant has few or no consequences of significance to your life or career. The mark of the superior thinker is your ability to consider possible consequences before you begin. It’s the chess game of life, so to speak. What will the patients think? How do they see you, or your office. William Esteb conquered this formula, and made a business out of looking to see the patient’s response. A simple concept, yet not many masters.

The Key Question

Continually ask yourself, “What is the most valuable use of my time, right now?” And whatever it is, work on that. Your ability to discipline yourself to work on those few tasks that can make the greatest difference in your life is the key quality that makes everything else possible for you. Develop to do lists and do it!

If you can, work on your highest priority items every minute of the day. How would that change your behavior? What would you do differently?

Think about your future.

Do you know where you are GOING?

Time will always have enemies; we call these distractions.

“Adversity? When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.” ~ Mary Kay Ash

Is Your Paperwork a Dammed Up River or a Fast Flowing Rapid?

In today’s world of managed care, many of us are bottled, drowned by paperwork. It is inevitable, yet most offices and doctors I visit with are behind. There are four simple ways to handle the flow of paperwork and they are:

• Act on it.

• Delegate it.

• Schedule it.

• Recycle it!

Make your desk a river, not a reservoir.

Today’s Priority..

1. Which of your paperwork items need to be handled today?

2. Which of your current paperwork items are low priority?

3. To whom can you delegate some of your paperwork today?

“If at first you don’t succeed; you are running about average.”

Paperwork (a.k.a. EOB’s,letters, faxes, e-mails, forms, bills, newsletters, invoices, travel receipts, memos, contracts, proposals, patient files, budgets, reports, taxes—all that stuff that you have to deal with—has to be completed. It has a purpose and a benefit. So organize it once and conquer it! Create a system. Sign it, send it on, file it or do whatever is needed to complete it productively with the least time and effort on your part.

“Yesterdays don’t matter….”

You are 100 percent correct. What was good enough to get you by last year doesn’t have a snow-ball’s chance this year. You have to do things differently—just to keep pace with the competition, the industry. Are insurance companies paying the same as last year or less? Never or rarely in today’s marketplace do they pay more. Yet everything takes more time.

In the normal course of a day, life appears to be one continuous stream of actions, reactions, situations and conditions. It’s all a blur. In this state of overwhelm, it’s impossible to see exactly what you need to do differently to improve your productivity, or change your circumstances. Prioritize your time. Develop systems and stick with them.

The sad truth is that opportunity doesn’t knock twice

Living in Florida, we get to read a lot of Gloria Estefan. She is more then a singer; she is a successful business person. Brittany Spears is a successful singer. Is she a successful business person? Both have utilized their time differently.

Time out of the office is not time off. “The sad truth is that opportunity doesn’t knock twice. You can put things off until tomorrow, but tomorrow may never come. Where will you be a few years down the line? Will it be everything you dreamed of?

“We seal our fate with the choices we make, but don’t give a second thought to the chances we take.”~ Gloria Estefan

Opportunity abounds. Always has…always will. Will you be prepared to take advantage? Will you have the time—especially in tough times; especially now in this world marred by managed care?

Opportunity NEVER knocks twice. Biotechnology, like decompression, is filling offices with cash-paying new patients. Will it last forever? The time to act is now. In fact, most of the time, opportunity doesn’t knock at all. It NEVER makes a sound. Opportunity is something you SEE…something you FEEL…something you SENSE.

I have built my entire career around seizing ever-growing opportunities. I have gone from one office to five, to Wall Street. I have written two books and been in two feature movies. I have yet to hear even ONE knock on my door—maybe once, it whacked me upside my head. Opportunities behave quite differently from what we have been trained to expect. You must have POWERFUL LENSES with which to see and sense them.

Take this as gospel from a man who has MISSED a phenomenal number of HUGE opportunities over the last thirty years. The good news is that I have also seen (and seized) a fair number of at least moderately world-changing opportunities…which has given me the power to see even more!

You see, it is IMPOSSIBLE to even SEE the ever-present opportunities surrounding you unless you have sufficient VISION. It is IMPOSSIBLE to SEIZE these opportunities unless you have sufficient Priorities.

The bottom line is that seeing and seizing opportunities—everyday you are alive—requires real Priorities…what we call The Power of Priorities.

There are no exceptions to the truth…

“The key to true and lasting success is High Priorities, High Expectations” ~ Brilliant Execution.

Learn to SEE the opportunities in YOUR life—and transform them into crystal-clear goals and plans—and you will earn the RIGHT to EXPECT that they will happen. However, to MAKE THEM HAPPEN, you must execute beyond Expectations. You must prioritize.

In the end, it is the ratio between what you have given yourself the right to expect over your power to execute that will determine how many of the opportunities you see are turned into tangible results.

I have found, from years of experience, that VISION, OPPORTUNITY and SUCCESS are inextricably linked. For most people, each is just outside their line of sight.

So, get more powerful glasses!

If you lack vision, opportunity and success, it means that you need a more POWERFUL LENS with which to SEE the future. “If you see the invisible you can do the impossible” Prioritize what it takes to reach your potential, see yourself as the success you deserve to be, and then do it!

See you in Panama, at chiropractic ’08

Dr. Eric S. Kaplan, is CEO of Multidisciplinary Business Applications, Inc. (MBA), a comprehensive coaching firm with a successful, documented history of creating profitable multidisciplinary practices nationwide. For more information, call 1-561-626-3004.


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