July Book Review: 6 steps to replace multi-tasking with organization

dentalproductsreport.com-2012-07-01, Issue 7

DPR editors have compiled a list of must-read books with your dental practice in mind. The concepts and ideas conveyed through each book can easily translate into your dental practice, among your staff and even your patients.  

DPR editors have compiled a list of must-read books with your dental practice in mind. The concepts and ideas conveyed through each book can easily translate into your dental practice, among your staff and even your patients.


This month's book review features "Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life" by Paul Hammerness, MD and Margaret Moore.

Linda Steeves is a HygieneFusion consultant, coach and mentor. Steeves works as a clinical hygienist and also assists dental offices and dental hygienists to achieve a higher potential.

Are you multi-tasking in your dental practice every day? Are your team members multi-tasking or are you asking that of them? Are you and the other team members feeling stressed? The authors of "Organize your mind, Organize" your life present a strong argument that you should not multi-task and offer a step- by-step process to replace multi-tasking with organization and choices. This organization starts with your mind and overflows to your life. It has been postulated that this replacement will be incredibly more effective and you will ultimately be happier and less stressed.

The concept of multi-tasking, which is going in three or more different directions at one time, is obsolete for a trained organized mind. Most of us find it a common practice to attempt to function in this manner. Multi-tasking often leads to not completing any project well or timely. It was stated that 40% of Americans categorize themselves as disorganized and 21% have missed vital work deadlines.

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This book proposes a systematic plan and outline to provide steps individuals may take to enhance not only their professional lives but personal lives as well.

A collaboration between Dr. Paul Hammerness, MD and Margaret Moore led to the formation of a methodical outlined process to organize our thoughts. This process they refer to as “top-down organization" starts with our brain. Once we are aware of our thoughts, emotions and projects, we can begin to eliminate ineffective multi-tasking that competes for our attention and reduces our focus. It was asserted that we need to develop strategic brain skills. These skills can be learned, mastered and maintained. There are six principles outlined in this book to expand brain skills, which they refer to as “Rules of Order." These rules will guide us in our journey for organization. Each rule is thoroughly examined in many chapters.

Rules of Order:

Tame the Frenzy. We must control or at the very least recognize our emotions. In doing so, we can then put them aside and allow greater focus for the task at hand.

Sustain Attention. The actual process of paying attention is remarkably involved. We must pay attention to the moment at hand and stay focused for a greater length of time.

Apply the Brakes. Our developed organized mind must be able to stop a thought or action. This will allow us to complete our project or idea.

Mold Information. When we develop our ability to retain and manipulate the information and ideas we have gained, we will have an increased organized day.

Shift Sets. In striving to be focused, we must be flexible to process and weigh competing choices for our attention, so that we may consciously move to another task.

Connect the Dots. This last rule puts all the previous rules of order together.

Right from the start of "Organize your mind, Organize your life," the authors passionately describe the rules of what to do to become better organized and continued on to lay a foundation of how to do it. The format is not only outlining the brain science of organization but also allows Coach Meg (Margaret Moore) to impart her coaching skills to us as a concrete plan in this journey for organization. She was able to present several examples of her past clients on their challenges for organization in their particular lives, which provided an insight to our possibilities. These examples also let us see that many other people have these challenges and progress can be made.

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Ultimately when we attain an organized mind and thoughts we will gain an organized life of choice.  This life will have an increased sense of purpose where we make good decisions and sound choices. Our organized mind will allow us to be fully engaged in our work life in the dental office, which continues on to our personal life. We can learn to tune out the distractions, conquer the chaos and have a life of choice. Upon embracing some of the concepts provided, the entire dental staff may become enormously focused and task driven, our patients will appreciate the special attention to detail and in the end we will all have a happier work day and home life.

Linda Steeves has 30 years of experience, knowledge and expertise as a dental hygienist, facilitator and consultant. She graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a degree in Dental Hygiene and Biology, and has participated in extensive post graduate clinical and practice management education.

Linda’s passion and commitment for dentistry spans clinical dentistry, public health, and practice and business management. Linda has a proven track record of effectively instilling this passion in others. This contributes to her success in establishing and implementing successful periodontal protocols and therapies, and merging her talents in clinical dentistry and the behavioral sciences.