Dentistry is busy. How can we make sure that we live a balanced and fulfilled life in our hectic profession? As an associate, I am already struggling with time, I often wonder how practice principals and specialists play this game?! I am joined by my dear friend, Dr. Ricky Bhopal Specialist Prosthodontist to discuss how we work smarter and not harder.
Protrusive Dental Pearl: Do you carry out virtual consultations with your patients to discuss Orthodontics (Invisalign) or Smile Makeovers? How do you make notes for this? I am enjoying using Otter.ai to transcribe our Zoom virtual consultation
In this episode we discuss:
- Ricky’s top tips to be productive and overcome procrastination
- How to make time for our loved ones and hobbies
- What is green space and why is it so important?
- How can we live a more fulfilling life as a Dentist?
If you enjoyed this episode, you will enjoy How to Win at Life and Succeed in Dentistry!
Click here for Full Episode Transcription:Opening Snippet: The way what you want in life changes. So you just have to listen to what you want to do as opposed to looking at other people who may be doing nine to five days or working six days a week or if you're crazy enough to do seven days a week. So it's just whatever you find comfortable for yourself. So, which goes on to my first point which is getting true with your mind and your body. What are you capable of?
Are you feeling just a little bit overwhelmed at the moment like one of my friends dentist, he said to me that I just wish things would just slow down like after the lockdown. After everything that happened during COVID when we experienced some sort of anxious tranquility. I feel as though now things are getting really busy for us and a lot of us are experiencing that huge dump to being overwhelmed and burnt out.
If this is you, it certainly hasn’t me in many moments. And that’s not just because of the podcast right now that there are so many things in life. We try our best as dental professionals, as family members, as friends and colleagues to make everything work. And in such a busy life things can get really, really, hectic.
Hello, Protruserati. I’m Jaz Gulati and welcome to this episode entitled Productivity with a Prosthodontist with my good friend Ricky Bhopal, because I wanted to learn myself like how does Ricky who’s a young associate recently qualified specialist prosthodontist. I look up to him as someone who is just full of systems and tricks and wisdom and knowledge in terms of how to live a fulfilled and productive life. I think now, we need to stop working so hard and start working smarter.
So this episode is very much focused on getting that connection between mind and body, but also strategies to help improve your workflow, how to fit in those treatment plan letters that we’d write to our patients how to make sure we make time for our loved ones. I loved it when Ricky covered that actually. So this episode, I’m hoping to be very useful for all of us in terms of being able to enjoy life more, but also get more done.
Protrusive Dental Pearl
Before we jump into this, what I hope will be a very impactful episode for you is the Protrusive Dental Pearl. The one I’m showing you today is an add-on of the previous pearl I’ve shared which is the Otter app. So the Otter is the website is www.otter.ai. That’s O-T-T-E-R. And what this is, is a transcription service. This is not sponsored, I don’t get anything from this, this is just me sharing something that’s really working for me. So as you know, some of you know that I do some virtual consultations or Invisalign and smile design consultations, just to see who’s suitable and who’s not.
Because there’s no point of seeing someone who really needs a full examination to come to see you in the practice for a Invisalign consultation as a waste of chair time. So I find the system of Invisalign consultations, very useful. Now, while I’m having these consultations, I’m recording the video on zoom with the patient’s permission. But I’m also, I’ve got otter.ai running in the background in my Chrome tab.
And what I’m doing then is I’m having that conversation, the patient, I’m asking about their goals, I’m giving them information, how much money is likely to cost him how many months the treatments gonna take importance of retention that kind of stuff. But as we’re having this conversation, everything that we’re discussing is being transcribed to a pretty, I’d say 95% accuracy. And obviously, with dental terms, it struggles, but I literally don’t have to write any notes. I don’t write any notes for my virtual consultations, but you should be right, we should be writing notes. But i.e., my transcription is my notes. So I just email that over to my clinic. And they put it in the contacts of the patience.
So therefore, I now have a full like transcription of the entire conversation I had with the patient. So I don’t know about anyone who’s doing this. Hopefully, some people will start doing this now that I’ve told you about it, but a system that works well for me, so I don’t have to then log into my sort of system and then start writing everything that we discussed with the patient. I can now just send over the transcription. So I hope that pearl helped you. So let’s dive into the episode with Ricky Bopal. I’ll see you in the outro.
Ricky Bhopal, welcome to the Protrusive Dental podcast. How are you my friend?
I’m good. Thank you, Jaz. Thank you for inviting me to this podcast.
No, thanks for making time, man. I appreciate it, buddy. I mean, you are all about well, you are a prosthodontist but you can’t call yourself that until the people it’s time I’m hoping to upload this episode. By the time that okay, it’s all [kosher] with all the governing bodies if you’d like. So, essentially, \you’ve done your exams, you’ve done your special training at Guys and your MID.
And the reason I had you on the show today is because you’re a massive dental geek and I love it right you were like the geekiest in the best way. I don’t mean that the nerdy way I mean, like, wow, man, you so full of knowledge and hunger. I love it. I mean, you are definitely cut from the same cloth and I loved. I chats that we have very geeky chats that we do have. So I had to bring you on.
Because I know you’re so busy like you did your specialist training, you’re working in practice. And you can tell him on a moment about what kind of split you did. You did a lot of your own lab work, I believe. And then also you managed to have work life balance to some degree, or how best you can as a specialist trainee. So tell us a little about your journey over the last few years and how you balance everything.
Sure. Before I go on to the actually, the way that we actually became friends was exactly we, I think we met at dentinal tubules. And we started talking about occlusion. And then at that point, we would literally just like friends for life, with the [M in dent], and the work life.
So one of the things that I found at the very beginning was it was really, really hard to kind of adjust to doing practice, as well as staying this really intense course. So quite early on, I did struggle and I did try so many different ways to try and figure how am I going to balance this, if you spoke to some of my friends, admittedly, they would joke and say Ricky would say stupid things like I’m going to the library to go and relax. You can’t relax in the library, guys.
But on reflection, you definitely can’t do that. But compartmentalizing is really important. But it’s important also just not to have a regimented life. I look at life as like a pie chart. So you have your work element there, you have your family, you have your partner, you have your hobbies. And if you’re focusing too much on one thing, the other things are going to suffer. And I actually experienced this myself.
So I was focusing so much on my studies, that the other thing started slacking. And it was run by is kind of towards the end of my first year, beginning of my second year where I realized this and I was like, I can’t do this. Now, a girlfriend who was in Liverpool, during my training, she moved from Liverpool to Kent to North Hampton. So trying to find balance to see her and spend time with my family was really, really hard. But eventually, I figured out a way to try and work out my weeks in a way that allowed me to do that.
Okay, so you figured out a way to somehow fit everything in. So what I’m sensing here is that you had to eventually come up with almost like a calendar of certain things you would do at certain times. Is that right?
Exactly, and some people might think it’s really sad. But my girlfriend actually made a shared calendar. So I think communication is really important, not just within our profession, but also like in everyday life as well. So my family actually didn’t make a calendar for my family as well, she’s stuck on the fridge.
So coming from quite a big household, everyone’s in and out of the house, lots of everyone doesn’t know when everyone is at home. So just communicating with each other, I think it’s really important to really understand where you are in the day, and when you’re going to see that other person because that’s important. If you if you don’t see your loved ones for a few days, how do you feel? Down.
But I love the fact that you had that desire, like you had such a strong desire to make it work that you went to lengths of having calendars that both that your family and your better half could see. And that’s great. And actually, funnily enough to two to three months ago, Ricky, I actually made a switch myself from to do lists to calendars in the sense that before I’d be very quick to write things down in my to do list.
But now instead of most things now, instead of writing my to do list I’m actually allocating that a slot in my diary. And I just find that when you allocate time to a task, you’re much more likely to get done effectively in time, compared to just writing a to do list. Is that something you found as well?
Yeah, it’s actually one of the tips that I was going to give at some point today.
Let’s go for it. Your What are your top three productivity tips?
Okay, so the first one would be get in tune with your body and your mind, get out of the slump. So I used to do this a lot. How many times would you get a task and say, yeah, I’m going to start tomorrow, tomorrow will come and say, actually, I’ll start tomorrow, I’ll still have time. Sometimes you just actually start that task, whatever it is. So wherever you need to do, you need to do it to get that pen to paper.
And more importantly, make a plan of whatever it is that you’re doing. If you just go at something without having a plan of attack, you’re more likely to fail at something. One of the things that I did to try and get into this habit was I adopted a 5am morning stop. So might sound a bit strange.
I’ve done that as well. I did you read any books that inspired you? Because there’s a book I read that inspired me to do that. Which one was it?
Okay, so you read Robin Sharma, what’s his book called?
The 5am Club.
That’s the one. So I read Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, similar thing. They also talks about the beautiful things that happened when you started at five at 5am. And for a long time I did that since becoming a father. So sleep is so much more precious. Because if you’re in the 5am wakeup club, you’re also in the nine am sleep club, you see.
Now that makes sense. That makes sense. So yeah, I’m glad you’re doing the same thing, buddy. Why 5 am? Because it’s the time of least distractions, and you have so much peace in the day. So when I actually started this, I did something cheeky, I use my younger brother who’s 17 years old, and I used him as a guinea pig. So I thought, you know what?
I’m going to do this. But there’s no point me doing this by myself, and how best to get into a routine, make someone else do it with you. So in this sense, he was eager to do it, you can’t make someone something if they’re not willing to do it in the first place. So I basically I didn’t even propose the idea to him, I just explained of this is what I’m going to do. And then eventually is ‘hell I’m going to do that as well’. So we started doing it together.
I liked what you did directly, because instead of saying someone, you should try this, you sort of said, hey, I’m doing this and you sort of made them desire it.
Mass manipulation. He’s been doing that, and he found that really helpful because he was studying for his A-levels. So in this book by Robin Sharma, he discusses the first hour of the day and talks about the 20-20-20 rule. So I adopted this, I don’t stick to it. So strictly but the first 20 minutes you do exercise, as you wake up, you drink a big glass of water replenish all the water that you’ve lost during the sleep time.
Sweating actually releases brain repairing neurotropic factor, which actually helps create new neural pathways. So if you get sweaty in the morning, in a way, that’s when I was working [gal think,] the more I’m sweating, the quicker my thinking is going to become an obviously the better you’re going to look and feel about yourself, then the next 20 minutes should be reflection and meditation.
Meditation is really important. As you know, we are both from the Sikh community. So I like to do my prayers in the morning. And this really helps to kind of reduce your cortisol and reduce your stress levels. And then the final 20 minutes should be doing something, learning something. So I always used to make it a habit that I’m not leaving the house unless I’ve actually read something for 10 to 20 minutes, something that’s fresh in my head in desire to do some work as well. So I actually–
Where do you get your 20 minutes of learning from? What was a quick, easy win that we can get in the morning at 5:40 in the morning?
So it could be like you have say for example, a dental article that you’ve had on your to do list to read. You don’t have to necessarily read every single word but look at the main content that’s within that in the article. You can read a chapter in a book, you can watch a YouTube video. I mean, we’re in the era of social media and videos, you can listen to Protrusive Dental podcast for a while.
We have a winner! I was waiting for that. The best.
Hi guys, it’s me again, I’m just interfering with this little message. I just want to say a big thank you to Ricky Bhopal because he was actually one of the beta testers. For my splint course I had about 30 beta testers who gave me really valuable feedback to make sure that the splint course was going to be epic. So please, that people all over well, from USA to Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Singapore, India, even Scunthorpe became delegates on the splint course and we’re having monthly coaching calls and the secret Facebook group and I’ve been supporting everyone and people have been just sharing and learning so much, which is which has been great.
And one of the things that Ricky had to share about the splint course was the following. ‘I love how you can see the passion oozing out of you. It’s very engaging and easy to follow. All your explanations are amazing. This course is so legit. You could teach someone a dentist who knows nothing about occlusion, nothing about splints, all about bruxism and occlusal appliances.
So Ricky, thanks so much for that feedback on the course. And there are basically two reasons why I share that with you in this little message. So reason number one is a lot of people were messaging me when the enrollment period was open for splint course. And they were a little bit worried about coming on and joining us, because they thought that they needed to have a lot of knowledge, a lot of prior experience when it comes to splints, and occlusion knowledge, and they didn’t feel worthy of it.
Well, I’m hoping that with that testimonial from Ricky, all you’ll see that actually, I really, really started from the basics, like even if you don’t know what centric relation is, or what a Tanner appliances is, or what an AMPSA is, I take you from the very beginnings from diagnosis to splint delivery to follow ups. And of course, we go through your own case as well. So it’s for everyone, no matter what level you are, you don’t need to have been on like five different occlusion courses or anything like that. I mean, I do cover some occlusion there.
But it’s primarily a splint course, which I don’t think there’s anything out there that’s like this, because there’s so many occlusion courses that just cover splints, like a tiny bit, and it leaves everyone confused. So I devoted to the many, many hours to put this together. And you can get like, minimum 12 hours of CPD every month, we have the monthly coaching course.
But the second reason I want to share this with you is in June, the first week of June, we’re going to be opening enrollment again, for the second cohort of splint course, if you missed out in the first time, no worries, you can join the second cohort, all you have to do is go to splintcourse.com and register with email address so that when it opens, I’ll be able to email you the launch offer for the second cohort.
So I hope you join us on the splint course.com. If you’re still not convinced, go to coursekarma.com., in the search bar, we can find all the courses from all over the world in dentistry. So it’s coursekarma.com, you type in Splintcourse and just read the reviews for yourself. And let me know what you think. So hopefully, I’ll catch you in June on Splintcourse it’ll be really awesome to have you.
Yeah. So in the morning, the first thing that I will do is I’ll actually use this time to create my daily tasks. So the night before, I would say okay, this is what I want to be doing. But in the morning, you may not be thinking the same thing you were thinking the day before. So you want to make realistic goals and realistic targets.
Otherwise, you constantly let yourself down. So when you look at your to do list, as you were mentioning, you’re going to be like, ‘Damn, I haven’t done this,’ then you feel bad. And then you get into this kind of downward spiral. So for me exactly what you’re saying, I don’t like to make, particularly in a to do list, I would say, okay, today, I’m covering this, I look at the day before, okay, is that realistic, or cool? Let me do this, this and this.
And then I actually would keep, unfortunately, I’ve taken all my calendars down, but I have a huge calendar. So I’ve tried to go digital with everything, then the same thing, I’m still a bit old school like pen to paper. So I would keep like a big yearly planner, and on that yearly plan on my wall, I could just look up and be like, okay, on this day, I know I have to have this done by this date. So say for example, I’m covering like a topic, say implants or removable prosth. I know that by this date, I need to have this done. And I have to do everything I can to get to that stage. But because I’m documenting everything that I’m doing, I’m able to keep track of everything as well. So which comes on to my next thing as well.
Before we move on to the next one, I just want to share my spin on what you said there often mean, you both will see some patients or a new patient examination. And we’ll have letters that we may want to write these patients, right. And what I used to do is I used to put my to do list okay, write a letter for Mrs. Smith. Her review is in two weeks, so make sure you get it done by then right? Problem is, you want to do it tomorrow, then you can skip it, skip it, skip it, skip it, and eventually what happens the day before the morning of the appointment, you’re quickly making a treatment, which is not great.
So now what I did, by switching to the diary zoning in my calendar, I’m able to allocate between 3pm and 4pm, every three days or whatever, like I’ve sought allocated days where childcare is sorted, and I can just crack on. And that’s where I do all my treatment planning, if you like. And that’s how I made the switch where it was, it was quite similar to you and sense that you know your endpoint and you will slot it somewhere within your diary.
Yeah. And this actually really nicely comes on to the next point of what I’m saying as well. So I’m keeping a journal of exactly what you’re doing, keeping a journal of your daily tasks, your goals. And then there’s actually a course I did a few years ago by [Asif Said] and it was it was discussing about having a day in the week for green space. So you just use that time to not do anything work related and just focus on admin only.
And what I’ll do is I’ll have basically a table of all my tasks and then at the end column have where am I up to up to this task, okay, what’s the next action that I need to do? So in that time period, I’ll basically say, okay, I’m going to sit there I’m going to look at all of my patients from practice. Look at my invoices, look at my, the way that I’ve been doing my dentistry, look at photographs, and then also look at my life as well and seeing how am I progressing.
So I think having that one day is really, really important. Because if you don’t have that green space to kind of focus on yourself, then how you’re going to continue to improve, you’ll constantly be saying, Okay, I’m going to reflect on that another day. And then it all builds up. And then at the end, you’ve got this big batch of things, which eventually you’ll say, copy off to do anything now.
And then you go on holiday, and then you’re busy with that. Yeah, I’m a huge fan of having that [end to fast] since I made the shift to a shift pattern type of work. So before I used to work very traditionally, before I used to work in Oxford, I’d reach Oxford at 7am, because I’ll to miss all the traffic. So from London to Oxford, right, I miss all the traffic, play squash from seven to 8am. Okay, and then I’d get changed, how shall I go to work 9am to like, you know, by timing on your notes and stuff, 6.30 or something, then drive back and get home for at half, seven, I’ve been out the home from 6am, back home, half, seven, okay, and you’re shattered and destroyed.
But now that I made the shift from either working the mornings, from like, 8am to 2pm, or I’m working the evenings, to 2pm to 8pm. So essentially, I have in my diary, some green space almost every day, which I have just found. So uplifting, so great. And so wonderful for the effects that had on me and my family, to be able to spend more time with my son, my son can see me every day, undivided attention when I have those sessions off, which has been just phenomenal.
That’s amazing. Because speaking from my own experience, like when I was younger, my mom was studying to be a general nurse. So she was at university for when I was a really young child. So we really get to see her a lot. So I’d spend a lot of time with my grandma. That’s how I learned like my amazing Punjabi skills. So yeah, I didn’t get to see her much. So the fact that you’re able to do that with your son, that’s amazing. I’m sure that he will remember these times when he’s actually older.
The thing that you said was, you basically have switched around your times and the clocks within your day. So one of the things that I found with this tip of keeping a journal is you’re able to kind of keep a record of what your productivity levels are, as you’re progressing through the day. So when I was actually doing my revision for my exit exams, I would keep a record and monitor my day. And I’d find that between 1pm to 3pm was my unproductive hours. So this is obviously during COVID.
So sometimes, you do things where you have a knock on effect. So for example, if you are watching a TV series late at night in bed, and next thing is impacted your sleep. The next morning, you’ve had impacted sleep has a knock on effect, you’re not going to have as much productivity the next day. So for me, I looked at this and said, but I don’t want to stop watching these programs. And I was watching umbrella Academy, which is an amazing show, by the way. I thought no, I don’t want to do that. So what I did was I figured out that between one and three is my unproductive hours. So let me slot in my series then. And then I can actually sleep that night and get a proper night’s sleep.
So similar to what you’re kind of seeing there. With now that I’ve completed my course. So how do you apply this to dentistry? So as you mentioned at the beginning, I’ve just finished my training. So I’ve split my time up between basically two practices. So I’m working on a Tuesday on Monday or Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and every other Saturday. So I purposely have done it in a way that I have a Wednesday off. So midweek, time off, I could do my admin is during the week. Just get on with whatever tasks I need to do and it’s during the working day. So I’ve done that strategically to allow me to do that.
Sometimes it’s important that we start focusing on what other people are doing and just do yourself and your brain will actually love you for it. Because what may work for one person may necessarily work for someone else. So all throughout my undergrad training, I was a night owl. I’d be doing like night shifts, work into the early hours of the morning, going to university sleeping during the day. And I thought to myself for a long time, there’s no way I can become like one of my buddies who would wake up super early and kind of adopt what I’m doing now.
But the thing was, at that time, it wasn’t conducive for the way I was basically going about doing things but as I’ve progressed through life, the way what you want in life changes, so you just have to listen to what you want to do, as opposed to looking at other people who may be doing nine to five days or working six days a week, or is crazy enough to do seven days a week. So it’s just whatever you find comfortable for yourself. So, which goes on to my first point, which is getting tuned in with your mind and your body? What are you capable of?
Okay, so there was a quote that I wanted to share with you, Jaz is by Michael Gerber. And it basically means it what he says is, the difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, whereas everyone else has created their lives passively waiting to see where life is going to take the next. So the difference between the two is, someone is living fully, whereas the other person is just existing. So I think when it comes to wherever you’re doing whatever profession you’re in, for us, as dentists, like, if we want to become something, we need to actively do something about it, whether it’s going on a course, speaking to the right person, networking, going to conferences, listening to podcasts, all of these kinds of things, you can’t do things by doing nothing, you’re not going to get anywhere. And maybe some people do, and they’re very lucky. But for the vast majority, we need to actually do something activity
100%, you have to make your own luck, and the language that you use there, actively and then just respond to what happens very much similar to being proactive and being reactive. And so that, for me, it was like yeah, definitely a parallel there was one of those sort of sayings I’ve had, I’ve come across for like, are you living life proactively? Are you making the changes? Are you trying to sync your diary with your better half and actually try to make time for your family? Or are you just waiting for by chance for times to work out and most likely they won’t work just work out automatically. They won’t just work out in this beautiful way where you get to see it get the best of everything. You have to work hard to make some strategic sacrifices and actually graft towards that.
Yeah, no, exactly. And I think that is the key to success, in my opinion.
Awesome. I love it.
Jaz another thing that I want to discuss is, why do we never live in the moment and be happy with what we have at that specific moment in time. And there’s so many times I myself has done this, I’ll be happy when I get into dental school. Then you go for dental school and you’re slogging your way through and then you finish, I’ll be happy. If I get a [df one] position. I’ll be happy if I get a DCT one path mfds.
But we never actually enjoy that moment. And it’s something that I was really thinking and reflecting on a lot of a lot about since I finished my program. And I was thinking to myself, yeah, that was a really tough journey. I loved every second of it. There were ups and downs. It wasn’t all hunky dory and good times all the time. There are going to be bad times. But that’s what life is like, isn’t it? I learned so much. I did the thing that I love to do.
I made some amazing lifelong friends, met some amazing people. So it was just and I grew as a person. And me, it’s like, okay, you know what, I really enjoyed that. Okay, that chapter of my life is now closed. Okay, let’s go on to the next chapter. So rather than thinking, Okay, what am I going to do next, that’s going to get me happy. There’s no point doing that. Just go with where your life is going and enjoy that journey. Otherwise, we will constantly be chasing happiness. That makes sense?
100%. That makes a lot of sense. I remember actually, a few years ago, having the same reflections. I was with my then fiance now wife, got one of her interviews, DCT interviews. And I was speaking to these guys who just had that interview, and they’re ready to sort of find out where they got a DCT. And they were sort of saying, using language in sentences, like, I’ll be happy if I get this place for DCT or I’ll be happy once I get to a situation where I can do this type of dentistry or I’ll be happy when I can place implants. But like you said, you’re always chasing that next [hype].
And professionally for people like me and you, who are so passionate about a profession, it’s so easy to get caught up and lost in that, right. So I think you showed so much sense that you’re speaking in terms of time for happiness is now and it’s so good that you had such a great time that you can reflect on your training and not be like, okay, I made it and now I’m happy. But actually, I’m only going to be happy when I get to this next level, because you can easily just chase the next level Ricky, but you you’re like, okay, you know what, this is a journey. I’m enjoying it now.
Exactly, Jaz. You can apply this to kind of how you’re going about progressing in your career as well. So it’s okay. Like you said, I’ll be happy if I could place implants. So what a lot of people that I’ve seen over the years is they’ll do one course and then jump on to do another course and then do another course. Something that I I’ve kind of always done from the very onset was I do a course and then if I don’t implement that in the next time I’m in practice, then I’ve just wasted my money.
And so I was kind of in that mindset. And I mentioned a course earlier by [Asif Said] sided two of his courses, [FFQ and PYP]. And he actually does discuss this element within the course as well, which is quite nice. Because as okay, because there’s other people who are thinking the exact same thing. So what you’re saying was, when you want to learn something, don’t just do every single course, do one course, learn that skill perfected, until you are like, you can do it with your eyes closed, then move on to the next thing. And that way, you’re constantly getting all of these skill sets into a category where you are really competent with it, rather than, spreading yourself thin and doing so many things, but then never becoming a master at all of them. That makes sense?
You reminds of the phone chat we were having last week, actually, you tell me about the whole is it column one, column two, column three, right? Yeah, essentially, it’s stuff that you know that you don’t know. And then you can move it up to next column was like, okay, you’re working on it. And only once you’ve mastered it, you put two column three. But if you keep putting too many things stuck in column two, and you’re sort of doing too many courses, nothing will ever move to ‘I can now do this competently.’
Exactly. And I hope Asif doesn’t mind me showing that gem, but it was a really a life changing thing for me, especially. And I found it was really helpful. And I think that a lot of people should.
Absolutely. And Dhru Shah also talked about this in one the passion and values episode I did, maybe last year, and he talked about how young dentists can choose their next course, will each actually be introspective and look at what you’re good at what you’re not so good at. Have you actually mastered anything yet? If not, maybe once just hone your skills in and focus on just mastering at one aspect before jumping to the next course. I think that’s very apt what you said and it’s going to help a lot of people in terms of deciding on what’s your next but also just reflecting that before just continually chasing different highs to actually master that one sort of craft at least.
I agre with that.
Ricky, any last tips, because that’s been you’ve given a real good overview, and we talked about how switching from tasks to calendars. In the interest of time, I have to really push you that one last golden gem, if you had any. Maybe talk about your procrastination technique you told me about over lockdown.
Oh, man, okay, this is really bringing the geek out now. So during my revision period, and one of the things that I found was I’d be sitting there, reading some notes, whatever it is, I’m making some notes even and then all of a sudden, I get something come into my head. Remember to go get the dog’s vaccinations. And then all of a sudden, next thing, I’m on the internet googling everything about dog vaccinations, what’s the best one? Well, sometimes you get lost in the dark areas of YouTube, or you might end up being upside down.
So procrastination, for me is like a really, really, really hard thing to overcome. So I thought to myself, okay, this is really annoying, I need to stop this. So I kind of do it. So I coined a term and made this thing called hot desking. I don’t even know if that’s the right term for it. But basically, it’s just having a piece of paper, or in my case, I like to use a productivity app. And I basically just made like a page, then it’s literally just labeled hot desking.
So what I’ll do is, when these things would pop up into my head, I would go and click on that. And then I’d write the timestamp, and then write whatever it is. And then it’s crazy how many times you think you’re going to procrastinate within an hour, I think there’s about 10 times or something on one of the days. And then what you do is at the end of your day, you then go back to that link and you have a look at it and you say okay, these are the things I would have procrastinated doing. Do I really need to find out about, is there life outside this galaxy in this universe?
And it’s procrastination in itself, but you basically you’re making it smaller. So rather than going on to the website and doing all those things, you’re just clicking on that link quickly writing something. And then when you’re doing that, that active task of going on to that thing or going to that piece of paper and writing get it will make you think, okay, I’m wasting my time. Let me get back to doing my work. Same thing you can adopt when you’re on social media. I mean, I used to be one of those people. I’d wake up in the morning and just be scrolling through Instagram, Facebook or wherever Pinterest and then I’d sit down. Say actively say to myself, this is not making any difference to your life, stop it and get off, do it in a time when you’re on the train, or you’re waiting for something. Why you’re doing it now in your productive time? So that’s amazing.
It’s very similar to something I posted a recent episode up about how to maximize your learning from dental courses inspired by someone called Jim Kwik, who wrote the book limitless. And what he talks about was exactly what you said. It’s about when you have a distraction from what you’re what you’re concentrating on, because your brain can’t process a negative. Like, for example, suddenly, we’re having this chat. And suddenly, I’ve thought, the dog that I don’t have, but they might need some vaccinations, right. And suddenly, now that’s bothering me. And now, I’m not actively listening to you anymore. I’m not with you in the moment anymore.
But if you actually quickly write it down, you’ve now dealt with it, you can come back to later. And that’s, you know, the same concept with your brain can’t process the negative now that you’ve processed it is done, it’s going to become a positive. And it goes in like the to do later pile. So thanks so much, Ricky for sharing that. And all the gems you shared, I’m probably have to bring him back for part two, because we had to sort of whiz through this one today. But when you start working as a prosthodontist, maybe a year down the line, I want to do maybe a follow up episode, see now that you’ve actually entered the big bag world of a full time work pretty much. How are you coping? What have you learned last year? That sounds like a really cool thing to do. What do you think?
Yeah, I would be up, buddy, pretty anytime for you, man.
Awesome, buddy. Thanks so much, Ricky, for coming on set and sharing all these productivity gems with a prosthodontist.
Thank you very much for inviting me on.
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