Ask Jay: How do I keep my team focused during seasonal distractions?

How do dentists keep their teams engaged during the times of year when there are a lot of distractions?

How do I keep my team engaged during the times of year when there are a lot of distractions? It seemed like a lot of my team lost focus over the summer and my practice suffered. I’m trying to get ahead of it before the end-of-year holiday season. What suggestions do you have?

It’s challenging to keep team members consistently engaged and productive. This is especially true during those times of the year when personal lives become busier than normal and distractions outside the office increase. You obviously can’t change seasons or holidays, so how do you take control?

The key is to shift your mindset so you’re focusing time and energy on only those things that you have the ability to change. Stressing out about things beyond your control leads to frustration and makes you feel powerless over your team’s lack of motivation and productivity.

The focus needs to start with how you think and act, because that’s what you have 100% control over. Here are a few suggestions to help you make some adjustments.

It starts with acknowledging that your mindset has a huge impact on your business, particularly in regard to your team members. You may think what goes on in your head stays just with you, but that’s not the case. Think about it. You’re the leader of a small office environment, so when everyone around you follows your attitude and behavior, your thoughts don’t end with you. They become your practice culture.

When it comes to staying productive during summers and holiday seasons, you need to be modeling your own behavior based on how you want your team to act. You need to make sure you’re “living” the example you want to set.

Consider how you think and act when you’re looking forward to time off. You may not realize just how disengaged you get at the office. If you’re “checked out” before a big holiday, you can bet your team members are too. The truth is, you’re just as susceptible as your team to losing focus during those times when there are more distractions outside the office that are competing for your attention. Start by getting in the habit of recognizing when you drop engagement or get distracted. If you keep your head in the game, your team will most likely follow.

The good news is that having the best of both worlds is attainable, where you and your team stay engaged and productive in the office while still fully enjoying vacation time and holiday breaks.

This is typically a subject I like to teach in person, but since we can’t be together, I recorded a brief video for you. In it I explain practical methods of how to motivate both you and your team to operate with focus and stay engaged when distractions are heightened. To watch the video, go to this article on dentaleconomics.com. I’ll see you there.  

Editor’s note: Find past articles and videos from Jay Geier on dentaleconomics.com. Search “Ask Jay.”


Do you have a question about managing your practice? What about growing your business or becoming a better business leader? If you have questions, Jay has answers. Email your questions to askjay@schedulinginstitute.com. Jay will answer them here and in an online video.

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