A New Way to Make More and Work Less with Angela Heathman


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A New Way to Make More and Work Less

Episode #428 with Angela Heathman

You don't have to work more to produce more! And to reveal some of the secrets to earning more while working less, Kirk Behrendt brings back Angela Heathman, one of many amazing lead coaches at ACT Dental. With her coaching expertise, you can learn how to plan more strategically to create the practice and life that you want. For tips on working smarter, not harder, listen to Episode 428 of The Best Practices Show!

Main Takeaways:

Plan strategically for the year.

Mitigate schedule conflicts early.

Look at your calendar quarterly.

It’s not always about adding more.

Plan your life, not just vacations.


“One of my teams that I was talking to this week was talking about how the doctor is going to be gone for a couple weeks next month. And they were still talking about their goal as their whole yearly goal divided by 12, essentially. And I brought up the fact that they probably won't hit it with the doctor being gone for so long. And what we were then talking about is maybe setting goals on a per-hour or per-week or per-day basis instead of just that monthly goal. So, it was a little bit of a change in thinking for them, because they already planned on not hitting that goal and were just planning, this month, to blow it out of the water.” (2:25—3:05)

“If you start by planning out the year strategically, then you can make it go a lot smoother for the whole year. You don't have to really make up time or try to hit these summer goals later in the year, because if you’ve planned for it like in January, February, March on an hourly or daily basis, you've already accounted for the time off that you're going to take.” (7:24—7:50)

“Start by marking off — you could use any type of calendar. If you want to do a digital calendar or a big at-a-glance calendar on the wall, it doesn't matter. But what you need to do is figure out what days you're going to be gone for family vacations, for holidays, days off around holidays, CE, and also figure out when your team members are going to be gone too. And then, you'll know how many days your practice is going to be open for the year. And sometimes, that visual is nice to see, like, ‘Oh, gosh, we’re not really going to be here in July,’ or, ‘We’re all taking different weeks off in March.’ So, sometimes, it’s nice to be able to mitigate any issues that might be coming up too.” (8:15—9:01)

“A lot of our offices will have team members that will provide some coverage as well, like maybe the hygiene is doing general supervision, or there's an admin team member there who’s answering the phone. So, a lot of our doctors are able to check out.” (9:22—9:38)

“I think that it’s important to figure this out with your team, because sometimes they think that we’re just asking for all their days off for the year because we’re micromanaging, or we don't want them to take a vacation. But that's not true. The reason we want them to put their time off in advance is so we can strategically plan what the goal should be for the year.” (11:55—12:22)

“Even if [dentists] do the planning in advance for the year, they don't always look at it on a quarterly basis on if they did work the amount of days that they thought they were going to. And they might have had some unforeseen snow days, or COVID-19, or something like that that they didn't account for. We talk about countermeasures at ACT a lot. So, you will want to put in place some countermeasures. Maybe that's adjusting your daily goal going forward, or maybe that's that you have to work another day that you thought you were going to have off, to make up for those unforeseen changes.” (13:46—14:25)

“I think a lot of [dentists] are just like, ‘Oh, I think I work about 16 days a month,’ and they just think, ‘Oh, I work four days a week, roughly four weeks a month.’ And that's where I see the biggest issue, is that they just estimate. And so, I know it sounds a little tedious to go through each month and mark it off. But that’s when doctors really realize, ‘Oh, I'm going to take a half-day so I can go to this soccer tournament. And parent-teacher conferences. I don't want to miss this, so I took the morning off.’ And all those add up. And we absolutely want you to go to those. But when you're figuring out the goal, you want to account for those. Because what we don't want to happen is at the end of September, everybody is freaking out because they're 10 days shy of what they had planned to work. So, I think that's the biggest thing that I see, is the estimation.” (17:50—18:50)

“We were estimating, ‘How many days do you think you're going to work this year?’ because we were trying to build up those daily goals. And again, they just thought, ‘Oh, this is approximately how much I'm going to work.’ But then they were going to go on a big CE trip, and a few other days they hadn't accounted for. And it doesn't sound like a lot because it’s two or three things that they miss. But days wise, it really added a lot to the schedule that they were missing.” (19:18—19:48)

“I would encourage everybody to sit down with a calendar, think it out, write it down, and plan accordingly.” (23:09—23:19)


0:00 Introduction.

1:32 Think differently about setting goals.

3:07 Account for time away from the practice.

4:37 Apply the 90-day scorecard.

7:04 How to strategically plan your year.

9:02 Your practice can do well while you're gone.

11:22 Plan ahead with your team.

14:25 Know your percentage of write-offs.

17:38 What dentists get wrong about planning their year.

21:10 You, your team, and your patients will feel the pressure.

22:56 Last thoughts.

Reach Out to Angela:

Angela’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angeheathman

Angela’s social media: @angeheathman

Angela Heathman Bio:

Angela Heathman is a Lead Practice Coach who works with dentists and their teams to help them accomplish their goals. She believes the hard work you do on your practice is just as important as the work you do in your practice!

Angela has over 20 years of clinical dental hygiene, dental sales, and practice coaching experience. When she transitioned from her role as a clinician to her role as a sales account manager, she realized both her passion for education and practice development. Angela holds a master's degree in dental hygiene education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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