The Mythical Multitasking Dentist

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Patient Attraction Episode 811

Being a dental solopreneur requires you to wear multiple hats. But there’s considerable evidence to suggest that rapidly swapping hats – multitasking – actually makes you less productive, not more. I’ll be back after the break to tell you why dentists who try to multitask can only succeed in spite of themselves.

– Welcome to the Patient Attraction Podcast.

– I’m Colin Receveur.

– I’m a small business owner, and I know how many things I have to attend to every day.

– I’m sure your experience is similar.

– There was a time when I prided myself on my ability to rapidly switch from one thing to another.

– I was a proud multitasker.

– But in 2009, researchers from Stanford University conducted a study that measured the capabilities of multitaskers versus non-multitaskers.

– The results surprised me.

– The experienced multitaskers in the study got distracted, a lot, by irrelevant things.

– They kept thinking about the task they weren’t doing.

– Their performance was much worse than the non-multitaskers.

– They also had worse recall than non-multitaskers and they had more trouble switching between tasks.

– The authors of the study also suggested that chronic multitasking might actually damage the brain.

– Researchers at the University of London found that people who multitasked during cognitive tests experienced a sharp decline in brain functioning, similar to how they would have performed if they’d smoke a joint or stayed up all night.

– In fact, they had a 15-point drop in IQ during the tests, putting them in the average range of an 8-year-old.

– Our brains are organized to focus on only one thing at a time.

– That’s why multitasking dentists who succeed do so in spite of themselves.

– To run your practice successfully, bring the same single focus that you use during a difficult root canal.

– Focus only on the business task at hand and ignore everything else until you’re done.

– Then and only then, switch to the next task.

– You’ll be sharper, faster, and more productive, and you might protect some brain cells.

– And you’ll be much better at managing your business than an 8-year-old.

– Of course, you can also take some of the burden off your shoulders, like planning your marketing.

– If you’d like to know how you can attract more and better patients, visit

– Join me for tomorrow’s podcast.

– Until then, keep moving forward.