When our kids were born, we saw them as adults in the making, reminding us to make decisions that would help them both now and when they were adults. We need to have the same mindset toward our practice – it should grow up and start to give back to us at some point, and as fast as possible.
To get a practice to “mature”, we employ Dual Tracking – As we do things to satisfy the Tyranny of the Urgent, we must use that same activity to also satisfy the Priority of the Important.
As an example, I did the Business Leader’s Insight Lunch for five years in Denver. I could have just talked about business, but that would have been single-tracking, and would have only satisfied the urgent, tyrannical need to present a lunch topic. Instead, I knew I wanted others to learn how to do this in the future, so I put together a handout, expanded on that with a leader’s guide, and recorded each of them with a hand-held recorder. It took an extra 45 minutes for each lunch, but as a result, we have 120+ lunches in audio with handouts and leader’s guides. Now, when new Facilitators start one of our 3to5 Clubs anywhere in the world, they have these tools to support developing their business. These are used on three continents today.
I could have saved 45 minutes to an hour every time I put together a lunch, but that would have cost me hundreds of hours and greatly decreased effectiveness in the long run. I dual-track both the present (the Tyranny of the Urgent) and the future (the Priority of the Important), and got them done once and for all.
A doctor in Chicago has adopted the same idea from us:
- He is doing videos to train other dentists while doing the work ( with permission of the patient of course).
- The front desk is doing a recording of each process as it is performed, with added training comments about how this was handled well, why it worked, etc.
- We have worked with them to write down all their major processes (we call this Freedom Mapping).
In each instance, it would be easier to just do the work, but that is very short-sighted. Now that dentist’s amazing artistry is being reproduced by others that he hires, the front desk has an exponentially shorter training cycle and assurance they are all using the same process consistently, and each function in the practice has their Freedom Maps to accomplish the same thing.
These are just a couple examples of dual tracking. It’s not about being clever or creative, but simply being committed to finding ways to use every money-making activity in your practice to pay your bills and at the same time help you build a future practice that will make money when you’re away doing something else important to you.
It’s critical to ask yourself, “How can I use this task to build a practice while I’m not here?” Ask that every day of every activity in your practice, and your practice will change dramatically and begin to grow up. If you’re only focused on the Urgent, your practice will never get to maturity.