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3 Concepts To Change Your Hours And Change Your Life


You spend 30% of your life working, and that’s a significant amount of time to spend with your work family and away from your actual family. We tend to spend a lot of that time thinking about our lives outside of our workplace obligations, which is why it’s important to find a healthy balance between the two halves of your existence. Dentists have classically been misled to believe that expanding hours is the path to attracting patients and doing more dentistry, but that’s not true. Like Kirk says over and over, “Time is the new rich,” because the people who have control over their time are the ones with the most freedom. This can be a reality for you too, and it starts with changing your hours.

  1. Make Balance a Priority

Your work is super important, but so is your family, so finding a balance that allows you to be present for both is an absolute necessity. It’s going to be challenging, but you need to commit to being ready to do it and then choose your hours based on what works best for YOU! For example, one of my practices discussed as a team what worked best and made the decision to change to an 8-4 schedule because it allowed those with school-aged children to be present for the morning drop-off. 

  1. Protect the Balance at All Costs

Once you’ve decided the hours you want, you’ve got to carve out your schedule and protect the balance you’ve created. I’m a big fan of intentionally blocking your schedule, because it does amazing things for productivity, predictability, and balance. It’s also necessary to create scheduling agreements with your team around how you treat your schedule:

  • What is an emergency? 
  • Where do emergencies go?
  • What is this high-production block for?

They’re basic agreements around how your schedule is going to be honored by each and every person on your team, and they allow you to take control of your schedule instead of being controlled by it.

  1. Get Ready to Never Regret Making the Change

Once you’ve prioritized balancing your schedule and are protecting it with agreements, it’s time to run, not walk! Be super excited that you’re never going to look back and regret making this change, because you will never wish you could work until 7:00 on a Tuesday and miss a child’s activity. I have several teams with hygienists or assistants with grown children, and they’ve ALL said they wish they could have enjoyed a 7-3 or 8-4 schedule when their kids were younger—you have the power to make that a reality right now.


When you think about it, you only get 16 summers with your kids, so make sure you utilize them. The most incredible thing about dentistry is that there are no rules—you can practice however you want and set your own hours! It may feel like patients will object, but all you have to do is believe you can do it, and you’ll find that the patients will follow you.

If you don’t think you can have better hours, call us! One of our experts will help you figure out how to make it a reality, and once you do, you’ll never look back from the Better Practice and Better Life you’ve created!

Tune in next time and let Miranda Beeson show you how to save your practice money with one game-changing way!

Courtney Dalton is a Lead Practice Coach at ACT Dental

Kirk Behrendt

Kirk Behrendt is a renowned consultant and speaker in the dental industry, known for his expertise in helping dentists create better practices and better lives. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Kirk has dedicated his professional life to optimizing the best systems and practices in dentistry. Kirk has been a featured speaker at every major dental meeting in the United States. His company, ACT Dental, has consistently been ranked as one of the top dental consultants in Dentistry Today's annual rankings for the past 10 years. In addition, ACT Dental was named one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc Magazine, appearing on their Inc 5000 list. Kirk's motivational skills are widely recognized in the dental industry. Dr. Peter Dawson of The Dawson Academy has referred to Kirk as "THE best motivator I have ever heard." Kirk has also assembled a trusted team of advisor experts who work with dentists to customize individual solutions that meet their unique needs. When he's not motivating dentists and their teams, Kirk enjoys coaching his children's sports teams and spending time with his amazing wife, Sarah, and their four children, Kinzie, Lily, Zoe, and Bo.