The Real Reason for Stress and Burnout

Someone once commented that the only stress free state is when you are dead. It is my belief however that most of us would prefer to be stress free in this lifetime!

The current idea of “learning how to live with it”, while intellectually clever, is not one that we can readily accept or should even give in to. Not too many years ago, attendance at workshops on a host of stress management techniques was a popular answer to this problem. As time has passed, those techniques have faded into dim memory but stress lives on.

The vast majority of the solutions offered for stress management have not worked well, particularly the most popular one – getting away from it all to the pink sands of Bermuda. Have you ever noticed that two or three days after that well-deserved vacation, you feel like you haven’t had one? There’s a very specific reason for that.

After consulting with more than 1,200 practices over the past twenty two years, I have confirmed that the single biggest reason for stress in a practice, or in life for that matter, is number of boxes on your TO DO list that have not been completed and ticked off as done. Recognizing that a task needs to be done and putting it on the TO DO list is the first step, but then there must be carry through to actually GET IT DONE. Some people are good at putting things on the list but never get them finished, while others (the procrastinators!) never even get the list made (except in their head), let alone actually completing it.

You as the practice owner spend some of your valuable time (maybe a lot) wondering and worrying if things are getting done and, if they are, are they getting done satisfactorily. So now you as both the practice owner and dentist have double the number of things on your mind. No wonder so many practice owners have said to me, “I just want to be the dentist”.

In a practice, there are literally hundreds tasks, big and small, that you and your staff have to remember not to forget each day. That takes mental and physical energy. Now multiply that by five days. Is it any wonder that by Friday evening you and your team are completely exhausted? Now add to that the unfinished tasks being carried forward from past weeks and months. Can you see how this causes eventual burnout?

To clean up this mess and free up a lot of your mental and physical energy, make up a list of all of the past and current items that need doing in your practice. For example, the staff problems, revamping the recall system, the unwritten marketing program that needs writing, etc. etc. Now complete these one by one starting with the easiest one. You will feel an immense release and a renewed energy level, I guarantee it!

Remember, it is NOT what you got DONE that stresses you, it’s what you DIDN’T get done!!

Sometimes you don’t start or finish an action because you don’t know what to do or how to do it. In that case, you probably could use some additional management skills to make your life easier. Give us a call for REAL solutions for ANY aspect of practice management. All of the technical and administrative staff at The Art of Management are here to help you.

it is possible to be stress free!!

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A practice analysis with AMI is an opportunity for you, as the practice owner, to step back and take an in-depth look at all the inner workings of your practice.



If there’s someone who can explain anything, Gaby is the one. She teaches you not just how to do something, but why to do it this way and not the other.

Google Review from
Dr. Aaron Langdon​


I am relatively new to dental practice ownership and have never received any training in running a practice. I am now part-way through AMI’s program and am very impressed with the help they have been able to provide thus far. Through their courses I have improved my communication skills and have learned to properly interpret, and act upon, changes in practice statistics on a weekly basis. Through their consulting services, I have received valuable guidance in diverse areas of practice ownership including managing employees, advertising, hiring, and scheduling, among others. I wish I had begun this program earlier and would recommend it to any of my colleagues. I am thankful to the colleagues that told me about AMI – otherwise I would not have heard of them.

Google Review from
Dr. Karen Archer


I owe the ongoing success of my dental practice to the Art of Management. Completing their initial program as a new practice owner some years ago helped me develop a foundation of management skills that has allowed my practice to continuously grow. I have also periodically sought their advice over the years with specific decisions. I appreciate how they have always taken into consideration the unique aspects of MY practice situation as well as drawn on their vast experience with other dental clients. Thank you AMI!



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5401 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite 215
Toronto, ON M9C 5K6
Phone: 416-466-6217
Fax: 416-466-6287

Working hours

Monday- Friday: 8:30am-4:30pm

The Art Of Management Inc.

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