Cluttered Office – Cluttered Mind?

I think we can give Einstein a pass.

Honestly, I don’t know the real purpose of this blog post. But, I’ve come across some photos that I just HAD to play with.  Perhaps it’s a self-congratulatory exercise.  Or maybe there is some lesson we can glean from this.  Feel free to comment and add your own thoughts.

I’ll be the first to admit my private office is NOT a showplace.  It’s a good thing I have a dedicated consultation room to meet with patients, sales reps, or any other visitor to my practice.  I’m not the most organized person you’ll meet.  But, it turns out I’m not even remotely a contender in the most disorganized contest.

“Hoarders” – the Dental Edition?

I recently “acquired” some photos from a dental office that will remain unidentified.  (It’s not my office.)  This is quite real.  And, my intent is not to embarrass anyone.  But… Holy crap!  Update…. removing the actual photos as to not put my “source” at risk of losing his / her job.  But, it looked remarkably like this:

And, the rest of the office looked VERY much like this (no exaggeration, even the laundry is the same):

When I built my office, my designer asked me to make a list of “must haves.”   The first thing on the list was a Consultation Room.   Many dentists advised me against it, arguing it was a waste of space.  Furthermore, they urged me to plumb it as a future operatory, if I insisted on having it.  I had other ideas.  It’s smack in the center of my office space, and it’s not plumbed.   When it comes to presenting the “big cases,” I believe the operatory (with a relative lack of privacy) is not the place to do it.  A plastic surgeon doesn’t consult with patients in the O.R., right?  A consultation room offers many advantages including being less “intimidating” than a clinical setting.

I also find my consultation room very handy for meeting with sales reps, specialists, or any other visitor who doesn’t need to be clinically examined.  My consultation room is glass on on side to give it an “open” feeling, but we also can close the door for privacy.

It’s a good thing I don’t live in a glass office.

Now… to be fair, I’m going to shoot a photo of my own private office, and I promise I did not stage this.  Below is a candid shot of my “work space” at this very moment.  I do have a “pile” you can see on the right side.  But, I can find my phone.  There’s room to write up a chart.  I can actually accomplish something.

This is my private office and desk at this very moment. Not great, but not a candidate for any TV reality shows.

I wonder what his C&B impressions look like?

So, does it matter?  Is a messy office any indication of any other aspect of a dental practice? Could we speculate on a dentist’s crown margin integrity based on his private office?  I’m not necessarily suggesting there is a correlation.  Again, feel free to comment below.

Is it a sign of genius (like Einstein)?  Insanity?  Probably neither.  But, in the case of a severely cluttered office space, I do wonder what actually gets done there.  Will those journals ever get read?  Will those old bills be paid?  Maybe they’ve since been paid?  Can you say “perpetual procrastination?”  Can you even find the phone?

Laundry?  Seriously?  I dare say if you have a pile of laundry in your office that would make a college dormie blush, you’ve got issues.  Would you dare have any kind of meeting in your private office?  Is there somewhere else in your office to meet with patients, sales reps, or any other visitor?  What would your mother say?  🙂

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5 Responses to Cluttered Office – Cluttered Mind?

  1. Ritu says:

    LOL Mike, those are some great pics!!

    That said, I will say that my office is not the most organized, but the best decision I ever made was to admit that I’m never getting to those journals (I scan the couple that I like), and either request to be taken off the mailing list or put them in to recycle.

    It’s a good thing I have delegated bill paying, or I’d be in t.r.o.u.b.l.e.!

    I think part of the clutter relates to procrastination, i.e., “careful decision making”. The other? Maybe a neat space is not a priority. But if not dealt with in a short amount of time, chaos can consume your space.

    Nice consult room, by the way.


  2. Mary Beth says:

    OMG! Look at that desk! Reminds me of one of the first dentists I worked for……….. You had to “squeeze” through a small space to get into his office door……… YIKES! And yes, it was a totally reflection of his frame of mind……………. Hoarders – The dentist version…………. a new idea for TLC! haha!

  3. Chriss says:

    Messy office = bad feng shui, especially if your office is in one of your best directions.

  4. I think most people that are successful are somewhere in between super organized and clutter. Your post title really caught my eye, because I think my mind is pretty reflective of my office (and my business). Lots cooking, but very organized except when the odd pot that boils over I have to sometimes take off the burner and turn the heat down on the other pots!
    Great post as usual and shared 🙂
    PS – Still not winter in Canada, that’s a bonus! I already installed my winter tires!

  5. Scott Terry says:

    My private office looks likes a close second to this. To me it’s simple, I get paid a lot more to take care of my patients. I could clean/organize/dispose better, but I’d rather deal with the necessities and go home. I simply don’t care to spend that amount of time with the process. No offense meant to those who are clutter-free intended.

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