You Can Improve Your Focus in a Dental Lab. Here’s How.
Concentration is difficult for anyone — but it’s critical for dental lab technicians, whose work depends on detail and focus as they fabricate teeth.
In 2000, the average attention span was 23 seconds. In 2013, that number dropped to 8 seconds. That figure is startling, especially for those in a dental lab where artistry, dexterity, and attention to detail meet. Dental lab technology requires great precision. Staying productive and fully plugged in for eight hours a day is nearly impossible, but there are a few things you can do to keep, and improve, that laser focus in a dental lab.
Take breaks in the dental lab
A lack of concentration getting you down? Is your brain overworked? Stand up from your workspace. Walk briskly around the block. Grab a glass of water. Then get back to work. Congratulations! You’ve now just increased your ability to focus for a longer period of time.
As a dental lab tech, you’ll be concentrating hard on the work in front of you. Creating beautiful prostheses take time and accuracy, both of which take a toll on the brain and body. If you’re trying to finish a complicated stain in one sitting, you might actually be doing yourself and your productivity a disservice. Research suggests that by taking short breaks throughout the day, you’ll reenergize yourself and be able to reevaluate what needs to be done — and how to do it — on any fabrication.
Related Resources: 10 Time Management Tips for Your Dental Lab
Chunk out your time
If you’re least productive right after lunch, don’t wait until then to complete a project that demands your thought and concentration. Plan on doing the most intensive item on your to-do list during your most productive hours. If you have more energy the moment you start in the morning, tackle the detailed, intensive work that needs your full attention and focus at that time, and save the more rote tasks like filing orders and e-mailing clients for later.
Blocking out time on your calendar for dedicated focus can be helpful, too, so you know exactly what you need to do and at what time. This will also ensure you schedule time for much-needed breaks!
Related Resources: 10 Ways to Increase Your Productivity in the Dental Lab
Cut down the distractions
Some distraction can recharge your batteries and actually help you maintain focus throughout the day. However, there is a fine line between taking purposeful breaks to clear your head and succumbing to constant disturbances that lead to procrastination. If you find yourself being pulled away from the task at hand by too many asks, disruptive lab-mates, or a buzzing phone, try popping in some headphones and listening to music. Studies suggest that people are more engaged, happier, and able to complete tasks faster when listening to music they enjoy. If you can concentrate on staining and firing while listening to music with lyrics, you might try an audiobook too!
Related Resources: Want a Work/Life Balance? Become a Dental Lab Technician!
Don’t forget your goals
The students in our dental lab program in Draper are a smart, motivated bunch; they devote time and energy into building a career through their education. After graduation, and after spending a few years on the job, that passion and motivation can diminish as routine sets in. This is a risk of everyone, but you may feel its effects most when you’re working in a dental lab.
Losing motivation can be crippling to your performance and contribute to a loss in focus, effort, and energy. You may feel like you’ve learned all there is to know, so the work suddenly seems less exciting and fulfilling. With just about any career but especially dental lab technology, this isn’t true. The technology is always changing; new advancements and career opportunities appear every day; and the field has six specialties, so there’s always more to learn.
When times get tough, step back. Remember why you became a dental technician and remember the goals you set for your future. It can remain a fulfilling career your whole life, and you can remain skilled at the work, because the power to stay focused, motivated, and productive in the lab is in your hands.
If you’re interested in studying dental lab technology in Utah, contact us for more information about our accredited DLT program in Draper!