By its very nature, medical practice work can be frenzied, stressful, and
overwhelming. You and your staff are likely under constant interruption, making
it impossible to give each task the attention it deserves, and simply completing
the huge number of necessary tasks each day can be a struggle. Effective time
management is essential to the smooth operation of a medical practice. These
practices can help you reduce your stress, improve your productivity, and
reclaim your personal life.
Accept that "time management" is a myth. There are only 24 hours in a day. No matter how much you organize, there is a limit to how much you and your staff can accomplish. Once you accept that, you can concentrate on coming up with ways to more efficiently complete the tasks that are possible on any given day.
Keep a diary. To you and your staff, it may seem like you're always swamped by work, running from one thing to the next, but most people couldn't tell you, minute-to-minute, how they spend a given day. The best way to
find out is to keep a daily log. You might be surprised to find that there is time that can be used more wisely – such as de-stressing by catching up on reading on your daily public transportation commute.
Prioritize each day. Now that you know how you actually spend each day, it's time to prioritize. Block out the time you need for important assignments, and don't allow your day to be consumed by minor tasks and distractions. Before agreeing to do any extra work, take a look at your goals and schedule.
Take the time to do work right the first time. Rushing through a job may make it seem like you're able to get more done, but if you make a mistake, you'll probably spend twice the time trying to correct it. Save yourself the stress and don't rush!
Don't force yourself to finish big jobs all at once. If you've got a big, long-term project and you know you'll never be able to set aside the entire week you need to complete it, try breaking it into smaller tasks. Not only will this allow you to start chipping away at the job, it will make the whole task seem less daunting and reduce your stress over it.
Remove distractions. Yes, they are a way of life for medical practices, but when it comes time to work on a big project, don't feel bad about closing your door, and shutting off your phone, pager, and e-mail.
Learn to delegate – and teach others to do it too. On days where it seems like there's just too much for you to do, don't stress – accept that you probably can't do it all and figure out what you can pass on to someone else. Just make sure that you're willing to take on extra work from others on days where your work is lighter, and you'll foster an environment that's
team-oriented, helpful, and cooperative.
Take care of yourself and your staff. A healthy lifestyle will improve your focus and concentration, which will help with efficiency. So get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, exercise regularly, and encourage your staff to do the same.
Don't be afraid to take a break. An excess of stress will hurt your job performance and make you slower and less efficient at everything you do. Need a break? Go for a walk. Do stretches or some quick exercises at your workstation. Still too stressed? Rest and re-energize with a day off. You'll return to work in much better condition.
To comment please visit: http://www.practicemanagernetwork.com/Blog/Surviving-Your-Career/9-Time-Management-Tips-for-Your-Medical-Practice.html or if you have any other time management tips let us know and we might post them on our next time management post.