Doctors lead busy lives. They not only look after the well being of their patients but also have to ensure the smooth running of their clinics. Several doctors are also involved in other things like giving lectures, writing papers, serving as experts on panels, etc. It’s far from easy to juggle so many activities. So, here are some tips that we think might help doctors utilize their limited time, better.
Plan ahead and stick to it
As simple as it sounds it is a proven, effective strategy. Plan your tasks and activities for the day i.e. create a schedule and follow it as closely as possible. Once you know what your day looks like, the unknown factor goes down significantly, thus reducing stress. You are able to evaluate if you have allotted appropriate amount of time for your activities and adjust as needed. For instance, if you have a meeting outside the office, you can factor in the travel time and adjust your proceeding and succeeding tasks accordingly. You can make time for important tasks like analyzing your expenses, catching up on important research, preparing a speech for an event etc.
You do not need to do everything. Delegate the tasks that do not require your expertise to your staff. Examples of such tasks are managing appointments, managing supplies, maintaining patient records, etc. You can monitor to make sure the tasks are completed. Delegating allows you to focus on important tasks like treating patients, analyzing clinic expenses, attending important meetings or conferences etc.
While it isn’t possible to run a 100% paper-free clinic, there are several tasks that can be digitized and will help you save a lot of time and reduce associated stress. Digitizing your appointment system helps you schedule, reschedule, and send reminders quickly and efficiently. If you digitize patient records, you can access important information quickly and easily, and treat your patients more effectively – plus think of all the space and hassle you save when all those big files are gone!
Tracking expenses digitally enables you to analyze your costs and revenues – with this information you can make changes accordingly. There are great practice management software available today that allow you to do all of the above, and more.
Take a break
Researchers from the University of Illinois uncovered that if we work on tasks for a long duration, our brain registers the task at hand to be unimportant. The longer we push ourselves to work, the less effective we become. Also, working long and hard can lead to burnout. So take breaks. It can be a quick 5 minute walk, a call to a family member or friend, reading your favorite comic strip – anything that provides a mental ‘reboot’. You will be able to focus and perform better with these breaks.
We hope these simple but effective tips prove helpful to our readers. Have a productive day!