Life in our office has been pretty busy to say the least for the past several months, with the challenges of going to a new electronic medical record software and the unexpected “bumps in the road” that have come with this change. To sum it up for me, I have a few (okay, several) of those proverbial little piles on my desk waiting for me to attend to their needs.
But everyday there seems to be more important things that get my attention and I was having a hard time finding a block time to get through them. I knew that I could not put off getting to these stacks any longer and took some time this weekend to think back to what I have learned about prioritizing and time management to find the answer to get me going.
One of the biggest problems is not having a plan of attack, so I made a quick list, just three main items that I wanted to complete when I returned to my desk today, and knew I needed to stay focused in order to get them done. Now, this is easier said than done and for those of us who work in a in a medical office or a customer service business, it is our patients/customers that are our priority and their needs come before ours.
I arrived at the office extra early today and pulled out the first items that needed to be done “bank statements” and I put everything else to the side so that I only had the bank statements on my desk in front of me, by doing this I automatically felt less overwhelmed because I only had this one challenge in front of me for the morning, (even though I was three months behind in doing them).
I gave myself a pep-talk reminding myself that I would be interrupted several times during the morning and that it was okay, I was here to serve our patients and that was my first priority. This way when I was interrupted I wasn’t upset, I knew it would happen and was prepared, (less stress this way, better for me and those I work with). As the morning went on I continued to only work on these statements until they were finished and that was right before lunch, yippee!
After lunch I pulled out the second thing on my list and proceeded to work on it until it was finished, then moved to the third, which is still uncompleted on my desk, but will be the first thing that I tackle tomorrow morning. But you know what? I felt great, I had almost completed my “to do list” for the day, things which had been sitting on my desk for longer than they should have been.
I am so excited to get back to work tomorrow to get started again and I have added two more things to my list. I think that biggest factor to succeed in accomplishing goals is “focus,” without focus you can get blown off course during the day. Setting a game plan is important, along with having a strategy to complete your tasks you need to be realistic in how this is going to happen, especially when you have other duties each day in the office to attend to.
It is important not to allow yourself to get distracted with chatting, unnecessary issues or other less productive tasks. You may not be able to set aside block time, but if you make your number one task the focus of the day (or until it is complete) you will always come back to that task after having to attend to priority tasks for the day. And remember keeping yourself calm, cool and collected will allow for less stress, which will provide a better environment for you to work in and that is very important. Ticking one item off of the list at a time is progress in the right direction, and that is something to celebrate about at the end of the day!