Advocacy Center   |   Collaborate   |   Data Portal   |   Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join AAOE
News & Press: Industry News

Want a More Productive Monday? Use These Tips!

Thursday, February 8, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tom Ealey
Share |

 

What could the world’s worst procrastinator tell you about Monday morning productivity?

What I’ve learned through my own struggles is that there is never enough time, but we can use the time we do have better.

Get a jumpstart on Monday before it even comes. On Friday, clean up tasks and get organized. The cleaner your desk and task list are on Friday, the quicker you can  start on Monday.

On Friday, review the calendar for next week. Look at your meetings, vendor appointments, staff sit downs, financial deadlines, job candidates, and any other meetings requiring blocks of time. Then ask, “Are all of these really necessary?” Delete or postpone any meetings that aren’t necessary. For the remaining ones, check for conflicts and send email reminders.

I have tried all sorts of planner systems (paper and electronic) and tend to fall back to a legal pad on a clipboard. Each administrator should use whatever works for him or her. There are plenty of options.

Over the weekend, try to find 30 minutes to check the planning you did on Friday and add any items you may have forgotten. But try not to steal those 30 minutes from family time.

The digital world requires a check of email first thing Monday morning, even if you have fallen into the bad habit of checking email every day at all hours of the day and night (a bad habit many of us need to break). Check first thing, as some of your physicians are early risers and early mailers.

Email is a wonderful tool, but also a terrible time waster. My solution? I have two emails. One is the official email for regular and confidential internal matters, and the other is a catch-all for newsletters (a good quick source of information), vendor communication, association notices, and personal matters. The official email will get less traffic and will require less time to read and respond. The second email can be scanned and useful emails read at your convenience. On Monday morning stick with the official email only.

Many emails can be reviewed and deleted, some need quick answers and others need some thought. Many of us have made the mistake of hasty answers or worse, angry answers. Never put in an email a thought you would not put into a formal letter – this saves drama.

Realize Monday has its own patterns. Patients who put off calling for appointments last week will flood the phones. Emergency department patients seen on call will be looking to be seen quickly. Weekend sports injury cases will need to be seen. Your employees need to leave the weekend behind and get back into a rhythm. Some of your physicians spent the weekend thinking up questions for you to answer quickly on Monday. Be available.

Schedule your Monday morning sparingly, and avoid meetings if possible. Leave time to be reactive. Every practice has its own rhythms and patterns.

Practices live and die with the revenue cycle, and Monday morning is a good time for a run of summary reports from the business and billing supervisor as of close of business on Friday. Ask your revenue staff to highlight anything unusual, spend some time studying the highlights and variances, and then set the reports aside for more detailed study. If anything is far out of bounds, deal with it immediately.

Practices run well because of engaged people. I practiced the 1980s management technique of “management by wandering around” and it was especially important on Monday morning. I tried to wander through the building, say good morning, take in information (e.g., absentee employees, scheduling problems, etc.) and solve problems immediately whenever possible.

One last tip. Never accept everything someone tells you about time management and productivity, me included. Pick what works for you in your situation!

 

About the Author

Tom Ealey is a professor of business administration and an experienced practice administrator and practice management consultant.  ealey@alma.edu


Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal