The healthcare communications space poses it's fair share of challenges just as much as it presents solutions and opportunities. It's no wonder that us pros are so driven and passionate about what we do! This passion can also ask a lot from us -- causing us to perhaps take on multi-tasking and take in a lot of coffee. This is why it is important to have a few tricks up your sleeve to help handle the day-to-day and preserve a bit of sanity.
- Keep your phone on do not disturb. Shut off all unnecessary notifications. Even if you are on your phone quite a bit, you’re not being distracted while focusing on a certain task. Most phones have a setting where you can select contacts who can get through even when your phone is on silent -- just be sure to keep the list short. (This is not to say that mobile phone use doesn't have a place in the office.)
- Set up email rules. You can limit the time you spend wading through your inbox by creating rules to send some emails to certain folders automatically (one of those folders being "Trash.")
- Get a calendar link and add it to your email signature. This saves a lot of the back-and-forth communication about availability and meeting schedule. It allows people to just click a link and book you at a time that works for them!
- Noise canceling headphones. They keep out a lot of ambient noise and they also make people think twice about whether or not they really need to get your attention.
- Walking meetings. Especially in the warmer weather, ask people if they are OK with walking and talking. It allows you to get out from behind the computer and the movement and fresh air actually leads to more attention all around (no one can type on their laptops while walking), better talks and more creative ideas.
- Don't be afraid to say no. Be aware of your own limitations and priorities. Phrase your no objectively to minimize any hurt feelings. "My schedule won't allow for that" or "I don't have the resources to make that happen" are two phrases that tend to work well.
- Hide. People interrupting you for “just a minute” is a huge productivity suck. Book a conference room or find a couch in a common area so you’re harder to find.
- Outsource and delegate. Even if you *can* do something well, doesn't mean you should. Outsource in your personal and professional life. You have a limited amount of time; spend it on the activities that are the most important.
A happy healthcare pro is a productive one!