No one needs to know the value of multitasking more than a physician. At any point in time, we have to juggle a myriad of tasks and obligations. As a younger physician, I was able to recall multiple requests and obligations without writing them down. As I have grown older and the memory is starting to fade, I find it necessary to write down what it is that I must do for my professional as well as my personal life.
Several years ago my family gave me an erasable wallboard for my office. (Note: The names and identifying information are fictional.) The board has been divided into three categories: urgent, do within forty-eight hours, and can be completed at a much later date.
The urgent side of the wall is to be completed before leaving the office at the end of the day. Examples include phone calls to return to patients, wife’s anniversary, and children’s birthdays. The next category includes what must be done within forty-eight hours includes applications to complete and respond to attorneys for legal opinions. And the third category includes papers to be completed, book chapters to write, and vacations to schedule.
As a result of using this very simple technique, I have reassured myself that I have taken care of obligations and responsibilities in a fashion that allows me to compensate for my mildly deteriorating memory.
Neil Baum is a urologist and author of Marketing Your Clinical Practices: Ethically, Effectively, Economically. He can be reached at his self-titled site, Neil Baum, MD, or on Facebook and Twitter.
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