Manage Drop-in Visits

Tip #1. Arrange your office furniture so that your desk cannot be easily seen from the hallway or doorway. If you can be seen, you will likely be interrupted. If you want to maximize the time in your day, try arranging your office furniture in a discrete manner, also removing extra chairs and sitting areas. It may provide for a less inviting space, but will offer a more productive work environment as fewer distractions come your way.

Tip #2. Limit your open door policy to a specified time each day. It is okay to set these boundaries. The key to time management is to prioritize your time for work while still setting aside time for the needs of your Physicians and coworkers. Regulating this policy, limits interruptions while also increasing workflow.

Tip #3. Communicate your preference for scheduled appointments. “A schedule defends from chaos and whim.” If you are a morning person and find you are at your most creative and productive early in the morning, schedule high-value tasks in the morning at your peak creative/productive time. If your creativity and energy picks up later in the day, schedule high priority tasks then. Your “down” time can be scheduled for less important tasks like checking e-mail or returning phone calls. *Remember you don’t find time for important things; you make time for important things best by scheduling.

Tip #4. Stand up when a person enters your workspace and remain standing for the duration of his/her visit. With the exception of scheduled appointments and meetings, standing will limit casual conversation and provide for control of the environment as well.

Tip #5. Politely ask any visitors, “How can I help you?” instead of, “How are you?” or “What’s up?” Leading with an open-ended question, has limitless answers and can likely take a great deal of time. “How can I help you?” is a concise and professional question that can provide a less time consuming response.

Tip #6. Use concluding phrases such as, “I think we’ve covered it all,” or “If that’s all, I have other pressing business to accomplish.” These phrases will conclude a conversation that may be taking a great portion of your time and allow you to exit from a lengthy meeting or conversation that has exceeded its limit or has continued to casual and unnecessary banter.

Tip #7. Learn to say “no.” Identify interruptions in the workplace and do no let them overtake you. Learn to make the most of your workday by saying “no” to unnecessary interruptions. Saying “no” to things that are not a priority allows you to focus on the things that are.

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