Most functional medicine practices do not have enough time in the day to manage all of the patients that are coming in and out plus other important tasks. You and your team can get busy, but not be efficient enough to get everything done. That’s why it’s important to teach your team how to prioritize tasks you need them to work on.
One of the biggest problems is that we treat everything that is in front of us as urgent. The moment someone lays something on our desk or hands over a task, it’s easy to get distracted by those requests. Of course, if it is an urgent request, you need to let your team know. But, if it is something that needs to be done by a certain time, let them know the turn around you expect.
When your staff is running around without a focused task list or set of things they need to do, it can cause frustration in you, as well as them.
So, when is the best time to do the things in your office that you don’t seem to have time to do it?
Sit down with your staff member and discuss the best time of day to schedule time to prioritize the task you need them to do. If this is an ongoing task, you may need to get coverage for them while they focus on what you need them to work on. Work with them to choose the time of the day that will be easiest for them to get it done with minimal distractions.
If there isn’t a specific time of the day for them to work on the task, you can consider blocking out time on a low patient day. For example, if you typically have slow Fridays, consider blocking out an hour or two for the whole staff to catch up on things.
Whatever time you choose for the staff to work on the tasks, make sure it is put on the schedule. If this is something that needs to happen weekly, the block should be added to the schedule every week. Don’t think that simply telling your staff member that they should focus on the task at a certain time will be enough. That’s why it is important to make sure it is placed on the schedule.
For the ongoing tasks you need completed, make sure that you stay consistent in scheduling the time for the team to work on it. If it requires you to be involved, make sure you show up when it’s scheduled. Do everything you can to keep from moving or changing the blocks.
When you are willing to move the blocked time for the task, you are telling the team that the task is not that important. It will be hard for them to take you seriously or make it the priority you want them to make it. Consistency is key when communicating your expectations to your team.
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