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Decide what “on time” means for your group. For physicians, does it mean one hour before the first patient visit, 30 minutes before, or five minutes before? The answer depends on the particulars of your practice, but you have to decide – and then hold people accountable, including yourself.
In the first moments of the workday, give yourself and your coworkers some space. Don't gather at the water cooler, don't interrupt each other, and don't schedule early morning meetings. Give each other some uninterrupted time to prepare for the day.
Chefs use this technique, translated “everything in its place,” to gather what they need before they begin cooking. In the same way, look over your schedule each morning and prepare for what's ahead.
Mark Twain is credited with saying, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” In other words, if you have an important task that is challenging or likely to be procrastinated, get it over with early in the day, and the rest of your day will go better.
Make sure your day's agenda includes not just tasks you have to do but something you get to do — something you enjoy. This could be an evening walk, a good meal, or time with family or friends.
A team huddle is not a staff meeting. It is a brief, stand-up conversation that allows you to check in with your staff about unique challenges and needs for the day. It also allows your team to share anything personal if they'd like, which helps build collegiality.
Having a pile of unfinished work on your desk from the previous day is no way to start a new day. Instead, it's a good habit to tie up loose ends – phone calls, emails, and so on – before you end the current workday. The goal isn't “inbox zero,” but you don't want “inbox 5,000” either.
Read the full FPM article: How to Start Your Workday.
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