Seven Habits for Reducing Work After Clinic

Sumana Reddy, MD; FAAFP, Peter Rippey, MD, CAQSM; Arnold Cuenca, DO, CAQSM, FAAFP; Sumi Sexton, MD; Troy Fiesinger, MD, FAAFP; Kenneth G. Adler, MD, MMM; Brandi White


Fam Pract Manag. 2019;26(3):10-16. 

In This Article

Pay Attention to "how" and "why" as you Start Your Day

How you start your day matters. We all know that arriving at the office late or with no time to prepare for the first patient visit can put us in catch-up mode for the rest of day. A more efficient approach is to arrive at the office with sufficient time before you start seeing patients so that you can look over the schedule, answer messages, or huddle with staff — whatever you need to do to get a jumpstart on the day. You could do some of this prep work at home before you come to the office if you prefer. The point is to put yourself in a more proactive position so you aren't just reacting to situations all day and falling hopelessly behind.

But here's the key to making this habit stick: Think about your end goal. Why do you want to be done with work when you leave the office? Be specific. For example, maybe you have young children and you want your evenings free so you can eat dinner together, go on a walk, and read them a story before bedtime. Having a clear "why" will give you a compelling reason to show up ready for the day. It will also help you be more cognizant of how you are managing your time so you can balance out your attention to the needs of your patients and your practice with the needs of your family and yourself.

"Family physicians spend nearly 30 hours per month working on the EHR after hours, with activity peaking on weekends."