Emailing TASK LISTS
The #1 Time Waster
Staying organized and on task in the office is an important objective, it reduces stress, allows you to be better clinically and frankly will just make you a better person to be around! Getting started is often the hardest part of getting organized and it is best to try to find the ONE thing that generates the mose disorganization and stress for you during your office days. The first place I would look is to the TASK LIST, those items that YOU need to accomplish as well as those that your STAFF need to accomplish. TASKS are so important in fact, that there thousands if not TENS of thousands of software applications to help you stay on TASK. So many that it actually becomes stressful trying to find the applicaiton to stay organized in the first place.
The first place that I would suggest starting is ELIMINATING TASKS LISTS in emails, particularly FROM and TO staff. It is one of the biggest time wasters and causes significant reductions in efficinacey and productivity. This is the system that is based on emailing items to your staff to complete and them sending you requests for things all via email. This is bad for a few reasons, but the most important is you cannot hold anyone accountable using this type of system, especially if there is more than one person needed to complete the task. Additionally, once you have several emails asking for things, it becomes very difficult to see them and prioritize the TASKS mostly because they are in separate emails. What this turns into is YOU reacting to emails as they come into your inbox. Your time is no longer your own. So, now lets talk solution.
For me, I have done the following:
· I have eliminated TASK LIST EMAILS from and to my employees.
· I have created a system to create a TASK list for myself
· The system allows me to prioritize TASKS so I am only doing the most important thing now while preparing for the next step
· I have a system that allows for communication back and forth regarding a specific task when there are more than one person on it.
· The system allows for posting attachments
· The system allows for setting deadlines
· The system tracks the stages of TASK progress
· It is compatible with PC and MAC
· The system can be used on a smartphone as well, so when you have a TASK floating around in your head, it is very easy to put it on the list and assign it to someone (or yourself)
The system I use is Microsoft 365 Online. This is a cloud based system that does quiet a few things, but here is a quick outline of the benefits.
· Provides a monthly subscription fee for each user (approx. $15 per month)
· Provides the most current version of the MS Office Suite (this is SUPER IMPORTANT in todays internet security environment, security STARTS with updates)
· You can integrate your work station between the office, home and your smartphone
· It provides a shared Calendar
· It provides file storage so ANYONE on your team can access files (Patient Intake forms for example) at any time eliminating emailing and file storage on office computers
· If you are TECH savy enough, it provides a MS Sharepoint Site which is basically like a coporate INTRANET. That is an internal website where you can post all your work content to share with the office, it is not accessible to the outside internet world. It is a SUPER way to stay organized. If your office computers crash, all your information is saved. You buy a new PC and you are up and running!
Here are some screen shots of what I am talking about…this is the BEST investment of TECH $ in your office. If you are not using it I suggest that you do, if you are using it, please make sure that you are taking advantage of the PLANNER portion and STOP emailing TASKS to each other!
VISIT – http://www.microsoftonline.com
“PLANNER” is the newest application and is the one that I use for TASK LISTS
It gives you the LASTEST versions of MS Office and allows you to put it on multiple machines, even SMART PHONES!
It also allows for additional items like SKYPE for BUSINESS all in one place.