One word that best describes how you work?
My work style is very Task-Oriented. I have a To-Do list that I regularly update and is always prioritized.
Current mobile device
MacBook Pro (at home). We have PCs at work.
What is something you are working on now?
I’m currently working on a project looking at both gender and racial bias in the SLOE. This has been something I was interested in for a while, and it’s been really exciting to see the project take off.
How did you come up with this Idea/Project?
I have a gender research group, which includes female and male faculty from all across the country and Canada. Over the past 2 years, we have published 4 articles (with 3 more in the process). We are in multiple time zones AND are all Emergency Medicine Docs. This group functions primarily on Slack and we use google docs for our writing. Both of these platforms have really helped improve our efficiency and communication.
What’s your office workspace setup like?
I have an office in my home, which includes my laptop and an extra monitor. Prior to COVID, I did a lot of my work from my work office, but due to COVID, I have been working much more often from home. Having dual monitors has drastically improved my ability and efficiency when working from home.
What’s your best time-saving tip in the office or home?
Make a to-do list, prioritize it, and start at the TOP! It’s so easy to start with the “easiest” task, but starting from the TOP helps me stay ahead of deadlines.
What’s your best time-saving tip regarding email management?
Know it is OK to have unread emails. I have 4 email accounts and it was physically impossible to stay on top of all of them. Prior to starting my faculty job, I always wanted my inbox to say 0. I had heard from so many people to just RESPOND and move on- but when I did this I felt like I was ALWAYS at work. I just can’t live like that. (I also turned off that little red number on the email app on my iPhone. This was mostly done for my wellness).
What apps do you use to keep yourself organized?
Google docs- so I can access my work everywhere (home computer, office computer, cellphone, etc). I also LIVE my life on my google calendar. I have multiple calendars (Personal, Med Ed, Clerkship, Residency, Sim Center, SheMD, Shifts, Etc). Each has its own color, which visually helps me stay organized. I block out days off and post/pre-night shifts, so I don’t accidentally schedule a meeting at noon on those days.
How do you stay up to date with resources?
Twitter… Which I admit is not the best option. I haven’t found a platform I love.
What’s your best time-saving tip in the ED?
Try not to get distracted. Complete a task before moving on. Multi-tasking is basically impossible, but efficiently task completing and task switching IS possible.
ED charting: Macros or no macros?
100% all about the macros and “dot phrases” that include *** (so I have to update them). And DON’T duplicate your work when using Macros. EG. if you already clicked it, don’t type it too.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about work, life, or being efficient?
Make a to-do list, prioritize it, and start at the TOP. It’s ok to outsource (groceries, cleaning, whatever). Make your partner a real PARTNER.
What advice would you give other doctors who want to get started, or who are just starting out?
Block out time (just like you block out a shift) on your calendar for you, your wellness, and your family.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?
Develop good sleep hygiene. It is vital in Emergency Medicine.
Who would you love for us to track down to answer these same questions?
- Melissa Parsons. @MEParsonsMD
- Kat Ogle @DrKittyKat
- Al’ai Alvarex @alvarezzzy
Read other How I Work Smarter posts, sharing efficiency tips and life advice.