By April Jasper, OD, FAAO, and Katie Gilbert-Spear, OD, MPH
At the Women In Optometry luncheon at SECO earlier this month, we were so impressed by the energy and support offered by all who came. The session—Finish What You Start—focused on ways to be more productive in your personal and professional life, challenges for many of us as we’re faced with daily distractions of office and staff needs, family demands and the persistent chimes of our electronic devices.
Much of our session was spent in group discussion, and the result was this incredible list of tips, strategies and recommendations compiled by those in the room. Although those of you viewing it now will not have the context of the discussion we had, it is such a useful list that we wanted to share it below. In fact, we encourage your contributions to it in the comments so that we can create a living document that adds specifics recommendations, especially for books and apps that you have found useful.
And you can also click here to view our photos from the event!
Gathered at the Women In Optometry Luncheon at SECO
March 4, 2017, Atlanta, Georgia
Based on the results of a productivity survey conducted by Women In Optometry, women ODs identified these challenges to productivity: staffing issues, lack of organization in professional/personal life family demands, lack of energy and lack of authority.
These are the ideas shared at the WO meeting by attendees.
Digital tools and apps:
Apps/tools that save time
Banking: Camscanner - scan documents for expenses, etc.
News synopsis, like The Daily Skimm (delivered to your inbox in the a.m.)
Apps for grocery shopping/pickup; many grocery stores offer these apps
Apps for navigation and transportation
• Uber: Arrange for rides quickly and efficiently
• Waze: Waze is the world's largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute.
Apps/tools for motivation:
Exercise apps: Fitbit, AppleWatch
• Aaptive: an app that provides personal training, synched to music. (subscription: $9.99 per month)
Security camera check-ins at the office: staff knows you can see and check in at will; also allows rewinding to check on transactions
Apps for organization:
Any number of e-calendars for family and/or work
• Life360: Life360 is a family locator, messaging tool and communication app all in one. It simplifies communication for making dinner plans, coordinating carpools, ensuring everyone arrived home safe and more.
• Homebase: Homebase allows you to spend less time on paperwork. Use it for employee scheduling, timesheets, communication and much more. Join for free.
Patient education apps or tools:
Transitions demonstration app: Transitions Optical 360° Virtual Viewer is available to educate patients and also give them a glimpse at how their vision could be enhanced with Transitions products.
Howard and the Amazing Eye Exam: Get your child ready for their first eye exam with this charming story about Howard the Hedgehog. Howard is Star Student this week and is excited to tell his classmates all about his first trip to the eye doctor. From a fun puppet show to cool 3-D glasses, Howard shows the class that visiting the eye doctor isn’t scary at all. Download the e-book.
Android and Iphone
Apps to save money:
• Groupon: online coupons for events, stores, entertainment in your area.
• Ibotta (cash back coupons)
• Shopping apps: like Kroger, HEB that let you grocery shop and pick up (saves time and potentially money because you won’t give in to the impulse buys)
• ReceiptHog: Snap photos of your receipts for a chance to win shopping trips and earn Amazon giftcards.
Strategies for Peace of Mind/Family Demands
- Schedule time for yourself - wake up early if you need to
- Stop worrying
- Work out
- Personal coaching - not just for fitness, but Mindset coaching, lifestyle coaching
- Walk - walk the dog, walk with your spouse, walk before work
- Read books for pleasure
- Get lost in favorite music
- Get regular and great sleep
- Schedule massage/manicures
- Join the YMCA OR join a more boutique gym if you enjoy/participate more
- Visit the Chocolate Spa at Hershey, PA
- Talk with manager/team about the need for and ideas to create a better balance/environment
- Find a hobby other than work
- Take time off
- Eat well
- Get regular physicals
- Take long lunches
- Take off for family events
- Ask relatives to babysit
- Educate/involve family in work-related activities
- Help family see the rewards and results of work
- “Take the time to do what fill you up without feeling guilty about it.”
Strategies for Productivity in the Office
- Focus on the why
- Get buy-in on ideas by involving employees
- Delegate and trust - don’t micromanage
- Delegate and trust - part 2: Hire good people and get out of the way
- 5th Saturdays: 4x a year, there’s a 5th Saturday in the month. Use it for an office powwow or a volunteer event.
- Visualize the outcome: where do you want to be?
- Manage people who sabotage you/your efforts
- Schedule training regularly
- Focus on one item - short training sessions
- Conduct refreshers on training periodically
- Develop incentives
- Empower others
- Ask questions - seek input for problem-solving
- Increase cross-training
- Create a sense of urgency
- Start every meeting with the positive.
- Do what can be done right away (if it takes less than 2 minutes, do it now. You’ll have fewer emails, to-do list items at the end of the day)
- Create a checklist for the following day
- Be a team player/encourage team players
- Meeting of the Minds: spend the first 15 minutes of the day talking about the big ideas/goals/etc.
- Security camera check-ins at home/ Smart Home functionality- so you don’t have to return to make sure you’ve turned off the lights/closed the garage door. Try Nest, which connects to your home smoke detectors and can do much more.
Strategies for Personal/Professional Organization
(also see Apps above for specific tools)
- Learn to say no
- Create lists
- Identify the top 1-2 items per day
- (CHOOSE ONE of the following, depending on your list, your mood, etc)
- Do the easy things first - to make your list shorter
- Do the hard things first - to make the other tasks seem easier
- Create checklists and cross items off your list to show momentum/progress
- Schedule time for tasks (insert time for submitting expenses, doing payroll, answering email into your calendar.)
- Take breaks
- Complete office activities before leaving for the day
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy, which encourages you to do the hard things first and the rest will seem easier. Get the accompanying journal to track your progress: Eat That Frog First Journal: No Excuses to Getting Things Done
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
The Art of Tidying Up by Kim Carruthers (EBOOK ONLY)
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande