• Industry News
  • Access and Reimbursement
  • Law & Malpractice
  • Coding & Documentation
  • Practice Management
  • Finance
  • Technology
  • Patient Engagement & Communications
  • Billing & Collections
  • Staffing & Salary

Multitasking Mayhem Usually Means Extra Work for Physicians


Multitasking is a great way to waste your valuable time producing a product which is of poor quality … but I can’t seem to stop myself.

One of the ways I try to achieve work-life balance is through multitasking. I answer a colleague’s clinical question while typing a progress note and waiting for a return call from my OB/GYN back-up. At home, I listen to one kid reading, while trying to feed another one breakfast, and direct a third to get his backpack ready solely through facial expressions. In the car, I drive while listening to the radio and scheduling my week in my brain.

As any good organizational or efficiency expert will tell you, multitasking is a great way to waste your valuable time producing a product which is of poor quality. I know this to be true, but can’t seem to stop myself.

Over the weekend, I was working on a letter of recommendation for a colleague who is looking for a new job. I carefully constructed the letter, all the while being interrupted by my husband’s questions about holiday planning and getting my preschooler set up with a movie. I quickly read through the letter when I was done, then printed it off, scanned it, and then worked through several steps to finally get it sent off to my friend. Then I saw the typo - second to last line, last paragraph. Ugh. Go back to the original, fix the typo, re-print, re-sign, re-scan, and re-email.

Just now, as I was emailing a document, I hit send before attaching the document. However, the computer stopped me with a prompt telling me that I had used the word “attach” in my e-mail but hadn’t attached a document. Did I mean to attach something? Why, yes I did, Mr. Computer. Thanks for asking me and saving me from repeating my work. I think I need some type of computer program on my life, checking in with me to find out if I really meant to do that or if I remembered that I made a cup of tea for myself 20 minutes ago that I haven’t drank yet.

Alas, it’s not to be - at least not in 2012. So, one of my many resolutions for 2012 is to “uni-task.” Spend my attention, time, and focus on one thing at a time.

Find out more about Jennifer Frank and our other Practice Notes bloggers.

Related Videos
Erin Jospe, MD, gives expert advice
Jeff LeBrun gives expert advice
Syed Nishat, BFA, gives expert advice
Dr. Reena Pande gives expert advice
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.