• Susan “Sue” Cox, MD, Executive Vice Dean of Academics, Deans Office, Chair, Department of Medical Education, The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School


Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Define and set goals in order to improve time management.
  • Identify people and projects that delay productivity.
  • Identify specific skills and tools to save time.
  • Recognize ways to overcome stress and procrastination.

So good afternoon everyone welcome to our august 2021 education grand round session that was originally intended to be our may 2020 education grand round session dr cox really wanted to join us in person so that we could make the most of her visit however the world had other plans for us and we ultimately decided that a virtual visit was much preferred to no visit at all um dr sue cox is the executive vice dean of academics and the chair of the department of medical education at the university of texas at austin dell medical school her expanding interest in education has led to significant scholarly activities in pursuit of excellence in education involvement with the association of professors in gynecology and obstetrics so the echo and her participation is undergraduate medical education committee have resulted in a number of peer-reviewed journal articles and other media primarily in areas such as establishing educational objectives recruitment clerkship director development faculty development and the list really goes on dr cox earned her medical degree from baylor college of medicine and completed her residency training in ob gyn and fellowship in maternal and fetal medicine at the university of texas southwestern medical center she's past president of apco and a past member of the council of resident education in obstetrics and gynecology in 2006 she was elected to the ut system academy of health science education and is also a former president of academy uh she received the ut system board of regents outstanding teacher award in 2012 and the lifetime achievement of war from apco in 2014. uh apco also happens to be where she met and became long-standing friends with two of our own local outstanding leaders dr weiss and dean lehrman both of whom highly respect and recommended dr cox to be our presenter for today's topic so in an effort to better approximate the in-person experience sue has chosen a unique presentation format while she's here live and in zoom with us all she did pre-record segments of her talk so that she could more effectively monitor the chat and answer questions as needed so listen if you have questions or comments please don't hesitate to post them in the chat also keep your an eye on your own chat in case she chooses to throw out any questions for you all i think you will find beauty in the simplicity of sue's presentation we've already heard and participated in it twice i encourage you to not only explicitly use the frameworks that she presents to enhance your own time management but also to guide your learners if you start to identify that they're struggling with the balance i know that's a struggle sometimes um i've talked a lot already so now it's time just to go ahead and turn it over to you sue take it away thank you sherry for the very kind introduction and before i get started i really want to thank sherry and her team in particular sandy who worked with me on this presentation to make sure that it goes very smoothly today so uh learning how to juggle your heavy workload is critical to any professional and especially important in careers in healthcare honing effective time management skills is crucial and something anyone can improve with enough practice and i do mean practice if you're an administrator an analyst a clinical manager a doctor or a student emphasizing uh the importance of time management to these individuals is key goal setting with your learners is crucial for this is a skill that can make or break their career so with that i'll take the next slide would you tell me please which way i ought to go from here that depends a good deal on where you want to go said alice i don't much care where well then it doesn't really matter which way you go so the first poll question what is your primary resource to manage your time and if you'll respond to the poll with your one resource all right about 40 percent use the mobile device calendar uh almost 60 percent create to-do list i am a big to-do list person i love to do lists because i love to get to check off things when i complete them and i've been known to add things to my to-do list that i've completed just so i can put a check mark by it so the next slide is the second poll what strategies are you currently using to manage your time you know forty percent have don't use anything uh four percent use reflection 54 say you block a half day or create blocks of time uh and about four percent partner with the more disciplined person so we're getting ready to run the first video next slide this video lasts about seven minutes and then we're going to put you into a breakout room and let you do some work together and don't be afraid of that breakout room it's fabulous quick and easy after this session participants will be able to define and set goals in order to improve time management identify people and projects that delay productivity identify specific skills and tools to save time and recognize ways to overcome stress and procrastination time management skills take time to develop and will look differently for each person finding what works best for you and your busy schedule is key to managing your time management principles include setting goals setting priorities planning and organizing and minimizing time wasters the most fundamental premise of effective time management is differentiating what is important and what is urgent note that the most important tasks are not the most urgent task and vice versa planning is always important no matter what you do take a few minutes in the morning to plan your activities for the day for a hectic schedule minimize distractions as much as possible what is a goal wikipedia defines a goal as an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision plan and commit to achieve and execute the object of a person's ambitions or ambition or effort an aim or desired result includes outcome oriented goals which are re results or what you want to achieve process goals which are behaviors or strategies that help you perform well and performance goals which are standards a task is not a goal a task is something that you do a project is an initiative to complete your project you have to do various tasks a goal is what you want to achieve and you usually have to complete a combination of various projects or tasks in order to obtain your goal there are three goal categories short-term midterm and long-term goals long-term goals are the big hairy audacious goals they help motivate you they help keep you focused on the big picture and they serve as your north star short term goals i define as one week to one month these are the things that you want to accomplish intermediate goals are six months to one year and i think long-term goals are three to five years there are other definitions for short-term and long-term including short-term being less than three years and long-term being greater than 10 but these are the framework and the time frames that i choose to use there are is a five step process to goal setting first you must define what you want what why when and maybe how second is to find congruence with your values beliefs lifestyles priorities and self ideal the third is to do an ecology check who and how will this affect what will that effect be will it be a positive effect or a negative effect develop a blueprint and draw up a plan of action a goal without a plan is just a wish who coined the smart acronym why don't you type your answer in the chat i'll give you about 30 seconds to think of who did this and type away if you typed in peter drucker you would be correct to make sure your goals are clear and reachable each one should be specific it should be measurable it should be achievable it should be relevant and realistic and it should be time-bound how do you achieve your smart goals you have to start small instead of tackling your most urgent or lobbyist goal like making a fortune pick something small to start with write it down according to a study conducted at the dominican university in california those who write down their goals are 42 more likely to achieve them check in regularly how long will it take you to reach your smart goal how do you know if you're falling off track how do you self-correct and then don't let fear hold you back finding the source of your hesitation in achieving your goals is absolutely critical since overcoming your fear is pivotal to gold mastery and then finally [Music] celebrate every win when you celebrate a win even the small ones your brain gets a dose of dopamine and you get re-energized if you're working on professional smart goals celebrate your small wins with your teams as well as your friends there are five golden rules for setting great new year new year career goals one is to set a goal that motivates you second is to set a smart goal the third is to set your goals in writing the fourth is to create an action plan and the fifth is to stick with it we're going to assign you to a breakout room now what i'd like you to do in the breakout room is to talk about why is setting goals important and as well i would love for you to write one short term goal something that you want to achieve in the next six months so off to the breakout rooms for five minutes we'll come back and we'll have a two to three minute debrief all right who would like to share why we set goals one individual one brave individual unmute your mic and chit chat with us chad you look like you're getting ready to unmute he's just pointing at us is is there another chat out there or no you're it how did i i elected somebody else from my group but i guess all right i'm here i'm here here okay go ahead matt matt's representing our group okay yeah at roby so we were saying why it's important is is because uh as as you mentioned earlier as whoever was giving a lecture i can't actually tell um but uh as someone mentioned earlier that if you don't set a goal then it's just a dream good one other person want to share um this is miata issa so i think setting a goal for me always works because i will have a plan and a time frame for it so um that's then i can prioritize and when do i want to achieve that goal um so it just helps me to create the plan that's how it feels to me so when i'm here oh go ahead jiri i was saying that i also think it helps me to um really align my tasks fairly uh a lot better um if i know that they're rolling up into a goal i feel more successful as i'm working on them checking them off another good point i think they what i'm hearing is the goals really help us get focused and stay focused if i was to summarize all right we're going to roll the second video and this is we're going to be talking more about uh prioritizing and then time wasters so let's roll the video it's about 10 minutes now that we've reviewed why it's important to set goals and we've set a short-term goal for ourselves let's talk about planning ben franklin said by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail so in planning for our goal we need to put time in for preparation after the preparation comes prioritization this first tip is the gold standard of time management identify the top two or three tasks you must complete at the start of each day and go from there once you complete those tasks anything else that you do is icing on the cake confucius said when it's obvious that the goals cannot be reached don't adjust the goal adjust your action steps what are the different approaches to time management well we'll review two today we'll review the approach of david allen in getting things done and stephen covey seven habits of highly effective people time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities good time management enables you to work smarter not harder and you get more done in less time even when your time is tight and the pressures are very high failing to manage your time damages your effectiveness and causes undue stress the seven habits of highly affected people by stephen covey [Music] is a wonderful framework and a wonderful way to help with time management the first three habits being proactive beginning with the end in mind and putting first thing first deal with you because it really does all start with you the first three habits move you from dependence of the world to enter the independence of making your own world habits four five and six think win-win seek first to understand and synergize are about people in relationships they will move you from independence to interdependence such as learning to cooperate to achieve more than you could have by yourself the last habit number seven focuses on continuous growth and improvement i'm sure everyone here is familiar with the stephen covey time matrix where you have four quadrants representing importance and urgency quadrant one is necessity it's important and it's urgent quadrant two is not urgent but important quadrant three is not important but urgent and that's deception quadrant two being important and not urgent is our effectiveness quadrant and then quadrant four is waste in excess what do you do in each of these quadrants for quadrant one you do it yourself and straight away for quadrant two you set an exact deadline and do it yourself for quadrant three you delegate to competent colleagues and the quadrant four [Music] you don't do it note the uh orientation is different on this than the time matrix that's flip-flop on the urgency so if you look at the time matrix management and look at what's in each of these quadrant you see that the important and urgent are all emergencies crises they're all necessities because they come at you fast and furious they're last minute preparations the important but not urgent is the effective zone it is where we have the time to prepare and plan we can clarify our values it's relationship building and it's re recreation and relaxation the not important but urgent are the in the interruptions we get your dean text you can you chat right now the president calls uh somebody stops in your office is a problem or a pressing matter and then the what i would call the time wasters or the busy work the trivial activities some calls and emails their escapes so you can see that it's easy to overlook the distinction between what's important and what's urgent these two words often seem interchangeable but they're not there's a big difference and the difference forms the crux of the time management matrix the top two quadrants are what we should be focusing on they're important but we also should be trying to minimize quadrant one important and urgent as much as possible this quadrant deals with unforeseen issues unexpected yet pressing problems but if we spend enough time in quadrant two we should minimize the amount of urgent tasks that we have to deal with in quadrant one quadrant two is all about proper planning about putting the necessary time in before things become urgent this is the quadrant we should be prioritizing since doing well here will help us be more effective in our work and minimize our bad work stress time management goals list the things that you want to accomplish break down goals into achievable tasks prioritize your goals and tasks and rank list these according to their respective priority or deadline and then schedule tasks i mean schedule tasks block your calendar to do something if you can't find time in the work week and you're constantly moving things that are priority into the weekend it becomes a very long work week make choices and learn to say no saying yes judiciously will make it easier to say no there are many times when this isn't feasible it's much more important to be aware of your workload and how much you can handle this could include everything from taking on new patients to new jobs in the hospital in the health professions to agreeing to head a work group if you know you have multiple deadlines coming up don't agree to an additional task or project know the limit of your flexibility and react accordingly this is david allen's getting things done write down items that need your attention decide which pieces you have to do and what pieces you can delegate what pieces are actionable break your big projects into smaller steps set deadlines and then execute email is one of our biggest distractors it's one of the greatest things that's ever been invented and that we can communicate with people across the country easily we're not playing telephone tag but it becomes a distraction so how do you manage your email this is a management scheme from david allen that i think works well for the inbox so email comes in you're looking at it is it actionable if it's no either trash it put it in a folder called someday or maybe or put it in a reference folder in case you it's something that you want to go reference later if it's actionable but it can be done in a single step by all means completed if it's going to take two minutes or more to complete it if it's going to take less than two minutes um you should just do it if it's going to take more than two minutes is it something that i have to do or is it something that i can delegate if i have to do it but i don't have the time right now i'm going to put it in a waiting for folder if it's something that i need to do and it's going to take quite a bit of time i'm going to block my calendar and that way i know the task will get complete so we're going to put you back in a breakout room and i want you to think of the top 10 time wasters that you encounter most likely on a daily basis so we're going to take five minutes come up with top 10 and when we come back we'll review a top 10 list all right i think we probably have everybody back that was we had a great group a very talkative group during our session by the way i have to introduce to you my great nephew this is ben and he's telling me to be quiet one day so he wasn't even a year old when he did that so all right if we could roll the next video it's about 14 minutes we come back it'll be time for the q a so to recap we've identified the top biggest time wasters to be smartphones and other digital devices multitasking chatty co-workers in noisy offices workplace clutter and disarray unhealthy nutrition and hydration habits procrastination and a lack of motivation and social networks online distractions excessive meetings decision from peak from having to make too many little decisions and then email overload symptoms of poor time management include the following poor punctuality rushing from one task to the next impatience poorly defined goals poor performance lack of energy perfectionism indecisiveness can't say no so you say yes to everything and then doing everything yourself do you have any of these symptoms let's review ways that we might treat some of these clinical findings adopt a morning routine eat a healthy breakfast take a walk prioritize your schedule don't get up and start reading email and don't get up and start doing uh social media you'll get entrenched and it'll become a major time waster don't read your email unless you're going to have time to do something with it if you see that you have a hundred or 342 emails as this lady don't start looking at those emails unless you think you can make it through all of them be neat and organized is this what your office space looks like how would this much clutter and the this many folders mark priority and rush can you even think about uh being organized and managing your time effectively paperwork and inbox becomes clutter and clutter is death it leads to thrashing you want to keep your desk clear and focus on one thing at a time this is from randy posh the famous last lecture a good file system is essential go back to the david allen's filing system for email touch each each piece of paper and each email once your inbox should not be your to-do list stop procrastinating procrastination is the thief of time and this is from edward young in 1742 there are five types of procrastinators the perfectionist this procrastinator is trying to avoid being embarrassed by mistakes or judged they spend too much time on one component of a project failing to manage their time properly or they avoid the project altogether then rush to finish it at the last minute this of course increases the likelihood of making mistakes the imposter is afraid of being revealed as unqualified or inferior this procraster this procrastinator puts off doing anything to avoid that risk the dread-filled procrastinator when work is boring or unpleasant procrastinates by saying i'm just not going to do it i'm not going to do it the overwhelmed one is there's just too much to do and it's hard to figure out where to even start or to begin so we don't start anywhere we don't begin and then there's the lucky one oh i love this type of procrastinator some people believe that they do their best work under pressure so they procrastinate until their back is up against the wall if they have a history of doing this and doing it successfully were they rewarded because they got an a for a last-minute paper that they did or they got a high grade on a test when they waited to study at the last minute they've been rewarded and then they feel like i don't have to do anything right away because i'm going to get a good grade even if i wait till the last minute that doesn't always work out as they planned it is estimated that we lose 218 minutes a day in procrastination now this is not just at work but this is work and at home [Music] and that the incidence of chronic procrastinators has gone up from five percent 1978 to 26 in 2007 and i would bet it is upwards of 40 or 50 now do you realize that the time we lose in procrastination is almost two full months and then what are the things that are thieves around procrastination those are the internet social media and text messaging and doing things at the last minute is much more expensive than just before the last minute and deadlines are really important so establish them yourself in the cartoon i'm not a procrastinator i just prefer doing all my work in a panicking dude in a deadline-induced panic why do people procrastinate share your guilty reasons let's pause for a minute and add to the chat reasons people procrastinate and then procrastinator no i just wait until the last second to do my work because i will be older and therefore wiser so what are some of the reasons that you listed in the chat that you procrastinate the tasks are too complete complex and therefore uh you don't know where to begin or how to even get it all done a fear of failure success you're indecisive you're a perfectionist and want to make sure it's done right or it's just boring and unpleasant and the number one reason people procrastinate is fear of failure so how do we prevent procrastination if you feel overwhelmed break everything down into a smaller task let some tests go [Music] is it really important five years from now will somebody know i didn't do this is it gonna change the outcome and the answer is no let it go and then say no to some task furthermore unpleasant task set yourself a motivational reward for getting those done develop a deadline and then have a colleague or mentor enforce those deadlines other strategies are used the first three hours of your work day wisely or of the work if you have a big project you're doing use those first three hours wisely to prepare do any unpleasant tests first break things into smaller tasks set timelines for decisions to be made develop a mental picture of what you think this is going to look like when it's completed do your work at your peak times if you work better in the morning block out time in the morning if you work better in the afternoon walk out time in the afternoon hold yourself accountable to deadlines and then by all means block time on your calendar for these things never procrastinate the work is never going to disappear it's still going to be looming there [Music] and then be cautious and aware of interruptions when something causes us to lose sight of what we're doing it can be defined as a distraction an interruption is a type of distraction that is deliberately drawing our attention example of an interruption is when a colleague calls to discuss a problem or just to have a chit chat interruptions including the cold calls the unexpected visitors and the co-workers stopping by your desk were office interruptions but now that we're working remotely there are different kinds of interruptions we have here the delivery doorbell ring and deliveries coming to the house the barking dogs the cameos from your kids when you're on a video call and the the chat of the part for your partner in another room in a zoom meeting university of california irvine study revealed on that on average office workers are interrupted 11 every 11 minutes and yet it takes around 25 minutes to get back on track so if you have interruptions every 11 minutes and takes time to get back on track you've shot an hour you must reduce your frequency and length of interruptions turn phone calls into emails close your door uh blurting save the you know i can't talk to you right now but if you can come back in five minutes or ten minutes i'll be available and then email noise on new on new email is an email noise alert email is an interruption so turn it off other prevention strategies isolate yourself block time set boundaries prior to working remotely many of us took a day and worked from home so we can concentrate and have less interruptions uh that's not the luxury right now so you need to isolate yourself and block some time don't let distractions such as social media become interruptions while you're working from home disable all notifications from your smartphone mute the non-urgent uh messaging text messaging and delete social media apps from your workspace get a calendar plan your week plan your day and do this before the day begins it should be done during a quiet time or someplace quiet and it'll only take you about five to ten minutes to plan your day so let's recap effective time management techniques include being intentional and keeping a to-do list good time management lets you work smarter not harder so you get more done in less time the best time management techniques will improve the way you work and protect you against distraction and lock your concentration doing the to-do list may seem may not seem like a groundbreaking technique but is the most powerful way to become more productive having a set list of tax tasks keeps you intentional about what you're going to work on be prioritized rank your task prioritizing your task is the second step towards better time management it guides you through the day's activities in order of importance ensuring that the tasks that matter most are dealt with first despite our best intentions we're going to get distractions so try and manage your distractions again turn off social notifications and given that a task when interrupted takes about 23 minutes to re refocus the productive costs of our daily distractions are quickly adding up so manage your distractions and then have a structured schedule the structured schedule is crucial for actually delivering what you set yourself to do it helps you protect space for your work and sets a healthy pressure to actually complete that work and time blocking is one of the ways to do this mark time on your calendar to do the structured activities you need to do and be aware of your uh time and tracking your time further putting it in action right at your to-do list every day separated into a b and c priorities a being important to long-term success c being those that would be nice to do if you find the time and don't start with c just because it's easy to do break your a items into smaller tasks so you can get them done visualize your long-term picture of success and put it in writing review your goals frequently try to do your planning at the same time every day and review and reflect on your past accomplishments remember that reward is a little bit of a dopamine use one planner to keep track of your appointments and keep separate business and personal planner keeping a separate business and personal planner creates a lot of confusion so thank you very much for your time and attention and i'll now entertain any questions you may have thank you thank you everybody it's been a pleasure to be here uh and to get to meet several of you in the little breakout rooms over the last two days i'll entertain any questions that you may have if you just unmute y'all are all expert time managers i can tell yeah could you make the slides available again so sometimes we need to make ourselves reoriented every day so that we can actually make sure we follow through with what you've taught us today that's a great point uh my understanding is that we're uh recording this and the slides and the videos are available for your use as you see fit yes we usually ask for about a week just to be sure um that we get it edited and everything and then we will uh post it on the teach website so you're you can find all materials there i was having some side conversations with folks um who really have the best intentions at heart right so they want to be available for everybody at all times and that can get you into a little bit of a pickle right if you just are uh you know maybe maybe some folks on your unit are trying to come in um when and step away from patient care when they're available to ask you um a question so i suggested maybe putting a sign on the door saying um you know i'm focused right now if you don't mind just a really nice sign if you don't mind coming back at 12 or whatever um and then uh or you could have a designated time per day where people you know so they don't take come away from patient care just to find that you're not available so that so that they already know okay it's 10 to 10 to 12. um i'm not gonna go bother my supervisor or ask my supervisor questions or i'll hold them until after so i totally appreciate and value and i know that they do too your willingness to be available at all times to them but i know that they will even more value um your ability to be even more productive and to address some of those tasks very good point sherry i think a lot of us have an open door policy and people don't mind coming through that door and even when the door is closed if you don't have a little sign on it i've had people fling the door open and said could i have two minutes of your time and dr dean lehrman was at the session last night and we were chatting and i said one of my colleagues comes in almost every evening between 4 30 and 4 45 can i have two minutes of your time and it it's always three minutes and lee reached up and i said i've been threatening to get a timer you know a little timer thing that you flip over and this two minutes are up and you're out of here and lee got out a little uh a little one of those things that you get in i guess an office depot or home depot that says no no no no so you have to draw boundaries too we all need guardrails other questions or thoughts well i can give you all six minutes of your time back if it's okay with sherry and colleagues yes can i take one more of those minutes back and i just promise i'll be one minute or less um so another uh suggestion that the dean gave last night in this session or that i reminded him that he does really really well is you know generally speaking we will schedule a meeting for an hour's time and inevitably we take up that hour whether we need it or not so he's been really good about if he has an hour he schedules a meeting for 45 minutes then he can take a bio break afterwards he can um prepare for the next meeting do an action item for the previous meeting anything along those lines and it's such a time saver such a gift to have that extra 15 minutes okay thank you everyone i appreciate your attendance and look forward to meeting you and my next visit to roanoke because i will be coming back i love roanoke so y'all have a great day thank you thank you everybody stay well.