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    7 tips for an office clutter detox

    Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Eye Catching: Let's Chat,” a blog series featuring contributions from members of the ophthalmic community. These blogs are an opportunity for ophthalmic bloggers to engage with readers with about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series continues with this blog by Donna Suter, president of Suter Consulting Group. The views expressed in these blogs are those of their respective contributors and do not represent the views of  Ophthalmology Times or UBM Advanstar.

     

    Forty-pound weight loss!

    OK, so we’re talking about the weight of paper, not summer fashions. There’s nothing like shedding some serious weight to make you feel good and more confident about electronic medical records (EMRs).

    Previous blog: Admit it, you don't know everything

    Shedding paperweight fits nicely into my business plan. Spring is when I re-evaluate the retention and storage of papers and re-align my daily activities with the current needs of my clients. This annual paper purge helps me achieve my goal of conducting my daily professional life in a manner that achieves maximum productivity.

    Why clear off work surfaces and de-clutter file drawers?

    It’s important to your office’s productivity, too! The fewer files and piles you have, the fewer crises you will have and the more work employees will get done. You’ll be working up patients instead of searching through clutter:

     

    o   The average office spends $20 in labor to file each document, $120 in labor searching for each misfiled document, loses one out of every 20 documents, and spends 25 hours recreating each lost document.  (PricewaterhouseCoopers)

    o   The average American wastes 55 minutes a day (roughly 12 days a year) looking for things he or she own but can’t find. (Newsweek)

    o   The average office employee spends 1.5 hours a day (6 weeks per year) looking for things. (OrganizedWorld.com)

    o   The typical executive wastes 150 hours a year (almost an entire month), searching for lost information. For someone earning $50,000 a year, this loss is equivalent to $3,842 annually.  (Forbes ASAP)

    o   Despite the thrust of environmentalists to change our paper habits, the use of office paper has tripled since the birth of the computer. (Organized World)

     

    The face of disorganization is all too familiar. Part of the problem stems from the fact that there is very little understanding of what organization is (and is not). The dedicated individual you have tasked to manage your office and show your team how to organize the office may not even know what genuine organization is at its most fundamental level.

    The symptoms are clear: an edgy feeling that there’s not enough time to do it all; multiplying stacks of paper; constant interruptions; seemingly incompetent staff; blunted competence; and loss of confidence. Time and again, basic skills are compromised by what appears to be an inability to organize the work environment.

    Next: Breaking assumptions

    Donna Suter
    Donna Suter is president of Suter Consulting Group.

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