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Stepwise Success

Last Year’s Resolutions

Published January 8, 2014 6:13 AM by Scott Warner

With all the talk of resolutions inevitably failing or succeeding, it’s easy to forget how we’ve failed or succeeded. I haven’t made resolutions since 2012, but last year blogged about goals. Here is how 2012 and 2013 shaped up:

Here’s how I did for 2012:

  • Use email less. I can’t say I use it less, but I spend less time on it. I respond less often, write shorter responses, and rely on rules to sort emails. In particular, any email mass mailed to all employees goes into a junk folder.
  • Use technology more. I really wanted to ditch paper, but the limitations of a slow computer, glitchy network, and one tiny monitor forces me to use more paper than I care to admit.
  • Improve performance appraisals. I shortened these to thirty minutes or less, although real “improvement” is elusive. No one is quite sure what these accomplish.
  • Give away more. I’ve mentored and delegated with some success. One thing I didn’t count on is how dramatically this changes a workplace dynamic.
  • Listen. Uh... what was that? I’ve been told I look like I’m listening to people, and that’s something.

Here’s 2013:

  • Online procedures. Not even close, and the techs don’t want it. The problem is PDFs are slow and resemble paper. Paper is fast and IS paper. Why don’t IT people get this simple truth?
  • Get rid of filing cabinets. I got rid of a huge filing cabinet in my office, adding room for a chair.
  • Get rid of posted paper. See “use technology more” above.
  • Drills. Nope.
  • Patient rounding. I’ve had some success doing this since September, but the techs aren’t quite sold on the idea.

It is interesting that the few successes are specific and measurable. A filing cabinet, for example, is a specific object that can be eliminated if not used. Posted paper doesn’t mean much or, perhaps, it means too much to too many people.

Most of the 2012 resolutions took more than a year. For example, I didn’t change performance appraisals until last summer. Maybe, that means my 2013 goals won’t be done until 2014.

NEXT: Do You Follow Procedures?

posted by Scott Warner
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About this Blog


    Scott Warner, MLT(ASCP)
    Occupation: Laboratory Manager
    Setting: Critical Access Hospital
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