Having a waiting area for an emergency room has always bothered me. If I have an emergency, the last thing I want to do is wait! Then it would really tick me off if you put me in a room with other people to be called in when it was my turn.
But the more I’ve thought about this, the I’ve held this idea in my head to be contemplated, the more it makes sense. The more I compare it to my day, the more ingenious it becomes.
Most people have their day, somewhat planed out. They have a few main and important things that they plan on getting done. The next thing you know, someone comes in with an emergency that needs immediate attention. You stop what you are doing and give it your undivided attention. Then as you are finishing up, another emergency pops up. Since you are the emergency room, you see to it right away. This continues all day using the first in first out method (FIFO). Whatever comes in you tend to it, from a scratched knee to a mild cough. Meanwhile, they person with a gunshot wound is forced to wait their turn.
The waiting room is such an ingenious concept because it prioritizes the emergencies. It allowed staff to move the life-threatening cases to the front of the line and the paper cut victim to the back.
Your day should be set up in the same manner. YOU even get to pick the priority. And you better, because if you don’t someone else will because to them it’s an emergency.
When I have someone come by the office and pop their head in I most always tell them to write it down and put it in my box and I will get to it later in the day, instead of stopping what I’m doing at that very moment to handle it. You must install boundaries around your time and refuse to be slave to the immediate. Once you get some free time, you can go through the task and prioritize them. Don’t be afraid to put someone in the waiting room.
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