We began the year with a list of 7 ways your health center leadership and mid-level managers can start the year off on the right foot. So how do team members who have such a broad job description stay focused and start the first quarter off intentionally? So, up next…number 5!

#5 - Schedule Your Year

“If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, you do not have a goal - you have a wish.” (Steve Maraboli)

Have you noticed a theme? If you don’t plan ahead, it won’t happen. Our jobs are too varied and our job descriptions too vague. This leads to the “tyranny of the urgent” and focus drift. Another way to avoid this nearly inevitable challenge is to schedule out your entire year. That’s right. The entire year. QI meetings, quality report pulls, staff training, performance evals for direct reports…you name it. You can use whatever methods work for you. But whatever method you choose, make it one that is visible and doesn’t get shoved into a drawer next week or erased by that clean-freak office manager (guilty).

Our team has used all types of methods but the one I liked the best was my simple Microsoft Outlook Calendar. Simple. Go to your local Microsoft store and ask to schedule an Outlook class so you can use all of its functions to their full capability. These classes are free and often taught one-on-one. (Find your closest one here. I’m not getting paid to say this-I’ve just taken their classes and they are very helpful.)

The first time I asked to schedule the QI and training meetings for the entire following year, I thought I must have morphed into the body of a Roswell Grey…or at least that’s how they looked at me. “We can’t do that!” “But things will change!” “We can’t commit to a year!” “We don’t know what will pop-up next week!” I do. Something. Something will pop-up next week. And it will cause your focus to drift if you have not prioritized what is important for the year. Though there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth through that initial process, I would argue that it was likely our most productive and needle-moving year to that point. Schedule it out and stick to it. If you try this and next year it doesn’t make a significant difference in your year, I guarantee I will give you double your money back. Seriously. Do it.

Struggling to move toward HRSA continuous compliance? Contact your health center-focused team at RegLantern at www.RegLantern.com. Our FQHC Mock Site Visits and web-based HRSA Continual Compliance tools will help save you time and money.