As a speech-language pathologist, do you feel like you spend more time on paperwork and meetings than you do with your patients? Do you want to feel more productive in your practice? Here are some hacks designed for the busy SLP.
Trying to fit your main priorities, like client time, prep work, and reporting, plus non-billable tasks like paperwork, education, insurance authorizations, personal notes, and researching new resources, into an eight hour workday can feel daunting. And despite the fact that it’s said a messy desk is a sign of brilliance, it’s also a sure-fire way to ensure all your tasks take more time than necessary.
To help, we’ve compiled these tips and tricks for improving productivity to try, drawn from feedback from our own clinician partners.
Making sure you can find the right paperwork when you need it is key to your patient’s success – and your sanity.
Try a hanging file organizer, and then organize papers within it with color-coded labels, binder clips, and files. Clear magazine organizers can hold your notebooks and educational materials. Make sure you have a good desk set for those critical items like staplers and writing utensils.
Go through your paper files as often as is possible and archive away those that you are not using.
One of our clinician partners suggests that you start organizing by taking everything off your desk, and then putting back only what you have used in the last month. Store anything that you don’t need immediately in your desk drawers or in nice storage boxes that can fit neatly under your desk.
We recognize that due to HIPAA compliance rules, older computer equipment, and various insurance forms that are not available online, going fully digital may not be possible.
Still, the digital environment is one we live in today. Going paperless is not the future – it’s now. So why not make your desk a little less cluttered?
Start by converting appropriate documents into digital files. A desktop, paper-fed scanner is great tool, and Brother makes a great one for under a hundred dollars. Digital files are a lot smaller than paper files!
Tired of writing the same phrases or descriptions to different people, over and over? Try TextExpander, a digital app which lets you instantly insert snippets of repetitive text from a repository of emails or boilerplate content as you type. Cool, huh?
Additional digital productivity apps and hacks to try include:
Now that you have all these apps, perhaps you have too many passwords to remember them all. No problem. LastPass is a secure and simple password app which can securely remember all your passwords.
There’s no need to start from scratch with many common SLP tasks, especially when much of the time-consuming parts may have already been done. Try some of these template tricks.
There are a number of proven habit changes you can make that result in increased productivity.
It’s well known that if you organize your activities in advance using a calendar or planner, they are much more likely to get done. Seems basic, huh? But not everyone does it, missing out on one of the most effective productivity hacks.
Try using Google Calendar or a desk planner and block off 3 months in advance. Other new habits to try:
Do you use any of these productivity tools or hacks? Are there any that you want to try? Others you’d like to recommend? Comment below.