Three Questions to Ask to Avoid Wasting Time


In your line of work - whether you are a periop director, surgeon, anesthesiologist, administrator - you've got little time available to devote to anything other than keeping daily processes and procedures moving forward. How do you decide what to spend that precious little time on?

Peter Bregman, a leading writer, speaker and consultant on personal and organizational efficiency and effectiveness has offered three key questions to ask yourself - and your colleagues - when presented with a request for your time:

  1. Am I the right person?

  2. Is this the right time?

  3. Do I have enough information?

I love simplicity and I love being efficient and effective and these questions captured very simply for me what I've spent years trying to articulate. I think if I had this simple framework years ago, I might have several years of additional productivity back. Think about how many corridor conversations could have been cut short by assessing the request of your time on these three questions. This is not to say the goal is to put everyone off, but to ensure time is not wasted on questions you are not best positioned to answer, at the wrong time, on gut feel and not facts.