Q As a practice manager, I'm constantly interrupted with non-urgent items like schedule questions. It's interfering with my
other daily work. How can I set boundaries but remain approachable to my team?
It's helpful to establish protocols when possible, says Nancy Potter, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and practice manager at Olathe Animal Hospital in Olathe, Kan. For example, create a time-off
form. If employees need to ask for vacation, they can fill it out and place it in your in box for you to process when time
Potter also suggests setting aside open-door time each day. "Communicate to your team that you need some uninterrupted time
to take care of your regular responsibilities," she says. "But let them know you'll be available at certain times during the
day for them to come talk to you." Hint: Schedule this time for the same time every day.
And don't be afraid to tell team members that you're unavailable if they still approach you when you're busy. Potter suggests
saying, "This isn't a good time right now. Do you mind if I get back with you midafternoon?" But do get back with these people.
Their issues may not seem pressing to you, but they might be urgent for them.