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  • Writer's pictureKarl Walker-Finch

Working by the bucketload

Updated: Jun 15



I managed to clear off my to do list before Christmas! I’d love to tell you that this is because I’d been infinitely efficient and I’d done everything but the reality is I simply reprioritised my list, got the most important stuff done, and rescheduled everything else for the New Year.

Now that we’re here, I’ve been hit with that backlog of a random assortment of rescheduled tasks.


When we’re on clinic, we see one patient at a time, we can’t be checking inside more than one mouth at any moment. We can get pretty good at this, focussing on a single task (or patient) and seeing it through to completion before moving onto the next one.


Why is it then, that when it comes to admin time, I have such a propensity for trying to do seventeen different things at any one moment? Dual screening seems to be the minimum, with a plethora of tabs open on my browser, and multiple desktops working away simultaneously. 


Is it any wonder that with so much going on, I feel overwhelmed and when I reach the end of the day, it feels like I’ve achieved nothing, or at best, I’ve completed something but not well.


It’s like trying to fill a dozen buckets with a garden hose with the sprinkler setting across all of them. You can stand there for hours and all you’ll have to show at the end is a few half filled buckets, a tired arm and very wet shoes!


How about dialling it right back to basics? Put the hose in one bucket (sprinkler setting still allowed) and fill it up, then move onto the next one. One job at a time, done well, to completion, and without the collateral damage to yourself and everything around you.


It’s not complicated and yet I get this one wrong so often. With so many competing priorities, it’s difficult to focus on a single task when you know that choosing to do so, is choosing not to do everything else. Yet, when the hours run out, you’ll have a a lot more full buckets.


Cancel the thing that I said I'd do

I don't feel comfortable talking to you

Unless you got the zipper fixed on my shoe

Then I'll be in the lobby drinking for two


Eighteen, balding, star


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