PEM Source

Your source for all things Pediatric Emergency Medicine



  1. Make a don’t want to do list
  2. Ask yourself: What can I…
  • Delegate (see below)
  • Outsource – consider (as can afford) outsourcing:


  • Do less well
    • Perfect is the enemy of the good enough and takes up too much time!
  • Not do at all
    • Give yourself a break – do you really have to make handmade holiday gifts like your next door neighbor does, or mini valentines day gift bags for everyone in your kids’ class?

3. Delegate effectively

  • Prioritize – keep the important stuff for you and delegate the rest
  • Look for win-win situations where the person you delegate to gets something out of it
    • For example, mentoring a trainee in writing a book chapter or getting a junior faculty member on a committee
  • You can’t set it and forget it – need clear expectations and follow-up with delegatee
    • Be clear on what needs to be done, how to do it, and the timeframe / deadline
    • Check in frequently
  • Delegate down = mentoring someone junior (this also can reduce burnout!)
  • Delegate up also – your boss or someone more senior may be able to accomplish something in a matter of minutes or with a simple phone call that would take you much longer

4. Micromanagement is inefficient

  • Teach those you supervise how to do tasks for themselves rather than doing it for them
  • Same for children – teach them to be independent (eg make a snack, make their bed, fold their laundry, etc); teach spouses too if necessary!