Antidote for Overwhelm

March 27, 2018 Practice Administration 0

I want to talk to you about the antidote for overwhelm in your medical and surgical practice. Do you ever walk into the office and you just sort of dread it?! You feel as if you’re getting nowhere.  It’s the same thing day in and day out and you’re not really seeing any progress. Sometimes it can feel like the walls are crushing in on you. It keeps you up at night.  You think, “How can I change this? Everyone is relying on ME. I have so many responsibilities.  How am I going to get to where I want to be?  How can I get over this feeling of being overwhelmed because everybody wants something from me?” (Whether I’m at work or whether I’m at home).  It’s more common than you think.  I hear about this from physicians all the time. It’s one of the biggest reasons for burnout. So, how can you avoid that?  If the disease is ‘overwhelm’, what it the treatment?

The simple answer in a simple world is to get clarity about what it is you want to accomplish. Then, the key is seeing progress towards accomplishing it. You may think that it’s easy to say but it’s just difficult every single day.  It is! It involves changing some of our habits. It involves getting out of our comfort zone. It involves, perhaps, having an accountability coach; somebody who sees you every day and can help you work through that. Quite frankly, ‘overwhelm’ occurs at every level of your organization; front desk, clinicians, biller, etc.… Everyone can experience this overwhelm.  And you need to keep that at bay in order to have a pleasant and optimally functioning office. So how do you do that?!

The first thing I tell people to do that I do myself, (I manage a number of different businesses, publishing, consulting, Bariatric practice, Hormone practice, and I’m wife and Mom with 4 kids),  take a look at everything you have to do. I know you’re going to say you don’t have time for this.  But write down all the responsibilities and biggest frustrations you have that are causing the ‘overwhelm.’ Then take a look at that list and see if there’s anything you can delegate to somebody else.  I don’t just mean take a project you’ve been doing and give it to someone else.  You do have to give some guidance.  A lot of people think it’s more work by giving it to someone else because they’re never going to do it as well as I can. If you put a process in place (very key), people will rise to the occasion. So you can actually delegate some things.

There are some things you are doing in your daily practice that you can eliminate.  If it’s not bringing you closer to the goals you have for yourself, then don’t do it. I know it’s easy for me to say.  The reality is, once you stop doing this it can be so freeing and exhilarating. Then you can take that time and energy towards an action that’s moving you closer to your goal.

Then, you need to take a look at where you really want to go. What’s your goal?  You may not have had time to stop and think about this. You need to take the time. You basically get what you tolerate.  If you tolerate confusion and being unhappy every single day, that’s what you’re going to get because you’re tolerating it. You’re the only one who has control over changing that. So clarify where it is you want to go. The thing that’s going to give you the biggest sense of exhilaration and happiness is that feeling of progress of moving towards those things you want to accomplish. That’s where you’re going to get your biggest amount of energy and push to keep going. We all know every day our old habits creep in. We all experience this with weight loss and lots of different things in our life.

Once you determine that, you need to put steps in place to get to where it is you really want to go. Those are some hard decisions and can be out-of-your-comfort zone. A lot of times the thing that helps most people is someone to have accountability with.  I work with different professionals and businesses to help implement this.  You can share accountability with a peer, a spouse, or a friend.  You need to have some sort of accountability. It isn’t meant to be something that’s punitive.  Accountability just means that, “I’m taking accountability for my actions. I know I’m unhappy right now. I know I’m overwhelmed. I need to make some changes in order to improve my situation.”

Those are some of my tips.  But really that disease called ‘overwhelm’ is treated by clarity about what it is you want, and progress towards attaining exactly that.

So if you find you need some help with that, I’m always happy to help physicians and practices.

If not me, please take the time to reach out to someone to implement these steps because I want nothing better than for you to have a life filled without ‘overwhelm.’ Also, give me a shout out if there are other topics you want me to talk about.  Or, you can share helpful tips. I’m always interested in having guests on my podcast.

Until then, have a great day.  Let’s do everything we can to decrease that ‘overwhelm’ and increase the happiness and satisfaction in your life.