Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
Einstein, considered by many to be the greatest mind of the 20th century, was known for mulling over his questions until falling into a semi-trance. In these states of deep contemplation, he made fascinating discoveries, then spent countless hours working back out of the maze to make his discoveries translatable to others.
The secret to sustainable success in any arena is not, as many believe, to be the smartest or most educated person in the room, or to be born into wealth and opportunity. Rather, the secret is to become so focused on the goal and so determined not to give up that all distractions fade into the background, and the answers rise to the top.
If you would like to see more success in your endeavors, here are 3 simple tips to help you get and stay focused so you can achieve your goals:
1. Think “Micro”
Studies have shown that humans get overwhelmed and become less productive when focusing on too many things at once. The concept of multitasking is a misnomer as we can only effectively focus on one thing at a time. So, pick one small aspect of whatever you’re doing and give it your full attention. Practice monotasking.
2. Give Yourself Permission to “Go There”
Oftentimes, we don’t give something the necessary attention because we feel we cannot disengage from all the other demands in our life. Give yourself permission to let everything else go for a while. De-prioritize to re-prioritize, and be okay with the fact that in order to say ‘Yes’ to what you want, you must say ‘No’ to something else.
3. Give Yourself More Time
With deadlines looming, it’s easy to shortchange yourself on the amount of time actually needed for excellence. Ask for more time if you need it. OR, refer to tip number 2 to create more space in your life. Progress takes persistence and persistence takes time. Practice building more margin into your schedule.
You don’t have to be an Einstein to let your genius shine through. Brilliance belongs to everyone…you just have to drill deep to get to the gold.
Which tip will you incorporate this week to unlock your brilliance and get the important things done?
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We are less than 2 weeks away from entering the final quarter of the year. The year is flying by!
How are your career goals coming along for 2021?
If you just asked the question, "What career goals?" or had to think more than 30 seconds to remember what your goals were for this year, this article is for you.
Physician life is often a busy life and as a result, purposeful career advancement may get little to none of your attention. And if you are like many physicians I speak with, you may have set your career on autopilot or deferred the steering of your career to your leadership or someone else.
Here are 5 common reasons that physicians don't reach their desired career goals:
I'd like to remind you that you own your career. You earned your medical degree and you get to decide how you'd like to leverage it to support yourself and your family and make the impact that you want to have.
If you haven't set career goals for the year, it's not too late. You don't need to wait until the new year. Make a commitment to be more intentional about your career and the direction you want to take it. Take action by scheduling 30 minutes to sit down and write down at least 1 goal you'd like to achieve by the end of the year.
Share your goal in the comments below.
As the summer days wind down and we prepare to welcome fall, I made a decision to clear out some clutter in my home office. I found a stack of papers that had lists of ideas and things that I wanted to do someday.
I was pleased to see that some of the things written on the list had been accomplished, but many of them I had forgotten about.
The list of things I want to do always seem to outnumber the hours I have available to devote to them.
I am practicing a new concept as we head into the new season - CONSTRAINT.
The dictionary definition of constraint (Oxford) is "a limitation or restriction". The sentence provided as an example says it all - "time constraints make it impossible to do everything". This couldn't be more true.
When we attempt to give our attention to everything we don't accomplish as much as we could if we set priorities and limited our focus to 1 or 2 things.
Constraint helps to provide the focus and discipline necessary to achieve the outcomes we desire.
Practicing constraint requires:
It is not an easy practice, but the investment of time and energy to cultivate the skill of constraint is well worth the effort. It will pay off priceless dividends. The more you practice, the better you get at building the muscle of sustained focus to reach the goals you set for yourself. Prioritizing what matters to you helps you make the time to complete the important tasks and not just the urgent tasks (putting out fires).
So, I'm curious what your experience has been with practicing constraint. What helps you to constrain to 1 or 2 top priorities?
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Next week, I’m planning to be sick - said no one ever.
As physicians we take an oath to first do no harm. And we work tirelessly to promote health, healing and well-being for an endless number of patients.
So what happens when the physician is the one who is unwell and in need of healing?
Ironically, most of the physicians I know don’t take the advice that they give to their patients. The reasons are multi-factorial, and include working in a system that rewards “pushing through” and being productive even at the cost of their own health. This mindset also carries over to physicians working in a nonclinical career.
While we wait for the system to change (thank you to all the dedicated individuals who are championing this cause), we can focus on the small, yet meaningful ways that we can care for ourselves when we are not feeling 100%.
Here are 3 questions you can ask yourself:
1. What do I most need right now and how can I take 1 step to give that to myself, guilt-free?
When we’re soldiering on we don’t pause long enough to check in with how we’re doing. Notice how you’re feeling and get in touch with what your mind and body need. Maybe it’s a brief nap (ask a nurse or co-worker to make sure you’re up in 20-30 min), an abbreviated work day, a nourishing meal, hydrating really well or getting a ride to and from work so you don’t have to expend energy on your commute. Once you figure out what you need, give yourself permission to have it.
2. How can I make THIS simpler?
This could be the task at hand, the work day ahead, etc. Our intellect has gotten us far in our career and it creates a tendency to over-analyze and over-complicate things, unnecessarily. Focus on what you have control over and quickly brainstorm how you can simplify the things that you need to do when you’re not feeling well. An example is picking up dinner or ordering delivery to take meal planning and cooking off the table.
3. What do I need to let go of to facilitate my healing?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask. Take the time to answer it. Sometimes the things you release are just as important as the things you add to your life. I’ve found it valuable to look at what outdated beliefs I can let go of that no longer serve me. Examples include reassessing the belief that work needs to feel hard to be valuable, that asking for help is a sign of weakness and allowing myself to rest when there is an endless list of things to be done is equivalent to laziness. Freeing up these thoughts creates room to adopt new beliefs that support caring for yourself, valuing your own health and well-being as much as you value your loved ones, patients and co-workers.
I hope these questions are a start to your finding ways to care for yourself while meeting your work obligations. And of course there are the times when the best thing to do is to stay home. May you dons the confidence and courage to make that decision when needed.
Are there other questions you would add to this list? Share your suggestions in the comments below.
The Physician Career Path Reimagined
Copyright 2019-2021. Michelle Bailey & Company, LLC.
www.drmichellebailey.com. All Rights Reserved.
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