Over the years, many healthcare professionals have told me that they are lazy. They find themselves goofing off, playing games on the computer, texting friends, going home early or without staying to finish up their day properly, chatting on the phone, doodling, chatting too much with patients or clients, and so on.
When we take apart this “lazy” feeling, we usually uncover one or more of the following situations causing it:
- Not motivated because there are no goals or targets to reach.
- Don’t like their profession or some aspect of it and want to escape.
- So far behind in handling their incoming messages and mail they have gone into despair and feel overwhelmed and hopeless.
- The people around them are downbeat or sluggish and it affects them.
- Don’t know what to do next to grow the practice, so just leave it.
- Not eating well nor exercising to keep feeling energetic.
- Not feeling “in the mood to work.”
- Don’t know how to do something, e.g. marketing, and put it off.
There are probably a lot more reasons but one thing I know is that I have never met a genuinely “lazy” person. They are usually falling into one or more of the above categories and do not feel very good about themselves when they are goofing off instead of getting their act together and accomplishing things.
Laziness Gets You Nowhere:
So if you are experiencing a “case of the lazies,” what can you do about it? It is usually a case of lack of self-discipline to push yourself to handle the situation(s). Most situations can be resolved if you confront the problem head on and examine it closely.
Basically, look at the above list and see if any of them match up to you. If there is one, you need to make a decision to handle it – a very determined and strong decision – and then have an honest, straight-on look at the situation and see what can be done to change it.
For example, let’s say you feel dragged down by downbeat or sluggish people around you. Have a meeting and discuss the lack of high level production and how it affects the whole practice and get the team to work out ideas how they can move into high gear. Maybe a game with a good reward will help, or a prize for the person who moves the fastest and is the most upbeat all week
Another example: If you don’t know how to do something, make it a research project to find out. The internet and YouTube have a million ideas and solutions. If it is practice management related, find a really excellent, top notch consulting company (like AMI) to help you achieve the results you want.
One more example: There is a mountain of backlogged messages, journals to read, letters to answer and so on (yes, I have seen hundreds of doctor’s personal offices where their desk and credenza are piled high). You feel very overwhelmed about catching this up and getting on top again. One thing you can do is to quickly go through the pile and put each thing into one of three piles:
(1) urgent and should be done right away, (2) should be done some time in the next week or two, and (3) can wait until (1) and (2) are done. Make up a reward for yourself for getting each category done. Then ATTACK!
The Best for Last:
I saved the best for last: If you have gotten everything “done” and you are doing well and your personal discipline is in, having a “lazy day” once in a while can actually be a reward!
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