Running a successful, profitable practice at the best of times is never a piece of cake, but when you add in all the COVID-19 complications of physical distancing, extra sterilizing, scheduling, staff issues, and so on, you may find times when you feel like you are frozen into inaction. You don’t know where to start or what to do next.
With so many screaming emergencies (that only you seem to be able to solve), or overwhelmingly important decisions that you need to take some time to think about, you can start to feel like there’s no room left in your head to process correct answers. Have you ever felt this way?
The Four Step Handling
The good news is that there are solutions to this dilemma or feeling of overwhelm.
SHUT THE DOOR!
For the first step, you may have to get through work today and then start on the first step when you are finished, but it is important to do this TODAY. You need to go in your office and shut the door … this may be figuratively speaking if you don’t have an office or you may go home and do this in your home office or a quiet space where you will not be interrupted. This is VITAL because you need to shut yourself away from the whole world for a while. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. If at all possible, remind yourself of your favorite joke or your favorite song and sing it. Do something to bring your mood up so that you feel happier. Don’t go to the next step until you have done this step.
MAKE A LIST
Now you need to make a list of every immense-seeming situation that you are confronting: the emergencies, the important decisions, the staff problems, the financial difficulties, … anything and everything that is on your mind. Do this very rapidly without thinking about each item that you write down. These can include anything from work, home, other areas of your life. Did you get everything on the list? You should feel a bit of relief just in naming all the situations.
The next step is to go quickly through the list and prioritize the items. Some things are totally urgent and others are able to wait awhile to be solved. Mark a letter in front of each item on the list as to whether it is urgent, can wait a bit, or are longer term.
Take one of the urgent items on the list and confront it (face it squarely on) and make a decision as to what to do about it. You may need to take an action to handle it or it could be just that you needed to actually DECIDE. Once you have done this, congratulate yourself on getting that done.
Continue down the list of urgent items until you have made all your decisions about each one. You may have actions that need to be taken later to carry out what you have decided, so you may wish to diarize them in your scheduler as to when exactly you are going to take such actions.
When the urgent items are all finished, continue down the list doing the same thing, one-by-one until you get to the bottom.
This may take a few hours but if you did exactly as above, you will feel like things are much more confrontable and calmer. You may even feel excited to get going on the steps you have decided. Make a date with yourself to SHUT THE DOOR in a week and review your progress.
Now congratulate yourself! And get going!
(For help concerning issues that are practice management difficulties, be sure to give us a call and set up a time for our free, in-depth practice analysis to see what needs to be done to shine in that area of your life. Call: 416-466-6217)