BurnoutMar 09, 2019
What is the result of your current actions? How are you showing up?
How are you approaching your tasks for the day?
If we want to stay in our profession, stay healthy, love our career and not burnout - then we have to love ourselves.
I look at the way I worked even 12 months ago compared to now and I see a huge difference!
Nothing in my circumstances has changed but at the same time everything has changed.
I still see patients in clinic, in fact I see MORE patients now. I still do my charting, check my results, see inpatients and participate in the on-call schedule for our rural ER.
The circumstances have not changed. So how is it possible that I can now attend the gym in the morning, lose weight, get home on time and see more patients?
The answer is a life coach! Through the practice of learning to be a life coach and coaching myself I have been able to address all areas of my professional life. I needed to find real solutions to every part of our professional day so that I could effectively coach my colleagues how to do this!
I started with purely selfish motivation. I wanted to be more effective, more efficient, home on time, NO homework and loving my career with all of its challenges! Now I can say I love my job wholeheartedly!
On a normal day I am up at 5.50am, to the gym from 6.15-7am, to the hospital for 0810 after dropping my son at school, to the clinic for 9am start, home by 5.30pm with my notes done and messages completed or scheduled for the time in my week that I will do these tasks.
I have a 1-1.30pm time slot for phone calls, results, forms or complex care plan template preparation. No buffering with Facebook, Netflix or chocolate bars!
I chose my emotion for the day each and every day. That is possible! It takes practice and thought work. I definitely notice when I don't intentionally choose my emotion!
Burnout: The result of NOT making decisions on purpose:
Yesterday was an eye-opener.
For the first time in many months I did not wake up and choose my emotion on purpose. When 6.20am rolled around didn't go to the gym. I let my brain choose frustrated in response to what today would bring.
I know better than this! I knew I had a BIG day in clinic today, with patients even scheduled in the lunch hour due to demand this week. From the start of the day I let myself think "There is too much to do today, it's not going to go well" and that's exactly what I created for myself. My emotion in response to that thought was "frustrated" and my action was "inefficiency and short tempered".
At the hospital I chose to be frustrated by family members waiting patiently, though unscheduled, to talk about their mom who they just love so much. I made it mean that I would be inconvenienced, even though I had plenty of time.
At the clinic, I started seeing patients late while I arranged urgent review for a patient seen the day before. I don't say that as an excuse, I chose to start late and put that task in first, knowing that it would have repercussions. I did not make myself do my notes after each consultation, by allowing myself to continue in "frustration". No surprise but the emotion of "frustrated" does not create the action of "doing my notes"!
My thought was: "I'm too busy to stop and do notes" and the emotion was "frustrated" and the action was that my notes were not getting done. I felt impatient and therefore less effective in meeting my patients requests and let everything bother me.
At the end of the day I had messages to answer, uncompleted charts and it was already 6.30pm and I wasn't home enjoying being with my family, I was still in my office seething and watching netflix while trying to do charts and messages. Let me tell you, I was not effective or efficient and I left the office with charts incomplete. That felt like a massive fail right there, I felt major disappointment toward myself!
This morning I evaluated yesterday. I realized that this is how most days felt 12 months ago. It was exhausting! No wonder I didn't like myself or my job! What a reality check! Just one day spent how I used to be!
I now have so much more empathy for you all struggling as a family physicians without the skills to manage your thoughts and emotions. I realize how far I have come from that untrained brain.
Let me tell you, it is going to be a very long time before I let my unregulated brain choose my thought or emotion for the day again! It was awful but at the same time SO insightful as to what makes our career so stressful.
It is not our circumstances that create BURNOUT, turns out it is our thoughts and the good new is - we can learn to manage our thoughts and our emotions to create an awesome future for ourselves.
Now that I have this thought, I can give myself compassion and love about yesterday and remind myself that coaching myself is the most valuable thing I have ever done, for myself and my family.
Have a wonderful week and don't forget to sign up for coaching if my description of yesterday sounds like your everyday!
xx Sarah, the Charting Coach
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