At this point, should we all assume that things at work can always get worse than they currently are? The pandemic has proved that, over and over, so NOW is the time to help yourself, not tomorrow or next week. You can’t afford not to invest in your future self by taking small steps forward TODAY. Help yourself, because there is no queue of people waiting to step in and lessen your work burdens.

So, here are 5 tips to make the most of TODAY:

1) PRACTICE MINDFULNESS. It can be as simple as intentionally deep breathing throughout the day, or try some meditation (I recommend Headspace or Calm apps), or even what I see as the Holy Grail: Yoga.

2) Clean up your home and/or work space. Physical clutter is not going to help you stay organized, and will give your brain subconscious cues about the world around you being chaotic.

3) Create a mantra. This is a word or phrase that is empowering or relaxing, something that you can use to ground you before, during or after work. Write it on a sticky note at work, or say it out loud to yourself right before you start your shift. Mine is “I’m going to have a great day today”…simple and effective, setting the tone for my day.

4) Find an extraordinary moment. We are so programmed to find problems (some of which we create) that we often miss the beautiful things that happen right in front of our eyes. Keep yours eyes peeled, ears and mind open to good things that are happening. It turns your day into more of a positivity scavenger hunt as opposed to another day in the grind. EXAMPLE: Message that friend that you’ve been thinking about and let them know that you are in fact thinking about them and missing them, because they probably miss you too…simple, quick and EXTRA-ORDINARY.

5) Create an EMR shortcut, speed-button, dot-phrase, etc. This will speed you up and decrease the time spent documenting. Invest a few seconds to save time and clicks, which will save you minutes and hours in the future. If you don’t know how, then ask another colleague who seems to be proficient, or call IT, or even just do a Google search. Keep it small, execute, and then celebrate the win by telling your future-self: “You’re welcome”.

You might be asking yourself: “Should I try to do all of these things today?” My answer: “Absolutely not, you overachiever”. Pick the one you feel will be easiest and most interesting, keep your mind open and expectations realistic, and don’t let yourself off the hook about taking one of these small actions that should help today be incrementally better than yesterday.

DISCLAIMERS: 1) The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer. 2) There are no conflicts of interest to report. 3) I don’t know what I don’t know, so feel free to message me if you don’t agree with something that you read.

KEYWORDS: #burnout #medicine #physicianassistant #nursepractitioner #doctor #barriers #wellness #efficiency #proficiency #control #worklifebalance #happinessatwork #carpediem #clinician #stress #covid #pandemic

Published by Shayne Foley

I have dedicated myself to a lifelong pursuit of health and wellness, both personally and professionally, over the last 25 years. My passions, interests and experiences have led me to a multitude of health and wellness disciplines, resulting in an accumulation of over 40,000 hours of experience. My educational degrees include: Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Exercise Science, Master’s Degree in Biomechanics and a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies. In addition to my educational accomplishments, the culmination of my career experiences outside of the classroom have developed my passion for coaching and teaching. Some of these experiences include: Performance coaching for elite athletes and business professionals (10+ years), teaching at multiple universities (6+ years) and working as a Physician Assistant (10 years). These academic, pedagogical and practical experiences have shaped, and continue to shape, my philosophies, theories and solutions related to health and wellness. I am thrilled and humbled to now be bringing all of my acquired knowledge, holistic approach and pragmatic methods into what I see as my most important and impassioned work to date: Coaching healthcare professionals to reach their personal and professional goals. I grew up in Western Massachusetts, and have spent the majority of my life living throughout New England. I currently reside in Vermont, where the environment and culture organically foster an optimal work-life balance. I live joyfully with my lovely wife and rescue dog. My other interests include outdoor recreation, lifestyle design, financial independence, travel and supporting my local community. I’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to contact me, you can do so via the following ways: efficientclinician@gmail.com

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