How To Be More Productive in 2022Jan 18, 2022
Burnout affects millions of physicians and other medical workers, and not just because of COVID-19.
If you’ve listened to my podcast, you know that I tried to do it all. I was a full-time physician, volunteered in many committees, and hosted several events. I did all this despite how tired and burnt out I felt.
As physicians, we want to stay productive and help others. But sometimes, we neglect what we really need and eventually burn out.
Burnout affects millions of physicians and other medical workers, and not just because of COVID-19. The pandemic only amplified what was already occurring in our clinics and hospitals.
So can you stay productive without burning out? The answer is yes! You can! Today I want to share ten tips to stay productive in 2022 without experiencing burnout.
I’ve helped many fellow physicians beat burnout and learn to fall in love again with their careers. I want to help you too! Schedule a FREE consultation with me so we can talk.
Why Is Productivity Important For Success?
Productivity is the efficiency of production. We often associate productivity with how many tasks we check off on a list. But productivity is much more than that.
Productivity is more about completing important and urgent tasks.
For example, let’s say you have two piles of paperwork on your desk. The first pile is a short stack of paperwork that must be signed by tomorrow.
In the other pile, you have a large stack of paperwork that must be signed by the end of the day today. Some people would choose the short stack of paperwork because it’s easier to complete. But what they have done is fallen behind on the important work- the big pile of paperwork.
This example, of course, is an idea, but it rings true to how many people fail at productivity. People are afraid of starting with the scary stuff first. They would instead do other work and tell themselves they’re being productive.
The truth is this: it’s not productivity. It’s procrastination.
Productivity is taking action, even when tasks are complex or scary. Productivity is the small steps we take that lead to success.
Without productivity, the chances of our success are slim to none.
RELATED: Beat Physician Burnout- My Signature Coaching Program
What Happens When There Is No Productivity
Our dreams, visions, and goals remain stagnant without productivity. We feel guilty and maybe shame because our thoughts collect dust. Sometimes fear is why we don’t take action, and it cripples us into this state of idleness.
Lack of productivity can lead to overwhelm and chronic stress. Life becomes chaotic when we don’t do anything productive to fix it and eventually, we burn out. Productivity is about finding balance. Without this balance, our lives become a magnet for chaos, productive or not.
So how can we avoid the stress, overwhelm, anxiety, depression, and everything else that comes when we aren’t productive in the right ways? Let’s discuss my 10 tips for staying productive!
How To Increase Productivity for 2022
Focus on important and urgent tasks
How do you become more focused? You need a system to keep track of what’s essential. Our priorities change at home and on the clock. If something is important but can wait until tomorrow, let it wait. It’s time to focus on what’s important and must be completed ASAP.
Otherwise known as deep work, batch work means assigning time to work on a specific project or related tasks. Batch work is much better than multitasking because our minds focus on the task at hand instead of being divided among smaller, unrelated charges.
Writing down our distractions and what we are feeling profoundly impacts our productivity. The words we write down reflect what’s really on our minds. If something is distracting you, write it down! You only need to jot it on paper so it can escape your mind. Nothing more is required.
I know. Many of you might be laughing at me right now. “A doctor? Rest? Ha!” But resting doesn’t always mean a 12-hour power nap. It means to stop, slow down, and let our minds rest. We shouldn't view rest as something that gets in the way of productivity. We owe it to our minds, peers, and patients to sit down and rest.
Automate and Delegate
What can you automate in your life so you no longer have to worry about it? Can you automate phone calls? Grocery shopping? Emails? Anything that can work on its own helps you immensely.
Likewise, delegate tasks to your peers. Do you have paperwork or data entry that can go to someone else? Don’t be afraid to hand your work over to a trusted colleague.
Plan for When Things Go Wrong
And they will! As doctors, we know that nothing happens as we plan. How can you prepare when things don’t work out as they should? The same applies to our personal lives. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Planning for when things go wrong will turn emergencies into inconveniences.
Don't Wait for Motivation
If you wait for motivation to strike, you won’t accomplish anything. Waiting for motivation is like waiting for a snowstorm in Hawaii. You may feel motivated some days, but most days, you won’t. More often than not, motivation comes after you start work.
Manage Your Energy
Complete your tasks when you are most energetic. If you’re a night owl, you’ll accomplish more in the evening than in the early morning. Know what time you work best and plan your deep work around that time.
Learn to Say No
I understand how difficult it is to say no. I also understand how liberating the word feels. Saying no is powerful. It’s not mean. Saying no shows people that you know how to prioritize.
Hire a Coach
Hiring a life coach elevates our lives to the next step. Research shows the benefits of coaching time and time again. We often see coaching in executive training, wellness, and relationships. Yet, coaching is widely underused in the physician community.
Physicians have a lot on their plate. We are conditioned to believe that we can handle it all by ourselves. But the truth is that eventually, we need to ask for help. The good news is that we aren’t alone! Coaching isn’t therapy, but it is a way to address work and life and see results in both areas.
RELATED: Yes, We Do Have To Talk About Our Feelings.
How Can I Be Productive Every Day?
Productivity is different for everyone. Some days are more productive than others. That’s okay! Apply a few of these tips to your life, and you will see results daily.
If you are struggling, consider talking to someone. You worked too hard for the career of your dreams. Don’t let burnout take that away from you.
Is it burnout or a rough patch? Take the Maslach Burnout Inventory Assessment to find out!
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