Are you buried? Or is it just me?
I am buried. The practice is booming. We are having unprecedented growth and we are gearing up for continued expansion. New staff is learning what it is like to be on the team, we are using a more balanced marketing strategy that is bringing in new patients from all over the place, and our new systems and processes are finally starting to come together but unveiling new issues. All good stuff - but hectic. On top of that, we are bringing out some new advancements for LeadershipOD. We are planning our first LeadershipOD CE conference, BluePrint is gaining ground as more and more practices are graduating and expanding the program. We are continuously looking for new ways to expand the services we offer to those wanting to gain a better handle on their practice for a reasonable cost. All good stuff - but frantic.
Not to mention that school started back in Georgia too. We have a new 10th grader and 7th grader in our house, and school starts 15 minutes earlier than it did last year. We are getting back in the groove, but seem to be having an extraordinarily hard time of it this year. Plus community organizations all seem to want to have a meeting right now. Three dinner time meetings this week.
All good stuff - but chaotic.
It may sound a lot like I am whining, because I am. But I know you feel the same way. If not at this moment, it is coming - again. All high achievers, like us, go through periods of time where we are trying to do too many things. There are only two ways to handle this situation:
- Try to do it all, and do it all poorly
- Decide what matters the most and do that
When I catch myself in these times, I feel like I am literally being buried by an avalanche or a rock slide. (I need you to use your imagination here.) I see myself standing at the bottom of a cliff, looking up at boulders, rocks and pebbles all falling on top of me. Each one is a task, something that I need to catch and take care of. My hands are already full of things I have already caught, and I am surrounded by the ones I have missed and they are stacking up around me. (I feel my heart rate going up as I type this.)
Traditionally, I keep looking up, catching and dropping rocks as fast as I can. I only see the rocks that have already hit me or are about to hit me. Since I am directly beneath the falling stones, they block what is above them. I have no choice but to deal with the things that are demanding my attention now. This is a tough place to be and I am not doing anything well. Eye exams are rushed, staff is not being coached, plans aren't getting made and (worst of all) kids are not being listened to describing the first days of school.
There is a Better Way
Now, as soon as I feel myself being stretched too thin, I step away from the cliff, get out from under the rocks that are falling. (Please try to use your imagination again.) By stepping away, I have changed my perspective of all the $#@*! falling down around me. Instead of just seeing the problems that are hitting me, I can see better what's coming. How long will this last? Anything coming later that needs attention now? What matters and what doesn't?
Now instead of trying to catch what hits me first, I can make decision about what to catch and handle and what I can let fall. The boulders I catch can be organized, planned and acted on.
Does this mean some things are going to be left undone? - Yep.
And we will talk about that soon enough .
Please join me while I take a step back, look at everything that's going on, pull out my Executive Summary from the BluePrint program and decide what I am going to get to work on. After all, the things I am whining about are the things that I love to do.
I am digging out and I hope you are too,