Mary Ann Kraus
Mary Ann Kraus
What doors do you want to open?
Write this down. Get clear. Think big.
Can’t close the doors? Let’s talk.
It easy to become a victim to circumstances be it your medical practice, the demands of your patients, or family members. Here our four basic skills that I assist private practitioners to institute into their lives, and into their medical practice.
Your practice isn’t making you crazy, you are making you crazy. The first step in changing anything in your life it to take responsibility for the choices you are making. Start using language that indicates you are in charge and empowered to make changes in your practice. If your schedule is crowded then choose to make some decision around how your patients are scheduled. Set clear limits with your staff about when, and where clients can and cannot be scheduled. Create a clear picture of the practice that you want to have, then begin to implement that design one step at a time.
This suggestion often startles physicians and busy medical practitioners. It is like speaking a foreign language to them. It has been so long since you slowed down, you no longer know what that looks like. Slowing down is about coming into the present moment and being fully aware of what needs to be done now, before going to next. It also means taking time to evaluate how you are managing things or how you are allowing your time to be managed for you.
You are getting the perfect outcome for the system that you have in place. What systems are not creating the outcome you want? Are you not creating enough income? What is your system for creating income? Where is it working? Where is it not working? Are you creating enough new patients? Are you retaining patients? Are you and your staff billing for everything that you are doing? What about your fixed costs? Could those be reduced? Insurance premiums? Supplies? Customer service? Time management?
Are you utilizing your team? You cannot do everything even if you think you can. Have your attorney, accountant, billing system, life coach, support staff support you in stream-lining and creating effective systems for your practice. Utilize these individuals and their expertise when making decisions for your business. You pay them to support you. Granted you must make the final decision, however your team can make decision making easier and smoother.
Utilizing these four tips you can take the insanity out of your practice. Take ownership, slow down, utilize your team, and analyze your systems to create a smoothly operating practice that you enjoy showing up for day after day.
Doctors are amazing human beings. Highly intelligent, motivated, service oriented, empathetic, and caring individuals that help others. Individuals that choose to become doctors, and then withstand the rigors to become one, seem too many of us to be super human, invincible. Yet, as we know doctors and medical professionals are all too human, and like most individuals over-time, stress, lack of self-care, and lack of support can impact functioning and not for the better. Life balance seems an impossible dream.
One of the hardest things I have found for many professionals and especially doctors to do is to consider the benefits of slowing down. By learning to slow down they can often accomplish more. Although counter intuitive it is true that if we slow down to the present moment and focus, we than begin to function at the speed of life. In slowing down we come present to what is important in this moment, and then determine what is to be next.
Doctors are in a unique position that if they are deemed human, then their expertise and advice might not be taken as valid or reliable. They might be questioned not only by patients, but by their own staff, colleagues, and management. Confidentiality is paramount for medical professionals, and often difficult to find today where electronic medical records make documentation more accessible to colleagues, despite HIPPA and standard ethical practices. For medical professionals even family and friends may be unreliable confidantes.
Meeting the demands of work, patients, staff, spouse, children, and parents can take its’ toll on medical professionals. Finding a balance in the work and home arenas while caring for oneself becomes an ongoing juggling act of responsibility.
If you are a doctor or medical professional consider these questions:
When was last time you…
Had a meal with your family?
Ate three balanced meals in a day?
Went on a vacation?
Turned off your cell phone and computer for more than a couple hours?
Made love to your partner?
Meditated, took a deep breath, took a walk, went to the park, watched your child play a sport, or went to their recital?
Had a meaningful conversation with a family member?
You didn’t work late?
You didn’t take work home with you?
Put yourself first?
You had fun?
Don’t remember? Maybe it is time to slow down to the speed of life, and find out what you are missing. Those may just be the things you value most.
Desire life balance? Let’s talk.
Every morning I laugh as my beautiful yearling filly, Desiree terrorizes herself. She is positive that there must be something of interest for her in the manure bucket! Her head goes into the big black tub, she shoves the plastic fork around, and pulls at the bucket until something tips over, and she scares herself. Off she runs frightened by her own self, and I laugh, thinking that is so silly that she keeps creating anxiety for herself. However, I do the same thing. I terrorize myself with thoughts of doom and gloom! What if…? Is one of my favorite anxiety mantras, and of course the “What ifs…” are too often not the positive kind. I end up terrorizing myself, and then dealing with the fear and anxiety I have managed to self-create. Not really the best life plan!
I would love to live like a river flows
Carried by the surprise
Of its’ own unfolding.
I love metaphors, and the quote above speaks to me. As much as I have worked to create the life I want there is still the surprise of how life unfolds, of the opportunities that present themselves to me, as I flow down this river of my life. The doors that open, and the ones that close. The wonderful people I have met. The teachers (metaphoric) I have encountered (not always wonderful, but necessary for my own growth). I have been astounded by the love and generosity of people throughout my life both in times of hardship and of success.
The river of life of my life has been periodically exciting, slow, tumultuous, and challenging as it has unfolded before me. There were times sitting on the shore made sense, and other times when paddling down the raging rapids felt like exactly the right thing to do. I would like to tell you that I have always made the best choice but all I know is that I have chosen, as the river of my life has unfolded, and there have been discoveries, lessons, wonders, and surprises along the way, never a dull and boring ride!
I have had moments when I wondered if climbing out of the river would be a good idea. Setting up camp, and just watching the river go by, and never wondering what is around the next bend. Yet I continue to choose to ride the river of life, to be surprised by its’ unfolding.
Are you sitting on the side of the river? Floating along at the river’s pace? Are you staying afloat through the rapids? Paddling against the current? Racing to get to the end? Whatever you are choosing, become aware of the surprises as the river unfolds. Be present to the gifts, the river brings you, enriching the moments of your life as it flows out before you.
Needing a life coach and wanting a life coach are two very different things. Everyone needs a life coach, only the wisest hire a coach. Wanting a life coach is about wanting to create a life that is better than the one that you have, and being willing to stretch yourself a little bit each day. Leaping tall buildings isn’t necessary, although you often find your super power while being coached.
So, you want a life coach? Good for you. Now who do you hire? This is the hard part, believe it or not, because becoming a life coach is easy. How do you become one? You start calling yourself one. A low bar to entry plagues the profession. However, not all life coaches are created equal! So here are some tips for hiring a life coach.