What IS a good day?
When did you last have a good day at work?
How do you decide if work is good? What measures do you use?
If you want to have a good day at work, you must define what a good day is, you have to set the parameters.
Why? If you don’t know the end goal, you run the risk of never reaching it.
Would you sign up for a race if you didn’t know how far it was or if the finish line kept moving?
Of course not, that sounds terrible. You would never know where you stand (other than frustrated and out of breath).
Changing dissatisfaction at work can be as easy as defining what a good day is and then remember that 70% is passing.
I know this may sound simplistic but stick with me.
What makes a workday good?
It’s tempting to think that your experience at work is out of your control. Shut that death-trap thought down. Of course, you have some control over your day.
Here’s what a good day looks like for me.
Getting to work on time and well rested.
Having my patients scheduled appropriately.
Working with a good medical assistant.
Bringing lunch, snacks, etc.
Being able to offer good care to my patients. Knowing what to do and how to effectively communicate it.
Getting out on time.
Getting a lunch break…and spending it with the other NP :)
Not having to deal with any administrative bullshit.
Not having a headache.
Minimal complaining from my coworkers.
This is just a quick list. I’m sure I could come up with more, but you get the idea.
Now to get to the “70% is passing” part AKA realistic expectations. We know how important it is to set realistic expectations with our patients but do we think about it for ourselves or do we adopt a more all-or-nothing approach.?
Let’s look at the list again, there are multiple ways to play this. There are 10 items on that list- so 70% could be achieved by completely eliminating 3 items OR it by having 70% success with each item. Of course, there are other permutations, but you get the idea.
Now some of the items may be more heavily weighted than others. For me, giving good care is definitely more heavily weighted than bringing lunch. That being said, I truly believe that no matter the circumstance, I have the opportunity to give good care.
This is because I have also defined what giving good care is. Giving good care is doing the best you can with the tools you have. Giving good care is focusing on the patient in front of you and doing the best that is possible in that situation with the current resources. Period. Giving good care is continuing to educate yourself so that you can find new and creative ways to help people. (Another good example of defining what is good.)
Ok back to defining your good day.
Some things on the list may be out of your control; the complaining of coworkers, administrative bullshit, which medical assistant you are working with. This is just a small obstacle. If we know these things are going to come up, how can we minimize the pain or disruption of them?
Start with reasonable expectations. Nothing has gone wrong if these things come up. Expect them and plan for them. This is why it’s called work.
How are you going to show up when they do happen? What can make you feel good?
You are literally a few thoughts away from
changing your whole experience.
Here are thoughts that may help (and they don’t even have to sound THAT positive).
I can deal with the administrative bullshit and stay calm. I’m not going to let it make me lose focus of why I am here.
I understand why my coworkers would be complaining, I am just not going there. (This is much more empowering than “they shouldn’t be complaining.”)
If you’re feeling bold: I am going to choose what I want to think about work. I understand why they are complaining but I am going to offer another viewpoint and stick to it.
I can do a great job no matter who I am working with OR I have the opportunity to try and help this MA see this job in a different way OR not everyone has the same capabilities, I am going to be patient.
And then, remind yourself that these difficult situations are only some of the components that contribute to your day. In the moment they may seem monumental. Look at the list of how you are measuring success and don’t forget to count the things that are going right.
Don’t forget the 70%!
It isn’t impossible to have a good day, just start by deciding what that means.
If good days seem totally impossible for you, reach out and I can help you get there.