Back to School for Doctors
Hey, everybody, today we want to talk about going back to school for doctors and I don’t mean going back to studying the spine. I don’t mean anatomy and physiology. I’m talking about the motivation you had when you were growing up and you were in school and you were working through all these different processes and these to-do lists.
You see, here’s the problem. When you think about your day, when you think about your clinic day, your patient day, do you visualize your responsibilities? Do some of those responsibilities come to mind? When you imagine your day rolling out, right, do you have a good idea about what you’re going to be doing? Do you know the routines, the processes? Of course, you do. You do this each and every day. But when you get to the end of a patient day, have you ever arrived at the end of a treatment cycle or the end of your day and you’re sitting at home with your family, and you just go, well, I can look back and say another day’s done. We did good work today, but you didn’t actually have anything concrete to celebrate? Right, you didn’t have any new stuff to celebrate or that put a smile on your face? Well, that’s the first step towards burning out and if you think it’s happening to you, it’s happening at a greater level to your team because the rewards that you get for owning the practice and running the practice are elevated compared to the rewards that your staff usually gets and your team usually gets.
You see, most people are creative people, right? Entrepreneurs, chiropractors, we’re creative people. Even if we can focus on statistics, we’re still creative in our puzzle solving and the way we design patient care and as creative, right-brained people, I know I have been, and maybe you have been too, you’re a little bit susceptible to the shiny-new-thing syndrome. You’re going through the process, and you go, hey, what’s that? Or you’re going through this process, hey, what’s that? Maybe we should buy that.
Well, I know at least myself, I’m really great at thinking big and brainstorming lofty goals. But when it comes to our day to day, right, sometimes we can just be walking through the motions and this is where we begin to struggle and lose passion for running a practice or running our team or building something that scalable.
You see, over the years, I’ve developed some systems to keep myself in check: online to-do lists, the way we use our telephones for video, right, and reminders, learning to leverage our calendars. Well, throughout these years, I keep checking new systems, trying To do list, or Trello, or Mindbody, or whatever it is. Right? And these systems have helped me achieve a lotta things. Whether they’re businesses or consulting client organization, they’ve helped me to achieve great things.
One of my favorites though is one I want to talk about today, and that is setting tiny little goals that you can give yourself a gold star for. Yes, I said a tiny gold star. Okay, the goal is to win the day and have everyone on the staff have a goal for today, a tiny goal, not a great production goal, not a best ever goal. Just one thing they can put their mind on, and that’s what I want to get done today. This is the thing I’m going to give myself a gold star for.
Remember when you were a child in kindergarten or first grade? How happy did you get when you were given a gold star on your homework or for performance of some sort? You ran home and celebrated that and shared that with your brother and sister and your parents, whoever would listen. You were proud of getting that. And, yes, I’m talking about a literal gold star. Order them from staples.com or go down to wherever your office supply store is. Right? Get gold stars.
I buy myself and my kid the same type of foil stickers that kindergarten teachers have been using for decades to motivate the kids.
So somehow, when you have a daily win, a little gold star you can give yourself it celebrates your effort. It keeps your excitement and your passion high and you get to accumulate these each and every day. Just take ’em, stick ’em on the calendar. Did you hit your goal today? What you’re doing is you’re teaching yourself to win, and that is the most important thing that we can ever do.
So, use these for breaking a daily record on asking for referrals. Right? Or doing some recalls, I did my three recalls today. Or maybe, give yourself a gold star as practice owner for listening more than talking in your next meeting. You can use this gold star system for whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.
The trick is to keep your daily goal very small, so that skipping the task is psychologically more painful than just doing it. I try to tell myself, whatever my projects are, it’s 10 minutes a day working on those projects to move them a little bit forward. You see? Personally, I say, what can I do right now that will help me be just a little bit better at this skill than what I was doing yesterday? That’s what I want you to do and even if you have to get out of bed at night, get out of bed and go work on something for 10 minutes to earn that star.
I promise you, you’ll get into the habit of not wanting to miss that little tiny reward. It’ll be funny to you. Next time your wife brings you a cup of coffee, say, hey, thank you, and give her a gold star. She’ll roll her eyes in the back of her head, and she’ll think you’re an idiot a little bit but you’ll both smile and laugh.
Next time your staff brings you a report that’s fully filled out, that not only has the problem but has two or three potential solutions, give her a gold star for her work. It’s funny, and it will keep the lighthearted nature of running a business at the priority level, at the top-end level and you will have a great time.
So, try this with your team. Relive the joy of your youth, and most importantly, win the day. You win more days, you win more weeks, you win more months, you win more years. Start with winning the day.
My name’s Dr. George Birnbach. Go win the day. Bye-bye.