By Cindy Stephens
It is so easy to lose focus and motivation, especially when there are so many demands placed on healthcare technology management (HTM) professionals today. It is especially hard to stay motivated when the day is filled up quickly with more distractions than just completing the normal day-to-day requirements of the job.
Productivity expectations are very high, and often the workload increases due to staffing shortages which quickly disrupts the planned objectives you started with that day. As you struggle to keep up with the myriad of daily tasks and challenges, it can drain your energy and you may begin to feel overwhelmed. Soon the best intentions you had at the beginning of the day or week are completely derailed. Feeling discouraged and frustrated often leads to procrastination and it is natural to lose focus and motivation.
Most of us begin each year with clear goals and the steps needed to accomplish them. It is a great strategy to review these goals throughout the year to ensure you have a clear plan – updating the goals and steps as the year progresses. However, even the best laid plans and great intentions quickly get sidetracked by disruptions.
Rather than becoming frustrated or discouraged, it is important to remain positive and motivated to work through the challenges. Sometimes that means taking a break to get a grip on reality and what is going on around you. Step back and remain flexible. Adjust your plan and stay focused on what is important. Realign your plan for the day and take control of your daily routines and responsibilities.
It is also important to maintain daily “to-do” lists and schedules that are realistic and achievable in the time frame allotted for each task. Revise it to meet the specific demands and requirements for that day or week. Priorities change and you should allow time at the end of the day to plan and prioritize your schedule and to-do list for the next day and week, allowing for revisions as needed.
One way to remain motivated and focused is to clear away the clutter. Clutter and disorganization create stress in our lives, and sometimes we spend too much time looking for important information.
Distractions are normal for everyone. While you cannot remove all distractions, you can eliminate those pointless disruptions that are interfering with your productivity. Do not waste time at work on non-productive activities. Make a list of those people and interruptions that drain your energy and time – and do something about it. Re-organize tasks that are necessary but not important, or set time aside after work hours to handle anything not work related.
Personal interruptions can drain your time, focus and energy during your day if you allow it. If you find yourself receiving personal calls and texts from family and friends during the workday, make an effort to ignore them until you have a break or after work hours. Don’t allow unnecessary interruptions that will distract you from the critical tasks that you must achieve during your day. These interruptions can impede success to your overall goals and your career if it continues to impact your job performance.
Co-workers can interrupt your focus as well, conversing about their personal issues or complaining about irrelevant issues that decreases productivity. Although management should take care of repeated time-wasters, it is important that you ignore them and continue to work diligently on the important tasks at hand. It may not be easy, but avoid involvement in these types of distractions.
Today’s technology allows non-work-related distractions for many employees who use work hours for personal online shopping, games, social media, etc. Do not fall into this trap and avoid it at all costs. Using work time and resources to access the Internet for personal purposes interferes with the overall productivity and effectiveness of employees and many people have been fired over it.
It is important to balance your personal life and work. Taking time for family, friends and outside interests helps us to maintain our sanity via a well-balanced lifestyle. However, a healthy life includes some down time. That includes turning off your phone and electronics to ensure you are totally relaxing, not allowing electronic interruption of your personal time off.
Although it is important to have set goals and steps to achieve them, flexibility is critical in remaining focused. Do not let obstacles throw you completely off course. Stay committed, focused and motivated to move forward to accomplish your goals for a successful career.
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