These are two completely separate topics, but it dawned on me yesterday that while I am good at delegation in the clinical realm (this took me time, but I got there! I am lucky to work with a fantastic medical assistant) and at home (our nanny), I am not a great delegator in my GME role.
And I need to be!
I do think there is a fine line. Sometimes I see people delegate . . . too much. There’s really no standard here. I am sure that men tend to delegate more than women. Here are examples of tasks that I did/am doing by myself, recently:
- Send out electronic invitations for a mentor gathering
- Print out handouts for a recent faculty meeting
- Schedule and reschedule my residents for quarterly meetings with me and/or our APD (though this was a joint effort)
- Write, print, and scan a ‘letter of good standing’ for one of our residents
None of these actions take that long (well actually, the electronic invite one is kind of annoying). But when you have many of them they add up and take away from the deeper work I need to be doing — connection directly with faculty, keeping up with the most recent ACGME guidelines, etc. I think my hesitancy to outsource here has been related to having an interim program coordinator, but I also think it’s a confidence issue. Like I don’t want to seem too entitled or bossy or . . . something.
Since we are currently hiring for this position, I am going to try my best to help train the new coordinator really really well (and treat her really really well!), and I hope she will encourage me to delegate if I am not doing so on my own!
On a totally unrelated note, I am reading Atomic Habits and MY GOD, it’s a great book on habits. Seriously. If you are at all interested in habits (and really, everyone should be, habits are a big part of life) — read this book.
For fun and my own personal development, here is a list of habits that I am happy to have . . . and habits I would like to break!
Some habits I am happy to have developed:
✔︎ Flossing. For over a YEAR now, every single day except for 2-3 days total when I couldn’t find floss or we ran out. This habit took me approximately 15 years to develop but now feels truly instinctual, so it gives me hope for many others.
✔︎ Drinking coffee. This may be my oldest and strongest habit, circa ~1995 (I learned quickly that it helped me not sleep through 10th grade math). My more modern variation of this habit is setting the pot up the night before (circa 2018). While the coffee-drinking itself isn’t necessarily that virtuous, having it brewed the night before is a perfect habit-stacking mechanism for me. While I drink my coffee, I read, plan, and often write here.
✔︎ Posting here. Okay, maybe not daily, but clearly I’ve done enough writing in this space over the years that it’s a habit. This one speaks to “pick habits that suit you and you’ll follow them.” I enjoy this habit a great deal, so it’s likely to have significant longevity.
✔︎ Exercise. Definitely a habit for me. Usually stacked with reading, blogging, and coffee. I find it much harder to exercise later in the day (though sometimes I manage to crank it out). Strength training was a much harder habit for me to build than running (which is attractive for its post-run endorphin rush), but I feel after >1 year of consistent Beachbody workouts I can say I have built this habit.
✔︎ Hugging the kids in the morning. It’s pretty instinctual but I love to hug them when they come downstairs (G I hug standing up when I get her out of the crib, though she doesn’t let me linger long b/c she’s such a busybody). I guess I should probably expand this to hug my husband. Sorry Josh! Will work on it.
✔︎ Tracking various things including expenditures, health, nutrition, workouts. It’s instinctual for me to go right to strava and record a workout right after it’s done — I just love the ‘gold star’ feeling I get when I do it!
✔︎ Daily planning. I’m great at laying out my day, typically in the morning (theme: I am better at habits, in general, in the morning!).
✔︎ Skincare. This one is in progress, but so far so good!
Habits I would love to build or shed someday
✘ Haphazard phone use, particularly around the kids. It would be better for me to just consistently DOCK THAT THING, particularly between ~5:30p – 8:30p. What could I miss?
✘ Randomly checking in on email throughout the day. Ugh! I know I would be able to focus better if I could just remember to leave that outlook window CLOSED until predetermined times. And same with my gmail, really. All the task switching is terrible and I hate it . . . and yet I do it!
✘ I bite my nails! It’s so terrible. I don’t bite them down to the quick or anything, but they are not very pretty.
✘ Having a consistent weekly review process (probably on Fridays). I have a great process; I just do it fairly haphazardly and some weeks I (gasp!) skip it and pay a price.
✘ I would like to work farther ahead on some things. Things like podcast prep & presentations at work. These ‘deep work hard things’ often get pushed until they meet both the important AND urgent criteria, which is stressful (though admittedly effective).
Obviously this isn’t a complete list, but it’s plenty! Please feel free to share inspiring habit stories!!
PIX from our day off yesterday (it was Yom Kippur and the kids were off. We didn’t really celebrate the holiday, which was fine with me, but had some nice times. Our nanny was here so I had a good amount of relaxation/productive time, too. Which I needed.)