When it comes to developing healthy habits, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. However, certain habits are particularly effective when working as a physician. These are what we refer to as high-performance habits.
Being a physician is one of the most challenging jobs out there. I know this because I am one. It takes many years of schooling to become a physician. But, it takes even more than that. It takes dedication, determination, and constant effort to maintain the high standards set by the medical profession.
So, why is this important?
Developing high-performance habits can help you in all areas of your life. From your relationships to your professional success, healthy habits are the key to achieving your goals and reaching your potential.
Brendon Burchard is a world-renowned speaker, coach, and author who has dedicated his life to helping people achieve their highest potential. He is the founder of High Performance Academy, and he identified six high-performance habits. Then, I added the seventh high-performing habit, which I will mention last.
1. Seek clarity. As a physician, clarity is essential. You are constantly faced with potentially life-threatening situations and must be able to maintain a calm face and demeanor. Patients need your strength to guide them through difficult times. However, there are times when showing emotions is acceptable and your patients may appreciate your humanity. For example, when a patient is diagnosed with a terminal illness, you may need to show empathy and compassion. In these cases, being clear and concise is essential, but so is being human. Your patients need to know that you understand their situation and care about them as a person, not just a patient.
Clarity gives you a sense of purpose. When you know what you want out of life, you are less likely to feel anxious or stressed about the future. You can live each day with intention and purpose, which is a compelling thing.
2. Generate energy. As a high-performing physician, generating energy is key to success. High performers know how to recharge their batteries, whether through exercise, eating a nutritious diet, or winding down at the end of the day. But why is generating energy so important?
In medical school and residency, you might have heard people brag about how long they have been awake or last used the bathroom. In the long term, this isn’t healthy, and high-performing doctors make choices to keep their energy up—including sleep. When you are well-rested, you can think more clearly, make better decisions, and have more stamina.
3. Raise necessity. We all know high performers who always seem to be on their game. They meet their deadlines, live a life of service, and always seem focused and positive. But what is the secret to their success? One crucial factor is that they have a strong sense of necessity. In other words, they are emotionally committed to excellence. They know why they are doing what they are doing, and this gives them the motivation to keep going even when things get tough. When negative thoughts pop up, they can manage their emotions and stay top of their game. As a result, they can achieve great things. So if you want to be a high performer, make sure you have a strong sense of necessity. It will make all the difference in your ability to succeed.
4. Increase productivity. High-performing individuals usually have one thing in common: they are highly productive. They know how to prioritize their time and work on what is most important. Individuals who are not successful tend to avoid specific tasks, even though they know it needs to get done, but because they find it challenging or uncomfortable, they don’t prioritize. To increase productivity, they are mindful of things that waste time and actively work on eliminating distractions. They pay attention to what they’re doing and enjoy their day. This single habit can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
5. Develop influence. High-performing individuals develop power by caring for others and challenging them to grow. These individuals often act as role models, guides, and mentors, helping those around them to develop a more positive mindset and reach their full potential. Pursuing excellence in all areas of life, they set the tone for those around them and inspire others to strive for greatness. Their genuine care for others, coupled with their consistent pursuit of self-improvement, sets them apart and allows them to develop the trust and respect of those around them. As a result, they can exert a considerable influence over those in their orbit, inspiring them to reach new levels of success.
6. Demonstrate courage. Physicians who demonstrate courage are often the most successful in their careers. They understand that being afraid is part of life, but they also know they can face their fears and conquer them. They have confidence in their abilities to respond to challenges, and they are comfortable with being uncomfortable. These physicians are also willing to take well-calculated risks. This allows them to achieve their goals and provide the best care possible for their patients. Courageous physicians are an inspiration to us all, and they remind us that we can achieve anything we set our minds to.
7. Accountability. The seventh, performance habit, not listed by Brendon Burchard, is a habit that I found was instrumental in helping me get to the next level. Most people understand the importance of accountability in achieving success. Whether in our personal lives or our professional careers, we all need someone to hold us accountable and push us to do our best.
As a high-performing physician, accountability is essential to your success. You know that you need to have systems and people to keep you on track to achieve your goals. Without accountability, it’s too easy to get sidetracked and lose focus. That’s why you surround yourself with people who will challenge you and hold you accountable. With this support system in place, you can stay focused and reach your goals.
So, if you’re ready to start making things happen, incorporate these seven habits into your daily routine.
Tomi Mitchell is a family physician and founder, Dr. Tomi Mitchell Holistic Wellness Strategies. She can be reached on Twitter @DrTomiMitchell, Facebook, Pinterest, and Clubhouse.
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