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What's Everyone's Profession Part II What's Everyone's Biggest Challenge?

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  • #46
    I'm a veterinarian and small business owner in California. My biggest challenge is capturing all the "stuff" throughout the day and finding time to process them all at the end of the day. A lot of things collected today need to be processed and done the next day or two. So most of the time, I can't put things off to be dealt with at the weekly review.

    For instance, I see maybe 20 appointments in a day. Most of those patient exams become a project (some of them generate more than one projects). We do blood tests that will have results the following day; I'd need to call the client with the results and discuss treatment plans. Or a complicated medical case may require some research and consultation with specialists (that's at least a couple more projects there). All the while, during the day, my assistants would be fielding calls from clients; these messages generate more projects.

    I get overwhelmed with all these projects. Pre-GTD, I just muddle through and deal with whatever is in front of me. Of course, that means some clients may not be called back until later or only patients who are critical get attention --- more of the putting out fires approach. Now, I'm better at dealing with patients before they become critical but I have to constantly spend after office hours to process these actions to make sure they get done the next day (delegated to assistants). If I fall behind with the daily processing, I get buried.

    And that's only with the medicine side of things, never mind the business side of things (financial planning, remodeling, performance review, etc...).

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    • #47
      Originally posted by petdr
      I'm a veterinarian and small business owner in California. My biggest challenge is capturing all the "stuff" throughout the day and finding time to process them all at the end of the day. A lot of things collected today need to be processed and done the next day or two. So most of the time, I can't put things off to be dealt with at the weekly review.

      For instance, I see maybe 20 appointments in a day. Most of those patient exams become a project (some of them generate more than one projects). We do blood tests that will have results the following day; I'd need to call the client with the results and discuss treatment plans. Or a complicated medical case may require some research and consultation with specialists (that's at least a couple more projects there). All the while, during the day, my assistants would be fielding calls from clients; these messages generate more projects.

      I get overwhelmed with all these projects. Pre-GTD, I just muddle through and deal with whatever is in front of me. Of course, that means some clients may not be called back until later or only patients who are critical get attention --- more of the putting out fires approach. Now, I'm better at dealing with patients before they become critical but I have to constantly spend after office hours to process these actions to make sure they get done the next day (delegated to assistants). If I fall behind with the daily processing, I get buried.

      And that's only with the medicine side of things, never mind the business side of things (financial planning, remodeling, performance review, etc...).
      I am too am a veterinarian and small buisness owner, but I am also one of the specialists that are consulted by primary care vets in my area and via telemedicine. My project lists are way out of control. I second your feelings of being "overwhelmed". If someone could provide some suggestions on how to manage the multitude of mini-projects that each case presents that would be extremely helpful.
      Thanks!

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      • #48
        re Everyone's Profession

        I am a physician, a pathologist, at a busy cancer hospital. I look at peoples' biopsies and give their other docs the news about what the biopsy shows.

        Biggest challenge is probably interruptions; everyone needs my opinion now on so many things. Second is just the amount of work many days; the input keeps coming in, but getting to the lists to actually DO something other than the day's work is often impossible.

        Ah, another challenge, home. Of course there's things that have to be done to keep the household going: chores, pay bills, fix clogged drain pipes outside, clean gutters, etc.

        Another challenge for me is thinking that once it's processed on to a list, then somehow I've accomplished something and can relax. Lists grow real fast that way!

        Jim

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        • #49
          I am a chemical engineer, employed as a Process Planner for a sewage treatment plant company.

          Challenges
          - taken on too much at work, home (hubby is injured so I do everything), am in 3 different community groups, have a son to look after, and rarely have time for myself.
          - weekly reviews, I've hardly ever done because I can't get inbox to zero, and they take too long and are boring.
          - emotional issues. There's work I wanted to get when I started my job 3 years ago, the boss gave it to another who started the same day. I got depressed for 1.5 years watching her do it poorly, then I got the work when she took maternity leave but I'm still upset about it and can't seem to forgive my boss. And yes of course he knew I wanted the work.
          - stressed about the volume of work to do at work and home. Had a bad day yesterday, too many talks with the boss, I couldn't stop myself crying in front of him. How mortifying!
          - bored by my work. Some of it's great, but there's way too much time on the computer and not enough time in the field. Lot's of boring stuff to do.
          - still refining my setup of GTD a year after starting. No wonder DA said it takes 2 years, I keep tweaking and changing mine. It is getting better and better, but still no where near 'mind like water'.
          - still challenged by how to think creatively and analytically in a way that is up to the same level as my boss. I hate that he seems smarter than me!
          - hiding my emotions. I hate that people can tell I'm stressed and unhappy. Wish I could hide it. There's no one at work that I trust enough to talk about it. When my boss made me talk to him about it yesterday he kept saying 'you shouldn't feel like that, there's no reason for you to feel like that'. The only thing worse than feeling upset is having a man tell you that you shouldn't feel that way.

          Comment


          • #50
            Hi Suelin,

            Your description of your life has a lot of similarities with mine, though I don't have any children. You may not be aware, but you meet the definition of a "well spouse" - if you'd like to meet an online community of other people who understand what it is like doing everything at home because your husband can't while trying to hold down a job and look after the kids, then have a look at http://www.wellspouse.org/ The forum is very supportive, and is the one place I've found I can talk about my stresses and unhappiness because everyone else has been there too!

            Or if you'd like to chat e-mail me as another well spouse GTD'er, please send me a pm

            best wishes

            Ruth

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            • #51
              Thanks Ruth, it's nice to know I'm not the only one. It's not always bad, I seem to go in bursts of catching up and feeling good and falling behind and feeling stressed. So how I feel can be very variable.

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              • #52
                That sounds like me too! At the moment I'm on a downer as I start 2 weeks leave after tomorrow, and I've got badly backlogged client paperwork glaring at me from every corner of the office. We moved house 2 weeks ago and I've only got half the boxes emptied - hopefully I'll spend part of my holiday sorting the house out.

                Ruth

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                • #53
                  My challenge is not doing the weekly review. I don't have time doing it during the day at work and I don't want to kill half a day at the weekend. I know that I have to do it however in order to make the whole thing work. I have recently moved to paper which I hope will keep me more engaged with my system. That was also a challenge when using software to track all my projects and tasks, though it definitely has it's advantages.

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                  • #54
                    my challenge

                    My challenge is collecting so much input that I am perpetually in the Process & Organize loop.

                    For a profession, my business partner and I run a small firm that deals with dispute resolution and negotiations. Recently we merged two independent businesses into one, and so have that "startup buzz" again.

                    Unfortunately, the profession and challenge feed each other. There is so much information that is useful at work and so many ideas that I do not want to lose, that I can spend all day just sorting the ideas. This process can interfere with making progress quickly enough.

                    I have not yet found a solution.

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