Have you ever had so much stuff you had to get done that the thought of it all just paralyzed you to do anything? Ya… This is an interesting phenomenon… Not only is it prevalent when starting and operating a practice, but it happens even in your personal life when juggling family, work, hobbies, etc.… You just have SO MANY things to do, that the thought of doing it all just paralyzes your ability to take action and get it done. I call this overload paralysis. It is similar to analysis paralysis.
I recently had this happen to me as I open my second men’s health practice. Not only am I starting a new practice, but I am also finishing up the women’s health course, writing articles for Elite NP, seeing patients at the urgent care, seeing patients at my men’s health and cannabis practices, buying a new house, managing my rental properties, and so forth.
Last week, I sat down to start knocking out a long list of items I needed to get done and I just sat there… staring at my computer screen… blank minded… unable to get started. I began screaming to myself in my head “DUDE! Get your shit done… you have so many things that need to get done! You have a new practice opening in 2-4 weeks! You have to get this new course released! You have articles to write! What are you doing just sitting there!”
I had so many things I needed to get done, that it overwhelmed my mind. It literally fried my brain out. So many thoughts and tasks were racing through my head, that it over shocked my system, causing it to stop functioning. I became paralyzed to take action.
It is just like when lighting strikes your house. The electricity over surges your electrical system and burns out your electronics. Everything turns off. The only saving grace you can have are your surge protectors.
You need to have “surge protectors” within your mind! What do I mean by this? You need to develop ways to prevent overload. Everyone’s threshold is different. Some people can take on a lot more stress than others, it just depends how you are wired.
So, what is the best “surge protector” you can have to prevent this overload? Focusing on one task at a time. It is amazing how well you are able to scale down the overload by simply completing just ONE task of the many that are overwhelming your mind.
How did I break out of the overload paralysis last week? I tackled the easiest tasks I had to get done first. I called Comcast to get business internet turned on at my new practice. I then called the electric company to get services started. I spoke to my web developer to get the second website going and so forth.
I started knocking out small tasks that were clouding my mind from accomplishing the bigger, more important tasks. This is the key to overcoming overload paralysis.
The human brain can only do so much. It doesn’t matter how important the task that needs to be completed is. If you have dozens of smaller tasks and one important task, your brain will become overloaded. So, the most logical solution is to knock out a handful of small tasks to free your brain.
You must have a clear mind to finish important work. It is very hard to complete important work when your brain is stressed out by the amount of work it needs to accomplish.
How can you develop a solid marketing campaign in your practice when you are also worried about turning on utilities, hiring employees, getting your EMR setup, etc.? You can’t! You have to be clear headed to do your best work.
As a practice owner, you need to be focusing on income generating work, not busy work! Unfortunately, busy work is part of starting a practice (like turning on utilities), therefore, you need to knock out that busy work FIRST before really focusing on the important work. If you try to focus on the important work first, those other small tasks could contribute to developing overload paralysis. How can you develop a marketing campaign for your practice that has no electricity?
Another great “surge protector” is simply not taking on extra work. You can only do so much… This is a hard lesson that I am still learning. Taking on more work and projects will not increase your success. If anything, it will slow it down or even cause you to fail.
You must FOCUS on the task at hand, that being anything from marketing, developing relationships with other practices, learning new skills, building your website, etc.
You need to FOCUS on one business at a time. If you neglect one business, then that business could fail.
You need to FOCUS on one service line at a time. If you half ass a new service line in your practice, it will never be as fruitful as it COULD be.
A hard lesson many of us need to learn or have learned, is learning to just say “no.”
Is your supervisor wanting you to pick up an extra shift right in the middle of starting a new side practice? You probably should say “no.” If you do not, you could succumb to overload paralysis.
As you begin your entrepreneurial journey or begin to scale your current practice, try your best to prevent overload paralysis and analysis paralysis. Try to stay ahead of work before you get behind. This is the number one way to prevent overload analysis from even beginning in the first place. When, not if, overload paralysis hits you, simply start knocking out the easy and quick tasks first, free up your mind, and then get the important tasks completed.
It is amazing how stress reducing it is once you start checking off items that you need to complete. This is important for the health of your practice, and for the health of your mind!
I really needed this blog today. I feel the same way between work, school,being a mother, and trying to start up my practice. I felt paralyzed today and felt like giving up. Thank you for your honesty it real put my issue into prespective.
Latisa, you are not alone! I think what really can help us entrepreneurs is to know that we are not alone in pursuing our dreams. Keep your head up and keep going. DO NOT GIVE UP! That will be one of the biggest regrets in your life.
This was a much-needed article to read.
I am happy that it helped you!
This is exactly where I am right now. My head is so full and I feel stuck. I don’t know where to start. I am trying to grow my business but I am still not clear on my Niche. I am involved in 2 coaching courses to help me build my practice and I find myself not moving forward. Meanwhile I am making my boss money. Do find that a brain dump or the long To do list helpful in strategizing and prioritizing?
Hi Cris, it sounds like maybe the coaching classes could be confusing you or adding more to your plate. Sometimes you need to just step back and look at whats important and what is not. The “to do list” is important for prioritizing what you need to do, but honestly, that list NEVER ends when you are running your own business, it just doesn’t. What is important is to knock out the things clouding your mind that are EASY and FAST to finish, and then what happens is that you will find the mental capacity to get the work done that truly matters in business: MARKETING mostly.
I can relate. Just started my practice part time/add insurance, doing my own credentialing and billing through the EMR and work part time with an urgent care. I was just telling one of my colleagues that I felt like a dog repeatedly trying to catch its tail.
Although mother’s have been doing this multitasking for years.
Great advise though..soaking it up. Kudos that you still have time for this site.
Jeez, you have A LOT on your plate… Especially with juggling the insurance game. I wish you luck with getting it all done. Don’t chase your tail for long, or you will go crazy.
This is what I needed to hear! I tend to put many things on my plate and unable to complete things . Thank you for putting things into perspective!
You are welcome! Sometimes we need to learn how to just say “no” to more “things” in our life… It will only hurt you.