Working in an understaffed service


Hello, I’ve been working on the last month on how to manage in my current situation, working in an understaffed clinic. Hopefully things will change but for the time being my main priority is self care and stress management. I’ve used my weekly coaching calls for this as well as ‘Ask Coaches’ and already there are some really positive changes I’ve noticed.

The most positive change I’ve implemented – and this may be useful to other Scholars too – is to notice when I physically ‘speed up / talk more quickly’ (because of stress and the thought ‘I’m behind in my work’). Whenever I catch myself doing that, I physically slow my walking down, and my speaking, and use a visualisation of something very calming which I discussed in my weekly coaching slot. It really helps, particularly the physical slowing down.

I still though struggle significantly with my thoughts about ‘being behind’ and my calendar. Can I have some help on today’s models on this? As I just need to keep chipping away at the problem.

Model on Unintentional Thought:
C: my work calendar and tasks, team understaffed (6 colleagues left, posts unfilled)
T: Not sure how I’ll fit in all my work. I’m always behind these days which I constantly have on my mind.
F: panicked
A: avoid properly scheduling everything on my calendar
keep adding things to google calendar + my little notebook + my general list on computer & then don’t fully follow my daily and weekly rituals of scheduling them. They remain unscheduled
this is because of telling myself: ‘I can’t fit it all in’ and becoming convinced of this
sometimes become frozen in inaction
sometimes I work on random tasks that occur to me despite my Monday Hour One routine because of this sense of panic
R: I create a situation where indeed I don’t fit in my work

Model on Intentional Thought (start from Result)
C: my work calendar and tasks, team understaffed (6 colleagues left, posts unfilled)
T: as there is a real problem (not in my mind) with understaffing, I have to take much more time to plan and prioritise
F: determined
A: plan: make a list of every single thing I have to do for work, even though it’s the middle of the week, prioritise and then fit it in, even if over 2-3 weeks
Eliminate tasks that don’t take priority as at the moment only important tasks should be done
Then don’t offer clinical appointments when I’ve planned admin & other tasks as I will end up again not having time to do it all: be ruthless
R: I fit in my work