April 14, 2021
Let’s talk about Focus.
Academic medicine offers such a full platter of opportunities that veering off course becomes too easy – in fact, it’s sometimes seems like the default. A default that doesn’t serve anyone’s long term success or sanity.
On the other hand, we’re women of color in academic medicine…Juggling multiple things is our jam.
The problem is that we will often categorize ourselves (and others) as either a person who IS focused or a person who is NOT. Which is nonsense. Being focused is not a personality trait. We know this is true because we will experience specific times when we are dialed in and literally nothing can shake us. I *love* these times. And – we often operate waiting for this otherworldly focus to hit…like hoping for a day of nice weather or a quiet call week.
A lovely surprise? Yes. The way to plan and build a career? Nope.
We have to be able to choose focus and access it at will.
Recall when you were last hyper focused. Maybe you were working toward a grant application that you knew would be ideal. The deadline was less than two weeks away and guess who was the most focused they have been all year?
External deadlines are the brute force method for accessing focus. Quite effective, and usually painful.
We can do better.
Instead of accessing focus as a random lucky event, or the result of the pressure cooker of an unreasonable deadline, we access the focus that comes from *clarity.* An internal grounded source that can be used on any given day.
Focus – as an unlimited resource – becomes available to you when you are crystal clear on your long-term goals and why you are working towards them. So clear that they are etched into your bones. I’m talking about being so clear that the steps you need to accomplish to reach your goals are now enticing, instead of overwhelming. Sitting down to move inexorably toward your monthly goal, your 1-year milestones, and your 3-year vision is a pleasure. One that you are not about to give up to the BS of a chaotic micro-environment.
So no, the next email to land in your inbox does not have to knock you off track. Not when you’ve identified and mapped out *your* path to success.
I don’t want you sitting around waiting for focus. You deserve more.
Choose focus. Choose your work. Chose your path. Choose *you.*