Eight ways to energize when you?re the boss


Happiness at work is the single most accurate predictor of life expectancy ? more accurate even than whether you smoke or drink or are predisposed to heart disease.

Happiness at work is the single most accurate predictor of life expectancy more accurate even than whether you smoke or drink or are predisposed to heart disease.

If you enjoy what you do every day you will live longer. Makes you stop and think, doesnt it? Its not only more pleasant to enjoy what you do, and whom you do it with, but it will help you live longer as well.

Being a boss, manager, leader or practice owner is hard work and often stressful. Hearing employee complaints, dealing with staff training, turnover, hiring and firing or performance mistakes is frustrating and aggravating. It can be hard to stay focused on long-term goals, your vision for the practice or implementing programs when youre bombarded with all this stuff on a daily basis. What can you do to keep up your interest and enthusiasm?

Here are some simple tips that help keep me going:

1.) Plan to have fun. Kids get to have recess, adults should too. Have everyone bring in their high school yearbook picture. Post cartoons or inspiring quotes. Take the staff on a picnic or visit another practice. Have a potluck staff meeting lunch. Buy everyone new uniforms with puppies and kittens on them. What can you do to bring a little humor and playfulness to your practice?

2.) Volunteer. Anything you can do will not only help the world, it will also help you. Volunteers feel good about themselves. They have a sense of purpose, feel appreciated, and are less likely to be bored in their lives. Your local or state VMA, AVMA, AAHA, or your local humane society are all great places to volunteer that will also introduce you to like-minded colleagues. Of course there are also hundreds of other non-veterinary ways to volunteer as well.

3.) Have lunch with a colleague. You share the same stresses and frustrations, and it usually helps to vent when youve had a rough week.

4.) Think about the purpose and meaning of your life. Who do you want to be? What can you contribute? How are you not being your best self and what could you do to change that?

5.) Happy people let themselves be happy. Unhappy people continue doing things that upset them. Hate managing? Hire a manager!

6.) Get away for some great C.E. Nothing re-energizes better than learning something new or stretching your brain. Whether its the management conference at the AAHA annual meeting or a scientific program on lasers, physical therapy or pain management, I always come back from a conference fired up and ready to rock and roll (although this is not always greatly appreciated by my staff!)

7.) Be willing to change. If you limit yourself to what you knew and were comfortable with early in your life, you will become increasingly frustrated with your surroundings as you age. Go with the flow and enjoy the ride!

8.) Take care of yourself. People who exercise, whether that involves an intense workout or just a regular long walk, feel healthier, feel better about themselves, and enjoy life more. Get a good nights sleep. Eat right. You know you should, so just do it!

Reference: The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, by David Niven, Ph.D. HarperCollins, 2001


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