Read my career planning for doctors's blog
Are you procrastinating about anything? The chances are that you are. We all do it
I have a small pile of rotting vegetables near my back door that needs to go onto the compost heap - yet I put off doing it ( psychoanalyse that one if you dare!) and I am not entirely sure why.
This particular procrastination doesn’t have any immediately severe consequences ( mild odour when open back door - possibly of attracting rats or other animals perhaps) . However when procrastination is applied to some areas of life - there are major consequences.
I recently saw a doctor who had never enjoyed medicine
From joining as a medical student to a recent resignation from GP registrar training.
Representing over ten years of not feeling on the right track
Not having a sense of working towards something that was inspiring
Feeling as if the career was a complete treadmill and / or a ball and chain
Trying to do as little as possible and scraping by
With the resultant low performance, low self esteem, low mood and lost confidence that goes with the above cycle.
All this in the face of a bright and talented person underneath the mask and cloud of disillusionment. Awareness of these issues had festered beneath the surface for years and a sense of guilt for “not fitting in “ also pervaded.
The default approach that emerged over the years - one that was on retrospect dysfunctional yet also understandable - was one of chronic and very resistant procrastination. Put off dealing with it.
This is an extreme example of course but it demonstrates what invariably happens if a person does not feel well matched in their career and then takes no action.
One has to ask why this doctor did not take action sooner?
The answer to that question is surprisingly complex and I could write several articles on the reasons why doctors don’t address their career concerns . The deep reasons behind each person’s procrastination are different.
The main point I'd like to get across is that procrastination about ones career can be overcome. It is not a quick fix mind! But there are ways of encouraging a person to limit or even cease procrastination.
Now where is that compost bin?