Your Life: The Sequel
Francine R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE
to know a good way to simplify your life and expand your horizons?
Go through your files and toss out at last half of them.
has been my task over the Memorial Day weekend, as my family and I get
ready to move (across town). What I dreaded was the onerous task
of cleaning up my office---and specifically going through file
cabinets that I knew harbored dead and decaying information, thoughts,
ideas and articles.
the task was made easier since I had spent quality time three years
ago with my organizational coach, Kathy
Paauw, in setting up an outstanding filing system. [See
previous Daring Doctors article, Creating
Work-Life Balance, Part II: Eliminating Clutter.
I highly recommend Kathy, and if you contact her, be sure to tell her
you are a "Daring Doctors" member for a special "get
organized" program for docs.]
years ago when I did my first major de-cluttering I noticed a big
thrust forward in my business. What I am noticing now just in
the past two days of pruning files is a refinement of my thinking.
are three lessons I learned in this process, which I propose could be
lessons for you as well, once you take on the challenge of simplifying
your files, your office, your life, your thinking.
#1: Trust that I will continue to create and
invent my own personal journey along a life "theme."
decided to trash copies of articles I wrote more than 2 years
ago--no matter how clever I thought I was at the time!
Even if the insights are relevant today, holding on seemed
like an obstacle to creative thinking in my here and now.
There is no need to cling to a path I thought was
"it" 5 years ago, or even 2 years ago! What is more
important to notice are the subtle "themes" that
have been consistent within my creations, projects, and
business relationships. For me, the themes that have
been constant are: big-time change, personal leadership,
and spiritually-based living.
#2: Solid ideas and principles are worth rereading and
revisiting over and over again.
I tossed tons of articles that were relevant for their time,
my file that is marked "strategic business
concepts" continues to fatten. It is no
surprise since I have retained copies for client use of a core
set of about 10 choice articles. The authors of these
pieces are some of the giants in business, philosophy and
spiritual thinking, with many of the articles dating back 15
to 20 years. [In a future Daring Doctors newsletter I will
share this list with readers.]
#3: If I didn't get it at the conference, I won't get it
my many files in the recycle bin now are notes and handouts
from numerous conferences I attended over the past three
years. I recall that the conferences were excellent and
the speakers, some of the best I've heard. However, I realized
that I already absorbed what I was going to absorb.
There are only a handful of strategies or tactics I can glean
from any one source, in one sitting--- much less incorporate
in a 6 month timeframe. I made a quick mental inventory
of the one pearl I retained AND integrated from each meeting,
conference or session, and then heaved the papers into the
encourage you to devote a day to cleaning out your office and files.
It's powerful way of pruning your professional life down to the
essentials that are most important and relevant to you; this way the
best parts of you can now grow unencumbered.
R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE is an executive coach and business
consultant. She is president of The Gaillour Group and director
of Creative Strategies in Physician Leadership. Dr. Gaillour is
a professional speaker on healthcare leadership, technology and
can be reached at (206) 686-4205