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Keep It Simple

by Dr. Stewart Bitkoff

When life becomes confusing and over whelming, there is a management technique I use that has been very helpful.
I learned this technique while working at the psychiatric hospital and we were getting reading for our routine four year inspection by The Joint Commission; during our leadership meetings one of our Directors offered a personal leadership technique that has stayed with me. He said, every day when he comes to work, he has 4 things/goals that he works on and these will help prepare us for the inspection. Although there were thousands of regulations that had to be met, we need to keep it simple and focus on 4 areas; we don’t have to think about or work on anything else. These included: taking action to improve patient living areas; improving patient medical records, improving patient programming, and improving evaluative techniques to raise operational standards. Daily, he did something in each of these areas and wanted each of us as managers to do the same; and similarly have our staff do something in each area and eventually we would get the job done. 

By keeping it workable we did very well on this inspection; simply by asking ourselves, and taking necessary action, what we could do to improve things in each of 4 areas, daily.

Over the years, I have modified this technique a bit depending upon how I am feeling. So on those days when I really need to get-it-together, because the haze has settled in, I ask myself, what one thing I am going to do to make things better for myself or others. I make a goal list and work on these things. I intentionally keep the list short, so my task is not over whelming; crossing off targeted areas when accomplished. Also, as the day progresses, I am free to add things as I feel better.

Now let us use this technique in another area: like a spiritual journey and the ever present question, ‘am I improving and making progress?’

One day, I asked one of my teachers if I was making progress on the spiritual path, he offered, do you think of God more often? Daily do you pray and try to do things for God? If the answer is ‘yes’ then you are making progress.

Remember, pray and talk to God. Think of God and what will please God. Help others. Help yourself. Help the world.

Daily, do one thing. On the days you are able, do something in each of these areas and gradually your life will improve. 

Keep it simple.
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