Jay Holmes: Welcome to the Medical Management Podcast. A podcast focused on helping you level up your practice. Through interviews with some of the most successful leaders in the industry, we help uncover resources, tools, and ideas to help you level up your practice. Thanks for tuning in and we hope you enjoy today's program.
Jesse Arnoldson: Hello and welcome to the Medical Management Podcast. I'm your host, Jesse Arnoldson. I'm joined today by a dear friend of mine, Lauren Harris, who is the owner of Harris Healthcare Consulting. Lauren is also actually the institutional liaison for women in healthcare for the Oregon chapter. Welcome to the podcast, Lauren!
Lauren Harris: Thanks, Jesse. I'm delighted to be here.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh, I'm so excited that you're here. Lauren and I have been dear friends since 2019-ish, where we met at.
Lauren Harris: Sounds exactly.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah, we met at the State Leadership Council for MGMA when we were over in Denver, right?
Jesse Arnoldson: Yes, that's true.
Lauren Harris: You hadn't broken off on your own yet, had you?
Jesse Arnoldson: No, not yet. But I was really excited to talk with someone who considered themselves a consultant and was still part of MGMA, and I wanted to do that as my dream job. So that's why I sought you out that day.
Jesse Arnoldson: Tell me, Lauren, after that, what finally helped you get over the hump of going out on your own and being a consultant and earning your own bread, right?
Lauren Harris: Hmm. Well, first I went from a corporate clinic manager job to joining a local consulting firm, a small group, and sort of learned the ropes that way, but decided after about two and a half years there that what I really wanted was to own my own business and to be in charge of my own client list and my own workday, and so I did that in, right in the middle of the pandemic, July of 2020.
Jesse Arnoldson: What a time to be alive, right?
Lauren Harris: Yeah.
Jesse Arnoldson: And to go out on your own. One of the things I love about you, Lauren, is just the way you view the world is through just a lens of positivity and, you know, not getting down on anything. There's a silver lining somewhere. Tell me a little bit about what the pros have been of starting your company in the middle of a pandemic.
Lauren Harris: Wow. I think the, one of the things that comes up for me is that there's such a need that practices, that I feel passion to serve, the private practices out there in my community really need support and that practice administrators really need support. And having done that job for many, many years, I understand how lonely it is and I understand that just having someone else that you can reach out to to do extra projects or support you in some way can help you get through the day. And so I think, I trusted that the need was there, and I also trusted that if it wasn't, I would go get a job somewhere else and I was going to be OK.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. There's that positivity. Tell me just before we jump into our main topic, just one more quick thing, Women in Healthcare. Tell us a little bit about that organization.
Lauren Harris: Sure. So Women in Healthcare is a national organization that started back east and launched an Oregon chapter I think about two years ago, but I've gotten introduced to the group probably nine months ago or so. They were looking for board members and they were coming out of what they call the incubation stage into the growth stage. And I saw the opportunity to join another community that was still healthcare-focused, but that also had a real lens on diversity and inclusion. So the way that they positioned themselves are, if you identify as being in healthcare and you identify as a woman, you are welcome to join us. And I have just loved the connections that I've been able to make there that are different from the connections that I made in the practice management world over the first 20 years of my career.
Jesse Arnoldson: What kind of, what kind of people are there, what kind of professionals, what are they in?
Lauren Harris: So there are some in healthcare architecture. There is, of course, C-suite level of all the large health systems involved as well. It's really every type of role you can imagine. I remember being really surprised by someone who did healthcare landscape design, and when I stopped and thought about it, yeah, somebody makes those healing gardens of hospitals, who does that, you know?
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah!
Lauren Harris: So there's this whole sort of industry that's outside of the practice management world that I've been exposed to the first part of my career that I really wanted to know more about. So I've gotten to be connected with women who serve in all kinds of health care roles, both on the board and just members that attend our regular events.
Jesse Arnoldson: I love it. That's so cool. I love it so much. Well, for our listeners, Lauren and I got together a couple of weeks ago, and we're kind of thinking about what we could talk about today because I knew that we wanted to have Lauren on the show, that something good would come from it, and the idea that we came down on was a top 21 of 2021 tips, tools, and techniques, our favorite stuff that came out almost like an Oprah's favorite list, and things that focus on wellness and leadership development and productivity just to kind of cop-out, we're coming to the close of a year and there's just so much good that has come out of it, that we want to focus on. So we're going to get into this and kind of dive into 21 really solid, like I said, tips, tools or techniques that will help any professional. So let's jump on in. Let's jump into the, well, the topic of wellness.
Lauren Harris: Sure.
Jesse Arnoldson: So what's your first, Lauren's favorite that you want to talk about?
Lauren Harris: So I started subscribing to the Calm app this year and really bought the paid subscription, jumped in with both feet. And what I've learned is in addition to the meditation part of it, there are these sleep studies or stories, rather, so sleep stories where someone reads to you as you fall asleep and it is the most soothing, amazing, relaxing experience and at the same time, frustrating because I can't think of a single story I've heard all the way through, they do such a good job. It is just something super soothing, I guess, about the experience of being read to. So I've learned some meditation tips and tricks through the Calm app, I've also really enjoyed those sleep stories, and then there are music playlists, too, that you can have in the background so it can, Calm can be used during the day, it can be used as you're falling asleep at night. It's a wonderful app that I really enjoy.
Jesse Arnoldson: I love that. Let's move to number two.
Lauren Harris: Sure. So the second thing that I wrote down on our list is that you should work in a space that makes you happy. And what resonates for me is several months ago, I moved out of my home office into a real office, and I was able to create a space that is all mine, and I realized that over the years, I've always taken up space in someone else's office or work in someone else's space. And you know, you have to sort of adapt to the furniture that you inherit or whatever it is. And here I was able to make this a space that makes me feel good about coming to work every day. I'm proud to let people see it in the Zoom video call behind me.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah, yeah. You don't use, you don't use the.
Lauren Harris: Blurr the backgrounds anymore?
Jesse Arnoldson: Anymore. Yeah!
Lauren Harris: No. And as much as I love my dog and my cats, they don't show up on the screen anymore, which is great for those calls. It just keeps things a little more professional. But I think it's, it's incredibly valuable to have a space that makes you feel comfortable and happy and to work from that, however you can.
Jesse Arnoldson: I agree, and it's been kind of fun to watch, you know, as we have gotten on Zoom calls over the last six months, and seeing you move your stuff in and making it more yours is awesome. Well, I know, I know for myself or like, with the five kids I have, if they get into the office and they do, I can come down one day and it's just in pieces. You know, there's paper everywhere, there's candy on my desk, there's all sorts of stuff all mixed up, and I have caught myself many times just being like, nope, and I'll take my laptop and I'll leave and I'll go somewhere that makes me happy. And so there really is something to getting the area around you to support your best working self, I think.
Lauren Harris: Yeah, there is, there is. I have a board. It's a little sort of corkboard that I can see when I'm on my call, but others can't see, and it's sort of thoughts and quotes. It's things that mean something to me and one of my favorites that I picked up from Joe Schmo, who will talk about a little bit, is my agenda aligned with my values. And when I get stuck sometimes or I'm not sure what to work on next and I think about feeling overwhelmed, I use that as just a quick reminder, am I on the right stuff? Am I working on things that align with my values right now?
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah, no. I love it. I love that. Well, good. Let's keep moving through the list.
Lauren Harris: Okay!
Jesse Arnoldson: Number three.
Lauren Harris: Number three. So I put on here, be comfortable. And I turned 50 last year. The same year that I started my business, I decided that I was no longer going to try to conform to Western American society thought I should look like or dress like. And by that, I mean, I stopped coloring my hair, I embraced my gray, I stopped trying to dress up for occasions where I was incredibly uncomfortable, so I rode on to here with my shoes. I switched to wearing what is comfortable and really appropriate for my needs.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah.
Lauren Harris: And then, of course, we all went virtual anyway. So no one can see me what I have on my shoes.
Jesse Arnoldson: Nobody's even seen your shoes.
Lauren Harris: But when I do go to clients and visit with practices, I no longer worry about wearing high heels, I just wear what works for me, and I am embracing others in their diversity and I expect them to do the same and it's gone really well.
Jesse Arnoldson: Nice! I love it, love it, love it. Speaking of which, that kind of leads us not well into the fourth one.
Lauren Harris: Yeah. So I also wrote down, something I've learned this year to embrace more is honoring and looking for diversity. And when I think about that right now, a lot of us are recruiting and we're trying to find new members of our teams, and a tip or a technique that I heard that I thought was brilliant was to partner with someone else when you're recruiting and have them blank out the name on the resume before they hand it to you.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah.
Lauren Harris: Then your unconscious bias around gender or around race or anything else that might come up from your assuming something about that person's name is gone. You can no longer do that. You're now looking just at the qualification. And if you sit with that for a minute and really do that for yourself, you might be surprised at the unconscious biases that you have. So that was one of the things that struck me, and I'm trying to do that now when I do recruitment for others, is to really ignore or even white out the name that's at the top of the resume and just go on the qualification.
Jesse Arnoldson: I like that, I like that. For me, a version of that that I was doing when I was in the clinic in recruiting was that I stopped having, I would do a phone interview first, you know, there are lots of other motivators for doing that, but one of the unintended benefits was I would get the chance of just being able to hear them talk and see what they were like, you know, just chatting. Could they be a good human being? And I would never have their resume in front of me, you know, and I would try not to let any of that go because a lot of the jobs that I was trying to get to were, I needed them to just be good people.
Lauren Harris: Have a nice conversation with someone on the phone.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yes. Yeah. So and so whether their experience, all this kind of stuff, yes, I'd have to use some of that to, you know, to decide I wanted to talk to them on the phone. But then after that, it really was up to whether they, how it went in the conversation, yeah.
Lauren Harris: I love phone interviews first. I think so many of the jobs that we're hiring for, pretty much everything, has some level of communication with the outside world.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yes.
Lauren Harris: And can someone do that in a way that's professional and warm and approachable and represent your business in the way you want to be represented? It's a perfect test for that.
Jesse Arnoldson: Exactly, exactly. Well, let me take number five, as far in this wellness topic. A big improvement for myself and for a number of my friends that I've talked to recently has been to find a good counselor, somebody who matches up well with you. I always took it as a joke, I had a professor who had worked in healthcare administration for decades and, you know, as we were talking about what it would take to be successful, he said a good psychiatrist and, you know, I laughed it off because it was coming from a place of cynicism and because he was so burned out from the industry, but I have realized so much more that yes, you can use a good counselor or mental health professional to help fix some issues if they're there and you shouldn't feel bad about that, but also to proactively just do better, you know? And so as I'm trying to round myself out and do a little bit of exercise and eat a little bit better and put my phone away when I, you know, when I'm home, it fits. Having a good counselor fits into my goals of just being more well-rounded, healthy. I don't know if I said that, if that was all good English or not, but yeah.
Lauren Harris: Absolutely. Our mental health is no different than our physical health and we need to pay attention, especially now. I think we've all been feeling incredible amounts of stress in new and different ways.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah.
Lauren Harris: It's manifesting itself in new and different ways and talking to someone who has the techniques and the tools to share with you, to teach you how to cope with those things is super important right now.
Jesse Arnoldson: It is. You know what I've learned, Lauren, is how many of my friends quietly see counselors as well. I mean.
Lauren Harris: Absolutely!
Jesse Arnoldson: I don't know why it ever got to the point of having a negative connotation to it, but there's a lot more people out there than you think that access that kind of help.
Lauren Harris: Absolutely.
Jesse Arnoldson: And they do better for it. So shouldn't have.
Lauren Harris: Wouldn't it be great if we could share those things we learn with each other even?
Jesse Arnoldson: Yes!
Lauren Harris: Look at this brilliant thing my therapist taught me and then I can share it with you, and let's just be open about it.
Jesse Arnoldson: Exactly, exactly. So, you know, to cap off the wellness side, that's been one of my favorites of the year.
Lauren Harris: Fantastic. I'm going to add a bonus tip for wellness because you made me think about it, okay? So I also started seeing a massage therapist.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh, OK!
Lauren Harris: And I think when you think about therapy, we think about the mental health side, but also the physical side and massage therapy can be so healing and so helpful, and also gives you sort of an hour of protected space where you can just go and be and enjoy that therapy.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh, I love it, love it, love it, love it. Well, let's transition to our biggest topic of leadership development. I know that there's a few people that made the list. Let's jump into that.
Lauren Harris: I have so many favorites. It's really hard to pick, but I find myself continually recommending that others follow these folks, and so I'm going to share my favorites. Tracey Spears of the Exceptional Leaders Lab also is an author and has an amazing online coaching masterclass that's available that I really recommend. It's all about personal and professional development, and I was just telling someone else today. Go and do it, it is at the unbelievably low price of, I think, forty-nine dollars, I mean, it's just a gift.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh, wow!
Lauren Harris: Go and check it out. The Exceptional Leaders Lab masterclass with Tracey Spears and read her books.
Jesse Arnoldson: Fantastic. What's the name of her book?
Lauren Harris: One of the Exceptional Leaders Playbook. And I knew you were going to ask me the second one, and I have to look it up. But if you want the CliffsNotes version, just to be honest, if you do the coaching masterclass, you're going to get a lot of the greatest hits out of the book.
Jesse Arnoldson: Nice, yeah!
Lauren Harris: And they are nicely recorded into little vignettes and tip sheets and things you can take away right now. And if you know anything about me, you know, I like those tangible things that I can do and build, so she gives those to you as well.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh, I love it, good, good, good. Who's next on your list?
Lauren Harris: Well, next on my list is Joe Mull. If you're not familiar, J O E space M U L L, he has a program called Boss Better Now.
Jesse Arnoldson: Ok.
Lauren Harris: And it is incredible. So he has done speaking at MGMA state conferences for years. But when the pandemic hit, he was the one who pivoted the fastest to the technology he immediately started doing things online, he has a remote studio that makes you feel like you're absolutely there with him live, and he's giving you his best with the keynote. But my favourite thing that Joe does right now are these weekly podcasts, and it's The Boss Better Now podcast, and he has a co-host with him who is an executive coach. Her name is Alyssa Mullett and I learn and get something out of every single week. I highly recommend it. I think he's on episode forty-one or something now, so.
Jesse Arnoldson: Nice.
Lauren Harris: If you haven't been listening, go back, listen to them all. It's amazing, great, great stuff. And he has a background in healthcare, but also it's relevant regardless of what industry you're in.
Jesse Arnoldson: Good. I love it, love it, love it, love it. Next would be?
Lauren Harris: The next one is a guest that Joe had on his podcast, actually, a man named Clint Pulver, who wrote a book called I Love It Here, and it is all about research that he did as the undercover millennial, going into different workplaces and talking to people about why they like working there, pretending to want to get a job there and asking people, what's it really like to work here? And then gathering all of this data that he would give back to the business owners. And he learned and shared in his book, best practices for hiring and retaining great employees.
Jesse Arnoldson: The book is called I Love It Here.
Lauren Harris: Called I Love It Here, and it's by Clint Pulver.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh, that's awesome. I'm going to make a little note. Yeah, I Love It Here. Fantastic. I think that that's probably, oh my gosh, one of the most important things right now is, as we've seen, so many of our clinics go through this kind of staffing crisis issue, yes, it can be about the money, but more than likely it's about you as a leader and the culture that you've helped foster there and whether that's where people want to be or not.
Lauren Harris: Yes, so much so. And I think people are no longer tolerating toxic managers, toxic workplaces, toxic anything, and they're looking for something that has value to them and that feeds their soul in a way that we haven't thought about in the past. And I think as I'm helping practices recruit, being able to tell your story about who you are as a practice, what your values are, what your vision is, where you're headed, those are all selling points that will help you get people that are in alignment with you because it is so much more than the money, it is cultural all the way.
Jesse Arnoldson: It is, for sure. Ok, let's talk about Deborah Grayson Riegel.
Lauren Harris: Okay, so Deborah Grayson Riegel is a woman that I just saw at the National Women and Healthcare Conference online. I am enamored, I just posted something on my LinkedIn that she posted, so she wrote a book which I have not read yet, but plan to, called Overcoming Overthinking, 36 Ways to Tame Anxiety for Work, School, and Life. She has many vignettes, she has LinkedIn Learning courses, she has online courses on her website that are amazing, so I really recommend looking her up as well. She's also a Wharton Business School part-time professor, she's delightful to listen to and full of great information.
Jesse Arnoldson: All right. I love it. I need to read that book. I know a lot of people do.
Lauren Harris: Yeah.
Jesse Arnoldson: It's awesome. All right. Last on our people list. Dorie Clark.
Lauren Harris: So Joe also introduced me to Dorie Clark. So.
Jesse Arnoldson: OK!
Lauren Harris: Dori Clark is the author of a book called Reinventing You, which was named a number one leadership book of 2015 by Inc magazine. She also wrote another book called Entrepreneurial You, which was in the top ten business books of the year by Forbes. But what I liked about this was the concept for her new book is the long game, how to be a long-term thinker in a short-term world.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oooh, I like that.
Lauren Harris: And I'm diving into that now, so I'm still grabbing nuggets. But what I am thinking about so far is we have spent the last year and a half, slightly longer, focused on firefighting and the immediate and, you know, crisis, right? What's right in front of us, and we haven't probably taken enough time to think about the future for ourselves and our organizations and the long-term goals that we have. Her book is really around how to strategize long-term and to not lose sight of that as you are fighting those day-to-day fires.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh, I love it. That's so great. All right. Going into a non-person one.
Lauren Harris: Yes. So are you familiar yet with the AMA steps forward modules?
Jesse Arnoldson: I've never heard of it!
Lauren Harris: Okay, so this was something else that I learned from a national MGMA conference. I happen to drop into a breakout session where someone had this pulled up on the screen. I did not know that this even existed. It is a free resource from the AMA, they are learning modules that are designed for clinicians, they have to EEUs attached to them, but beyond that, they are just tremendously good resources for all kinds of things. There are things in there about team-based care, there are things in there about prepping for visits, just workflow-related, it's everything that you might need to know to run your practice more efficiently and more effectively and free. Go to the AMA Steps Forward program and look at some of those modules. You'll be amazed.
Jesse Arnoldson: I love it. I'm going to go there right after we get done recording. I have a lot of like things to add to my life. One, to-read list and need to-watch list, and I'll go to that one first.
Lauren Harris: It's a great one.
Jesse Arnoldson: OK!
Lauren Harris: You'll find lots there.
Jesse Arnoldson: Well, I think we're on number 12. Tell me a little bit about your 12th one.
Lauren Harris: So I wrote down join a network or make your own. So there's a lot of great opportunities to join networks out there. I've been a member of MGMA State Chapters for years, but I also wanted to just express that there's no reason why you can't make your own network. So Jesse and I have been part of this ad hoc pediatric group that I put together because I realized I had four, maybe five now, pediatric managers that I regularly, or administrators that I regularly talk to, and they were all sort of operating without knowing each other or the tremendous expertise and great people that they are. So I put them together in a Zoom meeting, that meets, we meet monthly now, don't we?
Jesse Arnoldson: We do. We do.
Lauren Harris: Yeah.
Jesse Arnoldson: And I think that we were all pediatric-based and were or going to be state MGMA chapter presidents.
Lauren Harris: Almost all. Yeah.
Jesse Arnoldson: Almost all. Yeah. We've added a couple since then than aren't, but like.
Lauren Harris: Yeah.
Jesse Arnoldson: It was nice to have, oh my gosh, it just felt like the perfect match-up with these other folks. And I was so grateful that you pulled me into that.
Lauren Harris: It is such a great organism, not even organization, it's a club, it's just a fun thing that we have. I call it a support group because that's how it feels.
Jesse Arnoldson: It's a little support group, yeah.
Lauren Harris: Yeah.
Jesse Arnoldson: I love it.
Lauren Harris: So my takeaway there is make your own. If you're not finding a community that works for you, go out and make one.
Jesse Arnoldson: Perfect. Perfect. I love it. Ok, let's jump into number 13, crucial learning.
Lauren Harris: So crucial learning is the newly branded name of the folks who did crucial conversations over the years, and many of us got crucial conversations training in larger health systems or in other places. But I just wanted to share that they've rebranded. They now call themselves crucial learning. They've re-recorded many of the training videos, so they're more diverse, they're more up-to-date, they look much more modern, and they also offer some mini learning videos for free. If you subscribe just to their blog, you'll get a regular cadence of thoughts for the day and reminders about communication. So it's a really good one, too.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh, I love that, I love that. I can't wait to jump into that. Ok, I've lost it, let's see, 12, 13 14, 14!
Lauren Harris: I don't even count!
Jesse Arnoldson: I should have numbered these! You wouldn't know.
Lauren Harris: No, I didn't either!
Jesse Arnoldson: The walking time.
Lauren Harris: Yes! Walking time. We definitely agree that this is important that if you don't put this on your calendar, something else will fill up your calendar and you will miss out. So scheduling appointments with yourself to do your own professional development, attending classes if you haven't seen it yet, Coursera offers college classes for free. These are the same courses that are offered at Ivy League universities or universities all around the world. You can basically audit them for free, so if you don't care about getting the certificate or getting the college credit, you just want the knowledge. Check out Coursera, it's C O U R S E R A, LinkedIn Learning also has tremendous modules, they do have a subscription model though, so there is a cost for that. I think they offer 90 days free. Do you know Jesse?
Jesse Arnoldson: I think I had an advertisement come up yesterday just for that, for 90 days. Yeah.
Lauren Harris: Yeah. So it could be worth jumping in there for 90 days incidentally, Dorie Clark has several educational modules on the LinkedIn Learning, so you could get a little taste of her speaking and her education style.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah.
Lauren Harris: And then I really think this is important to put those links in your browser. So when you launch your browser to go looking for something, you see a reminder you see, oh yeah, I'm taking this course, I need to go back in there. And that way, you don't forget about it. You, you trigger yourself to go and check it out and stay on task.
Jesse Arnoldson: Absolutely. No, I love that. Well, let me take. I think that segways is well into one that's one of my favorites and, you know, the pandemic, I found myself sitting there at our state MGMA board meeting and we were discussing again postponing our conference. And at that same moment, our company had decided not to go to the MedMan National, we'd also decided not to have our retreat, and I was just feeling thirsty or hungry for just developments, knowledge, to watch something, do something. And I was watching all the other ones get pulled away from me, unfortunately, but it forced me to go out and find something else and one of the things that I have loved for years is Farnam Street. They have an incredible podcast called The Knowledge Project, they have a great newsletter that comes out on Sundays, right? When I should be paying attention in church but I find myself, you know, flipping through what they're talking about way too often. But the whole organization is about better learning, better decision-making, and they had a course called decision by design, and it was all about improved decision making and learning about mental models and how to use them. And I, oh my gosh, Lauren, I love it. It is right up my alley. It is perfect for what I've wanted to do better and to get really good at it. And so Farnam Street.
Lauren Harris: Yes, I appreciate their newsletters too. I've noticed that they come on that Sunday morning, which is really smart of them, because that's not when all the other newsletters show up.
Jesse Arnoldson: No, no. Yeah.
Lauren Harris: It's perfect time when you can sit there and dive into it.
Jesse Arnoldson: They're smart. Then one of the things that I've gotten from them is a lot of tips on becoming a better reader, and that leads me to number 16. And one of my favorites is my Goodreads app. And Goodreads is just this app that has a social side to it that I don't get into as much, but it helps me organize all of my books. Ones that I have read in the past, ones that I can scan and say, I want to read this, you know, so I have a list of want to read. It helps me keep track of what I am reading and set goals to try and you know, I want to read so many books in a year, where am I at? How what's my progress on this book kind of thing? And then finally, it'll make recommendations just like everything else in our life. You know, you read three similar books, it's going to recommend another one if you really liked it. So that's been one of the tools I've used to try and become a more avid reader.
Lauren Harris: That's great. Are you a real books guy ever or do you always like e-books?
Jesse Arnoldson: I love audio books. I am working on becoming a better real book kind of person. So I have a couple of books going at any given time. I have my one audio book or so I can take walks, drive around, do whatever. I have another book that I read in the morning to try and just get my head moving and I have another one at night. Normally, I don't have three going at one time. That's too much. I've noticed that I've really slowed down and it's hard to keep the motivation, but try and always have at least one real and one audio book going. How about you?
Lauren Harris: That's great. I debate every time I order a book. I guess you might say I'm a little bit price focused. It sort of depends if there's a deal on the e-book and it seems like a title I want to have then I will download it. But if it's something I think I might want to have as a reference later or I want stop and show people, then it's sitting on my bookshelf behind me as a real book. So it just depends.
Jesse Arnoldson: Quite often if I read an audio book that either hits home and I need the reference, or it's one that I'm going to want to lend out could, do love to. I don't know if other people love that I do this, but I show up, you're going to read this book, gosh, again.
Lauren Harris: I loved it when you did it to me.
Jesse Arnoldson: You're one of the few. Thank you, actually reading it. Oh man. Let's jump into our next theme, productivity, that gets us to number 17.
Lauren Harris: So one of my very favorite productivity programs, I guess you could call it GTD or getting things done. And if you haven't read the book or done the online training, I highly recommend that you do that. It is incredibly useful as far as being able to distill the many, many things that are coming at us. David Allen's turn of phrase is heads are for having ideas, not holding them, and what that means is getting out of your head onto someplace else as fast as possible, and that helps me stay organized. It's just getting it out of my head. GTD will teach you some really great techniques to do that.
Jesse Arnoldson: I love it. I have actually never done the training or read the book, but I think that from previous managers who have they really beat that into me. And so it's kind of by osmosis being been able to pick up the weekly review and having notes, you know, wherever I'm at, I have the ability to capture an idea and not, not pretend like I am either going to remember it or not stress my brain out trying to remember it. You've got to be able to capture ideas right then and there, so you can let your brain move on to the having ideas, right?
Lauren Harris: Exactly. And what I like about it is it's not specific technology or a specific thing, it works no matter how you work.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yes.
Lauren Harris: If you're a paper and pen person, that's completely fine. It's just a matter of organizing that paper and pen system in a way that works for you. So the crucial learning folks are also cross-trainers of the GTD system. So if you go to the crucial learning website, you can download the GTD program as well.
Jesse Arnoldson: Perfect. I love it. The next one seems a little generic. You're going to have to help.
Lauren Harris: It is. Well, I was hoping that maybe we could come up with something together, but I wrote down apps in general. So there's a lot of different productivity apps out there. Do you have any favorites? I'm opening up my phone right now.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh, I use the reminders on my iPhone all the time, and that is how I kept your ideas for the GTD thing, I'm always telling Siri that I need a reminder tomorrow at 10 a.m. to add it to do for calling Lauren back or something like that. I use that all the time. While you're talking, I'll think of, if I use any others.
Jesse Arnoldson: So one thing that came to mind is a couple of weeks ago, I read an idea about how to better arrange your apps on your phone, and I took it to heart and let me kind of describe it to you. So what it told me or what I took away from it was that your home page on your phone should really be things that are relevant and timely every day and things you want to be putting your attention on. So as an example, mine has calendar, reminders, clock, music, camera because I use my phone as my camera all the time, safari, contacts, calculator and weather. So those are the things that I pretty much look at every day. But didn't you hear in there? You didn't hear Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, those are on my second page, they're still there. They're still available to me. But when I pick up my phone to look at where I need to be at my next appointment, I'm not distracted by, oh, look at that little app for Facebook, I'm going to click on them.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah.
Lauren Harris: It just, it doesn't occur to me. I have to intentionally go and find all of those other things that were pulling my attention. So in addition to turning off your notifications, so that the number doesn't keep up annoying you and getting your attention, if you force yourself to go to a second page, the first week, I realized how many hundreds of times I was looking for that distraction, my brain was just looking for that and I stopped. And now it's actual intended time when I go to do that. During my lunch break or whatever, but it's not pulling me away from what I need.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah.
Lauren Harris: So think about that.
Jesse Arnoldson: I had to take a similar step. I had to take Twitter, TikTok and YouTube just off my phone and I will if I want to redownload them Friday night and I will delete them Monday morning or something.
Lauren Harris: Oh, wow. Does that work for you?
Jesse Arnoldson: It has to! Even if they're on another page, Lord, I, man, I love you too.
Lauren Harris: You'll find them.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yes. And that's, that's one of the things that I realized was probably causing me a little bit of mental anguish, was that I always had to have a stimulation, to brush my teeth, I needed a one minute YouTube video, to go to the bathroom, I'm going to be there, not because I'm going to the bathroom, but I'm hiding from my kids and I'm reading Twitter, you know? And so I, just during the weekdays, I had to get drastic because I was not doing well with apps on my phone.
Lauren Harris: Oh, you're not alone, at all. They've proven that, there's a scientific process where we get this dopamine dump when we look at these things. And that's part of the reason why I love TikTok ,is it's fun and it's funny, and it makes you laugh and YouTube videos, too. But, but you're right, it can become distracting to the point where it's making us less effective or less present in our lives or with our families. So, yeah, go ahead, move it to another page or take it off completely.
Jesse Arnoldson: There we go.
Lauren Harris: Whatever works.
Jesse Arnoldson: I think I can't remember who it was. It might have been Adam Grant that, oh, I can't remember who, if it was him or somebody who wrote about, but they would give the passwords to their assistant. This guy had an assistant and his assistant would change passwords Monday morning and give them back, give him his social media passwords on Friday night. And that was that was his way of blocking it, because.
Lauren Harris: That's great.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah, whether is in, I can't remember if it was, it might have been in the book Atomic Habits. I think that that's where I got that story from. Yeah.
Lauren Harris: Yeah. If we can't trust ourselves, find someone else we can trust to help us.
Jesse Arnoldson: Exactly.
Lauren Harris: That's really smart.
Jesse Arnoldson: Well, number 19.
Lauren Harris: Yeah! So I like to create a lot of folders for things I need to easily find later. And I do this in my browser, I do this in my outlook, I do this everywhere, so I am super organized or I try to be, and I think folders can be your friend in so many ways. And so I just wanted to put that on there. And then also to clean it up once a year, at least get in their archives things get rid of the things you haven't needed or looked at. I just went through my shortcuts recently and my browser and realized there was a lot of stuff in there I was never going to use again, so I cleaned it all up. So make a date with yourself to reorganize every so often.
Jesse Arnoldson: I love it. That's great. Ok, number 20. This is one that I think we're going to both have some opinions on.
Lauren Harris: Okay, so I started this process recently. I'm calling it Meetless Mondays, and it's M E E T. So for me, it is a day when I walk the day for projects and I still come to the office. I still get things done, but it's dedicated chunks of time, instead of trying to carve out the chunks of time I need during the week between appointments, my job can be very varied and I can have a lot of different things coming at me at once and it's easy to get really just distracted, and not take time to really dive into those longer projects, so I wanted to put this on here as an idea that even if you can't schedule an entire meeting free day, maybe you have a meeting every morning, once a week or you have, as an organization, a policy, the company doesn't schedule meetings on Wednesdays or whatever, so that everyone has that white space, that blank space, that they need to either get things done or stop and think like you do.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah, I love it. You know, that's what I'm doing right now. I've been trying to carve out a little bit of time for working on the big things and for myself. And so this kind of ties back up to number 14, the blocking time for yourself like to upskill yourself. So right now, my entire Monday is blocked to not do meetings, to spend the morning kind of working on my development skills, exercise, other stuff. And then the afternoons is for, you know, I got big rocks to move ahead. And if I'm not actively trying, I'm going to let the little pebbles just build up. And that's all I work on and I'm never going to make any progress. So it's got to be, there's got to be some dedicated time for it.
Lauren Harris: Yeah, exactly. We need that white space. We need that time that's not filled with anything else for us to just breathe too.
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think we got to 20. I am not sure we got to twenty one. And so.
Lauren Harris: I just thought of something, I will share this really kind of silly little tip that it will be number 21.
Jesse Arnoldson: OK!
Lauren Harris: So I took an outlook class years ago and this has served me well. Many people don't know this, but when you use outlook, you can drag and drop your email into either a calendar appointments or you can drag and drop it into a task. And if you do that, you can now take it out of your inbox. It will not disappear so you can clean up your inbox just by moving the things that need action, like we talked about earlier into either an appointment request or calendar time or a task. So go through that today, drag and drop, move it into someplace else, get it out of your inbox. One of the women in healthcare events I went to, we had a little breakout session and there was a woman in the group who said out loud, where everyone could hear, that she never answered emails on the first time she waits for second or third reminders because she just has so many that she's overwhelmed and can't do it. And I thought, wow, I would never want to feel that way and would never admit that, I felt that way, so don't be that person, stay on top of your email, stay organized. And there's a little tip, drag and drop.
Jesse Arnoldson: If you're getting two hundred emails and then you let them double, of course you're gonna be overwhelmed.
Lauren Harris: Now you ....
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh no! Sounds so painful.
Lauren Harris: These are potentially ... pools who can't get out of.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh no, I love it, I love it. That's a perfect number 21 for 2021, Lauren.
Lauren Harris: There we go.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh, thank you for sharing all of your insight and ideas. I found this to be super fun, and there's so many things I want to go out and Google as soon as we're done recording. I hope that our listeners feel the same way, but thank you for being on board.
Lauren Harris: Thanks, Jesse. This was so much fun. I really appreciate your friendship and the collegiality that we have as coworkers in the same industry, and I appreciate this invitation so much.
Jesse Arnoldson: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. And to our listeners, thank you for tuning in. I hope there's something that you get excited about and go and and look up and try and integrate into your life. Make it better in some way. Make sure that you tune in each and every week as we bring more informative episodes with some of the leaders in our industry and for anything else that MedMan does, show notes, transcripts, or other services, make sure you check us out at MedMan.com. We'll see you next week.
Jesse Arnoldson: Thanks for tuning in to the Medical Management Podcast. We hope you enjoyed today's featured guest. For the show notes, transcripts, resources, and everything else MedMan does to help you level up, be sure to visit us at MedMan.com
Welcome to the top 21 of 2021 tips, tools, and techniques episode!
We are joined by our dear friend Lauren Harris, who went on her own as a healthcare consultant after more than 20 years in healthcare management. Taking care of yourself is a whole-rounded task, this means it involves your physical and mental health, and also your workplace health. They chat about 4 categories: wellness, leadership development, community, and productivity. From wellness to sleep, to the physical environment you work in, to productivity apps and habits, they are all here to help you!
Tune in and see if you can apply all of the 21that Jesse and Lauren mentioned!
About our guest – Lauren Harris
Lauren Harris is passionate about independent medical practices and enjoys partnering with them to see them succeed.
After more than 20 years of honing her leadership and operational skills with various specialties in large and small organizations, she started her own consulting practice in July 2020, where she collaborates with practitioners and practice leaders by providing business and operational expertise.
She started her healthcare management career in 1992, received a BS degree in 1999, and achieved an MGMA/ACMPE certification in 2008 and FACMPE certification in 2013.
Work in a space that makes you happy.
Calm, the app, offers different things to help you calm: bedtime stories, playlists, and much more.
Removing the name from a resume can help the unconscious bias towards name, gender, and race when hiring.
Finding a good counselor can help you process things easier.
People are not tolerating toxic environments, jobs, and managers.
If you don’t find a community that works for you, make your own.
Schedule a time in which you can concentrate on YOU.
Get your ideas going!
Have a day in which you don’t book any meetings and you concentrate on the projects.