For weeks (months? years?) I've been feeling overwhelmed by work. My desk has been covered with charts and lab results, my dictation inbox has been overflowing with letters to edit, and I've been weeks behind on my to do list. No matter how much effort I put in, it seemed like I was never doing any better than keeping the piles from growing larger. And I hated it.
About two weeks ago, I had finally had enough of all of the things that loomed over me, so I made it my goal to get caught up on everything. Everything. Whenever I had a spare minute, I tackled the things that needed to be done. I went into work early and stayed late. I worked through lunch. I logged on from home when I had extra time in the evenings or on weekends. I worked my butt off, and I got shit done. And now? I'm caught up. There are zero charts on my desk and zero dictations to sign off on.
It feels amazing. I no longer want to scream at my administrative assistant* when she brings a pile of lab results into my office. I have actual time to do the big picture things, like read journal articles and prepare presentations and (maybe someday) finish the article on my fellowship research. By getting caught up, it is now possible to keep up with the things that come in every day and to stay caught up.
Best. Feeling. Ever.
The only problem? I'm so used to existing in a state of chaos and panic that I don't know how to function with the stress gone. With nothing screaming at me to pay attention to it, it's hard to pay attention to anything. How is a procrastinator to function once they stop procrastinating?
*I have never done this, because I'm not a jerkface. Any physician who yells at people in his or her workplace (or anyone else, for that matter) is a jerkface.