Pharmacy conference season has been in full swing for the last 3 weeks and we’re not done yet. There are still more conferences to come, like the Pharmacy Profit Summit on August 8th and 9th in Dallas, Texas. With all of these conferences and shows, there are lots of opportunities to get inspired and motivated by, and to connect with some awesome pharmacy industry professionals that can help you achieve your goals.
Attending the show is one thing. You made the time, booked your travel and you’re ready to learn. Taking time to make actual change in your pharmacy business and try new things after a conference is a completely different challenge. But it’s a challenge well worth taking on. After all, no change = no change.
The problem many of us encounter is that motivation can be a tricky thing. Especially when your day to day is already overbooked. Just getting through the day feels like it should be enough.
So, how do you get out of the rut and find the motivation you need to act on great inspiration following a conference, trade show, podcast or broadcast? Here are some of our favorite motivational tips.
Understand Your Motivation
There are two types of motivation: Intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is what you do for you. The things you don’t have to think about or convince yourself to do. On the flip side, extrinsic motivation comes from an external force. It’s reward-based motivation, driven by anything from money in your pocket to avoidance of a negative outcome.
If you’re intrinsically motivated to try something new, you likely don’t need this article. But if your motivation is partially or fully extrinsic, it’s important to understand that and then focus on some key factors that will help you maintain momentum.
- Focus on your why. If you went to an educational session, or listened to a podcast, or visited a vendor booth, you had a reason for doing so. What was it? What were you hoping to accomplish? Remember that why and keep it in mind as you define your next steps.
- Understand the need for change. If your why is that you’re being pushed, or about to be pushed by external forces, understand what those are. This could be an upcoming regulatory change, a new competitor in your community, or some other external factor. And remember, just because you have to motivate to do something, doesn’t mean it will be a negative change.
Schedules and Timelines
Setting aside time in an already packed schedule may seem next to impossible. That’s the exact reason it’s important to put time on your calendar to work on new initiatives. This can include follow up calls with vendors, or doing some extra reading, watching, or listening to some additional content. Be specific about what it is you need to do and when you are going to do it.
Also remember that a general goal is much harder to keep than a specific goal. If you have specific timelines you want to meet, or deadlines you have to meet, plan accordingly and stick to them. Timelines will help you to ensure you accomplish what you set out to.
Do you know someone who has, or is going through, the same change as you? Your peers are a valuable resource for information and continued motivation. You can also loop in members of your pharmacy team and empower them to help you with projects. Assign specific tasks with scheduled time to complete them and deadlines to keep everyone on track. And don’t forget about your vendor partners! They can be great resources for helping you stay on track. For example, if you were looking to implement a new pharmacy point-of-sale system in the next 6 months, your vendor could give you timelines and action items to help you meet that goal.
Know What Success Looks Like
Whatever your motivation, there’s usually an end goal in mind. Or, at least a waypoint where you’ll know you’ve achieved something worthwhile. What does that achievement look like to you? How will you know you’ve succeeded? Answer these questions to help you not just find motivation, but also measure your progress.