Cancer Registrars are busy folks, without a doubt. There is never enough budget to be fully staffed, to purchase more than the “bare bones” equipment, or to travel to national conferences to get the latest updates in data collection standards. As a result, very little innovation or creativity takes place in which to analyze the operations and make changes to increase productivity and effectiveness, or to deliver greater levels of customer service.
Quite often the registrar gets buried under a mountain of work and loses sight of what is really important and become so physically and emotionally worn out that they cannot perform their best work. There is a solution, however, to “clear the decks” and free up mental and physical resources in order to focus on important tasks and remove any barriers to success.
Two tasks, or solutions, to help clear the decks are:
- Eliminate negativity. The words you use and think about each day can wear you down. So, retire the negative words and replace them with positive or constructive ones. For example, replace “can’t” with “won’t” and phrases like “we’ve never done that” with “let me see what we can do.” Your language implies whether you are in control of your life or not. When you remove the negative words you enable the power within to add value to the cancer registry community.
- Finish it, turf it or delete it. Unfinished projects and tasks can wear you down. Instead of dragging around and worrying about not getting your work done, find a way to clear the deck. Schedule a half day out of your week and go through your to-do list or project file. For each, decide to finish it, turf it to someone else or delete it entirely. If the task is something that you must do, then do it and stop stalling. However, if the task can be done by someone else, turf it off to a member of your cancer registry. Consider this, if a task or project has been on your list for more than a month, it may no longer be worthwhile and could be deleted.
The Cancer Registrar’s to do list or project file will never be empty. So, hanging on to unnecessary work or wearing yourself down to the point that you cannot serve your healthcare partners or administration is not contributing to your success and leadership as a cancer registrar. By removing negative language from your work and by focusing on a shorter, but much more concise to do list, you will be energized and motivated to do your work well and in a timely manner. Cancer Registrars are accountable for rapidly increasing responsibilities and tasks, and without a plan for clearing the decks you may jeopardize your success as a leader in the cancer registry industry and within your organization.