Hola! Long time no see.
I’m finally getting to sit down and reflect on the last 6 months and the completion of a goal that I’ve been putting off for probably 2.5 years.
I decided to finally sit for a board certification exam last year around my birthday. I’d been talking about doing it for a couple years but had pushed back against some of the things inherent in taking the exam that I wasn’t a fan of.
I looked at the exam as a means of professionally extracting money and not providing a high return on investment in terms of career advancement.
And while I think this still holds true, sometimes, in the pursuit of a goal there are redeeming qualities that make it intrinsically worth pursuing. I think that this is one of those situations.
My day-to-day responsibilities at my job require me to be familiar with a variety of different disease states and their treatment. The world of healthcare changes rapidly and much of the knowledge I gained during pharmacy school is quickly becoming obsolete. whole guidelines that used to govern treatment of basic disease states like hyperlipidemia and hypertension have been wholly revamped or scrapped and new structures erected. As a clinician its my duty to remain abreast of these developments in order to be able to provide the best care.
An unintended consequence of the preparations for the exam was the discovery of the study habits, environments, and techniques that allow for deep work.
I’ve read the work of Cal Newport and always wondered what and how I could incorporate his practice of deep work into my career.
Previous to this exam I was trying to use a coffee shop that I loved as the base of my operations for thinking, studying, and planning. While studying for the exam I started to revisit a library at my old school. They have private rooms available for use + slow internet that drastically increased my ability to focus.
The new environment made ALL of the difference.
Being in a space where (as a professional people-watcher) I wasn’t distracted by beautiful passer-by’s and cool playlists helped me to find my thinking groove much faster.
One of the new habits that I think I will be instituting is making the trek to these private rooms to think, read, and plan at least once a week.
I’m sitting on the back end of the completion of the goal of taking the exam, and while I’m still not certain what the result is, I’m pretty sure I liked myself more in the hot pursuit of a goal vs. enjoying whatever the day held while trying to make piecemeal advancements on goals I had written down somewhere.
I’m going to get more aggressive in both pursuing my goals and reflecting and working on goals that will move me forward.