A physician's new rules of time management
“Pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist, woman, mother, wife, friend, mentor. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t trying to “work smarter, not harder” to get it all done and feel good about myself, only to begin climbing the mountain with a fresh list the next day. My goals were simple: peace of mind and a sense that I was in control of my life and doing a good job for all the people who needed me. Just a little more effort, better organization, and I would be there.
As a physician coach, I find that the topic of work-life integration is always at or near the top of the list of issues for clients. Reading Oliver Burkeman’s excellent book Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals made me do some critical thinking. Although we act as if time is a commodity, it has no tangible essence. It can’t be owned. And though we constantly behave as if it’s unlimited, we know better, especially as physicians. All we really have is the present moment. What is it we’re really trying to manage? And, equally importantly, what sense of failure do we inflict on ourselves with our continuing unsuccessful attempts to fit more than 24 hours of activities into each day?”
Laura Berenstain is a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist and physician coach.
She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, “The new rules of time management.”
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