Take a Time Out

Take a Time Out

Take a step back to make time for rest, reflection, and relaxation opportunities. Find a moment of the day that is less hectic to take time out for yourself. Avoid burning out by learning to enjoy downtime whenever it presents itself. Back away from whatever is loading you down to catch up on some rest, dive back into a hobby or simply catch up with family and friends. Sometimes you need a clean break from the world, disconnect from all your stresses and aggravation triggers. A much-needed break can do wonders for your productivity.

One of the most important lessons I learned in the early days as a Physician was learning to enjoy downtime whenever it presented itself.  

The downtime did not mean a cessation of my service, but more a time where the pace of each day was not as hectic as others.  Such respites became a time to catch up on some rest, family time, and a step back from the constant stresses that were adrenal overload.  It is extremely easy to get caught up in the feeling that unless the pace is frenetic, that you are somehow slacking off or not being as productive as you should be.  Nothing could be further from the truth! 

What I found was that every time things seemed to slow down it was the calm before the storm.  

One year removed from the daily grind of clinical practice that covered roughly 26 years, the past year became a transition, and any notion I had that things would be less busy, was quickly dashed!  On the contrary, I have had more opportunities present themselves, and my days are as full as ever.  While I miss the day-to-day aspects of practice, especially patients, colleagues, and the problem-solving aspects of medicine, I can’t say I miss the soul-crushing administrative tasks that became ever-increasing.  

Even though my current professional situation barely resembles my previous one, the early lesson of enjoying downtime remains relevant to the past.   Rest, reflection and relaxation are essential to performing at a high level, regardless of the profession.  

Sometimes you need to take a step back.  I found that when tasks that I would normally complete quickly took three times as long to finish, it was time for a break.  I also found that after some R and R, my productivity usually increased.  

These are my recommendations.  When you feel you need a break, take one.  Listen to that inner voice; it is usually correct.   

When you do take a break, make it a clean one.  Do not answer emails.  Disengage from social media.  Put your phone on silent.  Stay away from things (political discussions, for example), people, or situations that cause aggravation.  Those things can usually wait.  They only drain you and can stoke negativity.

Reflect on what makes you happy.  Do not lose sight of what aspects of your career and life bring you the most enjoyment and focus on them.  

Give it a try, especially as the stresses of the Holidays approach.   Remember, you cannot take care of others if you do not first take care of yourself.



To read more of Dr. Desmond Bell's blog "The Script Pad" go to https://mymdcoaches.com/blog.

MD Coaches, LLC is a company dedicated to developing and empowering physicians to realize greater satisfaction in their roles. Understanding the challenges and operational concerns for both physicians and hospital administrators. MD Coaches utilizes experience and coaching skills to support their physician clients in establishing strategies for positive career progression.




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