Life Hacks for Busy Physician Moms
- Do you need to keep track of your schedule and also everyone else's?
- Do you find there is not enough time in your day to get everything done?
- Do your needs get prioritized last?
- Is your To Do list overwhelming you?
Here are 7 tips you can use to be more productive, and to make time for your self-care needs.
- Online calendars - There are many free calendars out there that you can use and put every family member's schedule on it. I use Cozi (no affiliate). Dentist appointments, soccer practices, games, meetings all go on it. Set up reminders to all involved family members. Is your husband taking one kid to piano- remind him! If your kids do not have phones, print it out and put it on the fridge. Finalize it Sunday night and then put up for the week. Multiple calendars? Sync your google calendar to it. You can also use it for your to do list or your grocery list. Stuck at work? Share the list to someone else. Use it to make a meal plan for the week ahead so you are not scrambling at the last minute for a dinner plan.
- Delegate- Believe it or not, YOU do not need to do everything. What can you offload? Certainly housecleaning. What about that grocery shopping mentioned above? Laundry? If you are lucky enough to have a nanny, or a mother-in-law, use them as much as possible. Add them to your calendar. And really, if they don't do it exactly your way, learn to flex a little. Have your kids lay out their clothes ahead of time for the next day. Have them make or help make their lunches the night before. Online school and homework is the newest responsibility- get help so this is not on your shoulders only!
- Automate- use a bill-pay service, dry cleaning pickup/delivery, grocery delivery, meal service. Putting a little time in ahead of time will help you in the long run. Whatever you can make run without your constant supervision, do it!
- Schedule your self-care- This should be non-negotiable. You are not an afterthought that gets attention after everyone else. Your self-care is critical to your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Put your yoga, exercise, meditation and reading time on the calendar. Let everyone in the family know (and convince yourself) that this is as important as everything else. Also, if you enjoy cooking, or gardening, this is part of your self-care, so relish it! Plug in some earbuds and listen to your favorite podcast or audio book while working out. This is multitasking I can support!
- Limit work at home- Now-a-days many people are actually working from home. So set your work-home boundaries. If you go to the office, and have to bring work home, give yourself a time limit to finish it. Do you struggle to get your medical records done at work? Try prepping your notes in advance (if you use EPIC, put in you templates, and dot phrases ahead of time.) Have your medical assistant print recent labs or referral notes. Remember, your notes do not need to be PERFECT and they do not need to be WAR AND PEACE. Just get them done. Do you need help? Talk to your organization about getting you a scribe.
- Set boundaries on email and social media- Email and social media can be a total time suck. Sometimes email is necessary for business, but set a time limit, and stick to it. Unsubscribe to as many email lists as you can. (Really, you can find Bed, Bath and Beyond when you need it.) If you are putting an email in a file to read later, be realistic; will you really read it later? If it's not that important, delete it.
- Have a gratitude practice- Lastly, but certainly not least, practice meditation, gratitude and appreciation every day. Start your day with a meditation (I use an app called Shine, but consider Headspace, Calm or others) for a daily boost of positivity at the beginning of your day. Be sure to breathe and be present throughout your day, especially when you start to feel stressed or anxious. Acknowledge those around you. A little compliment goes a long way. At the end of the evening, practice gratitude for 3 things during your day.
I hope you can implement these tips to help you stay organized, grounded and healthy.