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Finding Peace and Quiet at your Practice


Here are a few ways that you can keep the peace at your practice and at your home life.

It is not your imagination; the world is becoming a progressively noisier place. Studies of urban, suburban, and even rural areas indicate that decibel levels of ambient noise are increasing. Researchers, using sophisticated sound equipment, find increases everywhere.

Gordon Hempton, a noise researcher for many decades, has documented the rise in noise all over North America. Even in great forests, silence is becoming a vanishing commodity.

At your practice, you might have noticed that your office is noisier now than years ago. Why? More printers, more copiers, more cell phone intrusion, and more interruptions, researchers have found. If finding peace and quiet has become a challenge for you, here are some ideas to get you back to a place of relative quiet when you need it, and periodically throughout the day. Everyone needs it.

* When driving to work or driving back home have your windows closed with the air conditioner or heater on. Tests show that your miles per gallon is roughly the same as with the AC or heater off and the windows open. So, you might as well ride with windows closed and the mild machine on.

* Play relaxing music, a recorded book, a lecture, or anything that suits you during your commute. The music will not necessarily mask outside sounds, but it will make the ride seem more pleasurable, and it will make the time seem to go by faster.

* Having control inside your vehicle, even in little measures, gives you a greater sense of control. Perhaps you can pick a 15-minute interval during the morning and/or 15 minutes during the afternoon. Don't discount the value of being able to take such a break. Immersed in silence, where you know no one will be calling you, knocking on your door, asking you a medical question, or otherwise disturbing you, might prove to be your most productive stretch all day long.

* Buy a white noise machine or download a white noise app for your cell phone. Such devices mask sounds when you place the source of the white noise between you and the offending noise.

* Leave a voicemail message for others that tell them when you'll be available and when you will not. Most people understand and respect such a message because they are fighting the same battle.

* At all times, seek opportunities to stay in control of your immediate environment. Sit in the far end of the airport lounge when waiting for your plane, go to the rooftop terrace or park bench, or occupy the far table in the lunch room when you need to be alone with your thoughts.

As we proceed into the future, the level of noise in our personal and professional lives is bound to increase. So make it your mission to figure out when, during the day, and during the week, you will find some pockets of peace and quiet.

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