Three Ways Physicians Can Be More Energetic

June 11, 2016

In our hectic, rush-rush world, it seems as if taking on one more task won't be of any harm. As a daily practice, however, it begins to wear on us.

In his 1913 commencement address to the Yale graduating class, Dr. William Osler bade the students to "live in a tight compartments." What he meant was take care of today's business today, but don't "borrow'' against tomorrow.

In our hectic, rush-rush world, it seems as if taking on one more task, watching one more show, visiting one more website, etc. won't be of any harm. On occasion, that is true. As a daily, often-repeated practice, however, it begins to wear on us.

A days is 24 hours. There will be another day tomorrow, and another after that. If we learn to live in a tight compartments, we can maintain high energy, avoid burnout, be better with our staff and patients, and be a more enjoyable family member.

Staying energetic

Here are three ideas for staying energetic:

1) Don't borrow against tomorrow.

The aforementioned tip means that when you feel tired in the evening, it is time to go to bed - not to slog through the next TV show, review the next 10 pages, or visit the next website. Your body gives you indicators and it makes good sense to use them.

2) Ensure that you tend to your physical needs on a regular basis.

Bodies crave regularity. Eating at the same time is actually helpful. Food fuels your body and your mind, so that you can be at your best. A good breakfast counts. A decent lunch does wonders. A dinner that is lighter than the earlier meals will help as well. Periodic snacks are good, but keep them healthy.

3) Drop back and take a breath whenever you feel like it.

You get to pause anytime you want, periodically throughout the day. Even in the midst of complicated brain surgery, you can take moments here and there for yourself, before returning to the fray. Without taking periodic breaks throughout the day, life seems like one long grind. You deserve a break or two or 10, today. Take them.