Cooking, calendar management and cuddling choices can make all the difference in a physician’s day-to-day level of efficiency — and consequently, the American Medical Association recently ranked automation as one of a medical practitioner’s most valuable “life hacks.”
Exemplifying a challenging balancing act in the course of just one year, Dr. Gwynne Kirchen of Wisconsin gained three life-changing statuses: first, senior resident; then, chief resident; and finally, mother.
“Balancing all these responsibilities at once, I quickly realized I needed to streamline as many things in my life as possible,” Kirchen told AMA Wire, an online AMA publication.
Kirchen was fortunate to have plenty of female colleagues for support and mentorship at her position in the Medical College of Wisconsin’s PREDICT Pain Lab. The most common underlying message she heard was to automate as much as possible, from paying bills electronically to starting a slow cooker for an evening’s meal ahead of time.
Acknowledging that budget constraints might narrow down options for outsourcing chores, Kirchen nevertheless recommended trying grocery- and meal-delivery service companies, since first-time users can often score a worthwhile discount.
“I also find it encourages me to make a more well-balanced and healthier meal than I would on my own,” she said. “[How] many nights in a row can I make tacos?”
Beyond the kitchen, household tasks are easily managed with modern apps that can remind busy professionals of upcoming deadlines, letting them better focus on their workdays, the AMA said.
Finally, the AMA reminded busy practitioners that “picking the right partner” adds a lot of mileage. Kirchen credited her husband for planning daily errands, saying that having a helpful domestic partner would be an additional significant “life-hacking tip.”
Busy doctor shares life hacks for efficiency
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