Monday, December 2, 2019

The Schedule

I'm taking the advice of a commenter and staying a bit later today (the sitter doesn't have a hard cutoff and I'm sure she'll be glad of the $) just to...chill. I had a full day of patients, and was running around and talking and listening all day and I just need still.

I did a 5 minute meditation, wrote in my planner, did the crossword, and am writing here. I usually rush home the minute I'm done so I can walk the dog and start dinner and get to whatever chores I need to do but....they can wait 15-20 minutes.

I don't have clinic every single day---technically I have all Tuesdays and all but one Thursday a month for research/admin time BUT not when I'm on call (which has been one week/month and will be until April). AND literally every non-clinical Thursday since October and through December has been filled with...something. Jury duty, out of town meeting, talk, thanksgiving, etc... So its just Tuesdays that I can be in my office all day. EXCEPT, I've scheduled therapy on Tuesdays. And research subjects. And meetings. And sometimes I have to pick up the kids at 3. And and and and and suddenly I realize I haven't actually sat at my desk in my office for 2 weeks at a time!

So I've been working more on weekends, and I gotta say that a few hours on Sunday morning does WONDERS for feeling more on top of things and starting the week off right. Yesterday I knocked several work AND home tasks off the to-do list and it felt AMAZING.

I also need to work on carving out time during the week for focused work and silence.  I can't really change my work schedule much until the next academic year---but I need to be ruthless about keeping my Tuesdays and Thursdays as free as I can (though if I have things I need to do, I can ONLY do them when not in clinic so...its a conundrum). I am considering adding on a couple hours on Monday so I can have Friday afternoons free. When/if we finally find a long-term sitter, I can ask about one late day/week as well---I could go in late that day and stay late, so I have the morning to myself PLUS time to work.

And I need to get better about asking for and taking the opportunity for some quiet time on weekends as well. Even when we are super full of fun stuff, I could wake up early, or take an hour for a walk, just to have that break from the noise.

Lots of solutions to think about, and hopefully some time to actually think about them!


  1. Just reading this gives me a visceral end of the clinic day feeling where you've been running around and talking (so much talking!) and answering 7million questions and making decisions and absolutely just craving five minutes to sit down!

    With all your commitments, would you consider pulling a Sarah ( for anyone's reference) and going to 90%? Obviously others do this as well but I appreciate her reflections over the years on how being <1 FTE has gone for her. You might be able to put your jury duty/therapy/etc on a solid day off every 2 weeks and feel good about it?

  2. Hi, its me the PCP, I'm back from yesterday!
    In my experience, its hard to make a clinic day stop early. I used to work 3.5 days and that half day turned into 66-70% of a day. So, if you do shuffle things around, I would do your own other work stuff first and start seeing patients in the mid-morning or afternoon. Much easier to ignore your EPIC inbox from 8a-12 then 12-4p.
    Before I sound like an overachiever, I should say that I only teach 1 day/month, do no research, and I take way less call than 1 wk/month. You are doing a lot. I have observed that my friends from residency who are actually in real academics seem to do far more work and have far more responsibility than whatever FTE their institution allots for them. I don't want to be discouraging, just recognizing that you are working really hard and the expectations on you are very high. So absolutely no wonder that you are feeling depleted.
    I hope you are able to get some time back for yourself soon!

    1. Yep, this. It IS a lot. But they seem to be able to find people to do it. I don't know.