Below are the episode show notes and transcript. Some episode transcripts have been edited more than others, but they are up in the meantime to help those who would rather read and for searchability on the web. Extensive editing has not been prioritized as I seek to both produce regular content and maintain my own wellness. Enjoy!
So many things competing for attention…
And yet, intentionality is a key to focus!
Check out episode 25 “Moving from Distraction to Intentionality” to see how to effect change for yourself in a world of distraction!
Get home faster with 10 tips from my free PDF guide, Maximize Your Clinical Efficiency! Click to get your guide NOW!
Today’s sponsor: White Coat Investor courses – advance your financial literacy and wellness with a course from WCI. Click here to check out a course today
So many distractions these days, right? Commercials, ads, push notifications, devices, more, more, more dopamine. Yes, that’s right. In a fast paced world like ours. How do distractions threaten wellness? Is it threatening medicine too? You’ve had similar questions?Great! Then stick around for the rest of today’s episode.
Welcome to the MedEdWell podcast, where physicians get empowered to take the next step in their wellness, personally, professionally, and financially. I’m your host, Dr. Ryan Stegink, a practicing general pediatrician and online entrepreneur.
Thank you so much for joining me here on the MedEdWell podcast. We’re already to episode 25 and I want to thank you for subscribing for listening and for sharing these episodes with other physicians, I want to help advance physician wellness, and you are a big part of that. Not only engaging with material, but sharing with others, it makes a difference. So thank you. If you’re looking to get home sooner, to get your work done more efficiently, check out my free guide, maximize your clinical efficiency. It’s a free download. Just head on over to the link in the show notes today, we’re gonna be talking about distractions, how they pop up, literally yes, pun intended both in medical life and in your own personal.
And then how can we evaluate the potential need for any changes? Spoiler alert involves intentionality. But before we get to the rest of today’s episode, let’s hear from today’s sponsor. This episode is brought to you by Dr. Jimmy Turner’s book, The physician philosopher’s guide to personal finance. Dr. Turner gives a great description saying “in medical training, our, our job is to hone our craft by learning and practicing the best possible medicine for our patients. Unfortunately, medical training, isn’t free. If you are ready to learn how to effectively pay down your student loans, invest efficiently and achieve financial freedom early in your career. Then this book is for you.” You can download a copy at the Amazon link in the show notes. All right, now, back to today’s episode, we live in a world of distraction. Attention is commoditized, and it’s all about making it more sticky to stay longer, to watch more videos.
So what I found myself so busy, not enough time for this or that for more sleep, to exercise, to get my work done at work, but over the past. So I’ve read a couple of books and has seen a documentary that have been really insightful and challenging for me. I got to watch the social dilemma and read some of Cal Newport’s work, a world without email and deep work. It’s been really helpful to reflect on how I interact with technology, not just my phone, but how my habits are going. For instance, in the past, I I’ve checked my phone. First thing in the morning. What did I miss on my email? What’s the weather. And now that I’m here, I’ll check the sports. Maybe social media real quick. Okay. How long are we spending on this? The weather at home or at work? The temptations remain my electronic inbox. Beck ends with another result or refill request. Okay. Let’s check it. No, wait, I don’t have time for that one. I’ll come back to it. Task switching my way. Right into inefficiency and overwhelm. And so it’s easy to end up chronically behind overburdened with no time for anything but doing, doing, doing all the things. So when you find
Yourself distracted or wondering how you can focus better, I want you to ask yourself three questions. Number one, what do I say that I don’t have time for number two? What is my current state or current situation? And number three, what can you do? And how do you want to change the first? What do I say that I don’t have time for these things may be important to you priority or things that you say that you are prioritizing, that you want to be important to you. Again, this comes back to intentionality and getting clear on what you want, what you value, whether it’s sleep, exercise, mental health, money, success, power family. We’ve talked about margin and priorities before. This is an opportunity to surface things that you a be pushing to the back burner. Maybe it’s a hobby, a special family trip, finally exercising more, which is my thing right now.
And so after you say, what do I say that I don’t have time for then look at what’s your current state, just like a financial budget needs to look back first at what was it’s the same with time? Where did you spend it? What got in the way you say certain things came up, there were particular workflows that you were burdened by, or kind of got in the way maybe your use of devices at a particular location is more distracting or that you have maybe even too many notifications on for me. I looked at the screen time section of my phone and found that was able to of track my usage over my phone and tablet and found about seven hours a day on my phone and tablet. And I picked up my devices about 150 times a day. Wow, man. So I need to make some changes.
I’ve been starting to put some things into place. So do your time audit, see where, where things have been going. It’s kind of like we talked about with finance says, you gotta look back and then make some plans from there. So for this time audit, maybe you track it manually. Maybe you put it on paper or it could be electronically, whether it’s a spreadsheet an app, there’s lots of things. Even just looking at the screen time on the apple devices and looking at notifications, pickups, specific apps, there’s lots of ways to do. And you can even track this on a desktop with other apps, maybe even ask your significant other or kids. How is my ability to focus with you as a result of my devices? How do you feel about my devices? See what they say. Maybe there’s something that’s convicting for you that you need to change, but help you focus and be more present.
So you might say, okay, you say you don’t have time for number two. Where is that time going? Number three, what can you, and do you want to change for me? I really like my calendar on my phone can have it with me wherever I’m at update things and I can share it. My wife and I started putting my daily tasks on paper, in a notebook. Even my podcast show outlines, I’ve put on post-it notes. I started out making a script and typing out the whole thing. And initially that worked, especially as I was less comfortable speaking, less comfortable speaking on camera, but scripts were just too long. It took too long. I needed to make a more detailed outline, but again, an outline. And when I was doing it on my iPad, I got really distracted for me. I know that I’m the most productive in the morning.
So by trying to be on my phone less, maybe even no phone early on before I get through some of the important things, it means that I have to be intentional the night before preparing what I’ll read and other tasks that I want to get done in the day before I get bombarded by the busyness of the day before I see the notifications, the emails before my daughter gets up and I get to spend time with her before my wife gets up and I get to spend time with her too. These things require, thought in order to get some of those tasks complete before some of those other things that I say are priorities really need to be acted upon to say, I want to be able to make breakfast for my daughter. I want to be able to have intentional conversations with my wife once she’s awake and had her coffee and so forth.
But the way you design your day, it’s gonna look different. It’s gonna look different than mine and that’s okay. But again, it’s about you present priorities and intentionality and it starts with what you want to change. And then to how it could be trialing some of these more analog options, maybe saying no tech before breakfast using some of the focus modes, decreasing notifications, checking email less often, maybe even being on your devices, less around just children, pick something, try it and see how it goes. And then repeat. I previously had my work email on my phone, but with inspiration from a colleague who never had it on hers. And we had some technology issues in our system and I didn’t have access to it on my phone for a while. And so that was one of the things that I decided it’s not going back on.
I’ll intentionally check it when I’m at work, when I’m off, I’m off. So for you, where does this leave you? I want you to imagine if you made some changes, what could your life look like? Relationships engaging with hobbies, personal wellness, whether exercise or sleep, what other things could you give time to things that you say that are priorities? How can you time audit six months from now reflect that yes, you made some changes and how you spent your time reflects those priorities. So we’re all on a journey. I want you to take that next step reevaluate and try the next thing again. If you need some ideas for tips to stay focused and on track at work, download the, maximize your clinical efficiency guide at the link in the show notes, check out today’s sponsor the physician philosophers guide to personal finance. Again, the link in the show notes, and maybe you get the, the analog paper copy rather than the Kindle so that you can focus more while you’re reading it. I wanna thank you for joining me here on another episode of the MedEd. Well podcast, please subscribe, share this episode with a colleague or another physician and leave a review. Thanks so much for all you do. I look forward to seeing you back for the next episode, a great day.
And now for our important disclaimer:
Dr. Ryan Stegink is a practicing general pediatrician, but the MedEdWell podcast does not reflect the views, opinions, or beliefs of his employer nor affiliated university. Additionally, the MedEdWell podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only and should NOT be considered advice regarding financial, legal, student loan, medical or any other specific topic. In such a case, you should seek consultation with a certified professional in that particular area. Again thanks for joining us on the MedEdWell podcast, and have a great day!