215: How Physicians Can Improve Work-Life Balance by Minimizing Contaminated Time at Work and at Home (Jill Farmer, Gabriella Dennery, MD)
“Maybe getting a little clear on what this idea is so you can be even 5% or 10% more intentional about keeping those two things separate.”
- Jill Farmer
Contaminated time is a topic that comes up a lot in our conversations. It’s a term that’s been recently introduced in the field of stress management. Here, we discuss what contaminated time actually is and what someone can do about it. We first learned about the term from New York Times best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner, Brigid Schulte. Essentially, contaminated time refers to the idea that, whether we’re at work or at home, our time can become “contaminated” by worries, thoughts, energy, and attention, which takes us away from the present moment.
Research has shown that those with less contaminated time are more productive. We discuss practical ways to better manage contaminated time that won’t make you feel robotic. Much of dealing with contaminated time involves setting boundaries around things like checking and responding to emails. Here, we share some of the ways we can tackle time leaking so you can spend more time being present in both your professional and personal lives.
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