Readers often ask me and I often talk about finding balance while being in medical school. It helps improve your learning, your productivity, and your lifestyle while preventing burn out. This is however - as I know first hand - easier said than done.
Today, I thought I might talk about one of the tools I use to scheduling balance: the calendar. We have all seen it; many of you might even use it on a day to day basis. It comes in many forms, from the large poster boards on your wall, to the agenda you carry in your bag, to the phone you carry in your pocket.
The balance I strive for is easily overcome by the demands of medicine. There is no shortage of work, calls, and rounds to attend if I was so inclined. To prevent this bias, my schedule has to be balanced by the counter argument: the personal events and interests. If there are important events or activities I would like to do, I waste no time putting them in, no matter how trivial it is.
To have the calendars visible at all times side by side, reinforces the importance and interplay they have with each other. No calendar is more important than the other.
Since I am in a relationship, I have found the digital calendar that syncs between my computer and phone to be the best fit for me. Not only can I add activities and events from either device at any time, I also have access to my partner’s calendar and she mine, making it easier to plan get togethers.
Scheduling balance works best when you are willing to put in the time to creating and maintaining your calendar as well as checking it regularly to make the most of your planning. Depending on how often you choose to do both, your mileage with the calendars may vary.
With a calendar well stocked and at your side at all times, you can easily check before you say “yes.” At the end of the day, life balance cannot be achieved no matter what tools you use if you cannot confidently say “no.”