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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Mindfulness or multi-tasking as a mother in medicine

And then she said, “Wait what?”   

As a mother in medicine, are you engaging in mindfulness, or are you a multi-tasker?  Perhaps that’s too simplistic of a question, as it’s not necessarily an either/or.  The complexity may rest in which of these two are you striving for? 

My challenge is I find I’m striving for both.  I want to be more mindful and present with the people I’m with, but with things I want to multi-task.  When I’m with my family, I should be with my family.  When I’m with my students I should be with my students.  When I’m with my patients I should be with my patients.  When I'm in a meeting, I should be with the meeting members... that last one is a hard one!  What if you find yourself with people and it’s not worth your while?  When it’s not engaging.  When you have sooooooo many competing priorities and demands.  Do you exit (physically or mentally)?  Do you meditate or do you multitask or do you make your way out the door?

And, what about when the people aren’t fully present with you?  I’ll wait… And I’ll aim to make being there, being here, worthwhile. 

Maybe the key is to be mindful and fully present with people, and to multi-task effectively with things. But that may also mean you have to be around the "right" people and do the "right" things... the people and things that give your life meaning!

I guess it’s kind of a topic or conundrum for us, the busiest people.  And on that, do we agree that the busiest are the mothers in medicine?

6 comments:

  1. I talk about this issue with my husband constantly. As an anesthesiologist, my job is ALL about multitasking. So unconsciously I try to carry that over in life, yet now that I have a baby, I realize that many times multitasking is Not the answer. I’ve been working on unitasking at home, even though I continue to multitask at work. This means focusing on my husband and daughter, putting my phone on airplane mode, and doing social media fasts 1-2 days a week.

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    1. Thinking about you talking about this constantly makes me laugh a little, and I love the new uni-tasking while on airplane mode at home, go for it, practice balance!

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  2. I'm also trying harder to be mindful in all situations but sometimes failing. Yes, sometimes meetings are hard. Especially large non-video conference calls! I'd like to adopt the approach of if I chose to be at this meeting, I should be engaged and give it all my attention ---and try to just choose wisely.

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    1. Helpful to hear from someone who speaks mindfulness, and yet is still working on it.

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  3. I started Game of Thrones for the first time a few weeks ago - now into 5th Season. It has completely distracted me in the evenings at home. No social media, nothing else but watch on nights without kids. I need to practice GoT mindfulness and focus in other areas of my life, lol.

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    1. Ah. Feels good to be completely immersed in something, for a time...

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