I like to think that I am an efficient person. And I like to stay busy. Those traits have helped me find success as a husband, father, full time plastic surgeon, real estate investor and blogger. But I think one underrated aspect is that I build in a lot of recovery time into my schedule.
Like a lot of doctors, I am a type A, goal oriented person. This is a good thing and a bad thing.
The good part of this is that we are high achievers. The bad part is that we often fall into the trap of working really hard (to our disadvantage) to achieve things we may not actually want. This leads to things like burnout like I experienced.
The other bad part of this is that we tend to just keep going. We go from goal to goal. But we forget to take time for ourselves. This also leads to burnout.
The importance of built in recovery time
The answer to this is something that sounds kind of compulsive now that I am writing it out.
I’ve talked before about how I plan my schedule the previous day. But this doesn’t just include “work” things.
What I do is I actually schedule my recovery time as well.
Doing this forces you to take the time you need to focus on yourself. And it sounds forced at first glance. But that’s how these things start.
In general, doctors are really bad at caring for themselves. So we do need to force it at first. Like anything else, we will get better with practice.
What does recovery time look like?
For me, this time includes things like hanging out with Selenid and the kids, watching TV shows, following the Yankees and Jets, physical activity, reading, etc.
For someone else, it will be different. Basically, it’s anything that helps you relax and recover.
But I do think it’s important to plan what we are doing during our recovery time. Because scrolling social media isn’t recovery time. Further, if we don’t plan what we are doing, we are more likely to fall into the habit of thinking we need to work or stay busy or be productive.
With time, I’ve come to appreciate this time as being very productive for me. And I try to make it another one of my simple habits.
Built in recovery time and success
I really believe that an underrated and under-talked about aspect of successful people is that they build in recovery time. I don’t have a slew of famous examples but it seems to be a common trait.
That’s why I smile when people ask me how I have time to do everything that I do. Because to me, I don’t feel like I’m doing “so much.” And it doesn’t feel that way because of the recovery time that I have built in.
I think it’s really that simple.
Here are some other tips and tricks!
- 10 Ways to Implement “Deep Work” as a Physician
- Sorta Random Sunday: You Need A Who Not How
- Sorta Random Sunday: The Fallacy of Not Enough Time
What do you think? Do you build in recovery time? How do you do it? What activities help you recover? Let me know in the comments below!