Going the distance

Be mindful of how you spend your time

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. June 8, 2011

The responses to my recent technology blog just about overwhelmed our servers. Many of the people who commented pointed out that some of their prosperity and efficiency is directly related to the Internet, email and mobile devices. Yes these things enable us to be more productive, connected and creative. However, there's also a dark side.

What I've learned from street-smart users and savvy professionals is to limit how much time I devote to these functions. Let me give you an example. In clinic I have a solemn obligation to address the needs of my patients. If I'm distracted by my beeper or cell phone, my focus and energy are diluted. And that's not fair to my patient. When faced with a challenging day or a complex case, I deliberately turn off my pager. Of course, I periodically check for messages, but they're typically calls of convenience. If a truly urgent issue arises, I'm easily accessible.

I'd also like to weigh in on another issue that prompts many comments — forgiveness. Everyone struggles with it. A wise reader shared her very practical perspective on this. She said that if she harbors bitterness and resentment toward an individual or a circumstance, she's giving away her serenity and peace of mind. Her advice is to focus on the moment and not waste precious time rehashing the events of the past. Powerful advice.

What advice do you have to share on these issues that really boil down to how we choose to spend our time and energy?


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

June 08, 2011