PEM Source

Your source for all things Pediatric Emergency Medicine



  • Most productivity experts point out that multi-tasking is counterproductive
    • Instead, focus on, and complete, one task
  • What can be productive, however, is double-dipping – accomplishing two things at once, either both for work, or mixing work and home life
    • Once you’ve done the research to write one of these, write another one or two: book chapter, review article, grant or research protocol background, lecture, blog post, podcast, layman’s article for PTA newsletter (just be careful not to plagiarize yourself in publications)
    • Listen to podcasts that help you keep up to date  / get CME while commuting
    • Exercise while: watching TV or Netflix, reading a journal / book / magazine, spending time with friends & family (take a walk or run or class together), watching your kid’s game (walk/run around the field)
      • Walk the dog, with your spouse, kid, or friend, gets you some exercise – triple dipping!
    • Insist /plan on at least one family meal per day (for the ED shift worker – it doesn’t have to be dinner) – there are many documented benefits, and you have valuable family time while doing something everyone has to do anyways
    • Involve your kid in meal planning and preparation (and when they get older, put them in charge of one dinner per week)
    • Bring your kid (just one for special time) along on a work trip
    • Commute with your significant other, or plan your day so that you can drive your kid to school on your way to work
    • Watch a TV show together as a family
    • Read along with one of your kids’ assigned English class books for your pleasure reading
      • They often read classics or great new books
      • You can connect with your kid while discussing the book
    • Do a medical demonstration at your kid’s school or help your kid teach CPR in Schools (and put it on your CV as community service)
    • Have your kid be a sim model during a teaching session
    • Have your kid help you make sim models such as this edible cricothyrotomy model
  • Think outside the box
    • If you can’t make the big play, can you be there for the dress rehearsal?
    • Split your shift to make an important event – instead of your colleague working 8am-4pm and you 4pm-12mn, offer to work 8am-12pm and 8pm-12mn so you can make an afternoon soccer game
    • It takes a village: partner up with another family (or two) and share cooking dinner and childcare duties
  • Be prepared to use little chunks of time wisely
    • Have journals or reading in the car for waiting in the carpool or activity pickup line
    • Try a 7 minute workout app
    • Go through the mail
    • Reorganize a drawer