The UPMC Center for Sports is a remarkable place for innovation and medicine. Building on the legacy of the South Side’s sports medicine partnership with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the UPMC Center for Sports blends two very committed aspects of sports together in a 185,000 square foot facility. The medical side is focused on treating all athletes, both professional and amateur. The team side is focused on developing athletes through safe and effective training.
These collaborating organizations are motivated to achieve the same degree of excellence. This facility is home to orthopedic surgeons, hand, foot, and spine specialists, and is where the Penguins train and go for all medical treatments. The sports performance sector focuses on developing better athletes from the ground up: the preventive side of sports medicine. The performance gym sets the standard for research in sports medicine, along with looking for ways to keep athletes healthy and minimize injuries.
For example, concussions are of concern for many athletes in contact sports. Football, baseball, even rugby players deal with concussions and their side effects. In the UPMC Center for Sports, hockey players are examined to improve preventative care and recovery strategies.
As the Medical Director of the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, I’m proud of this innovative, collaborative initiative between the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine and the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey organization. About 24 months ago, Josh Miller, host of “A Day in the Life,” a sports-lifestyle documentary series, interviewed me and created this video about the concept.
So, I work hard to enjoy life as a Medical Director, orthopedic surgeon, mother, wife, author and speaker. It requires some serious time management skills and I hope the following ideas inspire you to stay in control of your time. Adopting these five time management tips will help you take on all that life throws at you while maintaining your health and happiness.
1. Create and Implement A Master Schedule
This is the number one tip for successful time management. When you keep your tasks organized, it will seem less like you’re performing a juggling act, and more like you have your act together. Physicians find master schedules key for preventing mix-ups and double bookings, as well as keeping track of other staff members and doctors that have related schedules.
Once you have your schedule complete, make sure you’re utilizing it and checking it the day before so you know what you have to accomplish in the next 24 hours. This is your schedule. It doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. If you find it in your best interest to keep a physical calendar in your purse, or connect everything to your smart phone, just remember it’s up to you!
2. Master the Multi-Task
We all lead busy lives. But, one of the ways to make a day feel less jam-packed and chaotic is by mastering multitasking. It’s the ability to utilize all your time wisely. Find yourself sitting in traffic on the way to work? Use this time to plan out your meals or negotiations at your job. Do you love catching a Monday night television program and cannot fast forward on the commercials? Use this time to get up and stretch so you’re not completely sedentary.
3. Find Time For YOU
Time away from the job is important. When you’re not at work, enjoy life and time with your favorite people. Try to avoid bringing paperwork home, or obsessing over a problem you just can’t crack. It’s good to give yourself some time off, to improve your overall performance. Physicians are often guilty of not taking enough quality time away from the office, and they end up being less effective in the office. Mastering a hobby or getting involved in a cause that you’re passionate about will increase happiness and give energy back to you so you can give attention to others.
4. Get some ZZZs
Healthy brain function and emotional well-being go hand in hand with getting adequate sleep. Sleep helps your brain work better because while you sleep, your brain prepares for the next day. Studies show that “sleep deficiency alters activity in some parts of the brain. If you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change.”
5. Just do it!
Like Nike says, “Just do it!” Take action. Identify your problem, and work to solve it. Don’t let issues, especially health issues, linger. If you know that you want to stop gaining weight because you’ve just hit 40 and you’ve realized that you still have many strong years ahead of you, then take that leap and create or increase your exercise regimen. It is proven that the most successful people are those who take action. The beginning is often most ominous, and once you get past that, the follow through should come naturally. And if it doesn’t, there’s no harm, no foul, because there’s always a new day.
This brings up a final topic of stress management, which is important because we are often our own worst critics. Sometimes when we’re hung up on getting everything done, we stress ourselves. The Health Science Journal published a study connecting “stress to cardiovascular disease, the future manifestation of hypertension related to the individual‘s response to stress, metabolic syndrome, obesity, emotional overeating and approximately 50% of depression cases through disturbance of the HPA axis 8 and increased cortisol levels.”
It’s crucial that you find ways to implement stress management strategies if you are prone to stress. Managing stress is just as important as time management.
Staying connected regarding women’s health issues will provide information and incentive for you to live your best life. Good self-care can give you the margin you need to accomplish your goals, including caring for those who matter most to you. Life often throws curves, so it’s important to maintain your vigor and agility to respond well.