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55. Too Much On My Plate | Getting un-busy, procrastination, and pulling back from overcommitment
Episode 5526th July 2021 • Stimulus | Helping Doctors overcome burnout, excel in leadership, and unlock their most fulfilling careers • Rob Orman, MD
00:00:00 01:00:07

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The phrase “too much on my plate” and word “busy” are pervasive in modern discourse. But does it have to be so? We certainly didn’t start out that way as children! In this episode, Dr. Christina Shenvi walks us through the path to clear our ‘schedule plates’ and open space in our lives, get un-busy, and conquer the email inbox.

Guest Bio: Christina Shenvi MD, PhD is an emergency physician at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where she is the director of the UNC Office of Academic Excellence and the newly appointed president of the Association of Professional Women and Medical Sciences. A frequent guest on Stimulus, Dr. Shenvi is a world class time managment coach where her goal is to help busy professionals find more peace with their schedules, feel less stressed, and use their time more effectively. Her most recent Stimulus episodes were on Procrastination and Habits.

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We discuss:

  • The insidious path of getting to the point of having too much on your plate [02:00]; 
  • A framework for deciding whether to say “yes” or “no” to things [05:45];
  • The 4 pillars Rob uses to help guide “yes” or “no” decisions [08:30];
  • Why it’s problematic to think of life as a zero sum game[10:20];
  • The Japanese concept of Ikigai [13:30];
  • Becoming more efficient by shrinking the amount of time you spend on things that are on your plate [15:45];
  • The 5 Whys technique for understanding the fundamental bedrock of your motivation [19:30];
  • Self-worth theory, which helps explain both why we overwork/overcommit as well as why we sometimes procrastinate [25:00];
  • The concept of Stoic meditation and the Ozymandias exercise [30:10];
  • The constant struggle of determining if your work aligns with your values and using Stoic indifference to suspend self-judgement [32:00];
  • Choosing to do things vs. “I should” [33:40];
  • Reframing the notion of being too busy [40:44];
  • Deep work [43:30];
  • The importance of creating a system for shallow work [46:15]; 
  • The freedom gained from managing your email inbox [51:50];
  • And more.