More Than Medicine: Productivity Pro-Tips

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Maximize your time without getting burnt out.

Time is one of the most precious commodities in life. What if I told you that you could get back at least an hour of your day?

We all wish we had more hours in the day to accomplish the tasks we set out to complete and often find ourselves wishing we could do more. In this episode, optimizing work productivity and maintaining healthy habits are discussed.


Taking a step back and reprioritizing values is what Marco Propersi did as he found himself in a whirlwind of balancing money, family, friends, fitness and personal time. Propersi said that people should not feel so pressed for time on a daily basis that they would feel guilty running a quick errand for a spouse. It was time to reprioritize values. Immediately he started reading and learning about productivity and efficiency. He discovered that through simple changes in everyday habits, we could spend our time much more wisely.

Many of us have been receiving the dreaded “weekly screen time report” and unfortunately have seen significant rises in screen time. Social media and related apps can be beneficial until they inhibit us from interacting with the world around us. Is the time you spend on apps meaningful and positively impactful to your life?

Checking Instagram or the latest sports highlights on your phone can be disruptive to productivity and time efficiency. Below are action items and resources to help enhance quality work production.


Concrete Changes:

  • Reduce Exposure:
    • Remove apps that take away from meaningful life experiences.
    • Consider completely deleting an account on the application.
  • Remove cues:
    • Adjust notification settings
    • Set time limitations for application use
  • Make it difficult:
    • Increase the friction for accessibility to the internet or apps. Change passwords, adjust or web browser access.
    • Set access timers – can only access certain applications during a given time period.
  • Accountability:
    • Try a 30-day hiatus from social media with a friend.
    • Reassess how your time is spent and work efficiency.
    • Be honest with yourself when analyzing your time.
  • Deep work:
    • Make it time-specific and energy-focused.
    • Make it intentional and create a dedicated time for deep work.
    • Wake up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than normal and use that time for you to organize the day and accomplish your goals. Quiet time in the morning is a peaceful way to start each day.
  • Goals vs. Deadlines
    • Set goals, not deadlines. It can be admirable to set various deadlines when working on a big project, but this can create unnecessary anxiety. To get quality work accomplished, create time blocks to work on a project, rather than say I need to finish by a certain date in advance. The work will take care of itself if quality and intentional time is spent during each working session.

As a reminder, taking ownership allows for a search for solutions and progress instead of blame. Enhance the quality of your work by increasing friction for accessibility to various phone and computer applications.

Be sure to carve out a period of time to indulge in deep work by making it time-specific and energy-focused.

To listen to the EM Over Easy Episode tied to this post visit



EM OVER EASY is a podcast by three EM physicians, Andy Little, Tanner Gronoowski and Drew Kalnow, with a focus on #MoreThanMedicine. The podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and more. For more about the content and hosts, visit and follow them on twitter @emovereasy.

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