Last week in Stay On Your Game By Unplugging From Technology (Part One), we discussed the various benefits physicians stand to gain by setting aside their gadgets and creating tech-free time. In addition to fighting burnout, taking small breaks from technology throughout the day can also help physicians dodge text-neck and more easily reenergize after a long day. This week, we are continuing on this idea and providing you with five additional reasons all physicians should unplug and take a mental break from technology.
6. Fun, Uninterrupted. Disconnecting from technology allows you to temporarily be free of worries and obligations, and allows time to do things you enjoy simply for the sake of happiness. An elevated mood during recreation can inspire creativity, and incorporating physical activity during your free time not only improves your overall health and quality of life, but can also increase energy and reduce feelings of depression.
7. Create Time for Family. Rigorous schedules can strain intimate relationships, so unplugging encourages relationship reconciliation and improves quality of life for both physicians and their families. Your loved ones will appreciate not just your physical presence, but your mental presence as well.
8. Rebuild Your Connection With Patients. The personal connection between a doctor and patient and the profound relief a patient feels when they are truly seen and heard is irreplaceable. This feeling, however, requires a physician’s full presence with no distractions from technology. Opting to look at a high-tech screen rather than a patient’s eyes can make the patient feel both disconnected and dehumanized.
9. Come to Better Conclusions. Scientific data can improve decision making, however, just like humans, data can be wrong at times. It is important that physicians take a moment to check their conclusions with other team members, as well as patients themselves, to make sure all angles of a situation (some not quantifiable) are considered.
10. Return to Simplicity. Many patients have a justifiable expectation of personalized care. Crowded emergency rooms, over-worked hospitalist teams, and out-patient clinics with rushed office appointments do not address nor fulfill these needs. The importance of the patient-physician relationship should not be undervalued. One of the most critical elements to addressing this is not more science, but more quality, tech-free time spent with patients.
As a provider, what are some added benefits you’ve noticed from making tech-free time a priority? For more information on why physicians should unplug from technology, please visit Physicians Practice.