Commandment 2: Develop a routine

Medical school may seem chaotic more days than not.  You have professors throwing assignments, tests, and projects at you. You have attendings bombarding you with clinical duties, responsibilities, pimping sessions, and rolling eye glances. You have residents drilling you, ignoring you, and dumping research projects on you. It seems like one big mess, and why would anyone want to do this?

We do it because it is worth it. The way to make this daily heroic feat possible is by sticking to a routine that works for YOU. Many classmates in medical school are type A personalities, with ultra strong egos and super elaborate study plans. That is great for students that are on top of a schedule, but for many students schedules just do not seem to work. I was always a medical student that wanted to have a routine or a schedule but I never stuck to it.  I finally came to the realization that I am not a schedule person. And honestly, that is okay. But what I soon realized afterwards is that I am a routine person. There is a difference between a schedule and a routine.

Schedules are all about time stamps, deadlines, and hitting goal objectives. That sounds great but it is not easy. Routines are all about structuring your day and your life in a way that makes you the most successful. I found out that routines can help facilitate a pseudo-schedule, and make you productive.

I will try and share out I structured my days in hopes to show you how a routine can work. I developed a routine by first identifying my overall daily tasks, 1) school work, 2) research, 3) class, and 4) working out/eating.  Everyday I would set a time frame for when I wanted to accomplish these goals. I would do some planning by seeing what obligations I have and then working around them. Of course certain tasks like research or working out can be shortened but to me the best way to stay balanced and productive is to participate in each 4 task everyday.

I think establishing your routine, what works for you and what does not work is the most important strategy to gain a healthy competitive edge. Routines can come in all shapes and sizes. If you would like more information on our personal routines feel free to email us at DaVinci Academy.