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Plan your perfect morning before opening the pharmacy

As pharmacists we can’t live like students in an adult world. We need to invest in life structure because life as a pharmacist is longer than a four-year degree. In order to show up for our patients, staff and business while managing life and family, we need to last. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others.

Remember how busy we were as pharmacy students?

Blocks of long lectures, labs and a study group before making the trek from campus to home in order to “prepare” something to eat. A crash, a cram and another crash when the alarm goes off and you rush back to campus to repeat the cycle in a slightly varied order. We remember being busy. Then we graduated. A real job, maybe a house, spouse, kids and after-school sports and bills. Compared to our student days we now know what busy means. 

As pharmacists we can’t live like students in an adult world. We need to invest in life structure because life as a pharmacist is longer than a four-year degree. In order to show up for our patients, staff and business while managing life and family, we need to last. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others.

The answer? The right start. Morning time.

You get one every 24 hours and the investment in yourself in each of those mornings is additive over years and decades.

Try this exercise to sketch out your perfect morning, then repeat it day in and day out.

table
table

Working backwards from when you need to open the pharmacy on an average day, fill in a chart of what needs to happen at what time. For example, if I need to be here at this time, I must do this, then.

I have discovered that I highly value three morning things: hot coffee, meditation and some workout time in my basement home gym to stretch and lift heavy things. I have the week broken down by muscle group, and honestly, this is largely the only half hour of my day that does not bring interruptions since the kids are still in bed and I am not yet in a dispensary.

If I want a half hour in my gym, tracing my steps back I find that I need to get up at 6:15 a.m. After the washroom routine, I head downstairs, press brew and meditate while the coffee machine does its magic. When I smell coffee and hear the machine at the end of its cycle, I take the reward and go downstairs, sync my sleep tracker to get my sleep data and move into the workout of the day.

Your perfect morning will look different and it will change over time. Make it realistic without adding too many details at first. Once you have practised your chart, it will organically fine-tune itself to what matters most to you.

A perfect morning allows us to feel productive, progressive and happy before work starts. It allows us to feel more well-rounded, proving to ourselves that we are more than just pharmacists. If there are non-work elements to our day then the work portion makes us less of the day’s time pie chart, allowing us to mitigate the grind. 

There is more to life than getting ready for the next lab or exam. Be ready with a perfect morning.

 

 

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