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Making the Most of Their Down Time

Pop-up Poll responses show how ECPs have been spending their time

The majority of respondents to a recent Women In Optometry (WO) Pop-up Poll (57 percent) have been working to balance their time between home and work during the period when many offices were close or seeing few patients. Another 26 percent have tried to dedicate themselves to being home. 

time away chart 1

In addition to the list of ways that respondents have been keeping themselves busy, some wrote in other answers: cleaning/organizing; home improvement projects/ reading, puzzles, webinars and helping front-line providers by delivering PPE or other supplies.

time away chart 2

Two-thirds of the respondents said that they’ve missed their patients in this time. On a 1-3 scale, with 1 being “I do not miss my patients” and 3 being “I miss them terribly,” 67 percent clocked in at the mid-point: 2. Twelve percent said they don’t miss their patients, and 21 percent said that they miss them terribly.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF?

WO asked respondents to say what they discovered about themselves in a few words.

A number of people responded that they discovered core aspects of their personalities—see word cloud. Others wrote out funny or thoughtful (or funny and thoughtful) responses.

time away word cloud

“I love my job more than I thought!”

“Need more hobbies”

“Scatterbrained multitasker”

“Conflicted, resilient, thankful for savings”

“I may be more ready to retire than I thought. I assumed I’d hate being away from patients.”

“I am handling the stress far better than I expected. I often get paralyzed by stress and fear, and I am stressed and afraid yet able to function and not get so irritable.”

“Physical activity is satisfying.”

“I love being home; I have so many hobbies. If I had to walk away from my business, I would be fine. Part of that is because I have been practicing for over 25 years, and I have more career behind me than ahead of me.”

“I will survive.”

“That I can be quite content for hours on end to lay on the couch with my phone in one hand and the tv remote in the other. But, to be honest, I already strongly suspected this. Also, the reason I was not exercising, cleaning, starting that new project, etc. apparently is NOT that I lacked the time.”

“I’m enjoying some quiet time, and being away from the hustle and bustle every day.”

“I’m used to routine and love to pack my schedule.”

“I don’t get bored.”

“Peace through relationship with Christ”

“It turns out my house is not a mess because I didn’t have enough time, but because I don’t want to clean!”

“How busy I am without going into the office. And how scared I am of not being able to go back to work, simply to get my income back up to a normal level.”

“Discovered I do not like not working (have had a part- or full-time job away from home since I was 16).”

“Enjoy teaching my kids.”

“I learned how to crochet!”

“That I am an introvert!”

“I was surprised at the gut-check I had when we were opting to furlough employees. There were one or two whom I actually was relieved to be laying off—and I realized who my true core of staff really are. We are going to focus even more on having the very best staff when we reopen—and will no longer tolerate those who are self-absorbed or more focused on themselves—rather than on what’s best for the team. ‘Good enough’ is no longer going to be ‘good enough.’”

melissa richard dog art“I started drawing again, something I haven’t done in many years. I’m doing a series on dogs wearing sunglasses! It’s a great way for me to destress, and I plan on continuing even when I do go back to work full time.” –Melissa Richard, OD, MS (whose artwork is shown here)

“I am grateful for the time to not only catch up on behind the scenes duties at the office and home but also the quality moments with family. We have been making great memories together doing all kinds of stuff no longer (at least for now) in a hurry. Hopefully the pandemic taught us to slow down and live life.”

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