5 for Friday

May 10, 2019

1- Reading update (part 1). I just finished reading Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt. I liked it overall! There wasn’t too much filler for my taste, it was well-written, and I feel like it had a few nice tools that were worth the time spent reading it. I enjoyed thinking about ways to automate, delegate, and create periods of time for focus at work. I also found value in creating a new “Ideal Week” for myself, and while this is certainly not an exercise unique to Hyatt’s teachings, I’m glad he motivated me to revisit it!

I added an extra day to account for my day off every other week!

2- Reading update (part 2). I read close to 50 books in 2018. We’re over 1/3 through 2019, and I’ve only read 9! What changed? No more pumping. I really did effectively pair pumping time with reading time, and while I’m glad to see the former go, I miss the feeling of always having an absorbing book (or 2) going! I theoretically should have more time (kids sleeping better, etc) but clearly it’s just going elsewhere. I’m determined to get my momentum back on this again. JUICY AND ADDICTING BOOK RECS PLEASE! (I will say I did read my first Emily Giffin novel and devoured it in about 48 hours.)

3- It’s almost Mother’s Day! I’m trying to keep expectations low — ha! May is always so packed with holidays around here because my birthday is May 20 and our anniversary May 27! Just woah. My only goals are to get my studio workout in, and to get a great picture with me + all 3 kids (I feel like this is a nice Mother’s Day tradition!).


Apparently the festivities kick off today which translates into me having to leave work for ~1.5 hours in order to get to Cameron’s school for his performance. (WHY couldn’t these kinds of events be at the beginning or end of the work day?!). Sigh.

4- I’m going back on Instagram. My ban didn’t really work (though I did follow it fairly religiously for about 2 weeks), nor did it make me magically happier or more productive. So, you can anticipate some new stories or pix on my feed at some point soon. I’m sure this was high on everyone’s mind (SARCASM).

5- WEEKEND PLANNING needs to be back in my life. Things got a little crazy and (unfortunately) I hadn’t sat down to do this properly in quite some time. But Josh and I are both off this weekend and I am determined to use those family hours well! Will report back Monday.


  • Reply Kate May 10, 2019 at 7:29 am

    How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
    Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
    Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
    Heartburn by Nora Ephron
    Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan
    Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

    All of these were the kind of books that made me want to neglect all my responsibilities. 🙂 Good luck finding your next read!

  • Reply Emily May 10, 2019 at 8:00 am

    I think you would like If, Then by Kate Hope Day and Lost and Wanted by Nell Freudenberger. They’re both thought provoking but also page turners! I also highly recommend Michelle Obama’s memoir. I don’t know if you like short stories but Look How Happy I’m Making You (short stories about pregnancy and new motherhood) was great too and highly readable.

  • Reply Lori C May 10, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Sara, I didn’t think color coding planning worksheets could get anyone else as excited as I am, so I love seeing your ideal week! When I tracked my first 168 hours I immediately planned the next week using the same format and I color coded too! Lol!!!! I just started You Will Know me by Megan Abbott and so far so good, it’s hard to put down (woman’s daughter is competitive gymnast, goes missing, reappears years later but seems like a different person). Have a great weekend!!

    • Reply Lori C May 10, 2019 at 7:58 pm

      Ok I totally mixed up two books on my nightstand. Good as Gone is the one with the child that disappears and reappears. You Will Know Me is about the gymnast. (I just started You Will Know Me and Good As Gone is next!)

  • Reply Erika May 10, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (SO AMAZINGLY GOOD) and The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See are my 2 recent favorites that are both just excellent books and also total page-turners.

  • Reply Erica S May 10, 2019 at 9:39 am

    I will put in a second votes for Kitchens of the Great Midwest (my fave book of 2017) and Homegoing. I also enjoyed “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevado – it’s a YA novel in verse and was lovely. I just finished “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng, which was really engaging.

  • Reply Marthe May 10, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Thanks as well for the book recs! Just clicked through and Kitchens of the midwest is now only 2.23 dollars on Amazon!

  • Reply Jennifer May 10, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Book Recommendations are my favorite! Here are a couple of good ones that I recently read:
    Truly Devious by Maureeen Johnson (YA-but so good first of three)
    Where’d You go Bernadette by Maria Semple
    +1 for Little Fires Everywhere by Celest Ng
    The Summer Wives by Beatrice Williams
    The Great Alone Kristin Hannah

  • Reply Sara B. May 10, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    I did the ideal week exercise this week too, which was interesting because I’m an academic Emergency Physician and randomness is my life. I did 2 versions – a work-only-Monday-thru-Friday version, which is never going to happen (and I actually wouldn’t want it that way), but it really helped me get my head around how much childcare I need. And then I did a more realistic version with night and weekend work incorporated. I think I’m going to ask my husband to do this too – I’d love to know what the gap between ideal and reality is for him.

    Also: curious what your resident conference schedule looks like for you (aside from AM report). Lunchtime? Ours are at 7am twice weekly (faculty requirement 25%), and I often have 7am meetings two other days a week, and I’m starting to hate this, because I can need afternoon / evening childcare for shifts later on the same day. I have academic work and teaching I do some days, but the schedule has been a struggle lately.

  • Reply Rachel May 10, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    I love the ideal week schedule! What’s included in your shutdown ritual at work? I need to incorporate one but don’t know where to begin.

    I read “My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite in one sitting. A few others I couldn’t put down:
    “Inheritance” by Dani Shapiro
    “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot
    “The Radium Girls” by Kate Moore
    “The Martian” by Andy Weir

    Happy reading!

  • Reply Ali May 11, 2019 at 5:05 am

    I’ll have to check out Free to Focus. Sometimes I can read books like that, but fail on follow-thru on a lot of the ideas presented, but I love the idea of designing my ideal week. I’ve tried giving up on Instagram too, but I actually find that I miss it. I do find that time away from facebook ends up being a very good thing.

  • Reply Anne May 12, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Here I am, Jonathan Safran Foer. Very addictive, funny, witty book
    And my book (not a modest suggestion, I know, lol!): The Embalmer, Anne-Renée Caillé

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 13, 2019 at 8:23 am

      I’ve read here I am! Loved it. I will look at your book! Very cool!!

  • Reply gia May 13, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Am I missing something, you only have 1 hour of patient contact time a day? So, that’s like 4 patients?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 13, 2019 at 5:33 pm

      No the whole gray box is patients on those days – I’m just doing calls teaching etc in between.

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