- Achieving Work-Life Balance
- Remind yourself about how amazing you are
- Try to be present no matter where you are
- Delegate or outsource tasks whenever possible
- Accept that it is not going to be perfect all of the time
- Take breaks
- Do training online
- Supplement in-office hours with telemedicine appointments
- Ban yourself from going into your office on the weekend
- Adjust your time on-call
- Schedule personal time to take care of your emotional, mental and physical health
- Learn to prioritise and know when to multi-task and when not to
Achieving Work-Life Balance
Achieving a good work-life balance is difficult in most careers, but this is especially the case for doctors. After all, there are no typical 9 to 5 days when dealing with health matters, and you can’t exactly tell someone to put off their illness for another day. At the same time, it is vital that you have a life of your own. You only get one of them after all. Plus, if you do not take care of yourself, you are at serious risk of a burnout, and then you are going to be of no use to anyone. So, with that in mind, read on to discover plenty of great tips that can help you to achieve a better work-life balance as a doctor.
Remind yourself about how amazing you are
There is only one place to begin, and this is with how incredible you are! Every day, make sure you take a few moments to simply remind yourself about the work you do. There are so many stresses and strains that come with being a doctor, and this makes it easy to lose track of why you decided to go for such a demanding career in the first place. Sometimes, all you need to do is take a step back and look at the work you are doing. You are helping people to lead better lives. Taking a moment to put things into perspective will help you to regain focus.
“The first thing most people think of when trying to implement order in their work and home life is to decrease the hours spent at the office or negotiate some sort of flexible work arrangement. While this approach may work in the short term, reducing your office hour time won’t do much for long term work-life symmetry. – themuse.com”
Try to be present no matter where you are
When you are at work, put any struggles you are experiencing at home to the back of your mind. Don’t think about them. And, when you are at home, try not to focus on problems a patient is experiencing. Of course, this is way easier said than done. Nevertheless, there are a number of strategies that can help you, including meditation. You can find more about meditation for beginners here: mindworks.org. Staying present is vital because it makes certain that you do not miss out on something vital due to your mind not being fully engaged.
Delegate or outsource tasks whenever possible
There are bound to be parts of your practice that can be taken care of by another member of staff, especially administrative tasks. While it is admirable to try and do everything yourself, there really is no need, and you are going to be much better off giving your patients your full attention. If there is no one in your practice who has the capacity to do the work you are struggling with, why not outsource it? Most businesses outsource a portion of their tasks today. Your time is valuable, so you do not need to waste it on admin tasks, accountancy, and such like. Get someone else in to do this.
Accept that it is not going to be perfect all of the time
One of the most important steps in all of this is to accept that there are going to be periods whereby your work balance goes sour. There are also going to be times whereby you feel like you have gotten everything perfect. Accepting this will help you to keep working hard to achieve a more consistent work-life balance.
Another important tip when it comes to maintaining a good work-life balance as a doctor is to take breaks. Needless to say, there are going to be times whereby it is necessary to schedule continual, back-to-back patient appointments. Nevertheless, this cannot be sustained. Switching gears from person to person can be incredibly exhausting. That is without even mentioning the other commitments that come along with this, from following up on paperwork. If you do not build any breaks into your appointment schedule, you are going to burn out. The best thing to do is think about your working day at present and pinpoint when throughout the day you start to slow down. Schedule a quick 15-minute break at these moments – at a minimum – so that you can decompress and get back up to full working speed. You will be surprised by how much of a difference this can make.
Do training online
Being involved in the healthcare field in any capacity often means that you are going to need to take a number of different courses in order to progress your skills and be allowed to perform various treatments and tasks within the workplace. When you add studying into the mix on top of your job, it can be incredibly difficult to cope, and your life-work balance ends up taking the back seat. However, you can make life a lot easier for yourself by training online. You can find out more information on this at cprheartcenter.com. Websites like this present you with online training courses, enabling you to get certified from the comfort of your own home. This means that you can put together a study schedule that fits in with your life, rather than having to fit in with a scheduled course.
Supplement in-office hours with telemedicine appointments
No one wants to bring their work home with them. However, you can cut down your office hours and maintain a better balance if you do a couple of patient consultations from your home or any other location that is convenient to you. Telemedicine has certainly revolutionised the industry, and it is definitely something that you should be taking advantage of.
Ban yourself from going into your office on the weekend
A lot of doctors get into the habit of going into the office on the weekend to catch up with work. However, your weekend is your one opportunity to relax and spend time with family and friends, so make the most of it. Put yourself on a ban from the office on the weekends. This is something you should tell your family and friends about so that they can prevent you from going in too.
Adjust your time on-call
Is working on-call part of your commitment? Most doctors will work on-call either part time or full time. This depends on the practice they work for and their specialty. If you are someone who is on call, it can be incredibly difficult to switch out of work mode. After all, all it takes is for the phone to put you back to work. Now would be a good time to consider looking at your on-call schedule to see if you could adjust it or reduce it. It could be that there are other doctors that could cover you ort hat the policy could be altered altogether. Either way, it is something that is certainly worth exploring because you are always going to struggle to have a good balance if you are on-call all of the time.
Schedule personal time to take care of your emotional, mental and physical health
You spend all day telling people how important it is to take care of their health, both emotionally and physically, but is this something that you do? It is vital to schedule some me time so that you can look after yourself. There are plenty of ways you can do this, including playing with your kid, going on a date with your partner, sharing a family meal, reading a book that is not related to work, taking a walk, fitting in a quick workout, and keeping up with your sleep. You should also make sure you look for ways to stick to a healthy diet rather than turning to quick junk food.
Learn to prioritise and know when to multi-task and when not to
Last but not least, one of the most important factors, when achieving a good balance and working as efficiently as possible, is knowing how to prioritise successfully. You need to deal with the tasks that require the most urgent attention first. You also need to know what tasks require your full attention, and what tasks are suitable for multi-tasking. This will help you to work most efficiently.
There is no denying that maintaining a good work-life balance is a never-ending struggle as a doctor. There are going to be times when you feel like you are losing the battle. However, if you follow the advice that has been provided, you can give yourself a great chance of effectively managing your work and your personal life so that you can reduce stress and look after your health and well being. After all, you wouldn’t recommend that your patients work every hour under the sun and get no rest or socialisation, would you?