Can You Really Have It All? Tips to Balance Work and Life, and Even Make Time for Yourself
It’s a new year… with a thriving practice, referral numbers and patient satisfaction records going through the roof. You worked out this morning before heading to the office, spent the day in your busy, yet smoothly running practice, and are now leaving in good time to have a healthy dinner with your family. You smile on your drive home as you look forward to planning a vacation to spend some quality time together this summer.
Does this sound too good to be true? Work/life balance is something that is often talked about, and difficult for many to achieve. Professionals who hold themselves to high standards frequently neglect personal areas of their life. Don’t waste your precious time worrying. Instead, invest your thoughts into what you can do to move the dial towards making this year the one that satisfies ALL areas of your life.
Here’s our advice on how to have it all in 2017:
Communication is key
No matter what point you’re at with your practice, effective, consistent communication is imperative to creating a more integrated balance in your work and home life. Similarly, communication at home with family and friends is just as important! Keeping these personal relationships front and center helps you pave the way for a more fulfilling life. Your work will end one day, but the people you are personally committed to will hopefully be the ones you get to spend your “golden years” with. When you are up front and open with both your professional team and your home base, you eliminate resentment and disappointment in the long run.
Delegate the minutiae
Paperwork, correspondence, contracts and negotiations… it’s all part of being a successful physician, though it’s not exactly what thrilled you and kept you going when you were pursuing your medical degree. Time is our most valuable and precious commodity. Your time in practice should be spent on the highest priority, revenue-generating demands. Empower your team to take care of the small but important details, freeing you to care for patients, grow your business and pursue more time with loved ones.
Set standards and make them known
Do you check email after 10 p.m.? Do you reply to requests that are not urgent? Do you feel exhausted at the daily deluge of information and needs? It’s time to set standards for yourself and your practice. Make a dedicated “stop time” for checking, and more importantly, responding to email. Today’s connected world is a double-edged sword for the hard-working business owner. When people get a late-night or immediate response from you, they become accustomed to such expectations. Unless there is an urgent patient or business need, hold your response until the next business day.
Put yourself first
At the end of the day, you are the only one who can make changes. You’re also the only one guaranteed to be around! You might be traveling, attending conferences and away from family. So, step away from a business conversation when a family member calls. Schedule regular workouts to relieve stress, boost your mood and increase longevity. Sign up for a food delivery service to make mealtime one less thing to manage. Hire a personal assistant to take care of small details that take up your time. You’ll be amazed to find out that, when you tend to your own needs, those around you realize how much you value yourself, and as an extension, your patients. After all, how can you care for patients and their needs, when you aren’t tending to your own?
While these efforts are well-intended, they only work when you put them into effect! Surely you’ve felt the demands of your practice growth, and with it, the dwindling quality time with people you care about. Don’t let “having it all” be just a phrase – make it attainable by putting in practice these few tips. Let us know how you’re doing! We’d love to hear feedback on what tips work for you to achieve a better balance in 2017.