How to Achieve Work-Life Balance as a Doctor
Do doctors have a work-life balance? Well, according to studies, the average Doctor works approximately 51 hours per week.
We all know that doctors put in long hours and work under tremendous pressure. Most of us also know that doctors, like any other professionals, need to take time off from work and spend on things they enjoy.
The work-life balance of doctors is often an ideal that seems impossible to achieve.
Whenever I hear someone say “I am stretched thin,” it reminds me of that common dilemma among working professionals today: how can you have a life outside of your career?
Well, if you’d like to learn how to increase doctor work-life balance, keep reading for 7 important tips!
1. Utilise Technology Effectively
You don’t need to be in the hospital 24/7 to provide your patients with top-quality healthcare. With today’s technological advancements, you can do much of your job remotely (read charts, write notes, review test results).
2. Prioritize Work Tasks When Necessary
Although doctors are often encouraged to always put their patients first, this doesn’t mean that they should let all other aspects of life slide. Balance is key—but so is setting priorities.
If your personal life needs some attention, stop spending unnecessary time at the office and go home!
3. Get Organized
Staying on top of your doctor schedule becomes more manageable if you plan. Make lists of things to do and set clear goals.
Many doctors find that they are more productive if they work on tasks in batches (write down all notes at once, review labs together, schedule follow-ups together).
4. Avoid Perfectionism
Doctors in training often fall prey to the tendency to constantly do more and be in control (of their patient’s chart, of their schedule). This habit can continue when doctors transition into clinical practice.
However, less is often more—and putting your foot down can help you achieve that crucial work-life balance.
Say no when you need to (ask for help when needed), and don’t overcommit yourself. If something has to give, make it non-essential obligations; these are not worth sacrificing your well-being over.
5. Delegate Tasks
The doctor/paramedic model of care is inefficient and impractical. When you take on everything yourself, your efficiency suffers. This is an important step for efficient time management for doctors.
Not only that but so does the good of those around you. Delegate tasks to members of your team or even hire a doctor answering service whenever possible.
6. Be Open to New Experiences
If you’re constantly working long hours, it’s easy to fall into a cycle where you only feel comfortable in the hospital setting. Getting out of this mindset is essential for achieving work-life balance as a doctor!
Try volunteering or picking up new hobbies outside the healthcare field; most importantly, remember that being open to change makes life interesting and never boring!
7. Prioritise Your Health
There is no such thing as balance if you’re constantly stressed and sleep-deprived. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle (exercising, eating well, getting enough rest) allows you to achieve better results in your life.
We spend one-third of our lives sleeping. Make sure that you make time for good health habits—don’t neglect exercise or proper nutrition just because you don’t have much free time!
8. Get Help
No doctor should ever try to handle everything by themselves. Teamwork makes the dream work!
If you’re having trouble balancing all of your responsibilities, don’t hesitate to ask for help—your coworkers will be more than happy to pitch in.
The first step is admitting that you can’t do it alone; go ahead and ask for assistance from those around you today!
9. Be Patient with Yourself
Change is a slow process, and making time for self-care can be difficult when work demands are high. Sometimes, it can take a long time to achieve a positive change in your life—but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try.
If something isn’t working, try a new approach. There’s no need to feel stressed—doctors are supposed to help people cope with stress!
10. Take Breaks from Your Work
Remember that you’re not a doctor 24/7. It can be difficult for doctors to remember this fact when they get caught up in their work.
But if your Facebook newsfeed is constantly filled with your peers sharing their accomplishments, it’s hard to remember that you can take a break from being a doctor.
Try to separate yourself from the profession now and then, even if it means closing your laptop and going for a walk.
11. Set Boundaries for Non-Medical Things
This is an important step that can be difficult to follow through with, but it’s essential if doctors want to achieve work-life balance. Don’t overcommit yourself to activities not related to medicine.
Just because you have free time doesn’t mean you should spend it all on non-medical things. It’s important to find time for friends and family, but you can’t do this if your schedule is always filled.
12. Be Honest with Yourself About What Matters Most
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of work. Even though it may seem like work is more important than anything else, this is usually not true.
For some doctors, work can be a way of filling the void and suppressing their emotions.
It’s important to remember that these feelings will always resurface, and you may end up dealing with them on your own time when you least expect it.
Once again: don’t try to do everything yourself!
Improve Doctor Work-Life Balance Today!
Today we’ve talked about how to work-life balance as a doctor. We hope you found the information helpful and will be able to implement some of these doctor work-life balance tips in your life today.
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