Nearly 70 percent of the 1,311 respondents to Physicians Practice’s Great American Physician survey, Sponsored by Kareo, said they don’t have as much personal time as they think they should. In addition, 36 percent said they don’t have time for leisurely activities outside of medicine, 46 percent said they don’t get enough sleep, and about 50 percent said they don’t exercise on a regular basis.
If the work/life balance scale is tipping too far toward work, try these tips.
Schedule time to do nothing
We hear a lot these days about the stress experienced by children who are overloaded with after school and weekend activities. Adults often suffer from the same problem. When was the last time you carved out a few hours to do nothing? If you can’t remember, give it a try. It won’t likely happen by accident, so schedule this time like you would any other appointment.
Hire great team members and trust them
Healthcare providers are often reluctant to delegate administrative or other tasks and instead take on too much of the burden of running a practice. Learning to trust and let go is essential to a healthy mindset. If you’ve surrounded yourself with smart, capable people, give them the chance to show you how well they can do.
Invest in telemedicine technology
Break the chain that ties you and your patients to the office by leveraging modern telemedicine technology to conduct some visits via video. This approach lets you work from home, take advantage of flexible scheduling, and see more people in less time.
Unplug from time to time
While telemedicine technology allows you to see patients from anywhere, we don’t recommend that you do it all the time. Every once in a while, it is important to get away from all things digital. Enjoy the outdoors without a phone in your pocket or read a favorite paperback.
We all have different priorities at different points in life. Understand and respect yours. If being at Jill’s school play means the world to you, make it happen. Your work makes it possible for your patients to get the most out of their lives, don’t miss out on yours.
Make time for exercise
You don’t like it when patients give you a list of excuses for not exercising, so don’t let yourself buy into yours. If you can use technology to shorten the time it takes to see just a few patients a day, you can build in time for your own physical activity.
Ask for help when you need it
It is often difficult for those in the healing profession to ask for help when they need it. Turning to colleagues, friends and family for assistance isn’t a sign of weakness. Just like you feel great about what you are able to do for patients, your supporters can get pleasure from giving you a hand.
You have worked very hard to earn the education and experience necessary to provide quality care to patients. When under the stress of running a practice and helping patients who have trusted you with their health, it is easy to lose sight of the importance of taking care of oneself. But there’s a reason that the flight attendant tells you to put on your own mask before assisting others. Just like you can’t be much help to your neighbor if you’ve passed out from lack of oxygen, you can’t be fully engaged and energized about helping your patients if you are burned out, tired, and overworked. Hopefully these tips will help you find a better balance.