In this episode, Barbara discusses:
- How to avoid getting overwhelmed.
- The importance of taking a break.
- Why should you follow your passion?
“ Don’t take your work thoughts with you!” – Barbara Hales.
Connect with Barbara Hales:
Business website: www.TheMedicalStrategist.com
Show website: www.MarketingTipsForDoctors.com
Dr. Barbara Hales: Welcome to another episode of Marketing Tips for Doctors! I’m your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. We have been on hiatus since the last episode of Marketing Tips for Doctors. These last 12 months have been a world when, in addition to business obligations, I’ve had the wedding of both of my children, renovated three locations, tended to damaged and broken air conditioners, and had the birth of a beautiful, sweet grandbaby. But I’m back now!
Avoiding Burnout and Getting Overwhelmed
I’m sure that there are times when you have felt overwhelmed as well, where it can interfere with life and make you feel anxious. Do you feel that you are sacrificing other passions or family life for work obligations? The demands on physicians make it hard to exercise, eat sensibly, manage stress, and socialize. These contribute greatly to physician burnout. You may have heard that before, or you may be experiencing it yourself. Research shows that this affects 66% of the population in the United States, even more so for physicians and health professionals, confirmed by a study done by the AMA. The key is to achieve work-life balance. It is the secret to avoiding burnout when working in the health field. Here are five steps for a strategic plan to get more “me” time.
First, make a schedule with the family. Meet with everyone and have each of them fill in school, work, and social meetings using different colored pens on a large calendar so that when you look at the calendar, you know who each one stands for. Post it where it’s easily seen, whether it’s the den, the kitchen, or a room that everybody goes to, and the calendar is accessible. Don’t forget to plan time for yourself, not just the rest of the family, whether it is going to a spa, getting a haircut, having a date night with the spouse, or having coffee with a friend.
Now, guard your time. This is the holy grail for you now, before taking on any additional responsibilities or saying yes to others asking for your time, consult with your family schedule. Treat it as though it was the most essential thing in life because those who are important to you are counting on your word and your commitment. Don’t get into the mindset that they will be disappointed, but they’ll understand because it is you that will be disappointed in the end. Learn to say no when necessary. You may have to practice that by coming up with an acceptable way like, “Gee, thanks for thinking of me, but now there are other things that I’m committed to at that time.” Practice in the mirror if you find it awkward.
Next, set limits or demarcation lines between work and personal life. Doing so protects your time or needs, whether they be physical, emotional, or mental so that you can stay productive, represent your best selves, and remain energetic when it is time to relax or be with family. Don’t take your work thoughts with you.
Take Time Off
Thirdly, plan vacations and take them. Figure out what span of time works best in working and when you would need a break. Because my husband and I both practiced medicine and had grueling schedules, we figured that a week every three months was necessary for us so that the kids got quality home and parent time. It needn’t be that you have to constantly travel; staycations work well too. Just forward the business calls to whomever is watching your practice for you. But that doesn’t mean that this is the schedule I’m recommending for you. That’s what worked for us. You have to figure that out for yourselves.
Fourthly, outsource the mundane or important work that best serves you by hiring others who are skilled in those tasks to perform them for you. Perhaps you’ve added new services or products to your practice, or maybe you have decided to convert your practice to a concierge model. If patients don’t know about it, you are doomed to failure. Outsource your marketing so that the marketing strategist can promote you and get you the business you want.
Follow Your Passion
The last step is to spend 20% of your time doing something that you’re passionate about. Studies show that if this is not thought of, burnout is inevitable. You can follow a skill that you have or dream of, such as playing a musical instrument or painting. Or you can plan a side job that brings you in more money and relieves some of your financial burdens. Or maybe the money is for you to pursue charitable endeavors. You will feel better, and your patients will enjoy spending time with you because you’ll be giving more of yourself.
These are not steps that may come easily, but doing so will make you more eager to work, enjoy your practice and patients more, and garner more love from your family as well. Take this to heart. I’m certainly saying this in a very sincere fashion, and I think that it will help you and do you well. This has been another episode of Marketing Tips for Doctors with your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. Until next time!