Creating a harmonious work-life balance in your dental career and personal life.
Achieving a good work-life balance between a busy career in dentistry and the responsibilities of family, friends, and your personal life can seem like an impossibility. The truth is work-life balance as a dentist isn’t as extreme of a goal as you might think.
While your schedule may not be perfect 100% of the time, and stress may rear its ugly head on occasion, you have it within your power to control how your time and energy is spent. Here are 5 healthy habits for achieving a realistic work-life balance on a daily basis.
1. Create a good work-life balance by scheduling your personal time just as you would an appointment.
Your personal time to relax, unwind, and connect with loved ones is just as valuable as your time at work. Despite this, many professionals are guilty of not scheduling time to relax.
By purposefully scheduling personal time, you’re accomplishing two important things. Firstly, you’re ensuring you won’t book work-related responsibilities when you should be relaxing. Secondly, you’re psychologically proving to yourself that you take your personal time seriously.
2. Set strict working hours and be firm in following through.
Your dental office has strict business hours for patients, but many dentists have very lax working hours for themselves. It’s far too easy to get into the habit of arriving early and staying late to try to get everything done. This habit is detrimental to your long-term success and the most common cause of burnout.
Set strict working hours for yourself and be firm. Arrive at the office and leave at a set schedule. If you provide emergency dental services for patients, don’t worry. Your working hours can bend to cover these urgencies. You’ll even find that the more strict you are with your time in the office, the better able you are to handle those emergencies without unnecessary stress on yourself.
3. Delegate tasks to your team to ease your workload.
When you’re reviewing the tasks you have for the day, see which tasks are necessary and which can be delegated to your team. Minor tasks around the office can be easily handled by your capable staff, which keeps them engaged and helps free up your time and focus.
Dentists are often natural leaders and enjoy taking on challenges. This ‘can do’ mentality is a strength, but it can also make it tough to ask for help. Be aware of this in yourself and make it a habit to ask for help as often as you can. In some situations when your and your team’s schedule are maxed out, hiring a virtual assistant or another staff member can be a great relief to everyone.
4. Create a good work-life balance by using a planner to track tasks and time block your day.
Calendars are great for appointments, events, and major tasks, but they aren’t quite as useful as a daily planner when it comes to time management.
Time blocking is a time management skill that is easy to learn and incredibly valuable for busy professionals. It involves blocking out portions of your day and dedicating them to specific tasks. These could be very specific tasks or something broader, like catching up on work-related emails or newsletters. You can set up your time blocking at the beginning of the week and adjust it as needed on a daily basis.
5. Do something for yourself every day, no matter how small.
Self-care shouldn’t be a once-a-month splurge when stress peaks. It should be incorporated into your daily life as a means of remaining grounded and preventing stress from overwhelming you.
Take a moment to make a list of small but easily achievable things that help you relax and unwind. It could be playing a board game with your family, going for a walk in the evening, soaking in the tub, or listening to a guided meditation. Self-care doesn’t always need to be relaxing either. Hitting the gym and leaving drenched in sweat can be just as therapeutic as lying on the couch with a good book. Find what things work for you and do one every day.
Don’t forget to make time to continue your education and pursue new opportunities.
In addition to creating a harmonious work-life balance as a busy dentist, it’s important to also make time for continuing education. Your time is precious, so look for courses or classes that interest you and provide benefit to your professional practice and skills.
Dentists who are interested in learning a new skill that will directly impact the care they can give patients will find Williams GP Orthodontic seminars to be a fantastic choice. Dr. Williams provides courses in basic and intermediate straight wire orthodontics as well as orthodontic assistant training and practice management.
Learn more about Dr. Williams and his courses by visiting this website.