Do you have the control and the ability to separate you work and your personal life? Are you achieving the level of business that you want, or do you find yourself doing what others tell you to do? If you answered no to these questions, it’s likely that you don’t have a healthy work-life balance.
Many dentists get stuck in an unbalanced work-life pattern and don’t know how to break that pattern. They tend to work in a way such that they have to work based on external pressures. Pressures can result from a number of sources – patients who demand specific appointment times, or delivering dentistry that is influenced heavily by a third party, like insurance, or just by the day-to-day demands of running your own business.
If you are stuck in a pattern where you’re working late nights and weekends, it’s probable that you’re afraid that if you stop working those evenings and weekends, you are going to lose of patients. And that may be true for some of you.
Correcting Your Work-Life Balance
So how do you correct this imbalance? The honest answer is that nothing can be done overnight – you’ve got accept that change comes slowly, and only with strategic planning.
If you are currently working 5 nights a week, take small steps to reduce your load to 4 nights a week. Make it a little bit more difficult for people to book that evening appointment, but not impossible. Offer an earlier time and see what happens. Some patients will accept an earlier appointment when offered, which will start to create a shift in your practice. Small steps taken slowly over time starts to create a less stressful environment for you and your staff.
Achieving Work-Life Balance – One Step at a Time
Creating small achievable goals can help you build confidence. If you can shift your work-life balance by 1% each day, these goals become easier to implement, easier to achieve, and over time, can create significant results.
Remember to Unplug!
Another useful tip is to leave your work at the office whenever possible. With our phones constantly at our fingertips, it’s too easy to get engrossed in checking emails and following up with business at all hours of the day. As tempting as it is, these habits only extend your working hours into the evening when you should be relaxing – after all, you can only be on top of your game as a dentist if you allow yourself time to recharge.
If you absolutely have to check emails when you get home, set a timer and stick to it. Allow yourself 30 minutes to get through the most pressing pieces of work, and then unplug for the rest of the night. Once you set these boundaries and start to internalize them, they start to become second nature.
If you’ve got a healthy work-life balance, you’ll be able to give more of yourself to both your work and your life outside of work because you’ll feel more empowered and in control of your time. I promise you that your colleagues and your loved ones will appreciate the difference.
Commit to making small changes and start implementing those changes today in order to create a shift in your business and start paving the way to the ultimate practice that you deserve. It’ll help you to become the dentist you’ve always wanted to be.
Got a question? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us below.