• The Practice Manager’s Guide to Maintaining Work-Life Balance

    Like other practice managers, I’ve had my fair share of struggles over the years in striking the right work-life balance. And with all the roles we have to play in life, the role within a career can often become half-hearted if we can’t live out our dreams in the workplace. Achieving the right work-life balance all depends on the ability to pace oneself.

    If you’re feeling your work-life balance in the practice isn’t quite up to scratch and slowly slipping away from your fingers, use these tips to regain focus and harmony.

    Switch Off and Simplify

    While complexity is inherent to everyone’s lives, you can actually strive to switch off from the hustle and bustle of the world, and simplify your life in practice management by scaling back big schedules and commitments. This will allow you to make more time for the things that matter in your life, like your family, your career and your wellbeing.

    Don’t Let Work Take Over

    In other words, this is called becoming a workaholic. Honestly, I despise that word, but in actual fact work can become addictive and when you try to be present with your family at home, the feelings and mental anguish of workload piling up can creep in. Who wants that weight on their shoulders? One thing to remember is that no reasonable job should expect you to be ‘on the clock’ day and night, so unplug yourself – literally and figuratively – after hours and on weekends. When home, don’t talk about work; focus on your loved ones and spending quality time doing the things you love.

    Make Sure You Have ‘The A Team’

    Don’t let work just pass you by – utilise your amazing medical practice staff and delegate the tasks you know they can accomplish. If your work-life balance is really breaking apart, then it’s certainly time to approach one of your practice staff so you can decrease your workload. Let’s face it – no matter how much you love your job, delegating is necessary to keeping your life in balance, and if you’ve got the A Team working with you, then everything will just fall into place.

    Boundaries

    At certain times of the day, it’s a good idea to set that particular time aside specifically for yourself. Honestly though, setting boundaries is easier said than done, but for us practice managers it’s definitely achievable. The principle is that while you love your work and are incredibly dedicated to it, you respect yourself enough to not pursue your career goals 24/7. You will risk burning out and losing passion in what you do if you can’t step away from your role – this can be a proper lunch break where you leave the practice, or as mentioned earlier, switching off from the time you finish and focusing on yourself.

    Saying Yes, Saying No

    Know when to say yes and when to say no, for your own sanity. Say yes when it feels right for you, and you know you won’t have any regrets. With regards to when and how to say no, knowing different ways of saying it can help alleviate any fears of conflict – and know that as the practice manager, you don’t always need to explain yourself.

    Time Off

    Don’t we all love public holidays, annual leave and proper time off?! Why do you think that is? Rejuvenation is as important as your work because it recharges you both physically and mentally, and it’s not just about taking a holiday interstate or internationally – it can include just taking one day off, or a half day off, on a regular basis.

    It’s important to understand that work-life balance for a practice manager is a journey via small steps and without thinking too much about the destination. In the end, the more you know about yourself and your priorities, the more balanced your life will be. 

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