Work Life Balance Keys: Anchor to a Super Habit

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

work life balance anchor to super habits optWork Life Balance Keys – Anchor to a Super Habit

When it comes to creating more work life balance — most of the time it is a question of HABITS.

Over time, we develop habits that keep us out of any kind of work life balance. I have written before about how the invisible habits and attitudes we learned in gorilla 150x150our training created the #800 gorilla that is our medical career. Shhh … there he is right over there …

[perhaps if we tiptoe around him ... he won't get wind of what we're up to and we can keep talking -- I have some important things to tell you today !]

I am writing today with some good news about habits. You can use certain types of habits known as “Super Habits” to help you create more work life balance. Let me show you how to get started this week.

A Super Habit is something you ALWAYS DO

… no matter what

We are in the middle of one of those Super Habits right now in the USA.

Tomorrow is the 4th of July and the whole nation will be taking time off to celebrate in some way. Even if you are on call tomorrow, you most likely have plans to slip away for at least a few minutes of barbeque or a glass of punch. It is a special NON-WORK day for everyone.  It is a Super Habit Holiday … one everyone always takes off in some way.  Birthdays of close family members are another common Super Habit Holiday in  most families.

The essence of a Holiday is that you take time off … it is a Work Life Balancing Habit all by itself

Unfortunately most of us don’t have a habit of scheduling time off if it is NOT A HOLIDAY.

So we often end up working all the time with only occasional exceptions – like the 4th of July.

That persistent forgetting to schedule time off is a habit all by itself … and you can break it right now. Here’s how …

We are going to anchor a new work life balance habit to your existing 4th of July Super Habit. Don’t let this holiday end without having some free time scheduled between now and the next national holiday you always celebrate – your next super habit holiday.

Here’s how this new Work Life Balance Habit Works:

=> Before you go back to work on the 9th …

=> Sit down with your family and plan some time together – something special – between now and the next Super Habit Holiday on your calendar — that is most likely Labor Day (September 3rd, 2012) or someone in your family’s  birthday.

=> Write down your new activity on the calendar and prepare to defend it – “I’m so sorry … it appears I am booked on those days …”

=> This way you use your Super Habit (the 4th of July that you ALWAYS Celebrate) to “Anchor” this new habit of scheduling time off between the Holidays and Birthdays.

Make this Work Life Balance Planning a New Habit by Anchoring it to your normal  Super Habit Holidays like this …

Each time you find yourself celebrating a national holiday or family birthday – these are your Super Habits – sit down and plan something special for you and your family that is timed to occur before the next super habit holiday or birthday.

Talk about it. Choose what you want to do most. Schedule it and be prepared to defend it by saying, “I’m sorry … I am booked at that time”.

This one step alone will double your time off work and can quickly become a family ritual you all enjoy.

Don’t tell the Gorilla though!

Please leave a comment with the work life balance activity you just put on the calendar !

Tags: Dike Drummond MD, Physician Burnout, Work Life Balance