Work Life Balance for Physicians - How to Tip the Scales

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

work-life-balance-for-physiciansWork Life Balance is key to preventing Physician Burnout - but exactly HOW do you create balance in the first place?

Here are 2 Key Habits (and 3 Power Tools) to help you create more balance this week - Field Tested and Doctor Approved. 

Six "Get Home Sooner" Tools are Here

We have successfully coached hundreds of doctors back from burnout. One of the key components to preventing physician burnout is restoring some balance to your life. You must chisel out some space in your weeks for yourself and the important people in your life for one simple reason ...

When you are stressed at work --- home is where you must be able to recharge

There has to be some balance or you will eventually tumble into the downward spiral of burnout

I know for a fact that you did not learn this in residency - no one does. Residency is where you learn to keep going right through complete exhaustion ... and beyond.

In fact, residency faculty members often model just the opposite ... the chronically burned out and unbalanced doctor. Now you will see certain older physicians who have this figured out. They have outside interests, seem more relaxed, have great relationships with their significant other ... I can tell you many of them went through an episode of their own burnout few years back. That burnout was how they learned the tools to create their more balanced life.

Bypass the crisis ... take the shortcut to work life balance

Here 2 Key Habits and 3 Power Tips for more work life balance this week. Each one is field tested and doctor approved.
Check them out
Pick just one
And get started today!


More Work Life Balance - Two Key Habits

1) Your Boundary Ritual

The Boundary Ritual is the Off Switch on being a Doctor. This is a specific mindfulness exercise that allows you to take your Doctor Hat Off and come all the way home. Even though it can be as simple as a deep, cleansing breath ... your boundary ritual is the key to completely releasing the stresses of work when you are not in the hospital or office.

Without an effective boundary ritual, worries from your practice get contaminate your time off. You are never really able to relax and come all the way home.

You will never guess who your role model is for this Key Action.

Click This Link for a complete lesson on how to build your own boundary ritual

2) The Schedule HACK

The calendar in your pocket determines what gets done in your week. If all you carry is your work calendar ... work is all that will get done.

In order to have a life, you must carry your Life Calendar with you at all times.

What do you want in your weeks outside of your practice? Put it on your Life Calendar. What about your children's activities ... and your significant other?

You must have a weekly process to plan and schedule your life ... then carry that calendar with you at all times. Work life balance hinges on you always knowing your complete circle of priorities ... and being able to say "NO" when appropriate.

CLICK HERE for a complete training on the Schedule HACK process. You will carry your life calendar with you from now on and you don't need to learn any new technology to get it done.

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3 Life Balance Power Tips:

1) Date Night Secrets

My highest work life balance recommendation is a Date Night twice a month without fail. Use the Schedule HACK to set it up.

Here are two Date Night Power Tips

a) Don't Forget to Date Yourself

If you don't have a significant other (or yours is unavailable) Take Yourself Out on a Date for gosh sakes. Dinner and a movie, mani/pedi, massage, read a book for pleasure (imagine that!) Just do it ... twice a month ... together OR alone.

b) The Pay it Forward Rule

Always follow this Date Night Rule:
Your date night is not done until you put the next one on everyone's calendar.

Here's why.

I see people try to make date night a habit. They are all excited about the first one - in many cases it is the first date night in YEARS! - and the second one never happens. They don't schedule the next date and never find time in their busy week to put it on the calendar. Don't let this happen to you.

At the end of your date (even if it is just you, as above) get out your calendar(s) and schedule the next one ... Every Time. Stick to this rule and you will create the habit.

2) Put Big Rocks in the Bank

If you have a big vacation travel trip on your Big Rocks list for this year, here is how to make sure it will happen. Don't wait to book it.

- Look out as far as you need to on your calendar
- Pick the dates for your trip
- Book the tickets and Pay For Them NOW

If you don't book and pay ... you will always find a last minute reason not to go and your trip is in serious jeopardy.

When you book and pay months in advance, I will guarantee you will make that trip.

3) "Scheduled Spontaneity" Pressure Release

Here is something that will stop you from scheduling date nights or time with your kids ... not knowing what you are going to do.

- You want to spend time with your son or daughter this week
- There is time available on Thursday evening
- You hesitate to book it on your Life calendar because you don't know what you will do with them

Book it anyway and let me show you something that will take the pressure off.

Scheduled Spontaneity

Scheduled Spontaneity is not an oxymoron. This is when you book out the time with No Plans ... then when the time comes around you are completely spontaneous. You decide in that moment what you will do. 

Let's go further

Here's an option for you. Let your child decide what you will do. Watch their eyes when they get to take the reins on your time together.

If you are by yourself, make a list of possibilities during the week and pick one when the time comes. Loose your inner bohemian and "eeny meeny miney mo" it. (Have some fun!)


There you go ...

Two key actions and three power tips for physician work life balance. NOTE: these are quadrant two activities. You can get your copy of the MATRIX Report - all four quadrants and 235 tools - using this link.

If you would like specific advice and suggestions ... use this link to schedule a free Discovery Session phone consult with one of our Certified Physician Burnout Coaches.



How do you create work life balance?
What are Your Power Tips? 


Tags: Physician Burnout, Work Life Balance, prevent physician burnout, prevent burnout