Can you comment on some of the strategies I’ve seen mentioned such as:
– Set reasonable expectations
– Hire help at home with chores (lawn cutting), and find tasks at work you can delegate. (“If it doesn’t require your MD degree, consider delegating or hiring out.”)
– Minimize work email and calls at home, and personal calls at work; Turn off the work technology (email, text, phone) at home
– Other strategies?
All these strategies are commendable and helpful for physicians who want to establish more work-life balance. The challenge is that some physicians just have a tough time integrating these methods because they are in conflict with some of their fundamental beliefs and that’s why they struggle with them or they keep them up just short-term. That’s why I introduce first fundamental life and work principles to challenge the belief systems and once the beliefs transform, efficiency strategies come out more organically and doable.
When I work with a physician on optimizing their work performance and making more time for personal life and family I focus first on stress control. Now stress control is different from stress management. When physicians hear the word stress management they think of exercise, meditation, taking frequent breaks etc. But when life is full and the energy tank is empty, there is no way that a physician is able to incorporate these healthy habits in their lives.
Instead, we focus on reducing or eliminating the things that stresses them, the things that get them upset, the things they complain about, the things they are frustrated about, the things that overwhelm them. Once you clean out the gunk or reframe the gunk, it frees up energy, it frees up performance, it frees up time, it builds enthusiasm. Then we will look at simplifying life and systematizing processes such as hiring help, minimizing work emails and calls at home etc. And these are unique and personalized for everyone.