How to Achieve Work-Life Balance As an Entrepreneur Doctor

Work-life balance is the amount of time spent at work and the quantity of time spent engaged in non-work activities. Another aspect of work-life balance is satisfaction balance - the value of time. The concept of satisfaction can be seen in the context of time balance or satisfaction balance.

Work-life balance requires being balanced both mentally and physically. This is very critical for producing results and increased productivity. When an entrepreneur doctor is psychologically, emotionally and physically balanced, they can produce better results for both their patient and their private practices.

The lack of work-life balance can place considerable strain on entrepreneur doctors. It can affect their relationship with loved ones, reduce patient satisfaction, reduce work productivity, cause financial strain on the medical practice and create health related challenges.

Why is Burnout Common Amongst Entrepreneur Doctors?

Doctors use a considerable amount of their working time in direct contact with patients and colleagues. As entrepreneur doctors, they also spend time working on the business aspect of their practice: handling employee related issues, insurance claims and administration in addition to marketing the practice. This can sometimes be overwhelming for an individual especially if not properly planned.

Most entrepreneur doctors are really good doctors. However, when it comes to the business aspect of their practice which is their real job as an entrepreneur, they are challenged. Furthermore, because most small privately run medical practices are owned by a single individual, which the majority of the time is the doctors themselves, it is he who fulfills most of the above roles.

Being a new start-up, he might not have the resources and finance to employ staff to fulfill most of the much needed roles. He, as the doctor, will have to fulfill most of those roles for a long time hoping to bring in enough resources to later employ staff. The irony in most situations because the doctor has to fulfill all those roles, he is not left with sufficient time to raise the level of resources he needs to recruit additional staff.

As the doctor remains stuck in the same position for a long time, he ends up burning out. He becomes unable to perform to his full capacity and his practice plateaus or falls into decline.

Below is a breakdown of reasons why entrepreneur doctors burnout:

• Working long hours.
• Heavy workload.
• Profession and family life imbalance.
• The feelings of isolation.
• Not sufficient time to bond with colleagues.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is a condition of emotional, mental and physical fatigue caused by extreme and prolonged stress. It happens when you feel overwhelmed and powerless to control your situation. As the stress persists, you start losing enthusiasm and inspiration for your work, leading to failure in efficiency, leaving you feeling progressively powerless, hopeless, sceptical, and bitter.

What is the importance work-life balance?

Balance is the key to a flourishing and beautiful life. It is essential in everyone's life be it an entrepreneur doctor, cleaner or housewife. Maintaining equilibrium, despite the variety of occurrences around us, needs to be a daily practice.

Every individual has a lot of issues to deal with on a daily basis. Issues such as relationships, work, health, recreation and responsibilities for family and friends. To succeed at all of those requires the ability to attain adequate work-life balance.

Time management is an essential component to maintaining work-life balance. It is exceedingly essential to set our priorities for life. When we outline our priorities well, it becomes easy to concentrate on the most important things. When we handle our time prudently in accordance with our priorities, it is easy to let go of activities that just weigh us down.

Here are three myths regarding work-life balance:

1. Hard work is the only route to success.

Working long, stiff hours can certainly produce success and maybe enormous financial wealth, however, it is very important not to lose sight of the bigger picture. Extended, rigid hours without time for reflection, leisure or pleasure can be detrimental to ones wellbeing and happiness.

2. One cannot climb up the career ladder whilst focused on work-life balance.

This all-or-nothing perception is possibly the biggest myth about work-life balance. It is still possible to work hard and enjoy work-life balance.

3. Clinical skills are the only skills an entrepreneur doctor needs to succeed.

Having a good clinical skill set is very important for the success of any private medical practice because in the final analysis it is the first thing an entrepreneur doctor has to sell. However, having a good clinical skill set is just one aspect of an entrepreneur doctor skill arsenal, they also need good interpersonal skills and self-management skills.

How to Prevent Burnout and Improve Work-life Balance?

The most important ingredient for creating work-life balance is to answer the question why. Why am I doing it? As an entrepreneur doctor, you opened your private medical practice for a reason, the reason for which you opened your private medical practice needs to guide all of your decisions.

Here are tips on how to improve work-life balance:

1. Time Management:
Write your daily activities down. Whether it is work related activities, time with family, or recreation, write it down in your personal organiser.

2. Chill Out and Exercise:
Get out and get moving! Going out of the office and doing something energetic is the most excellent way of unwinding. Enroll in a fitness club or go for a walk or bike ride.

3. Switch off:
Switch off the blackberry, smart phone, and all the technological devices that rob you of your time to relax.

4. Set limits:
Analyse your practice to the smallest detail seeking the changes that might be necessary. You might need to adjust your working days or hours, your patient numbers or recruit additional staff.

5. Seek Resources:
Seek help and take advantage of the resources at your disposal. You might need a coach, a mentor or even a friend to unload to.

6. Live a healthy lifestyle:
This might sound counter intuitive telling a doctor to live a healthy life style. But many entrepreneur doctors know what I am talking about. Create your own self-care program - exercise, eat and sleep well.