Family is one of (if not the) most important things in life. But many surgeons don’t get to spend quality time with their families because of grueling work hours, exhaustion, and burnout. Surgeons often work long hours and experience a lot of stress at work. Even those who do find the time to spend with family – that time is often weighed down by exhaustion and stress that bleeds over from work.
I’m here to tell you that I was one who used to struggle to strike a healthy “balance” between work and family life. Now I simply aim for improvement and focus on rhythm. It takes some effort, but in the end you will be happier in your job and in the fact that you are improving the quality (and/or quantity) of time with your family. This article will offer a few tips to stop allowing your job as a surgeon to overrun your family life.
Set Limits for Yourself
Most surgeons I’ve met are incredibly competitive individuals who are constantly pushing themselves to perform better at their jobs. It’s this quality that makes them great physicians, but it can also be a detriment. Pushing yourself too hard can cause undue stress and ultimately lead to burnout. So set limits for yourself and enforce them! Without these checks and balances, you and your family lose out on life.
Take Time Off
Use your vacation days and take time off work several times a year. Take your family on a trip and create some memories. Or just stay home and spend some quality time with your family and away from your job. When you do get back to work, you’ll feel energized and be more productive. (WARNING: You can also feel more stressed and discouraged if at the same time you don’t follow the tips above and below!).
Say No When You Need To
A lot of doctors have a difficult time saying no to work-related requests. But you have to know your limits and when to say no. You can’t cover everything. Spreading yourself too thin won’t benefit anyone – not you, your family, or your patients. So say no when you need to.
I’m no stranger to the stress and exhaustion that comes with being a practicing surgeon. There are times when I am so focused on work that I worry about my family. That’s time that you can’t get back. I knew something needed to change, but I didn’t know how so I created my own methodology that I call The 8 PRACTICEs of Highly Successful Surgeons to help me constantly improve with positive, sustainable techniques. After implementing this methodology into my everyday life, I am much happier in my work and in my ability to spend quality time with my family. This methodology can work for any surgeon in any sub-specialty. Contact me today to learn more about the 8 PRACTICEs and how they can help you find your rhythm, flow or balance.