More like a mirage than an oasis, work-life balance is something most doctors crave but many of us find tantalisingly out of reach.
Indeed, for the medical profession, the term may seem like something of an oxymoron.
For most doctors, the pandemic has pushed that Utopia even further beyond our fingertips with record numbers reporting burnout after being stretched to and beyond their limits.
One in two GPs in Australia confessed to at least one negative impact from the pandemic with 33 percent reporting a deterioration of their work-life balance and more than one in four admitting their mental health had suffered.
Hence, achieving some sort of work-life balance remains important for so many reasons, not the least of which includes fewer mistakes and a higher level of care that happy and content doctors are likely to deliver.
What makes doctors content
We all know doctors are faced with long hours as well as shift work that can make finding that balance between work and home life nigh impossible.
But there are ways you can bring that balance a little more in your favour.
In 2015, 53 percent of Australian GPs reported being content with the balance between their personal and professional lives and commonly gave the following three indicators as the top reasons for this assessment:
- Flexibility of working hours
- Opportunities for leisure activities in their daily routines
- Good personal health
However, if you find yourself in the remaining 47 percent, unable to switch off or unhappy with the time you are committing versus the financial rewards you are seeing, consider some of the following strategies to restore that balance.
Tips for doctors to improve their work-life balance
Find the right role – Clearly, some roles in the medical profession will be more difficult to achieve that elusive work-life balance than others. If it is important to you, consider changing your role or your workplace. You need a supportive environment that personally fulfils you.
Seek flexibility – If working nine to five doesn’t suit your lifestyle, endeavour to find the working hours that do. At AHA, our clinics have a variety of shifts on offer that can be tailored to suit .
Check your priorities – With only 24 hours in every day, it’s imperative you know what’s really important to you and prioritise those things first. Is it work and money, or time with family? If you have young children you wish to spend more time with, especially before they go to bed, then do it. Working fewer hours will also guard against burnout which doesn’t help anyone.
Learn to say no – As a medical professional, there will always be people wanting to engage you for activities that may not always suit. What was once possible may be no longer as your life situation changes. It’s easy to say ‘yes’. But sometimes it’s better to learn to say ‘no’. You may need to be that little bit selfish and look after yourself or forego the family or personal time that really is important in any work-life balance.
Value your time – Good time management skills are essential to protect the goals of any work-life balance. Plan and execute carefully and don’t get trapped into any time-wasting activities. Remember time is invaluable and can’t be recovered.
Working at AHA
At AHA, we put a priority on work-life balance.
We offer flexible hours and are a company that supports you and your career goals, based in the heart of sun-soaked Seaford where the beach and cafe lifestyle is there for the taking.
And you’ll work in our state-of-the-art, purpose-built facilities that embrace natural light and space, combined with the very latest technologies.
There are few better lifestyle opportunities available for GPs in Australia.
Apply now to work at AHA
If you think the idea of working with AHA is appealing, find out more here and get in touch with our team to discuss opportunities.