How to Take Time for Yourself in a Busy Medical Practice


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As a physician running a solo practice or in a partnership with other physicians in a group practice, finding time for yourself can sometimes seem impossible. The good news is that it’s not. There are a few simple things that physicians can do to make their work life easier and have more time for themselves. Here are seven easy ways to make more time for yourself when running a busy medical practice. Improve Time Management Skills The less time you waste, the more time you’ll have to enjoy — both in the practice and outside of it. By improving your time management skills you can put your hours at work to better use. You can learn how to waste less time, how to make the most of each hour, and how to create a workday schedule that’s both efficient and effective. Checkout this quick read to learn ten ways to boost your time management skills. Learn How to Delegate As a practice owner, you have to keep on top of all aspects of your business, but you shouldn’t burden yourself with tasks that other people can do. You can make more time for yourself throughout the day simply by learning how to delegate the tasks that other employees can do. Delegate all administrative tasks to your administrative team. Let your PAs and medical assistants do all of the preliminary appointment steps that don’t require your medical degree. Limit yourself to the tasks that your degree qualifies you to do and delegate everything else to other members of your team. Learn How to Motivate Your Employees The more motivated your employees are, the more productive they will be, and productive employees can turn your entire practice into a well-oiled machine. Employees of all positions and all skill levels can easily get overwhelmed and feel overworked. As the practice owner, you must learn ways to motivate employees to make them want to work hard each and every shift. You can motivate employees by:
  • Saying thank you for a job well done
  • Offering bonuses or rewards when they go above and beyond the call of duty
  • Listening to their feedback as to how they think they might be able to improve the practice
Something as simple as offering free lunches once a week or providing a comfortable break room with free snacks and beverages can give them the extra motivation they need to get through the day. Hire More Staff Assuming that you’re delegating the right tasks to the right people and that all of your employees are working to their full capacity, it might be time to hire more staff. Depending on where you’re spending (or wasting) your time, that could mean hiring more administrators to handle non-clinical tasks or bringing in a nurse practitioner or even another physician to help you handle patient appointments. Eliminate Distractions Distractions cause you to lose focus, and when you’re not focused, it takes longer to complete tasks. By eliminating distractions in your practice you can reduce the amount of time you waste and, in turn, have more time to enjoy yourself. Some ways to eliminate distractions are:
  • Turning off notifications on your phone and devices
  • Ensuring that patient exam rooms are quiet
  • Scheduling less staff meetings, as they often eat up unnecessary time
  • Responding to patient test results and refill requests at set times throughout the day
Schedule Yourself Some Downtime Since you’re already accustomed to having a schedule full of appointments that you adhere to every day, it can be beneficial to schedule appointments with yourself. Schedule yourself daily lunch breaks. Schedule a half hour to relax or take a walk. If you’ve been trying to find time to search for a second home or purchase a disability insurance policy, schedule a half hour to conduct your research. (This article serves as a useful guide to the top disability insurance companies, and is a great place to start if you’re looking to purchase a property). Many physicians find it difficult to carve out time to do the things they want and need to do outside of work. Scheduling time in the day for specific personal tasks can encourage you to do so. Practice Self-Care Outside of Work When you’re not at work, enjoy your time away from the practice, even if your free time is limited. It’s not necessarily about how many free hours you have, but rather how you spend those hours. Take time for self-care, such as exercising, relaxing, enjoying your personal hobbies, and getting enough sleep. Self-care is a great way to relieve stress, and the less stress you feel, the easier it will be to learn how to manage your time, delegate tasks, and run your practice in a more efficient manner. In Conclusion Physician burnout is real, and if you don’t take time for yourself, that successful, busy practice you run could put you at risk of suffering serious burnout early in your career. By improving time management skills, scheduling time for yourself, motivating and hiring the right employees, and practicing self-care, you just might be surprised at how much free time you can have, even if your practice is busier than you ever imagined it could be.

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