The majority of Americans are working themselves too hard. The Nation reports one-third of Americans work more than 45 hours per week and 9.7 million work over 60 hours. The article points out that the United States averages 20 hours more each week than the majority of the workforce in any industrialized nation around the globe.
Medical teams are well aware of the toll these extra hours place on our minds and bodies because they participate in a system with high burnout rates. While our training tells us to slow down to preserve our health, many of us cannot afford to practice what we preach.
With summer here, there is no better time to take advantage of good weather and change our habits of overworking ourselves. Here are some tips for finding a good work-life balance this summer.
Improve Your Downtime
Many busy people today labor under a tight schedule. This is particularly true of healthcare clinical teams, who must juggle the rigor of work and family life. To balance these demands, many of us operate within a daily schedule of tasks. While these schedules keep us busy, many times they don’t leave room for enough downtime in between tasks. What would happen to your work-life balance if you actually scheduled a 10-minute walk twice a day? If you’re spending your downtime checking emails or texting, why not turn off the phone during a scheduled downtime to read a book and unplug – even for a few moments during the day. Try proactively scheduling a date night between you and a significant person every few weeks. Or, schedule a movie or another type of outing with friends. Scheduling these events is key; you will have something to look forward to and, because it’s structured into your busy life, you will be less likely to cancel.
Reprioritize Your Activities
If you feel like your schedule is running you, and not the other way around, perhaps it’s time to reprioritize daily tasks. How much time are you wasting on activities or people that don’t give back your energy and commitment? Are you spending too much time with colleagues who are venting about the job? Are you participating in meetings you don’t need to spend time on? Is the time you’re spending online productive? It’s easy to fall into bad habits without considering the impact they have on your daily schedule. If you’re feeling stressed and tired, it may be time to rethink your daily tasks.
Maximize Your Errands
Today, we can have almost anything delivered to our doorstep. Time-consuming errands like grocery shopping can be dropped entirely. If you maintain your lawn, is it something you can outsource? Is there a way to combine daily errands into something more efficient?
The point is that maximizing your time and taking the time to think about your schedule carefully is an important exercise to help you find better work-life balance this summer. Our busy lifestyles don’t naturally lend themselves to relaxation and taking better care of your health. Finding work-life balance this summer will require you to stop and take stock of your life, in order to improve it.
Contact our staffing specialists today to find the right job that fits your work-life balance.