Tuesday Tip from Pride Institute: Dental pros CAN achieve a work-life balance

Dental professionals need to lighten up and enjoy more free time

Balance Life Work

By Kristine A. Hodsdon, RDH, MSEC, Consultant/Trainer Pride Institute

Balance Life Work

Ask someone if they want to "have it all," and their likely response will be a resounding, "Yes!" But what does it really mean to "have it all"?

Some say having it all means striking a healthy balance between work and life. That's challenging during tough economic times, when many people feel the need to put in extra hours at work in order to retain their job or keep a business afloat. More hours spent working means there is less time available for hobbies or leisure. This puts work and life out of balance.

Also, there was a time when the lines drawn between work life and home life were obvious. Among other factors, technologies that facilitate always being "on the clock" have blurred those boundaries, and made it more challenging to keep a healthy work/life balance.

North Americans already spend more time at work than people in other developed countries. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), North Americans spend almost 30 hours more per year at work than the people of other nations surveyed.

Which countries are in the Top 10? These countries have the best work/life balance:
1. Denmark 2. Norway 3. Netherlands 4. Finland 5. Belgium
6. Switzerland 7. Sweden 8. Germany 9. Portugal 10. France

If your country isn't on the list and you want to do your part to help it crack the Top 10, try combining these strategies to help restore the balance in your life.

"Underbook" your day. Instead of cramming appointments into every last minute, leave time on either side of those commitments. That leaves time to deal with the unexpected or enjoy the occasional free time.

Get help. It can often feel as though you’re the only one capable of performing a task or completing a project, but that's rarely the case. Enlisting the help of others helps lighten the load and lower stress.

Let it go. Will the earth stop turning if that one email goes unanswered at the end of the day, or a dish doesn't get washed until tomorrow? Unless you're in the health care profession, rarely are the things done at work a matter of life or death. Know when to prioritize the important things, and when to let go of those things that really don't have much impact on your life.

Choose your cliché. Stop and smell the roses. Life is too short. Remember, clichés are clichés for a reason — they contain pearls of truth. At work, take time for the essentials — drink water, eat healthy meals, take breaks — but also go to the office party, talk to your coworkers for a few minutes, take a short walk outside. Remind yourself that is there more to life than work.

When it comes to having it all there is no one-size-fits-all formula. It's also true that finding that elusive balance between life and work can be accomplished if one is willing to make the effort.

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Tuesday Tips from Pride Institute are provided weekly on their Facebook page as well as in this column in DentistryIQ. To ensure you don’t miss any of Pride Institute’s proven methods to take your practice to the next level, visit prideinstitute.com, and like them on Facebook!

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