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Posted on 04-04-2017

Do you spend more time at the office than at home? Although growing and maintaining your practice has to be a priority, devoting all of your energy to work affects your happiness, relationships and health. In fact, working too much can increase your risk of heart disease. Korean researchers discovered that study participants who worked more than 40 hours per week had an elevated risk of coronary heart disease compared to those who worked 31 to 39 hours. Luckily, you can run a thriving business and maintain a good work-life balance when you follow these tips.

Determine Your Priorities

Make a list of the things that truly make you happy. If you're not sure what to add after listing your family, significant other and pets, imagine you had an entire week to spend any way you wanted. Would you spend the week on a favorite hobby, catch up on reading or go on vacation? When you don't devote enough time to the items on your list, you risk burning out. If you don't create a balance in your life, you may soon dread going into the office in the morning.

Don't Do It All Yourself

Improving your work-life balance involves making changes both at home and at the office. Perhaps your office manager could handle a larger percentage of the paperwork, such as preparing lens orders for your review. Does your stress level rise on the days you have to rush to pick the kids up from school? Enrolling them in the after school program may be the ideal solution. When you delegate these tasks, you'll probably discover that your employees are happy to take on new challenges and learn more about the business, while your kids won't mind spending a little more time with their friends.

You probably didn't go to optometry school just to spend your time troubleshooting computer problems or creating ads for your business. Tasks that that don't require your clinical expertise, such as computer maintenance and marketing, can easily be outsourced to professionals.

Perform a Cost-Benefit Analysis

Too often, we do things because we think we should, not necessarily because they make us happy. Before you make any decisions about your business, take the time to conduct an informal cost-benefit analysis. Extending office hours two days a week may increase your revenues, but will the extra income justify the adjustments you and your staff will need to make?

Make Time for Yourself

If sleep is the only non-work activity on your calendar these days, it's time to make some changes. Those changes may be as simple as deciding on a firm daily quitting time, opening the office an hour later a few times a week so that you can go to the gym, or making a standing weekly date with your significant other or friends every week.

Improving your time management skills will help you keep your practice running smoothly and ensure that you have plenty of time to rest, recharge and enjoy a little time with your family and friends.

Sources:

American Journal of Industrial Medicine: Long Working Hours May Increase Risk of Coronary Heart Disease, 8/27/14 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajim.22367/abstract

Optometric Management: Achieve Work-Life Effectiveness, 10/1/16 http://www.optometricmanagement.com/issues/2016/october-2016/achieve-work-life-effectiveness

Entrepreneur: 5 Secrets to Achieving and Maintaining Work-Life Balance https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/235427

American Optometric Association: Balancing Act http://www.aoa.org/news/aoa-focus/march-2015/balancing-act?sso=y

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