As a healthcare executive, you are responsible for day-to-day operations at your hospital, health system, practice, or clinic. On a typical day, you are focused on ensuring each department functions efficiently on its own and smoothly integrates with others. Recently, you are likely facing even more obstacles, many of which are out of your control.
You are fighting to continue providing excellent care to your patient populations and maintain proper staffing amid the physician shortage. Additionally, you are brainstorming to budget and maintain your organization’s success. With the stress you are under, disengaging from your job at the end of the workday probably feels impossible.
However, calling it a day (and meaning it!) is crucial to your health and well-being. If you run yourself ragged, you won’t be able to provide support, either professionally or personally.
If you find switching off after hours challenging, consider trying a few techniques developed by executive coach and author, Deborah Bright. In a Harvard Business Review post, she recommends completing several routines prior to leaving the office. Each seemingly simple suggestion establishes an important break between work and home:
- Create a to-do list. Put pen to paper, create and save your list in Word, or record it on your cell phone, whichever method works best for you. And, most importantly, prioritize your items. According to Bright, when her organization partnered with a renowned New York City medical center to survey 1,000-plus employees, list building was found to be one of the three most valuable skills for boosting work performance and positively redirecting stress.
- Cross off one more little task. You could make a brief follow-up call or sign a document. No matter how small, when you can check it off your list, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. More importantly, you will have one less thing to handle the next day. This may seem minor, but a small victory is still a win.
- Start fresh every day. When the first thing you see in the morning is a cluttered or disorganized desk, it can cause feelings of pressure and frustration before the day officially begins. The solution: group paperwork into small, manageable piles, and put everyday items in their proper place. The following day, you will be organized and focused, ready to tackle your to-do list.
- Create a routine that signifies the end of the day. The ritual you choose could be something as simple as logging off your computer, turning off the lights, or locking your office door. Repeatedly performing the same action will help you take control of your emotions and psychologically transition from work to personal time.
- Start the night off on a high note. Avoid greeting your family with the usual “How was your day?” Instead, ask for their favorite moment of the day or the funniest thing that happened. It’s a slight change, but it sets the tone for a more positive exchange. Additionally, it takes the focus off you, so you can continue to decompress and leave work behind while enjoying quality time with the people who matter most.
As Bright notes in the article, her five-step strategy generally requires an investment of no more than 10 to 15 minutes a day. She and her team have discovered the process can be exceptionally effective when used sequentially and significantly decreases feelings of stress and enhances work-life balance.
Discover how Optimum Permanent Placement Services can advocate for your staffing needs by calling 603.288.1624 to speak with an experienced business development executive today.