Our profession is one of the best out there if you ask me. We are able to see patients from a variant of 8-5 every day of the week or choose to work one, two, three, or five days a week! Our industry has become accustomed to temp work and flexible schedules. There is a way to find balance in our dental industry.
Some people in other careers and industries are not so lucky. Teachers, and mail workers are at work five days a week. Dentistry is an amazing profession. You get to help people feel better and in turn you walk away from the office feeling good. Now, you may also walk away feeling tired, but what a reward to be satisfied while also making a difference.
As dental professionals, we have the ability to lead a very fulfilled life in many aspects of our career. This profession has given me so much, and I have been able to give to others with my gifts and skills.
It’s not rainbows and sunshine all the time! We all complain a little. I hear people criticize their jobs in the dental field, but when you take a hard look from the perspective of other industries, we are extremely lucky. We are standing in an incredibly powerful spot to make a difference to use our gift and give it away.
It can’t always be your way or your hours when working for someone. We have a responsibility to take care of our patients, our doctors and our team. And a responsibility to pay the bills and buy food for our family. It can be daunting trying to juggle it all.
So how do we use our industry’s flexible workplace to our advantage? I have twin girls with demanding schedules; I understand it is hard- here are things I’ve used to help me find my work life balance.
You know the airplane safety speech before every flight? You remember how they say, “Please be sure to put on your oxygen mask before assisting others”? This saying can be used in our lives as well. We need to take care of ourselves, and our bodies in order to support others. For example, I know I need time to exercise so I can be present for my team and family. I make sure to set aside that time for myself, so I am able to show up for the people in my life.
Write down everything in your life that needs your attention. Prioritize them according to what is most important, and what you can say no to if you absolutely must. I have a life planner book where I write down a word of the week and a quote to think about all week. Then, I write my list of things to do. There is only one of you, and you will run yourself ragged trying to be everywhere at one time. I’ve learned the power in saying no. It’s a hard task, and I am still learning. The bottom line is, saying yes to one more thing will ultimately affect my family and their success.
Show up to the moments that count. We can be with our kids 24/7, but never fully engage. It’s important to be present in the moment. I cherish the time spent building memories and bonding with my kids. Take in the details. Take a deep breath, exhale slowly. See the good things happening around you, even if it feels like nothing is going your way, you have something to be grateful for. Look for the good always.
It isn’t easy- it will be uncomfortable at first. You have to form the habits, take your life back. Live your life according to your rules. When we are happy, we are more productive. Design your life.