We often hear the buzzwords such as work-life balance as it relates to jobs.
What does it really mean?
This definition is constantly changing so the easiest way to explain it is that it is the balance of priorities between your personal life and your time working professionally.
How do you improve your own work-life balance?
That's what we are here to help with!
Be Present And Aware Wherever You Are
The best thing that you can do is focus on what is in front of you, and do this one at a time.
As a dental assistant you will be pulled every single direction and in more directions than you thought were possible. It is your responsibility to learn how to prioritize this and focus your energy.
This works for both your personal life and your work life.
When you are at work and have a lot of personal stresses that you’re going to have to deal with afterward, try to push those out of your mind until you leave work. This will allow you to function the best you possibly can at work and provide the best possible care for your patients.
This also deals with when you are at home or leaving the office. We will go more in-depth on this in a further section, but what is important is to focus on what is around you rather than whatever happened at the office today, or any stresses that you’re going to run into tomorrow for things you know you’re going to have to deal with.
Focus on the now.
Learn To Say No
This is an extremely important skill to learn. We have been told most of our lives to go the extra mile and to do the extra steps in order to show that we are good team members. Most of the time this will still hold true. We don’t recommend doing the absolute bare minimum while at work where it results in lesser care for a patient.
We are saying it is important to understand and know your limitations.
This can depend a lot on the current workload that you are working on. You may already feel as if you are stretched extremely thin and you cannot take on any more additional responsibilities. It is important to understand that that is OK. If you do not feel that you can comfortably take on additional responsibilities given your workload then when you are asked if you can add additional work it is OK to decline.
Your limitations stretch farther than just what you can physically do in the dental office during your hours. If you feel your mental health is declining due to the number of times that you have to stay late at the office, then it may be a good idea to decline next time they ask if you are able to. This is completely understandable if you cannot always stay late when you were asked.
You have responsibilities outside of work as well. A lot of these should be towards your own well-being. Such as making sure you spend time with your family and loved ones, or spending time with friends and partaking in other social activities.
It is OK to say no.
Determine If Working Full-Time Or Temping Works Better For You
This is something that we have had to answer many times for many different candidates. They do not know if it is better to work full-time at one office, part-time at multiple offices, or be a full-time temp that works with whatever office is needed on that day.
The answer to this question is going to depend on the individual’s priorities.
If you are seeking a consistent and reliable income with possible benefits then I would highly suggest looking for a full-time-based position add a dental office. This will ensure that you have almost the exact same starting and ending time each day, as well as a consistent form of income that you will be able to financially plan with. The drawback is that you will lose some flexibility as far as your schedule goes.
If you are prioritizing flexibility and the ability to work when you need to, and not work when it doesn’t work for you then we would recommend trying out temping full-time. The drawback when it comes to this is you’re going to have to be very responsible for planning out your days of work. The days and times that you work will not be consistent, and you will typically always be at a different office. This may make it difficult socially to make a lot of friends at work due to your inconsistent time spent at each office.
If you would like a middle ground of both then we recommend planning out a consistent schedule working part-time at multiple offices. This will ensure that you have select days off that you would like, but also still have a form of reliable income that you can count on.
Leave Your Work At The Office
Work can be extremely stressful depending on the day and the office that you are working at. Sometimes the stress can be so bad that you still feel stressed when you leave the office. One of our biggest recommendations to preserve your work-life balance is to attempt to leave work at work.
This includes if you don’t finish completely on time. There is always something else you could be doing and this may result in your constantly being stressed because there is also something that is always not fully completed. In our many years of working in the dental industry, we can assure you that most of the time whatever it is can be done tomorrow.
When you leave work to go home you should try to not think about work at all moving forward. Because no matter what it is you will be able to do it as soon as you go into the office the next morning.
There is no benefit to letting it take over other parts of your life that are not related to work. Such as your personal life and enjoyment of other things because you’re so stressed about work.