The work of a committed medical professional can seem like a never-ending list of responsibilities, but at some point, you have to be able to take a step back and be more than just a dentist. You need to find balance in your life to spend time with your family, take care of yourself, and actually enjoy the house you’ve worked so hard to be able to live in!
This is much easier said than done. However, it’s probably more available to you than you think. All you have to do is find ways to make your extremely busy life slow down a bit.
Ironically, the best tactic to do this with is to boost your productivity outside of the workplace. This will help you do more in less time, thus leaving you with more time for yourself.
Here are 10 strategies that will help you get everything done faster and better.
1. Start Making Lists
Bullet lists are the simplest productivity hack out there, yet somehow, also one of the more underrated tactics to use. It’s a lot easier to handle being “busy” when you know exactly what you’re busy with.
Lists help you visualize everything you need to do, and you can group them into categories to better set up your day. Some smart categories include “things to do at home”, “errands to run around town”, and “things to do in the garage, the yard, etc.”
2. Break Down Big Tasks
Maybe your main issue, when you’re busy at home, isn’t that you have a lot of things to take care of, but rather one huge task. It can be hard to find the motivation to deep clean the kitchen or put together your new furniture if you just worked multiple long shifts all week.
But, it’s easier to complete a big task if you break it down into smaller responsibilities. Stop trying to take on everything at once. Instead, focus on making progress with baby steps that add up to the completion of one big project you’ve been meaning to do.
3. Set Time Blocks
You can write all the lists in the world and get a bunch of small tasks done and still be wasting a lot of time. This is why you need to set time blocks.
Time blocks are small, time-sensitive goals you set for yourself. Instead of going home and saying “I’m going to do all the dishes in the sink tonight”, say, “I’m going to give myself half an hour to get the dishes done.” You’ll be surprised to see how much this changes your at-home productivity!
4. Establish a Routine
Time blocks work well when you have a lot of things to do and need to stay on track, but they’re even better when you can use them to create a routine. This is especially true in the early morning and in the evening hours before going to bed.
Having a morning and night time routine means you’ll waste less time deciding what to do with your time. Instead, your tasks will become somewhat instinctual as you get ready for work and unwind from your day. This leaves you with more opportunity to handle random tasks around the house or simply enjoy yourself.
5. Begin Each Day with a Plan
Here’s the thing about routines: they only work 90% of the time. There’s going to be a day when you’re the one who has to drive your kids to school or when you have to change your nighttime routine because you worked late.
That should be somewhat expected if you have a really busy life. But, the key to handling all of your days with ease is to have a plan.
Part of your nighttime routine should be taking time to think about the next day. Double check that you’re fully prepared for what the day will bring and it’s sure to go a lot better than you expect.
6. Try Meal Prepping
Another great way to be more productive at home is to meal prep. This does require one big chunk of your time during the week, but many people would argue that’s better than wasting time every day.
Meal prepping can also make you healthier and help you be more mindful of your spending. It offers many benefits, but the most important for those who live busy lives is all the time it can save.
7. Create Stronger Boundaries on Work
Keep in mind that your at-home productivity efforts are most effective when you actually make the time to be home. At some point, you have to draw the line between work and play.
Maybe what your personal time needs the most from you is to be recognized as a bigger priority. Start setting a deadline for you to leave the work every day so you don’t end up working late for the third day in a row!
8. Communicate Your Needs with Others
Setting a time limit on your work time helps you show up for yourself. But, there’s nothing wrong with relying on others from time to time.
Don’t be afraid to ask your loved ones for help with your to-do’s, especially those that live under the same roof as you. Your teamwork can do wonders for your productivity and your family unit as a whole.
9. Hire Professionals
What if you and your family are already helping each other out at home and it still doesn’t feel like there are enough hours in the day? If so, it’s time to consider bringing in even more help.
Think about hiring a nanny or a maid. Discuss the option of getting delivered meals to your home each week instead of trying to make time to meal prep.
Maybe find a few ways to automate your life so that even the simplest tasks don’t take up as much of your time. You’d be surprised to discover all the benefits automation can offer you. BBD Lifestyle has more insights on this.
10. Take Time to Reward Yourself
At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for your home life is to live by this rule: you always have time to take care of yourself. This is a practice that will make you a better family man/woman, a better dentist, and a happier person overall.
No matter how many things are on your plate, make a commitment to do something for you every single day. You’ll thank yourself endlessly for it.
How to Change Your Extremely Busy Lifestyle
The cool thing about all of these at-home productivity tips is that they end up benefiting your work life, too. When you make a commitment to change some of your old habits, you fall out of the busy trap and actually enjoy more of your life.
Put simply, your extremely busy lifestyle slows down – and it does so in more ways than one. You become more mindful of the life you’re living and find new ways to appreciate it every day. How cool is that?
For more at-home tips and tricks to use after a long day of dental work or just in general, click here.