The modern optometrist has to deal with an influx of patients, manage their staff, and may have to raise a family at the same time. On top of that, they have to invest in state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to keep up with the latest trends.
These are just some of the factors an optometrist may have to face that induce stress in their practice and may lead to burnout. Here are some ways they can manage stress and prevent it from taking over them.
Poor financial management is perhaps the leading cause of anxiety for any business owner. The easiest way to ensure better financial management is by sticking to your budget. Always try to reduce your expenses and try to increase your savings. The 50-30-20 budget is an excellent example of allocating 50% of your income on essential needs like bills, salaries, or materials, while 30% on debt repayment and wants. This could be mortgage repayments, car loans or any asset that may help your business. Meanwhile, 20% goes into savings for rainy days. Try not to go over these limits, make wise financial decisions considering your budget, and save any surplus.
There’s a correlation between good organization skills and effective time management. The more organized your schedule is, the easier it is to manage, but scheduling has to be realistic. There’s only a limited number of patients an optometrist can see in a day, hence, it’s vital to prioritize patients based on their ailments and not over commit. Investing in a patient portal system may help save time before any appointments and help with scheduling.
Anticipating things before they happen is an excellent way to avoid stress and deal with situations when they don’t work out. This goes for both your practice and home. Look for innovative solutions rather than flow and accept if an option doesn’t work out. It’s best to move on rather than wasting time on it. This helps define boundaries and sets realistic expectations.
When the boundaries between your practice and personal life start to merge, stress is usually the culprit. In this particular case, it’s best to divert your attention based on your surroundings and define boundaries for your personal and professional life.
It is also essential to focus on yourself and take some time off periodically to cool down and keep sane. It goes without saying that a proper diet, sleeping pattern, and physical activity are a cornerstone for healthy living.
It’s okay to ask for help. It can come in many forms. Having a close friend or colleague may help ease your burden just by listening to our concerns. One can find guidance from a mentor in times of need or a therapist may help create exercises and plans to alleviate one’s mental, emotional or physical issues.
To lessen the stress from running your optometry practice, you may have to consider some tradeoffs such as seeing fewer patients but less income, buying used equipment for less expenditure or delegating tasks for less work. These steps may become necessary when stress overwhelms you and leads to grave errors.