Why work-life balance is a lie, especially for doctors
There is no work-life balance. You won’t get a work-life balance. The whole concept is a fallacy and it sounds pretty crazy to say this, especially for someone who’s sitting here at Coogee beach in the morning.
But the fact of the matter is this. Firstly, people have this expectation, this perfect situation, where you work, have time off, feel perfectly calm and that everything is hunky-dory. However, from your experience, you probably know that this never happens.
And this doesn’t happen because you’re broken or because there’s something wrong with you. The reason for this is simply because realistically, it’s not going to happen. That’s not how life tends to work out. It usually feels likes a pendulum – swinging one way and then the other. So life becomes a routine of crazy work > relaxation > work > relaxation > work > relaxation etc. It’s like a series of short sprints. Life is a series of short sprints. You work hard and then do things to relax and rejuvenate yourself when you do have a break.
Your life as a doctor is not the perfect ideal as mentioned earlier. It’s not “everything is going to be hunky-dory forever and it’s going to be peaceful and zen all the time”.
It doesn’t work that way.
The stresses of work are followed by periods of relaxation and everything in between.
This is especially true for those who consider themselves overachievers – such as doctors – people who want to do incredible and amazing things, live a great life, and make an impact on the world. That means you’re going to be bored if you’re life is static and peaceful all the time. You’ll start thinking “Oh my god, I’m depressed. What’s the point? I’m bored here”. And acting upon these thoughts, you will start thinking of ways that you could do more work, do all these extra and exciting things. But then all of a sudden, your pendulum has swung towards the work-stress side and you’ll find yourself seeking relaxation and rest. You won’t be found stuck in the middle ground because that’s going to be super boring.
The key here is to be able to identify for yourself when to pull away from the work-like crazy path and head over to the relaxed side of things. That is, knowing your limits and acting upon them by taking a much deserved break and vice versa, is where you will achieve this “balance” as the pendulum swings side to side. The pendulum won’t ever be perfectly straight and aligned in the middle, but that’s okay.
If you have any questions, you can contact us by filling out the contact form or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please feel free to share this with your other doctor friends as well and see you next time!