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How can GP locums achieve a work life balance?

A healthy work-life balance is important in any profession; however, even GP locums with greater flexibility can struggle to take time out to enjoy life, rest and recharge. Here are a few ways to manage the pressures and even the scales.

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Review the situation

Firstly, take stock of the situation. Audit your life, your work and your priorities. Ask yourself and your family what the needs are now and in the future. What are your career and personal goals and how can you achieve them? What is your current financial situation and how much money is needed? Could any spending habits being modified? Do you have any main stresses or difficulties with work? From there, you can begin to formulate solutions and calculate the workload required to achieve these goals.

Prioritise your health

Mental and physical health should be top priorities. You only have one body and you need to be well to effectively do your job. If you are unwell, don’t push yourself to breaking point by insisting on going to work. Health insurance is also an important investment should illness or accidents occur, potentially saving substantial money and stress in the long run.

Schedule holidays

A 2017 report suggests that increasing pressures have resulted in the loss of 1,000 full-time NHS GPs, with more moving towards locum and freelance work. Locums generally work less hours at much higher rates of pay, hence the move towards GP locum jobs, perhaps through an agency such as http://www.thegplocumagency.co.uk/. A poor work-life balance is still a risk; however, prioritising your needs will help.

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Taking regular leave when possible is crucial for work-life balance, whether a simple break from routine, making time for family and social occasions, or a more lavish holiday.

Prevent boredom and burnout

If you are feeling bored with work, revitalise your outlook by reviewing career goals and professional sideline activities or by diversifying hobbies outside work. New skills, interests or a new role can all spark your energy.

Too much stress and too many demands and hours can result in burnout, so try tackling potential issues bit by bit; for instance, consider delegating administrative duties or seeking the support of a GP locum chambers. A mentor could also help with providing an outlet for your concerns and frustrations while reducing isolation.

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