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Doctors, how to work less and enjoy life more?

Medical professionals, on the average, work longer hours than other people due to the nature and demands of their job. Today, as life is returning to normal for many people, the ‘normal’ for doctors still means working long hours, dealing with high levels of stress, and juggling multiple responsibilities with patients, staff, and their families.

A recent study of Malaysian medical professionals during the covid 19 pandemic that was published in Healthcare (Basel) found that more than half of these professionals were experiencing burnout. Hence it is essential for doctors to reassess their personal and professional obligations to fight burnout.

Here are three ways that doctors can leverage on to find their balance and start enjoying their life and money more.

1. Prioritize.

Those who are used to managing several responsibilities in a fast-paced work environment often have the hardest time downshifting. Doctors often fall into this category. Although many have the resources to live their best life possible, but they don’t feel free to enjoy themselves more.

In this situation, they might need to reassess their relationship with their money and ask themselves: What is my money really for? Do I live to make more money? Or do I make money to live better?

The ultimate purpose of money is not to keep earning more of it. Money is an enabler, a tool to help them lead a meaningful life and help them reach their goals. Too many people who wait for ‘the right time’ to enjoy the rewards of a lifetime of hard work to find that ‘the right time’ never comes.

Prioritize how they want to lead their life, and with the resources that they have, enjoy their liberty to do what they want, when they want.

2. Adapt your money mindset.

Money mindset is largely influenced by past experiences around money. People develop their own unique set of beliefs toward money, either consciously or subconsciously, based on these life experiences.

During the downshifting phase, start getting comfortable with the idea that more money might be going out every month than is coming in. If building your nest egg was the end goal of a fulfilling life, then you’d never stop working. And if maintaining that nest egg is all you think about in retirement, then you’ll never really enjoy your golden years.

Give yourself permission to take control of your finances. Adopt an abundance mindset – there is more than enough to go around.

3. Have a solid financial life plan.

The objective of having a plan is to help us achieve our goals, and allows for more efficient use of our time and resources.

With the support of a solid spending, saving, and investing strategy put into place via a financial life plan, doctors might not feel the need to grind longer and longer hours. A strategic portfolio management may provide a perpetual income stream for them so they can start to scale back their hours. This could free their mind and help them find better work-life balance.

By working with a life-centred financial planner, they will gain more clarity and feel more confident that they are allowed to work less and enjoy life more.

If you are struggling on how to downshift, or worried that you can’t afford to enjoy life more, speak to a life-centred financial planner. We’ll help you review your current financial situation, discover what matters most to you, and offer suggestions on how to get the best life possible with the money you have.

SELINA SP DANG, DBA, CFP CERT TM Licensed Financial Planner at Coreplus Advisory Sdn Bhd Certified Member of the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM)

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