During the holiday season, I know it’s not just me, but at this time (more than most) there never seems to be enough time in a day to get everything on your list done.  The holidays are meant to be a time spent with family, but when running a PT clinic or any small business, it takes some juggling to find the balance.  In a survey by Xobni , a company that develops tools to manage your email, 59 percent of employed American adults say they check work emails during traditional family holidays such as Christmas. More than half check email at least once a day and an overzealous 28 percent do so multiple times a day.  Most believe that checking email during vacation time eases the workload upon returning to work after the holidays; others believe it’s a welcomed distraction from family drama.  Either way, we have to keep the work in perspective.  In the movie “Eat, Pray, Love”, Julia Roberts discovers the Italian words “dolce far niente” meaning “the sweetness of doing nothing.”
Especially during this festive season, try to make time for your family and for yourself – rejuvenate for the New Year. I know what you are thinking… easier said than done.

With a new baby girl on the way (due in April) and being a Type A planner, I have been researching the best ways to help maintain that balance that we all seek.  As therapists, we know that our patients come with a wealth of information, opinions, and experience that they are all too willing to share sometimes.  But, for the most part, the social interaction with many different types of people is part of what keeps me grounded and wanting to treat patients daily.

Here are the top 5 ways my patients have come up with to help maintain the “balance” in your life:

  1. Empower your employees:  If the clinic is open late, allow anther therapist or employee to take on closing responsibilities.  Make a dinner date with your family at least 3-4 times per week to sit down and have a meal together.
  2. Be spontaneous at times:  It can be hard between sports schedules and kids’ social calendars, but gather the family and go on an unplanned outing such as a hike, ice cream run, picnic or visit a museum or local attraction that you have been meaning to see.  Don’t miss an opportunity when it presents itself – they don’t come around often.
  3. Turn off the cell phone/PDA:  Even if it’s for the hour that you have set aside to eat dinner with your family or during the spontaneous outing, don’t be a slave to your iPhone.  For better or worse, today’s technology has made it easier to bring work home and on the road. But, if you bring it home don’t let it consume all of your time.
  4. Watch the clock:  If you have set up a 6:30pm dinner time with the family, stick to it.  Its too easy to say, “I will spend time with them later.”  Before you know it another week has gone by with everyone’s busy schedule and multiple dinner dates have been broken.
  5. Charity work:  Pick an organization that you and your family can contribute to with more than just a monetary donation.  Especially during the holidays, the warmth of helping others in need can really help restore the balance you are looking for and put perspective back into your life.


Eight out of ten of us small business professionals say they plan to work during this year’s winter holiday period.  While it can be hectic trying to find a balance between clinic time and family time, it is so important to remember the joy felt through quality time spent your loved ones.  “Dolce far niente” and Happy New Year!

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