27 Jan 2020

How to Avoid Letting Your Personal Issues Affect Work Performance

How to Avoid Letting Your Personal Issues Affect Work Performance

It can be challenging trying to separate your personal life and your work life at the best of times. You may also find yourself in a situation where you have to deal with the difficult task of trying to keep any personal problems at bay whilst you’re at work to ensure that your work performance isn’t affected. It is particularly important if you are working in the medical industry, where peak work performance is extremely important to minimise the risk of errors and mistakes occurring. This is also why it’s vitally important to ensure that you take out Professional Indemnity Insurance for Doctors and Medical Practitioners in order to make sure that you are effectively covered from any complaints made against you.

Personal issues can come in many different forms including difficulties at home, such as marital and family issues, bereavements, money concerns or your own health and wellbeing. Or perhaps you are dealing with issues in the workplace that are affecting you on a more personal level, such as coping with stress caused by a medical complaint.

Whatever issues you may be experiencing, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure that your performance at work isn’t being negatively affected by personal issues.

Talk to your manager

Effective communication with your manager is key. Whilst you don’t need to share the ins and outs of any personal issues you’re experiencing, it’s important to share relevant information regarding your productivity and how long the issue may persist. Remember that this is your manager and not a close friend so remain professional and avoid oversharing.

This will also give your manager a better idea of how they can support you going forward.

Take the necessary time off

Make sure that you take the necessary time off if required. The last thing that you want to do is to risk letting your personal issues affect your performance at work, or allowing your situation out of the workplace to get worse. So, whatever the scenario, give yourself time off if needed to ensure that when you return to work, you’re fresh faced and ready to go.

Seek support from family and friends

The buffering theory suggests that a social support system helps to buffer an individual from the negative events of a stressful event, such as a personal issue at home or receiving a medical complaint.

Talking to your most trusted close family and friends is an important source of support and comfort in times of need.

Two women in a cafe offering support

Utilise support services

There is an abundance of Wellbeing Support Services readily available for you to use. BMA offers confidential 24/7 counselling and peer support services to all doctors and medical students.

Additionally, find out what other support services are available to you in your place of work specifically and enquire about any options you can utilise. These support services can be extremely beneficial to help you deal with any personal issues you may be facing.

Allocate time for yourself

Set aside some time each day to do something that you enjoy. This may be going for a walk during your lunch break, listening to a podcast on your drive home or reading a book in the evening.

You could also try practicing meditation and mindfulness through using apps such as Headspace. Practicing such techniques regularly has many advantages including improving your ability to cope with stressors as well as improved sleep and focus.

Headspace app on iPhone

Put your personal issues ‘in a box’

Whilst putting your personal issues ‘in a box’ may not always be possible depending on the severity of the situation, try to set some mental boundaries. When you’re at work, commit to focusing on just work and put your personal issues ‘in a box’, which you can ‘open’ and deal with at the end of the workday.

This method works well for some, however can be challenging to others. Try out a number of different methods in conjunction to help to minimise the impact of personal issues on your work performance.

Coping with stress brought on by medical complaints

Stress in the workplace is a common problem, particularly amongst doctors and physicians whose work environment can be stressful and pressurising at times. You may have recently received a medical complaint at work and whilst you may be trying to not take it personally, it may still be at the back of your mind causing you stress at work. Stress can have a negative effect on you in a number of ways; emotionally, mentally, physically and behaviourally.

If you are going through a difficult time dealing with stress brought on by a medical complaint and you’re worried about the impact this may have on your work performance, seek help and find out more about coping with stress brought on by medical complaints.

Women with her head in her hands at work

Make sure you’re covered

Despite following these steps to minimise the risk of your personal issues affecting your work performance, mistakes can still happen and if you’re struggling at work, do not disregard it. Make sure that you have Medical Malpractice Insurance to cover any legal expenses if a claim is made against you. Being covered by medical insurance brings the added bonus of no longer having to worry about the costs of legal representation, meaning you’re able to focus on yourself and any personal issues you may be facing.

If you’re struggling to cope with a personal issue, make sure you follow some of these steps to minimise the risk of your problem affecting your performance at work and contact us today.

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