As a father, husband, business owner, and pediatric chiropractor, Kaleb Scroggin, DC CACCP, is more than familiar with a busy schedule and the risk of drowning in all the obligations.
Burnout is always a lurking problem when you’re a small business owner, especially when that business is a doctor’s office. They take care of patients all day and make sure that you are not only helping them get better, but making sure you don’t miss any red flags that are indicated by a casual statement from the patient when their medical records look so impeccable an Olympic athlete. And all while raising two children and maintaining a relationship with your spouse.
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Although I have a busy life by most people’s standards, there are some things I do to stay sane, motivated, and happy.
My approach to life is not to “prevent” burnout, but to purposefully create the life that gives me purpose and fulfillment, as burnout is typically a symptom of a larger problem – your reality doesn’t match your expectations.
You want to feel valued, contribute, and grow in all aspects of your life for the rest of your life. The system we have created is our way to resolve this disconnect. The sooner you reach this point, the sooner the next phase of life can begin.
Here are five ways he lives on purpose to keep his head above water.
What is the most important thing in your life?
Most people will answer “family” if you ask them what is most important to them.
This answer usually means their children, but in our eyes, family is the person you choose to spend the rest of your life with. Once our children grow up they will move out and start their own families, so it is imperative for us not to spend all of our time with our children; We need our own time together to develop our own relationship and identity. My spouse and I have lunch and dinner dates and go on the boat together without the kids as often as we can.
We need to keep our relationship close to each other because at the end of the day we are a team and our vision in life is to be together for the long haul.
Working for personal heritage
People really love that word; It feels great to think about leaving something behind to change the world. While hopefully my business will live on long after me, that’s not what I mean by legacy.
As mentioned above, my children are my legacy and in order to fulfill that legacy I must consciously raise them. My wife and I have two children – our oldest is three and our youngest is one. So we live in constant chaos of irregular sleep, sleep times, short emotions and even shorter attention spans. For us, prioritizing our children means spending time together in social and learning environments, teaching them and connecting with them. We go on trips together, we go on boats together, we play in the parks together. We do as many things as possible as a unit.
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Sometimes on a weekend, maybe when it’s raining outside, we turn on a movie, but that’s a rare situation. We follow many parenting blogs, social media channels and are in groups that support the specific lifestyle we want to raise our children in, so we’re on the same page as we communicate, connect and teach. This is so important to us because leaving children raised with purpose is one of our ways to make the world a better place for the future.
It’s definitely not easy, but this mission is the difference between stress and burnout and the passion that drives us.
Make your job your mission and be creative
Running a chiropractic practice for children and pregnant women can be stressful. Making sure you’re doing everything clinically right is one thing, and then adding the business side of things adds another layer of complexity.
However, in my opinion, being an accountant is getting better every day. I’m sure crunching numbers and filling out forms is amazing to some people, but for me it’s not enough to help a newborn breastfeed and breastfeed more efficiently, or a child who has been constipated for months suffers from helping to get a regular bowel movement unaided movements again.
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I saw the amazing ways children could improve with chiropractic care when I was in school and was thrilled to see how well I could help them. I run a practice where I connect with my patients, see the results of my treatment and how those results impact the lives of their entire family. It gives me energy and helps me feel very fulfilled in my work and in my chosen career. So if you don’t feel fulfilled in your work, there is a way to make it happen. It may be in your chosen range, it may not be. It could just be finding another company to work for, or it could be starting your own business.
Be creative and find a way to use the talents you already have to make the world a better place.
Be the change you want to see in the world
While I work full-time and own and operate a practice, in addition to raising two children with my wife, it’s important to us not to live our lives solely on other people’s terms. We have chosen to shape our world and the world of our children.
My wife is president of a local animal rescue organization, I serve on the board of directors for my state chiropractic association, and we both serve on the boards of our children’s school and our own midwifery non-profit. While this takes a lot of time between 10 meetings a month, it’s so fulfilling to see the fruits of our labors by rescuing animals, legislating our profession, having the best school for our children, and helping our families in our area, to make it better birth outcomes.
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If you’re offered the opportunity to volunteer your time or money for a cause you care about, take it, it’s a win-win situation. You help your community and feel more fulfilled when you give back.
The essence to find out how best to plan
With all this inspirational talk about purpose and living a mission-driven life, here comes the most important, but also the most boring part of it. It might seem like a simple thing, but planning. How we plan is critical to living a fulfilling life.
My wife and I make an annual plan twice a year, starting with the immovable annual items like business trips that are already planned. Next, we plan for fun and family time—vacations, stays, and dates. We block weekends when there’s absolutely no way we can double-book something work-related, even if we consider it “productive.”
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This is the most important part. Most people plan out some of the things they need to get done and then let the rest of their time fill up as things come along. This is a recipe for being overwhelmed, overworked and burned out. It took me one sitting to write this article, but it took me two weeks to submit it because in the past week I’ve had two tea ball games, horseback riding, and boat trips to uninhabited islands where my wife found a fossilized megalodon fang. Of course, I also ran a full-time business during that time, but most people wouldn’t jeopardize their jobs, they would do it in their “free time,” which inevitably interferes with fun and family time.
That’s the difference: we don’t have “free time”, we planned the fun and then planned everything else. After our fun and family time, we plan our office work schedule, productivity days, and other work-related trips and blocks throughout the week.
In this way we make sure that we are not waiting to live the life we want to live, but that we are living it now.
Kaleb Scroggin, DC CACCP, was born and raised in Savannah, where he graduated from St. Andrew’s School before receiving a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology and a doctorate in chiropractic from Life University in Atlanta. Since graduating, he has received his Pediatric and Perinatal Board Certification, Webster Certification and has become a Birth and Postpartum Doula. This additional coursework has allowed him to live his passion of helping pregnant women make pregnancy and childbirth more comfortable, and helping mothers and babies recover more easily from the stresses of the birthing process. He owns Restoration Chiropractic in Midtown Savannah where his focus is on helping families become and stay as healthy as possible. Learn more at myheadsonstraight.com.
You can reach him at (912) 376-9191 or email him at [email protected]