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The top ten ways to tell if time is kicking your butt (Part 2)

Part 2. “But at my back I always hear, Time’s winged chariot hurrying near” a haunting line from an old poem. But one that sums up one of the biggest problems we face in veterinary practice today. The management of our time.

So how can you tell if the time monsters are gobbling up your life? Here is part two of the horror show list of time killers.

6. You get to the end of the day having achieved no output of your own, but have helped everyone else with their day.

I think back to my first job in management and this was almost everyday some weeks. I had strategic stuff I should have been working on, but there was always someone else who seemingly needed my help. Tactical work is important, but once you reach a certain job level, strategic work is what you should spend most of your time on.

It took me a while to work this one out, and it feels very gratifying to get to the end of your day having helped a lot of people out. But being the grease in someone else’s wheels will only get your business so far. What it needs more than anything else is an adept leader.

7. You have thousands of unread messages in your inbox (seriously) and you leave facebook open on your browser bar.

A no brainer to avoid this right? But email and facebook are the two biggest productivity killers I’ve seen. Yes they are necessary, but if your habit is to get to work, open up email and check out the practice facebook page then someone else is setting your agenda each day.

My strongest advice is that you isolate your email and social media use to a couple of smaller 30 minute windows each day.

8. You do small things on your to do list first

Have you ever gotten into work, looked at your to do list and thought, ‘I’ll just quickly knock off these small items so I have some runs on the board’? Of course you have. We all have. Just remember, if you focus on small tasks, you’ll only ever get small results.

9. You don’t have a to do list

Need I expand? I suspect not. Put 'doing a list' on your non-existent list immediately.

10. You think being busy equates to being effective.

Ever see those people who have two phones, are bombarded by texts and can’t hold a conversation for more than two minutes without interruption.

Time. Management. Trainwrecks.

For some people being busy is an end in itself, but if you want to be successful then focussing your energy on being effective is a far better objective. Focus on results out, not time put in.

So did you recognise any of your own behaviours in that list? If so, then make sure you’re signed up to my newsletter and next week we’ll talk about how to stop time kicking your butt and reclaim your life.

Until then – be safe, be well and be happy.

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