5 Tips for Finding More Time in Your Day

Is your ever-growing to-do list making you wish there were more hours in the day? Especially in our "new normal," the list of tasks we need to complete seems to be never-ending. Although you can't slow down time, you can improve your efficiency to make the most of the hours you do have and improve your work-life balance. Try implementing these five tips.

1. Get Organized

When you start a project, do you spend the first 30 minutes hunting down files, searching for emails, and trying to remember pertinent details? Organizing your workspace may seem like a daunting task, but it will pay off in the long run. Get organized with the following steps:

  • Organize file drawers, so you know exactly where to find important documents.
  • Create email folders, keeping messages for in-progress tasks in your inbox and filing messages once you complete the task they're linked to.
  • Keep electronic notes of project details neatly filed using your computer's folders, so you can locate them more easily.

2. Know When You're Most Productive

Everyone is different — some of us are morning people, while others hit their stride after lunch. There's no right or wrong time of day for maximum efficiency, but it's important to identify which is best for you. If you get the most done in the morning, adjust your work schedule to include an early morning hour before your co-workers arrive. If you focus better in the evening, stay an hour after appointments end, close your office door, and work through your to-do list.

3. Avoid Distractions

Surfing the internet and visiting social media sites are notorious time-wasters, so proactively set limits for yourself. Your cell phone can increase efficiency if used appropriately, for quick access to email, messaging applications, and other communication tools. But, if you easily get pulled into apps that distract you, it's critical to be intentional about staying on track. Turn off your app notifications, so you don't feel the need to pick up your phone at every ding. Resist the urge to obsessively check your texts and emails by putting your phone in a desk drawer while focusing on a task — out of sight, out of mind.

4. Share the Load

If you have a Type A personality, like many practice managers, it might seem easier to just do it all yourself. But, by identifying ambitious team members, delegating tasks, and training employees on each task, you will free up time for yourself and help them feel accomplished and empowered. Taking on too much responsibility – especially during the pandemic when we are all carrying more stress than normal – will eventually lead to burnout and fatigue, while sharing the load helps reduce stress and anxiety and helps your team grow.

5. Adopt a Workflow Software

Overhauling your personal work practices can improve your day, but imagine how great it would be if your entire team worked more efficiently. Adopting a practicewide patient workflow software can do just that. Efficiency systems help to improve workflow in several ways:

  • Digital whiteboards and iPads allow team members to communicate quickly and effortlessly, and can easily be used for curbside check-in.
  • Patient status is updated immediately, allowing team members to communicate more efficiently with owners.
  • Paperless charts eliminate the need to scan client paperwork, patient records, and treatment forms into medical records, and they have the added bonus of not adding to your office's clutter.

Finding moments in your day to improve efficiency means you'll have more time for what matters most: your clients and their pets. Show them how much they mean to your practice by maximizing your team's efficiency.

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Sarah Rumple
Owner, Chief Creative Officer of Rumpus Writing and Editing

Sarah Rumple is an award-winning veterinary writer and editor. Since 2011, her work has focused on pet health/behavior and veterinary practice management topics. Her clients include individual veterinary practice owners, national corporations, nonprofit associations, media companies, consultants, and others. Learn more at sarahrumple.com.

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