Time management for veterinarians (claim back your control)
The article was first published on successinveterinarypractice.com
Some complex protocols have been discovered due to the recent advancements in veterinary technology. A veterinarian can get busy during working hours and this can affect his health and practice. If someone wants to improve his veterinary clinic, he must focus on time management. There are certain aspects of time management that we should consider.
But first, we must realize time management is really task management. We can’t really manage time as we all have the same 24 hours and it won’t slow down for us. Instead, we have to be mindful of the tasks we choose (directly or be non-decision).
Time management in veterinary practice
The veterinary doctor has to take care of many tasks. He will have to take care of the animals and guide the pet owners. Vaccinations can take a long time. Many other tasks that are not related to veterinary practice must also be handled.
From time to time, certain appointments for surgeries can also consume a lot of time. A veterinarian can get overwhelmed and this can damage veterinary practice. If any of these tasks are not handled well, it can tarnish the reputation of the veterinary clinic. There are certain ways by which veterinarians can improve time management. Some of them are given below.
This is the first important thing that you must do for time management in your veterinary practice. You can divide your tasks into four quadrants. On the upper left side, you can write urgent and on the upper right side, you can write non-urgent. On the x-axis, you can write on the upper side important it and on the lower side, you can write non-important.
This means you can place your tasks according to their situation. You can place important and urgent tasks on the upper left side. The task that is not urgent but important can be placed on the upper right side. Urgent tasks that are not important can also be categorized.
This step is really important because it can define which task is important for you and which task is not that important. When you have decided, it will become easy for you to manage your time for the urgent and important tasks rather than wasting your time on the task that will not give results. We can consider that surgeries and dealing with animals will fall in the left upper quadrant.
On the left downside quadrant, other items like purchasing the supplies for the clinic will be placed. Some tasks like you want to improve your practice by doing some online courses can be placed in the right upper quadrant. You will not have to take urgent action for these tasks so you can make a plan for the upper right quadrant tasks.
This is the second step in improving your time management in veterinary practice. You must have a plan for your full day a and even you should spare some time to do the things which will come as an emergency. To do this you can select the item from your upper left quadrant.
You can select the task in categories like actionable, non-actionable, or in-progress. In your to-do list, you must add all the tasks which are actionable and can be done easily by yourself. A good to-do list must be detail-oriented. The list should contain the task and other details in it like when and how you are going to complete these tasks.
The research suggested that writing a complete description of the task will help you manage it in a better way. In veterinary practice batch vaccinations are done. A group of animals can be taken to your veterinary clinic and you can do vaccination for these animals at one time. This can save you a lot of time.
This is a really powerful tool in veterinary practice. You must only focus on the work which is special to the veterinary practice rather than focusing on unimportant works. Some tasks like arranging the stationery items for the veterinary clinic or copying data from prescriptions to the computer can be a hectic task but it can be done by someone else who is specialized in this type of task.
When you find that your practice is growing, you must hire some staff to delegate your unimportant tasks. If you see your quadrants, you will find that items that are on the lower-left corner can be delegated. This means an item which is are urgent but not that important should be delegated. We can suppose that you need papers and a pen for your clinic.
You have a choice either you can go and buy from the market or you can give this task to staff. As it is not that important task you can easily delegate these. The time you save can be used to treat the animals or make links with pet owners. Giving some tasks independently for your staff can be helpful.
You must train your staff in a way that they can handle and solve the related problems without your help. If any help is needed, it should be related to your expertise and not some unimportant work. When staff is trained better, they can perform tasks efficiently so you will not worry about this stuff and more time can be invested in your practice.
If you have read this book which is called the 80/20 rule, you will understand that 20% of your actions will result in 80% of productivity. This means that 80% of other tasks are less important. When you are short of time, you can easily decide which tasks you should prefer. You can select the tasks which are giving you more result rather than selecting the task which are giving no results.
We can take an example that you are sending emails to your client but they are not reading while when you send the direct message they will respond quickly and all your customers are coming from direct messaging. This means you can keep the female part and decrease the concentration on emails. Work on the things that are working for you rather than the things which are wasting your time.
There is a book called deep work and it says that if you want to achieve something, you will have to create pockets of deep work. This means that you should work in an environment that is distraction-free. Distraction is part of our daily lives these days.
From our mobile and our computers, we are continuously bombarded with advertisements and notifications. In veterinary practice, a visit from a patient who has not taken an appointment can be a distraction.
You will have to handle this kind of case carefully because it can ruin your full-day schedule. When you are working with the animals, you should also keep your phone aside so that you will be able to work distraction-free. When you will work without distraction, you can increase your productivity so this way you will be able to achieve more in less time. It is a difficult task but it is also really important.
Some selected time management CPD for vets
There are many time management courses available. For some of them, you will have to visit an Institution and for others, you will have to study online only. When you go for time management cpd veterinary, you will find many stress free solutions.
Most of the courses for time management for veterinarians will come in the form of leadership skill development. In some websites, you can find that there is a special course for time management. On some other websites, you can find the vet leadership management course and time management is included as a module in these courses.
You can take the CPD course to improve your time management skills.
Taking care of yourself
Veterinary doctors can get busy and when we ask them to take care of themselves, they will not understand what we are talking about. Taking care of yourself means caring for your own body and mind. If you are under continuous stress, your mind will not function properly. This can result in mistakes in veterinary practice.
A sharp mind can only be present in a sharp and healthy body. You must exercise regularly. At the start, this can appear as a waste of time but gradually it will improve your productivity in your veterinary practice.
Doing more work in less time can be defined as efficient. If you want to become efficient, you will have to improve the efficiency of your workplace. Making proper procedures for the veterinary clinic can improve your time management drastically. These procedures are called SOPs. When you have a standard operating procedure, every staff in the clinic will know their duties.
Once an animal arrives in your clinic everyone knows what is the procedure to follow and they will not bother you for small things. This will improve the efficiency of your clinic. Some types of equipment are also time-consuming.
When you have to take a body scan for the animal, you will have to use a machine. If the machine is taking too much time to start, you are going to lose some precious time. Investing in better equipment can greatly enhance your time management in the vet clinic.
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