Time management tips for busy vets

When you’re snowed under as a vet, time management tips can feel about as useful as budgeting tips when you’re broke. How do you manage something there’s simply never enough of?

Every vet experiences this–which is why our first tip is so crucial…

  1. Manage tasks, not time

The key to good time management is accepting that time itself is not under your control. Every human wishes they had more time, from their first bedtime tantrum to their last breath. None of us will ever fit everything in.

But the good news is that we can control our priorities. What really needs to happen today? What can wait until tomorrow? What can you delegate?

The Eisenhower Priority Matrix can be a lifesaver here. If you’re not familiar with it, it looks like this:


Putting your to-do list in one of these is extremely eye-opening and will help you focus on what matters. However, many vets have trouble with that “delegate” box, which brings us to our next time management tip:

  1. Delegate and use your staff

It’s hard to entrust tasks to someone else who might mess them up–again, it’s a matter of control. But your staff are competent, and they’re there to help you. Trust them and use them.

Your vet techs can do more than restrain patients. Your client care specialists are more than receptionists. By giving them more responsibility, you’re actually making their roles more fulfilling–as long as that doesn’t leave them with a time management problem. Which brings us to our third tip…

  1. Use tech

We’re not just talking here about keeping a digital to-do list. Try using dictation software to save vast amounts of time on typing. You can also use tech to free up time for your whole team so that you can delegate more meaningful work to them. For example, look into using automated appointment booking software instead of having a staff member make appointments.

  1. Invest in your team

Providing training–whether in veterinary skills or new technology–will enable everyone in your team to take on more responsibility and carry out tasks more efficiently.

  1. Repurpose information

This is really two time management tips in one. First, if you find yourself saying the same sort of thing to clients over and over, create templates you can copy and paste. Second, if you’ve written an article or blog post, break it down and use the bits for social media posts, newsletters, client emails, or any other type of content.

  1. Leave time for self-care

Making sure you have enough energy to use your time well is crucial to good time management. Leave yourself enough time for basic human needs like sleep, food and fresh air. If you never have time to meditate or take a walk, you’ll probably find they pay for themselves many times over in increased productivity.

In conclusion, remember you have value. Treating yourself as more than a machine will enable you to function better, not worse, and to serve your clients and patients to the best of your ability.


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