A lot can happen in one day. From medical emergencies to a sudden influx of checkups, the workload you have to do on any given day is substantial. By the end of the day, you may wish you had more time to accomplish what you wanted. No matter how hard we may try, time gets the better of us, and we find ourselves either falling behind or exceedingly overwhelmed by all of the tasks we have to do.
To combat some of the challenges you may face as a vet throughout the day, your best strategy is to find ways to effectively utilize the time you have, whether that’s understanding your scheduling process better or delegating more tasks to your staff. If you’re searching for strategies, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best time management tips that will increase productivity and help you achieve the most during your day.
9 Time Management Tips for Veterinarians
Proper time management is all about finding techniques, strategies and methods that can help with increasing your work productivity and lowering your work anxiety. As a result, you’ll have a better understanding of what tasks and projects you can accomplish within a certain amount of time. This plan will also help alleviate the stress of accomplishing an overwhelming amount of tasks on a given day.
- Delegate tasks and utilize your staff
- Get help from technology
- Increase your team’s capabilities
- Manage dictation
- Make time for specific tasks
- Focus on communication
- Repurpose and reuse information
- Practice better organization
- Leave time for self-care
1. Delegate Tasks and Utilize Your Staff
Because you’re a leading member of your veterinary clinic, it’s likely easy for you to feel the need to accomplish all tasks on your own. However, your staff is competent and trustworthy, and they agreed to help you with the job when they accepted the position. Don’t underutilize them!
In too many situations, primary veterinarians treat their certified technicians as animal restrainers and client care specialists as receptionists. These employees have a lengthy list of skills that can apply to numerous situations. Be sure to fully utilize their capabilities by assigning them to more responsibilities.
As a result, you’ll find you have more time throughout the day to complete other projects. Additionally, your employees will thrive in an environment when given more to do throughout the day. In the end, the more you trust your staff, the more time you’ll have. If you find that your employees are capable of accomplishing more advanced tasks, you’ll have even more time to tackle your duties.
To get started, have a meeting with staff so you can hash out the details together. With everyone’s input, you can work as a team to find the most efficient process for running the clinic. Once everyone’s new roles are assigned, you’ll be one step closer to a less hectic workload.
2. Get Help From Technology
Using technology as a means for better time management may seem obvious — but often, we forget that we can access a wide assortment of tools and programs designed to improve productivity, scheduling and more.
Finding a program that works best for you will take some time. However, once you learn what you prefer, you’ll find you and your staff working more productively. For instance, rather than having a staff member make appointments, you can have clients select an open time slot through a web-based program. This way, you can eliminate a menial task while giving your clients a more convenient option.
Additionally, think about upgrading your current systems to a newer and faster version. If you have outdated computers, an upgrade can speed up how quickly you accomplish tasks. Updated technology also allows for the use of newer time management applications.
3. Increase Your Team’s Capabilities
Investing time and money into you and your employees is never a waste. Strive to find different ways you can increase their skills and abilities, whether through training, seminars or other informative programs. The results will leave you with a more efficient group of employees who can perform their jobs more knowledgeably.
Taking the time to better educate and train your employees in new technology, medical terms and other topics that increase work productivity will provide them with the skills to make your veterinary practice even more successful.
4. Manage Dictation
Dictation is all about minimizing the amount of time you spend filling out paperwork and retyping notes you’ve already written. By using voice-recognition software, you can speak your notes rather than write them down, and the program will translate the speech to text.
For many of us, typing is not the most advanced skill we have. It can be slow and time-consuming, especially if you have to spend extra time making sure you spell a complicated medical term correctly. Why waste time typing when the act of speaking is much faster?
The biggest hurdle you may encounter with a dictation program is its inability to understand or process what you are saying. This situation happens often, especially when we use our phones’ voice-to-text features. To prevent miscommunication, you should use a dictation program specifically designed to assist with your field.
Talkatoo is one such program that is consistently able to recognize and spell some of the more technical and medical terms used in veterinary practice. It knows exactly what you mean and will transfer your notes as-is. This way, you don’t have to waste time trying to transcribe a complicated note — you can let Talkatoo do that for you as you get back to working with your patients.
5. Make Time for Specific Tasks
Sometimes, you lose track of the day and find yourself spending too much time on one particular task, causing you to neglect others.
This situation is common, especially with veterinarians and other types of doctors. The workday is filled with doing paperwork, calling clients, ordering products, treating animals both in and out of the treatment rooms and accomplishing other administrative duties. Instead of worrying about completing every little task throughout the day, you should learn to prioritize your day’s work.
Take a moment to envision your day. What tasks are the most important for the success and well-being of your clients? Try ranking your duties from most to least important. Then, consider how much time each one takes. Though each day can look different as a vet, you likely have an idea of when certain responsibilities need to be done. With that information in mind, you can structure your day so you make enough time for the tasks that need it.
6. Focus on Communication
Without proper communication, a disconnect will form between you and your employees.
Finding better ways to inform the necessary parties of any important information can go a long way in saving you time. Set up frequent team meetings or a message board to provide vital updates for everyone. Furthermore, it helps to use a work messaging platform that the team can access to ask questions or leave remarks throughout the workday.
Likewise, you should also focus on improving communication skills with your clients. While your clients can be more unpredictable than your staff members, informing them ahead of time of any important information they need to know during their visit will save time in the long run. Informed clients will not waste their time with tedious phone calls or unnecessary appointments.
7. Repurpose and Reuse Information
When it comes to repurposing and reusing information, you can try two different approaches to see what works best for your practice.
First, you shouldn’t feel the need to give every client who comes through your doors a personalized note, email or letter. In most cases, you will end up sending the same content to multiple clients a week, and there’s no need to waste the extra time to rewrite the same material every time. Once you’ve created a document, see if it’s something you can reuse with other patients. If you can, it’ll save you time from writing another document.
Second, you can take an article or other larger document that you’ve created and break it down into smaller parts, which you can then repurpose for other media content. Let’s say you’ve written an article about the most common feline diseases that household felines can experience. Take this information, whether paraphrased or taken verbatim, and use it to create a social media post, client email, newsletter or another type of shareable media.
No matter which option you prefer, the idea remains the same — using what you already have to make additional content and limit the amount of time you waste sending out the same information multiple times.
8. Practice Better Organization
When you focus on methods of becoming more organized, you will find that giving documents, tools and other objects designated areas that are easily accessible by your staff is a great start. You can even take the time to better organize electronic documents. Even if you already have an area that’s neatly organized, you can always find ways to make it more so.
You can opt to use organizational tools and programs to help keep productivity flowing. Checklists are a great way to remind yourself of the tasks you need to accomplish in a day. You can break them down further into morning and afternoon checklists or opening and closing to-do lists. Be sure every team member has access to the lists you make.
Additionally, creating an organized office space will streamline many work duties. Searching for a hidden document can disrupt the flow of your day — and even put you in a frustrated mood. Ask some of your staff to work on organizing the practice so everything is in an accessible location. This goes for physical items, like paper forms and medication, and everything you store on the computer.
9. Leave Time for Self-Care
Time management isn’t always about how to effectively utilize the time you give yourself in an average workweek. While you should use the above methods to make your daily routine more manageable and optimized, you can’t achieve these results without proper self-care, and that includes self-care for you and your employees.
Self-care doesn’t always mean giving yourself a day off here and there. Rather, self-care is all about finding different ways you can treat yourself throughout the week. Proper self-care can easily motivate you and your employees to be more productive and level-headed. Without taking the time to refresh and revitalize yourself, your workload can become overwhelming and stressful.
Any form of self-care is enough to give you even the smallest of motivation boosts. You’ll find yourself becoming more levelheaded and better able to process the tasks before you. As a whole, self-care embodies a variety of treats, breaks and relaxation. Let’s take a look at a brief list of some of the ways you can embrace a more self-caring attitude:
- Take a daily walk
- Sit quietly outside
- Read a book
- Get enough sleep each night
- Isolate yourself from technology
- Get a massage
- Make yourself a snack
- Start a hobby
When you and your team leave more time for yourselves, you can better serve your clients and patients, which is the point of it all!
Get Ahead With Talkatoo Dictation Solution
These nine time-saving tips can help you and your clinic stay ahead of the stress from an overwhelming workload. Utilize the countless tools available to you and give you and your employees time to destress and relax. With better time management skills, you’ll notice increased work productivity and workplace morale, leading to a successful, well-respected veterinary practice.
Dictation is a great way to increase the speed at which you take notes and write documents. Talkatoo is a veterinarian’s best dictation program — its text-to-speech capabilities register everything you say and know the various medical and technical terminologies that would stump other dictation programs. Leave the documentation to Talkatoo so your team can get back to serving your clients.
Book a demo with us to see how our comprehensive program can help save you time and stress.