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Three ways to organize your busy vet life

Three ways to organize your busy vet life

Essentially, when your life is organized, the joy will follow. But it can be a serious challenge to stay organized when the demands on your time are so intense and the chaos of medicine surrounds you.  

When vet life gets makes you feel disorganized, discombobulated, and scattered, collect your organizational composure with these 3 easy steps.

Write a list

Like a shock to the system, the book by Atul Gawande, - a public health researcher and surgeon - The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right quickly shot to the top of the New York Times Bestseller List. It enlightened some, and reinforced to others, that there is serious power and utility to a checklist. Not only does it serve to organize the most important tasks, but it helps to triage what is most important for your day. And of course, the most ostensible function of a checklist is to help you remember all what you'd like to accomplish. This allows your energy and thoughts to focus on the best and most efficient way to accomplish those tasks rather than trying to remember what they are. Also, by allowing yourself to concentrate on other things, you can stretch your mind and be much more creative throughout the day.  The utility of a checklist in a veterinary setting was celebrated in a paper by Bergström et al, who found that the frequency and severity of postoperative complications was significantly decreased after introduction of a surgical checklist. If you decide that a checklist for your day is right for you, try to keep it succinct and conservative. It allows you to be more creative. Plus, a large, cumbersome checklist can be so intimidating it can make you feel like crawling right back in bed.  

Make a Victorylist

A victorylist is something I created to help me recover my composure when I feel overwhelmed and over-committed. A victorylist is the opposite of a checklist. This is a list that you create at the end of each day (or in the middle) in which you list everything that you were able to accomplish throughout the day.  What's interesting about a victorylist is that it may include things that would have never made it on your checklist at the beginning of the day. Essentially, you're showing yourself that you're accomplishing more throughout your day than you think you are.  That gives you a great boost in confidence and motivates you to accomplish tomorrow’s goals with more passion and energy.

Delegate

Don't be afraid to reach out to others for help. Or, split a task into its component parts, and politely assign them to other people. You'd be surprised how willing some would be to help you when you need it most. In fact, some will volunteer to help you with alacrity. Although sometimes it may feel like you have to do something all by yourself for it to be done correctly, you don't. Perhaps your task is complicated and requires your special skillset and expertise; if so, then ask someone to do a different task that doesn't require that particular set of skills. (i.e., if you're working on an essay and don't have time to go to the store, ask a friend to help you out if they are on the way to the store). Moreover, the people you recruit for help may be more skilled or more creative than you are which makes the end result even better.

However, you decide to organize your busy life it’s important to know that organization not only helps you accomplish more throughout your day but it also can have profound health benefits. Some doctors ascribed the ability to sleep better, eat better, and lower your heart attack risk with your ability to stay organized.

















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