A Vet’s Most Valuable Asset

“Lost time is never found again.” Benjamin Franklin

Despite being guilty of it at times, I loathe time wasting.

Time is our most valuable asset. It cannot be bought, hired or borrowed. Squander it and its gone forever. Yet, how many of us take this for granted? As Buddha said ‘the trouble is, you think you have time’.

We cannot control time, or even manage it. But, we can make the most of it. What do we all have in common with the most successful people on the planet? The same 24 hours in a day.

The Psychology of Time Management.

Mental well-being plays a huge part in time management. Positivity is a precursor for productivity.

‘The Law of Control’ is a simple principle.

It states we feel good about ourselves to the degree to which we feel that we are in control of our lives. How good you feel is influenced by whether or not you feel in control of yourself (internal locus), or you feel you are controlled by external factors (external locus).

The wellbeing of a vet with an external locus is governed by the pressure and responsibilities of their work. Those in this category respond and react to events outwith their control.

‘The Law of Control’ advises; you must feel in control to perform at your best. But how does the vet, at the mercy of an external locus, achieve this?

Well, listen up! There are a few things one can do psychologically to help improve the way you feel. Here are some specific steps, based around time management.

Step 1: Optimise Your Self-Concept

Self-concept is your perception of time management. If your self-concept is high, you believe you are a well organised and efficient individual. If it is low, then you will be overwhelmed by day-to-day life. In other words, your belief will dictate your behaviour.

Step 2: Be Decisive

Decision making is crucial to time management. Not only will it facilitate efficiency, but it’s also an important leadership trait. Nobody will follow a rudderless captain!

Step 3: Self-Programming

Reinforce your decision to make the change. Affirm to yourself your productivity to program your subconscious.

Step 4: Visualise

What does a highly competent vet look like in your mind’s eye? Relaxed? Confident? How do they structure their working environment?

Start somewhere simple; the boot of your car or your consult room. How does it make you feel when this is complete chaos? Organisation on a small level can have a huge impact on time and ability.

Step 5: Act

“Fake it ’til you make it.” — a familiar catchphrase.

Even if you are hopeless, ‘pretending’ you’re a boss at time management is forward-thinking.