Veterinary Chris Hong
Director, Registered Psychologist
Veterinary Chris HongVeterinary Chris Hong
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So many things to do, so little time.  
So how do we make more time?

1. Make a list

Whether for work or home life, two columns:
"Things to do today" & "Things to do someday". 
This will allow you to prioritize doing what really needs to be done and not slip into procrastination mode and doing things because they're easier or more enjoyable. Update this list regularly.

2. Time audit your day

Review how much time you are spending on each task. What did you do between 10 and 11am for example? Once you've audited your day or better yet, your week - figure out how much time you spent on non essential tasks or as 'dead time'. And start to plan your days, the night or afternoon before. If you don't plan each hour, it's too easy to waste time and achieve nothing constructive. We're all experts at procrastinating. This goes for personal time too. If Saturday morning is family time for example, this means no social media, business related e-mails/calls or texts. 

3. Do not multi task. Do not multi task. Do not multi task! 

Multitasking gives us the impression that we're being productive and being time efficient, but the opposite is actually true. When we multitask, we have to spend time mentally switching between tasks (dead time). We can never truly focus on one task, which means the quality of work on each task drops off considerably. Instead, plan to spend 1-2 hours on one task and one task only.

4. Identify & eliminate distractions.

Similar to not multi-tasking; e-mails, texts, instant messaging and phone calls all interrupt our train of thought and take us away from what we're working on. This then takes further time to get back in the 'zone'. If you're working on a task (home or work), put the phone on do not disturb, close the e-mails and don't answer calls.
Pick 1-2 times per day when you check e-mails, outside of these times, close e-mails and turn notifications off.
Some distractions (e.g kids, partners etc.) are still inevitable but if you apply the above tips, you've eliminated the majority of interruptions.  

5. Work time vs personal time.

Make a clear distinction between work time and personal/family time. Don't be that parent who is replying to business emails on the couch whilst spending time with the kids or taking business calls when out with your partner. Learn to completely switch off from work/study and be fully present for your loved ones.
You'll all start to experience the benefits!

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