By Susie Burrell

If there is just one quality that high achievers possess, it is the ability to do a lot with their time compared to others. To this group, 5 minutes may as well be an hour, an hour in which to catch up on messages, chores, cleaning or work so basically they get much more done than the average person. I clearly remember working in an organisation in which my colleagues would spend the first 20 minutes of their day ‘catching up’ and then another hour ‘doing their emails’ – you could see 3 patients or write 2 articles in that time! Unlike working for large organisations or even small ones, when you work for yourself, time is money which means you see the benefit of not wasting time and being as efficient as possible.

The most common time wasters we all succumb to at some point including mindless phone conversations, internet surfing, TV watching, reading irrelevant emails, commuting in peak hour and of course, social media. Simple strategies I use to utilise my time as efficiently as possible include pre-programming all social media posts; deleting any email not 100% relevant without opening it; only speaking on the phone when commuting and recording my favourite TV programs and watching them ad free when I have some down time. I also write all patient notes and doctors letters in my consult while I am with clients. While these may seem almost obsessive, ultimately these small things save me hours each day, hours I can work, write, or take off for extra holidays when it suits – all pretty big pay offs.

So, if you find yourself constantly short of time, practice keeping track of every 5 minutes of your day. It will soon become apparent where you waste time, but more importantly where you can pull some to use on the things that matter most to you. We all have 24 hours a day to use. How do you use yours?

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