Here, my top 10 life hacks for veterinarians, veterinary technicians and veterinary students. Previously, I've written on how to be a more efficient veterinarian in the ER - abide by these rules, and that'll start you off well.
1. Holiday cards
OK, the holidays are over. Did you get your holiday cards out? Seriously, who has time to hand write address labels? Use this simple template to enter in all your family and friends' names and addresses, save it, and order these Amazon labels here. Voila. You never have to address holiday cards again! Why did I wait 40+ years to do this? Here's the Word document to type your addresses into: VETgirl Blank address labels
If you have an inkjet printers: Avery Easy Peel Clear Shipping Labels for Inkjet Printers
If you have a laser print: Avery Clear Easy Peel Address Labels for Laser Printers
I read this great book about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. KISS. Simplify. Purge the junk. Create your environment. Donate your stuff away. After all, does it spark joy?
3. Utilize technology to enjoy life more.
Despite having a technology company (VETgirl), I'm honestly slow to jump into purchasing the newest devices. That said, after recently getting a pair of Apple Airpods and Beats Wireless Headphones, I'm in love. After years of ripping my headset off my ears and out of my phone on drawer handles and door knobs, I'm finally wireless and love it. Now, I can easily run around the house, listening to podcasts while multi-tasking. Or I can tune out while I efficiently type up medical records at work without having to be distracted by clinic noise. Embrace certain aspects of technology to make your life easier!
4. The 5-minute workout.
We hardly have time to exercise, due to our chaotic busy schedule. That said, take the time to do 30 squats (I do this while brushing my teeth) and 30 push-ups Every. Single. Day. It takes less than 2 minutes and you'll feel great after doing it. Mentally, you'll be glad you did them. Physically, you'll be glad you did them.
5. Automate your life.
Who has time to pay bills, remember what day to take out your recycling, and pay quarterly taxes? I schedule everything on Google calendar so I remember when to do it! Even my gym visits are scheduled so I make sure I take the time to do it.
6. The 1-minute rule. Does it take less than 1 minute to do? Then do it. For example, it'll only take 1 minute to hang up your keys, do it. It'll take you 5 minutes to race around the house to find them later, so do it now. It'll spare you a lot of anxiety and time.
7. Utilize technology: Part 2.
Two of my other technology favs? One: never vacuum again. Two: Never scoop kitty litter again. I know you neysayers are probably worried about not being able to detect FLUTD or FUO, but there's an app so you can track how many times your cat has used the box! The iRobot Roomba and the Litter-Robot. And use apps to improve your wellness. Check out the free VETgirl wellness app here for iOs or Android.
8. Multi-task only when needed
One of the biggest issues we face is the ever-present influx of technology and emails. Rather than stopping what you are doing to answer emails...schedule time during your day to check your email and answer emails in bulk. This is much more productive than constantly interrupting other tasks to respond to emails throughout the day.
9. Do it once, do it right, repeat
Do you find yourself typing the same thing over and over? And over again? Don't waste your time writing the same blurb over and over...either create a Google Doc so you can copy and paste or find a free open-source macro recorder for your broswer. If there’s an activity you have to do repeatedly, just create a web macro for it. The next time you need to do it, the entire macro will run at the click of a button and do the work for you.
10. Schedule good self care.
I'm a total tom boy, but even I schedule a monthly massage or facial. That's because I need the self care. Automate it. Schedule it. And make sure you take care of yourself.
Do you have any tips for better work-life balance and any life-hacks that we missed?