We all have 24 hours in a day.
Our profession does not affect it. Our location does not have an effect either. But why is it that we hear people say, I have no time? Others say ‘I’ve got lots of it.”
Minutes and hours can be at its longest when we are on a 24 hour duty or when presenting in a grandrounds. The longest minute in my life was when my son broke loose from my hold while standing in line. Too short when we are having a great time!
Doctors have 24 hours too.
Depending on our specialty, our day becomes night and night becomes day. But still 24 hours is all we’ve got.
My concept of time has changed over the years.
It has affected the way I chose to work or do things. Will I see patients all day? Will I do something else other than “doctoring?” What kind of patients do I want to see? What events, activities will I say yes to? Who will be in my circle of relationships?
Just like money, time is a form of currency for me. How much of it is spent and how much it yields is very important . Every minute counts. The value we put to our time helps us prioritize what we commit to. It can be for monetary reasons. It can be for investment and growth. It can be for relationships. Or life’s passion.
Monetary value. If I see 30 patients a day and you see 15, does it mean I make more than you do? Not necessarily. Between a surgeon who spends thirty minutes with a patient for a procedure and an internist who spends the same time with a patient with a chronic illness, the monetary value of the time spent may differ. If I choose a private practice against a retainer practice for a fixed rate, which would yield more value for time? If I spend sometime doing something else (business or use my other talents…hmm..sing for a fee perhaps? ) and practice to a certain extent, would it yield more value?
Investment and growth. Money isn’t the only way we gauge time’s worth. Time used as an investment may yield more than we can imagine. If you are a pediatrician, would you give up Saturdays of your practice for 2 ½ years of studying? Income lost on Saturdays for a pediatrician can be quite something. But time spent for that can open doors to many opportunities. Attending continuing medical education like post grad courses is time spent for investment and growth. Every minute spent to learn is an investment on good patient care. Good patient care leads to happy patients. Happy patients refer other patients. You do the math. Next time you are tempted to leave the post grad you are in because you have to go back to the clinic, think investment for your patients.
Relationships. When my son was young, Friday is by choice time with him. Time is needed to build and grow relationships, be it personal or professional. Time with people who truly matters is always time well spent. Our patients want time with us. Patients express their sentiments with comments like ”Si doctor parang palaging nagmamadali.” On one end, it can be “ Doc always takes the time.”
Life’s passion. Did you ever had a moment when you felt like you should have, but you didn’t? Real life is not like the movie “Click” where you can rewind the remote to do things the way you should have. Hey, that’s only in the movies! Pursue your passion like there is no tomorrow.
Here are great tips to making the most of your time:
- Define what is important to you. Give it your time. Learn to say no to others.
- Use time as a form of investment. Think big picture. Time spent now can yield much in the future.
- Invest time on relationships. Such time never go to waste.
- Spend time to pursue you passion and wake up each morning with a smile on your face.
So how do you make the most of your time? Can you write them in the comments below.
Every second in our life should be time well spent.