By Ettean Smit, director, SmartPractice

Most of the practitioners I have dealt with are not entirely satisfied with the amount of time they have for family, hobbies and rest. Only a few get it right. Here’s some tips:

They have little idle time

They use unoccupied time to their advantage. Where they know that they will have to wait for a prolonged period of time, they utilise their smart devices to do minor tasks, thus freeing up time later.

They keep track of their time

Few can disagree with “What gets measured gets done.” By knowing what you are doing you can evaluate whether your time is being spent wisely. Once the things that wastes your time have been identified and once you get over the shock of how many minutes you waste, you can reappropriate where it will do better. With SmartPractice, you can manage this better with the incidental timer feature.

They find a spot or a period where they are not to be distracted

A personal favourite of mine and one I use regularly. You need not be online and available all the time. I let my co-workers know that I will be unavailable as if I am out of the office. Then, I tackle my highest priority work. You may not have the luxury to do this daily but surely on occasion you can turn off your phone and shut your office door to gain a few uninterrupted minutes.

They do not multitask; they do one thing at a time

Multitasking will cost you 40 percent of your productivity, according to behavioural psychologist Susan Weinschenk. The problem is, you think you are doing two activities simultaneously, but you are actually just switching rapidly from one activity to another. Switches last a fraction of a second, but over the course of a day, those seconds add up to a significant loss of time.

They finish what is almost done

To continue an ongoing project, you must first review what you already accomplished. To restart something takes time, rather finish it. Set aside time at the end of the day to wrap up short assignments. The more things you conclude, the less time you will spend worrying about them.

They invest in helpful software

Some tools are timewasters in disguise, but others will increase your productivity. Take a look at some of the software which are listed under SAIBA partners.

They say no

It is difficult to tell colleagues that you do not have time to help them, but it’s necessary. Once they realize that you respectfully decline requests that cut into your personal or work time, they will soon stop asking.