Episode 132 | The Real Impact of the “Not Enough Time” Lie in VetMed & Life

“I just don’t have time.”

When was the last time you said that?

How often do you use it to justify a decision?

Are you blaming it for the condition of your wellbeing?

Many of us are, and we don’t even realize it.

A culture of busyness is common in the world.

It keeps us in frenzied action.

It has us believing that doing more, and being faster are both positive attributes of worthy and successful people.

The truth is, that type of existence only leads to exhaustion, compromised emotional state, and unbalanced experience.

You aren’t supposed to work all the time.

Believing that overworking is necessary is a harmful lie.

Believing if you work harder you can outrun this lie is even worse. 

In this episode I explore what’s really going on when it comes to the way we spend our time, and put forth a challenge for all of us to try a different approach this week.

You might just be surprised how much time you gain when you shift your perspective.

Resource: Vet Life Academy




Website: https://joyfuldvm.com

Music Credit: Music by Lesfm from Pixabay


Thank you so much for listening! If this episode supported you in any way, the best way you can pay forward is by taking a screenshot of this episode and sharing it on social media or with your team, and tag me!


This transcript is auto-generated and may contain typos. 

Hi there. I'm Dr. Cari Wise, veterinarian, certified life coach and certified quantum human design specialist. If you are a veterinary professional looking to uplevel your life and your career or maybe looking to go in an entirely new direction, then what I talk about here on the Joyful DVM podcast is absolutely for you. Let's get started. Hello my friend.

Welcome back to the joyful DVM podcast. In this episode, we are going to be talking about time and specifically about not having enough time or do we running around like chickens with our head cut off in a frenzy all day when we are in veterinary practice is a pretty normal experience, not a natural experience, not what we should be experiencing, but what most of us do,

and as we run around in a frenzy all day long, we keep reinforcing this idea that there's just not enough time. The truth is there are a lot of things for us to do inside of a day in veterinary medicine. There are appointments to be seen, there are calls to be made, there are labs to be evaluated, there are tests to be run,

and then there's all the other things that we didn't get done yesterday or the day before or the day before that just keep right on stacking. Add to that an appointment cycle where we're constantly looking at the clock believing and thinking about how we're not going to be ready for the next one or how we're so far behind for the one in front of us. It's no wonder we get really stressed out when it comes to time.

Now, here's the kicker. Being in that pressure cooker of time when we are at work doesn't end when we walk through those doors to go home. It's actually created a stacking belief system about time, and quite honestly, it's a belief system that we probably brought in with us when we started the profession. Our world just seems to run around as if it's on super speed all the time.

It reinforces this idea that we must go faster and do more in order to be valuable, in order to be effective, in order to be worthy. But what if all that's wrong? I really do believe that it is. This pressure cooker of time that we have created for ourselves does not have any upside, quite honestly. It has the exact opposite intended effect.

As we become more and more aware of time around us, many of us start using it in ways that don't actually move us forward. We use it in ways that don't check off the boxes of our to-do list, and this keeps that to-do list growing and keeps the pressure rising. So what's really happening, the truth is whether you're in veterinary medicine or any other area of the world as far as a career goes,

you probably know somebody or know of somebody that is accomplishing all kinds of things. They participate in all kinds of activities, have tons of relationships, and still somehow find time to do things like exercise, eat well, raise families, participate in hobbies, and have extracurricular activities. How on earth are they doing it? Are they super human? Is that kind of capacity available to you?

And to me, the answer is yes. We all have exactly the same amount of time. Every single day has 24 hours and every hour has 60 minutes and every minute has 60 seconds. It's how we use that time that makes a difference. I remember when I was growing up riding on the school bus very early on, it was in grade school and there was an old kind of house up on the hill that our bus used to drive by every single day,

and it had a sign out front. I don't actually know what that house was. Maybe it wasn't a house, maybe it was a business now that I consider it. But either way, there was this, what looked like an old house up on this hill, but near the road there was a sign that sometimes had a message on it and there was one message that got put on it and left for months and months and months.

It had a profound impact on my understanding of time. And what it simply said was time use it or lose it. I had never considered time in that way before. I mean I was under 10 years old at the time, but it really struck me and resonated with me as very true. It helped me to identify how finite the amount of time we have really is.

And even knowing that I have still in my lifetime managed to waste a lot of the time that I have much of it I've wasted under the the guise, if you will, of pro productivity. I've wasted it in ways that I've believed were necessary and required and I suspect that you might be doing the same thing whenever we consider the way that we use our time.

We know that we are going to be spending some time at work and most of us have some kind of schedule scheduled hours that we are supposed to be there. So that's kind of where it starts. Now we add on to that the amount of time it takes for us to travel to our jobs and the amount of time it takes for us to travel home.

That's more time dedicated to work. And then perhaps we're stacking on to that the work that we're doing through our lunchtime time that we're giving away to our job and time, that we're staying beyond our scheduled shift time. We are also giving to our occupation, but are we forced to do that? I mean really forced to or is that something that we're choosing to do?

The reality is that whenever we work beyond the scheduled shift, that is a personal choice. There isn't anybody there saying that. You have to say there isn't anybody saying that you are going to be fired if you leave and if there is somebody saying you're going to be fired, if you leave at the end of your shift, perhaps that's another conversation we need to have.

Perhaps we need to consider whether or not the environment that you work in is actually one that supports the kind of life that you wanna live. But aside from that, what I really wanna talk about today is that time that we voluntarily give to things that don't move our lives forward, that we voluntarily give to things that don't create balance and that take balance away.

That tilt the scales to where our work becomes the main interaction in our lives at the effect of the decline of everything else. There's only so much time and many times, oftentimes when we have the opportunity to engage in things that are not work related, many of us just drop into that habit, thought, that habit, belief that we just don't have time.

So whether it is cleaning up our house or going to the gym, having lunch with a friend or something like that, or engaging in some kind of hobby, learning a new project, enrolling in a new program, I don't have time becomes a legitimate excuse, legitimate I say in air quotes, so you can't see me 'cause this is podcast formed because it's really not legitimate at all.

It's just simply the easiest way for us say to say no. And it's the easiest thing to blame because most people don't question it. But I want you to question it because the truth is that you're probably not interacting with things in your life that you would really enjoy, things that would truly make a difference, things that actually you value but you're just missing out on because you're believing that the time to engage in them doesn't exist.

But what's happening to all of that time when you're not at work and how much extra time are you spending at work and for what reason? I mean, sure, it's definitely not unusual for us to end up staying a little bit beyond our shifts, but if you're consistently staying hours beyond your scheduled time, I want you to consider what you're doing during those hours.

Are you writing up medical records? If so, there's an opportunity there for us to reevaluate the way that you're writing your medical records. Where's your time going during the day that you don't have time to write those records or to at least get them started? Are you writing novels putting way more in there than it's needed because you're afraid of what somebody else might believe about you when they read them down the road?

Are you spending time doing the jobs of other people simply because you don't believe that people around you who are assigned to those jobs do it well enough? And so you're afraid and so you don't delegate and you take it all on yourself. This thing of time that gets blamed for so much that we miss out on in our lives often doesn't have anything to do with time at all and has to do with the way that we interact with the time that we have in other areas and the way that we add on time related to our job that isn't actually necessary.

If we could reel in some of the other components, my friends, when we aren't able to delegate and to utilize our teams to work together to serve our clients in veterinary medicine, we just keep reinforcing an unsustainable work environment. And I know that not everybody in any particular organization has exactly the same level of skills, but there's always an opportunity for us to train others so that we can delegate and take things off of our plates.

And the truth of it is all of our team members will feel much more effective and useful and valued if we actually let them participate and do their job. When our egos get in the way, when we believe we're the only ones who can do it and we're afraid to let go of the reins because we're afraid of how it's going to impact us or impact our patients,

we're just setting ourselves up to be in a complete time vortex. It's just one of the symptoms of insecurity and fear within the veterinary profession. Those medical records, they're never gonna save you from a board complaint or from a negative online review. The longest, most thorough record in the world can't stop somebody from complaining about you, but our mind makes us think that it can.

So it seems like it's useful task to do that, but the truth is there are things that we need to put in a medical record, but we were never required to write a novel. So if you're writing novels, let's understand why you're writing novels so you can stop doing that and you can get your time back. The only way we can break this habit of hanging on and to to all of the tasks,

to all of the things and giving up so much of our time is quite honestly just to rip the bandaid off, start leaving on time and see what happens. Write shorter medical records and notice how you survive, delegate things to your team and watch how they perform. They're dying to help. They want to be useful. It makes their job much easier too when they're actually allowed to do what they were hired to do.

Now, I'm not saying that any of us at any level in veterinary medicine should just blindly trust that everybody knows what to do and how we want it done. And I'm not saying that how we want it done is the way that it has to be done either, but what I am saying is that the days of veterinary medicine revolving around one or two people who do it all are simply gone.

They've been gone for decades and as we've continued to hold onto the belief that we are the only ones who can do it right, we just continue to stack on the unsustainability of this career field. And in doing so, you disengage in the rest of your life. We say we don't have time, but the truth is we all have exactly the same amount of time.

It's just simply how we choose to use it and how we choose to use it is actually a choice. We are deciding for ourselves when we complain that there's not enough time to see our friends and family to participate in our hobbies, to engage in the things that matter to us. We're deflecting responsibility to something outside of us, and it's almost never, ever true.

The truth is that for some reason we are choosing to prioritize work over the other things. So we have to ask ourselves why At the heart of it, the easiest question and the most effective question to ask yourself is, what am I afraid of? Fear has us doing things that we think we don't want to do. Fear has us believing that if we don't do them,

we are in danger or that we increase our risk. But is that true? Do we have data that actually supports that? 99% of the time? I'd say the answer to that is no. It's all since all just a habit thought pattern that is anchored in fear, which is created by that part of our brain that wants to keep us safe. But my friends,

are you truly in danger? What are you getting protected from by spending so much of your time at work? What are you protected from by not engaging in your relationships and in your hobbies and by trying something new? The odds are you probably can't even make a list because when we actually slow down enough to ask the question, we see how obvious the answer is.

So as we go through this next week, I would really love for you to consider how you're spending your time. Are you spending more time at work than you want to spend? Then stop doing that. Are you spending your time at home worrying about work? If so, you might as well count that as work time because you're not engaged in your life.

The opportunity there is to learn how to settle the mind chatter and to refocus on what's actually happening in the present. That's a skill to be developed, and many of us have a habit of just thinking about work all the time. We have a habit of worrying about patients and clients and dreading the days to come. We don't even realize that any time we spend doing that,

might as well be time at the office because it keeps us disengaged from the rest of our lives around us. And somehow, some way that feels useful to the silly part of our brain that thinks we're in danger in doing that. Our knee jerk response to anything that we want to do outside of work is often, I don't have time. I wanna offer you this.

You have exactly the amount of time that you need to have. Your tasks will take exactly the amount of time you allow them to take. And if it's at a point in your life where you need to make a shift and to take back control of your time, giving yourself the opportunity to learn how to do that is always going to be time well spent.

You know the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting another result? Well, when it comes to time, if we keep putting off our interaction with our own lives until a time when we have more time, we're never going to get there. And if we make our happiness conditional upon the completion of our to-do list, we're never going to experience happiness either.

My friends. VetMed was never supposed to be your whole entire life. It's okay to do your job and then to go home to redirect your attention to the other aspects of who you are, to your friends, to your family, to your health, to your wellbeing, to your hobbies, to your activities. And as you learn to give yourself permission to disengage from work and reengage in the other aspects of your life,

you'll be amazed at how quickly your wellbeing, rebounds, and your happiness returns. All right, my friends, that's gonna wrap it up for this week. I'll see you next time.