How I Manage my Time as a Doctor + YouTuber – 9 Time Management Tips (2019)

July 27, 2019 posted by

hey guys welcome back to the channel in this video I'm gonna be sharing some tips for time management now this is a question that people have been asking me about for the last several years they see that I'm a full-time doctor if you don't know I've got this YouTube channel I run my own business I like to sing songs and play guitar and I like to give the impression that I've got a vibrant social life as well and people often email me or Instagram DM me or whatever asking how do you manage your time how are you able to do so much stuff how are you so cool so in this video I'm gonna be attempting to address these queries by talking about some principles some tactics and some tools that I've personally found helpful to allow me to do all this extra stuff with my time and speaking of time this video is kindly sponsored by expressvpn and the fastest virtual private network provider in the world and I'll talk a little bit more about them at the end of the video so the most important thing that really changed the game for me in terms of time management was was recognizing that my time was fully and 100% in my control like back in the day I used to be tempted to use the phrase I don't have time when you know talking about like going to the gym I kind of realized over time that actually I am fully in control of my own time and at any given moment I am doing what I most want to be doing it's never the case that I don't have time to go to the gym it's always the case that going to the gym is currently not a priority in my life so yeah subtle mindset shift and that's principle number one for time management that I've personally found really helpful in my life principle number two is something called the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule you might have come across the general idea is that for most things in life actually about 80% of the results come from about 20% of the inputs so I think Marie Kondo the whole minimalist tidy living minimalist home all that stuff has the thing that you know only 20% of your possessions are bringing you eighty percent of value and actually this applies to so many other things like especially when it comes to effective studying often when it comes to exams that we take at school in university eighty percent of the marks are gonna be coming from 20% of the content like if you really understand that 20% of content you can figure out how to get the 80% of marks and sort of by extension I I realized that this applies to learning new skills as well I taught myself how to play the guitar and the piano a few years ago you've by following YouTube tutorials and using Justin guitar and all that stuff at the start I thought that learning piano and guitar would be hard but it's really not like if you like if you want to get to a reasonable standard guitar if you want to be able to play the guitar while singing along all you have to do basically learn four chords and those four chords let you play vast majority of pop songs in the world and you can just move the capo up and down to change the you know change the key and that kind of changes the game because anyone can learn four chords on the guitar you just need to buy a guitar for about thirty pounds from a secondhand shop like I did one day teach yourself the chords using Justin guitar practice for about two weeks or a month and suddenly you're at the level where you could literally stand on stage play these chords and sing whatever song you want to prior to learning guitar I kind of had it in my head you know this is like a really hard thing but when I started to learn it I kept this 8020 principle in mind I kept saying to myself okay no this is actually easier than it then it seems I'm gonna focus on the 20% of things of chords that's actually going to result in 80% of the songs that I can play so I think this applies all the way across the board with things like piano digital artistry graphic design coding photography video editing YouTube all of the things that I've taught myself over the years from the outside looking in it seems like oh my god how how do you do all the stuff but actually when when you really get down to it and try and teach yourself this stuff you realized that it's not as hard as it initially appears and you can focus on the 20% to get the 80% but yeah that's principle number two and principle number three is something called Parkinson's law and Parkinson's law states that work expands to fill the time that we allocate to it and we've all probably had this feeling where when we've got a deadline coming up the next day or the day after you know we get so much more work done whereas if we've got you know an assignment that's in for two months from now we're just gonna procrastinate and put it off until like the week before or the night before I think Parkinson's law applies to almost everything in life as well like you can always be a bit more efficient by giving yourself less time to do something and more time almost never in my experience leads to a better result so this is kind of the case of getting over the idea of perfectionism and just churning stuff out and recognizing that if you give yourself a short amount of time to do it then you know think things just work out okay so those were three broad overarching principles for time management let's now talk about some tactics of time management and tactics are kind of drilling down a bit more into rules that we can follow stuff like that the first one is the two-minute rule and I came across this in a really good book called getting things done the art of stress-free productivity by a chap called David Allen this is like the world's most famous book about productivity and in it he introduces the two-minute rule which is the idea is that if you have a task that is going to you less than two minutes you should just do it now rather than put it off every day I come across tasks that I know will take me less than two minutes and for the most part I try and get them done there and then so that they're not kind of in my mind or on my to-do list or languishing like you know there's a mug behind the camera over there it'll take me less than two minutes just to pick it up after I film this video and stick it in the sink and that will just make my workspace a little bit more neater so yeah two-minute rule applies to everything if something's gonna take less than two minutes just do it now the second tactic is called batching and I first came across this in Tim Ferriss is amazing book the 4-hour workweek which is the single book that's most changed my life and that is a book all about kind of productivity and efficiency in maximizing time management and stuff so if you're interested in this sort of topic you should definitely read the 4-hour workweek if you haven't already but in the book he talks about this idea of batching like it's it's pretty intuitive it's like let's say you know throughout the week you get lots of emails that you have to reply to it makes sense to do that all at the same time rather than taking five minutes out sort of here and there every hour of the day to reply to emails and I find that batching all these similar tasks together really helps because I'm not then context switching it's not like I'm working on a video and suddenly I'm replying to an email and start I'm working in a video and then when I've got when I make the time I'm gonna reply it to these 16 emails that I have to reply to equally the same thing applies for filming videos part of the reason why I'm able to put out at least one video a week is because I sit down and batch film them so today I'm gonna be filming like six videos and then I'll edit them over the course of the week or send them off to my editor because I now have an editor which is which is very exciting and finally the third tactic is my personal rule for watching TV which is that I'm not allowed to watch TV if I'm watching TV on my own and actually in the last two years I think the only TV I've watched on my own like like sitting on my own is one episode of Game of Thrones cuz no one came around to watch it with me that day one episode of Chernobyl cuz I was interested because everyone's talking about it and I watched a season of you on Netflix when I was on a flight I think that's loud when you were on an aeroplane but for the last like three four years of my life while I was at university I made a rule for myself that I'm just not allowed to watch TV if I'm on my own TV is fine as like in my opinion as a social activity but I found that if I were just sitting there watching TV on my own I'd just end up wasting so much time and thinking back for the last four or five years I'm really glad that I spent that time doing other things instead like making my websites was falling off making my business or just hanging with friends or making this YouTube channel I don't feel that I've missed out by not having seen the office or by not having watched Breaking Bad for a second time or by not having watched friends for a third time you know I don't lose anything by not watching TV on my own but I gain a lot of spare time and that's that all these stats like the ever average American spends 3 hours a day watching TV all this sort of stuff and I find that with a lot of my friends and you know this is there's no judgment to them like if this is what they want to do that's absolutely fine but I find that with a lot of people the default activity when you get home from school or when you get home from work is to put on Netflix and watch something and if that's intentionally what you want to be doing and what you're aiming for and what makes you happy then by all means that's absolutely fine all I'm saying is that for me I don't lose anything in my life by not watching Netflix I don't even have a Netflix account but I gain a hell of a lot of time and I think personally my life is much more fulfilled and interesting because I've used that time to do other things rather than watch TV so yeah that's my role for watching TV let me know what you think in the comments usually this is a quite controversial one I mention it to friends people always like oh what's wrong with relaxing and stuff I'm not saying there's anything wrong with relaxing I'm not saying you have to hustle all the time I'm saying is that you know if you're gonna ask me what my tips are for time management and how I'm able to do some other stuff I think a big part of that reason is just don't spend any time watching TV and so having talked about three principles and three tactics and I want to talk about three tools that I find helpful in terms of time management the first and most important one is an app for the Mac called Alfred and I think there are equivalent absolu in doze if you're one of those people that sadly uses Windows and Alfred is incredible because it basically lets you do anything on your Mac just like using using the keyboard so for example if I want to open Safari I never ever drag my mouse over to the dock click on Safari because that's a waste of three seconds of my life instead I press command space bar type in SAF which is right next to each other on the keyboard press ENTER and I've got Safari open in about half a millisecond it's all these little actions like this like let's say I want to open a file normally I'd be clicking on sort of finder Google Drive third year essays section a human memory and finding my file that way this takes about 10 seconds or 15 or 20 seconds each time I want to do it whereas with Alfred you can just do a file search so you can do command spacebar you can press another space and that lets you search for files you just type in the file name and it immediately opens initially a few years ago I was following some programmers and watching screencasts and stuff and they were absolutely raving about Alfred and how amazing it is another time I was thinking you're just saving 10 seconds each time but then I started using it and I realized oh my god the amount of time I've saved in my life by shaving off these 10 seconds pretty much every interaction that I have with the computer is absolutely game-changing so if you are the sort of person who is still currently using your mouse to navigate your keyboard your computer you are wasting a lot of time I used something like Alfred or spotlight search or I think when Windows you just press the windows logo key thing and then you just start typing and stuff just works keyboard shortcuts are so much quicker to navigate your computer with than using the mouse so that is tool number one tool number two is an app called forest which is a Pomodoro timer the Pomodoro method you might have come across it is the idea that we should work for 25 minutes and then have a five-minute break and then work 25 minutes have a five-minute break and I used to use this when I was studying for exams to kind of motivate myself to kind of focused work for 25 minutes and then I'll have a break for five minutes at my friend's there's a really good app called forest that lets you do this so it's a it's an iOS app and pretty sure it's on Android as well and the idea is that when you want to start your timer you press the button and then the timer starts to countdown and it's as if you're planting a tree and in that 25 minutes at the end of it you have planted a tree and the tree starts to grow but if you go off the app ie if you use your phone to you know look at a notification or to answer a message or something then the tree dies so it's kind of nice in that it's a Pomodoro timer but it also forces you not to be distracted by all the crap that's going on on your phone so I found that quite helpful I don't really use the Pomodoro method anymore these days but if I were studying for exams and now when I'm preparing for my postgraduate medical exams I think I'm gonna be using it because it just makes it a bit more of a game to study so yeah forest is tool number two and till number three is actually a website called ten fast fingers I started kind of using this website about once a month since about the age of 13 I remember we were in an ICT lesson RIT or computing or whatever you call it we were in one of those lessons and one of my friends discovered this and we started having these typing typing speed competitions against one another and I remember when I was 13 my typing speed at the time was about 80 words per minute eight-zero I saw that and I was like in the top sort of 20% or something and I was like okay I need to I need to improve my typing speed by virtue of the fact that I just spend all my life in front of a computer but also that occasionally I do this typing test and see where I am I've managed to increase my typing speed from 80 words per minute to you know these days like consistently at about 140 130 words per minute on the on this website that's almost a doubling of typing speed and because a lot of the stuff that I do involves being on a computer like coding or writing or blogging or even planning videos having a typing speed that's twice as fast it's actually quite helpful and it's again one of those things that shaves seconds off every interaction that you have with computer but when you do that and apply that over a 10-year period you end up saving a lot of time then you can then use for other things so I'd recommend giving you a go have a go at 10 for stringers com see what your typing speed is and then see if you can work to kind of improve it because that's another one of those little tools shaves off seconds each time that I found useful for time management and speaking of tools I just want to end by giving a massive shout out to expressvpn for sponsoring this video expressvpn is the world's fastest virtual private network service provider and with just a few clicks you can protect your privacy online and they've got apps for Windows Mac iOS Android Linux anything you can think of so I personally use Express VPN whenever I'm on public Wi-Fi so I just press the little button on my Mac and connect to a virtual private network which is completely secure public Wi-Fi is apparently I read several years ago or a way for hackers to get access to some of your data so if you have you know social logins that I care about or if you're going to be sharing your credit card details online and shopping online and stuff it's probably worth connecting to that Wi-Fi and then going via VPN so that all of the data that you're sending and receiving is secure the other really cool thing about expressvpn is that if you're feeling like it you can unlock like content that's restricted in your country for example if you were with friends like I was talking about in the video and you wanted to watch a an episode on Netflix or Hulu or something that wasn't available in your country you can use Express VPN to log in as if you were in the United States for example and then you can watch that TV show with your friends obviously it's not gonna watch it alone because they're happy about a waste of time and if that all sounds cool then if you sign up today you can actually get three months free with a one-year package and this actually comes out to be less than seven dollars a month and that I think is a price worth paying if you want to protect your privacy online and they even have a 30-day money-back guarantee so you literally have nothing to lose so take advantage of this offer please visit expressvpn comm /r the adult to learn more so thanks expressvpn for sponsoring this episode of a time management and thank you very much for watching if you like this video please give it a thumbs up if you like this kind of video in this kind of topic you might like to subscribe to my email newsletter and this is like email that I send every week that has a few kind of paragraphs that I've thought about about like productivity or timeout like this sort of stuff and in that email I also share some links to interesting articles or podcasts or videos that I've discovered that week along with like a Kindle highlight of the week so like I share one of my highlights from a random book that people seem to seem to enjoy at the moment it's got about 9000 subscribers in the meaning list so if you'd like to join these 9,000 people and get a weekly email from me and have a look at that I'll put the link in the video description as well so you can check that out if you like but yeah thank you very much for watching and I'll see you in the next video bye bye you


40 Replies to “How I Manage my Time as a Doctor + YouTuber – 9 Time Management Tips (2019)”

  1. Ali Abdaal says:

    Hey guys, here are some timestamps to make watching this slightly easier:
    00:41 – Owning your Time
    01:13 – The Pareto Principle
    03:16 – Parkinson’s Law
    04:00 – The 2-Minute Rule
    04:50 – Batching
    05:54 – My rule for watching TV
    07:45 – Alfred
    09:18 – Forest
    10:22 – 10 Fast Fingers

    PS: If you like these sorts of tips, you should sign up to my weekly email newsletter. Every Sunday I send out some thoughts / productivity advice, along with some links to interesting articles/podcasts/books I discovered that week. Here's a link:

  2. محمد العامري says:

    First tip

    Talk fast!😂😂😂

  3. willa olsen says:

    Can u plz make a review on the new MacBook Air?

  4. Carolina Ardenghi says:

    "That's a waste of 3 seconds of my life" ajajajajjajjaaja :'D

  5. might is Right says:

    Tips for time management =don’t waste time on YouTube.

    Yes yes ur perfect blaaa blaaa blaaa bullshit

  6. Radmission says:

    The major problem I have with these tips so far, as they seem to be helpful but only applied to things like hobbies. Are these applicable in situations that matter? For example, his job as a doctor? There are no examples from of these tips being applied to his job, a situation that matters that he earns his living from…

  7. Cole Riene says:

    10:22 my typing skills is really fast but my brain is just bloop

  8. JUTZZZ says:

    This is more like it none of this advertisement bull crap. This is why Subscribe in the begning

  9. chanchala mishra Chanchala mishra says:

    Good 💙

  10. Johannes Asfaw says:

    Would not watching TV also apply to not gaming… 🤔

  11. rsh says:

    What are the 4 guitar chords you are talking about?

  12. Dhruv Shah says:

    Idk if u are working out or what but your biceps are increasing in size

  13. Dara MacCarthy says:

    Truth – TV time blackhole

  14. raven auriesh reyes says:

    I would love to know the books that's changed your life !!

  15. Fatifleur Birghal says:

    I always put like before starting the video. Love you ♥️
    I also use Forest

  16. Samin Xantray says:


  17. Shiao says:

    Do you feel batching and 2-minute rule somehow contradicting each other? hahahha~

  18. Dayana Perez says:

    I only use the command space bar on my mac, cause I am super lazy.
    But at the same time that helped me to remember many article authors and the topic they published about (I save articles by author year journal key word). When I am writing a paper, and I need to check again the results from the original article, I only type the first author last name and open the article in a sec.

  19. Kanaad Pathak says:

    When are we gonna get the video about how you do the iPad animations?

  20. Fodder says:

    Alfred is so much more than just a Spotlight search! It can do so many things, my touch bar stopped working on my MacBook Pro, so I installed a Brightness Workflow and now I can use Alfred to set my brightness. The developers are also amazing! Great video btw.

  21. Prince Kumar Singh says:

    Best time management video…..EVER!!!

  22. Aakarsh Goyal says:

    Man I love your voice! Its so soft and comforting!

  23. ixidor says:

    Launchy is the Windows equivalent of Alfred

  24. Aakarsh Goyal says:

    "if you are one of those people who SADLY uses Windows" I cracked up on this one hehehehee 7:55

  25. Dr. Nosa says:

    Just out of interest, do you consider youtube TV? If so, do you watch youtube for entertainment?

  26. Shin says:

    0:22 'How are you so cool-'' Ali, your humour is growing hahaha

  27. DerTommynator says:

    7:55 I feel personally attacked!

  28. Hani Rosidaini says:

    Anyway.. why you refer the link to the Amazon Japan? XD

  29. Hani Rosidaini says:

    Does your "TV rule" applies to Youtube watching as well? Coz I dont watch TV, but I waste much of time watching youtube videos o.O

    (never even watch Game of Thrones on TV, but update all the episodes online along with the fans theories >,<)

  30. Nick Colangelo says:

    Wow, great advice. Consistently great content for the couple months I’ve been following. First channel that has ever actually earned a “subscribe” and a “bell” tap in book. Keep it going!

  31. STUDY Kendrick says:

    I just recently started playing the guitar so this video came at the right time!

  32. it’s afua says:

    had to pull out the pen and notebook, your content is always A1

  33. ramieen says:

    i remember learning about parkinson's law in class (im majoring in psychology) and lord i really need to get it engraved in my mind. thank you for the helpful video!

  34. Qasim Ali says:

    Probably the only YouTuber who actually gets straight to the point. Great work Ali @Qaza_x

  35. Chickensoup says:

    Completely agree on the typing speed tip. I can't possibly imagine the time I saved over the last 7 years or so..
    For Windows users on the look for an Alfred style launcher I'd recommend Wox, Hain, or my personal favorite Keypirinha

  36. ibi osman says:

    dr Ali, I just hope you never decide to give up youtubing, you're such an inspiration, thank you for the content and the apparent effort put in

  37. Mahmoud Al-Fadul says:

    I think you should make a video on why people using windows are “sad”.

  38. Joyce Cui says:

    Every time I watch your videos, I learn so much so THANK YOU

  39. Dhanbir Thethi says:

    thanks for the tips on time management. i shall implement these tips………. later LOL

  40. Matt Prance says:

    With your rule about the TV, does it also mean that I can’t be able to watch YouTube?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *