Tag Archives: time management

Challenges around time for doctors

Time Management tips

One of the most common challenges that doctors face is managing their time effectively. When you aren’t time-aware the work seems to be endless and takes priority over the rest of your life.

This means that your work-life balance suffers. The less you manage your time the more the problem grows. This has an impact on your life in and out of work too. Not only does it affect your friends and family but also your relationship with your partner.

Most crucial of all is on your own health and well-being. Because when you fail to manage your time effectively your personal physical and emotional health will be affected too.

Is it an inevitable part of a doctor’s lifestyle?

Not necessarily, although many doctors say they are overworked and don’t have enough time, to do things they used to enjoy away from work. It seems as though this feeling of being overworked becomes part of the medical culture, as if it was necessary to  ‘forget the rest of your life’ from the day you start your house jobs, when you started to work as a doctor.

Some doctors work and do nothing else to the detriment of their health and well-being and the relationships with those close to them. They forget how important self-care is to being a ‘whole person.’

Some can only cope with the stress and overwork by drinking or eating too much. Some decide to pack it all in and leave the profession.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.  What I want is for you to have a more balanced life – to be able to work well and efficiently as a doctor and also enjoy your life after work too.

If you leave work late each day and also take work home with you every evening or weekend, remind yourself that you are not super human and are just like every other human being. It’s OK to leave some things to do tomorrow and have some time for rest and relaxation too.

You need some time away from work and time to enjoy sport and hobbies and being with your partner, friends and family and also time for yourself and your own self-care.  If you neglect any or all of these your health, both physical and emotional will suffer and have an impact on the way you care for your patients.

If you go into your Hospital or Practice to catch up at the weekend, even when you aren’t on call,  then you need to take some action sooner rather than later to stop this way of life.

Coaching can help.

Tips to get things done and have more time

1. Don’t put off the important things in your life until some mythical time when you’re not so busy.

2. However small the first step, decide what it is, and do it.

3. Start a task because it’s easier to continue after the first step.

4. Recognise that there are things you may prefer to do in big chunks of time so plan ahead for these.

5. There are usually some small steps you can take in preparation for the big chunk.

6. Clear some physical space – throw away everything you no longer need.

7. Clear some emotional space by relaxing.

8. Keep up to date with opening your letters and emails.

9. Pay your bills on time

10. Fill in any forms waiting such as tax returns, as you go through the year.

11. Have a decent filing system for whatever you need to keep

12. Clear your surfaces

13. Sort and clear cupboards and drawers.

14. Just do it even if you think others might be offended.

15. Be clear about what obstacles are in your path

16. Decide what action you need to take to get rid of them.

17. Imagine the ‘you’ who wants to do this goal talking to whoever wants the other goal and
decide the way forward which is best for you.

18. Clarify the reasons for a particular course of action.

19. Decide for you and for the person who wants something different.

20. It’s OK to be selfish sometimes – look after yourself above all else.

Louise Hay in her well known book: You can heal your Life calls it being SELF-ish, and suggests that doing things for you, is not only useful but actually essential. I agree with her. It’s part of the concept of looking after yourself. Do things to nurture your own body, mind and spirit. And the rest of what you want will follow.

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