Don’t Make These Time Management MistakesFebruary 19, 2014
As a doctor, you will find your day is packed to the hilt and more often than not you are likely to feel that there is not much you can do to make things better. However, being constantly stretched for time will only add your stress levels and do you more harm than good. A doctor who is constantly stressed is more prone to making errors and when you are responsible for others’ lives, this is the last thing you need. Fortunately, there are measures you can take when it comes to time management and scheduling.
Take a look at what most doctors do wrong when it comes to managing their time so that you can change the way your work day progresses:
Handling everything yourself
One of the best ways of managing your time well is to delegate certain jobs to others. Depending on your specialty and your role in the healthcare setting, there will be certain tasks that only you are equipped to handle and those should not be delegated. However, you should not attempt to do everything yourself. Learn to delegate jobs smartly and only supervise them as and when required. Initially, you may feel you could have done the job faster and will be tempted to do it yourself. Resist that temptation and you will see that in the long run, you will have some more breathing space and you will feel less stressed.
Saying ‘yes’ to all requests to help out
There are times when you will have to learn to say “no”. There may be a lot of demands on your time and everyone will be asking you to do little extra. Someone might ask you to see a few extra patients at your clinic while others will want to interrupt you while you are in the midst of attending to patients. Of course, if there is an emergency situation, you will want to agree to move out of your schedule and attend to it. However, you must learn to set the boundaries and stick to them. You should make it clear that interruptions are not welcome unless they are emergency situations.
Working way too late
Admin work can take up a lot of your time and many doctors end up staying back late at the clinic trying to finish it or they carry their work home. This can be really bad news as it can eat into your family time, which is so important for distressing. If you have admin tasks left over in the evening, leave it that way at your desk. It’s not urgent. Instead, get to work a few minutes early every day so you can complete all the admin tasks before the first appointment. You’ll find it goes faster that way and leaves you free to focus on your patients the rest of the day.
Ignoring life apart from work
Try not to use excessive work as an excuse for not having a social life. Ensure that you allocate enough time for life outside of work. Spend time with your partner, family and friends and get involved in community activities. Make a conscious effort to make time for yourself and those that you love and care about. Very soon, you will find that you have enough time for everything you have to and want to do and that is exactly what time management is all about.