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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Career Coach - Tackling Time

Dr Pam Brown gives advice on time management and how you can achieve more without working longer hours or piling up more stress

Dr Pam Brown gives advice on time management and how you can achieve more without working longer hours or piling up more stress

Good time management can dramatically reduce stress levels while boosting goal-achievement

• Everyone has the same 24 hours in each day and everyone can learn to use their time more effectively

• Time management tools cannot make more time but can increase choice and control and improve work-life balance

• Recognise the difference between being efficient (doing things right) and being effective (doing the right things) – some things don't need to be done

• All tasks fit into four quadrants:

o Things which are important and urgent – do these now

o Things which are important but not urgent – plan to do these; they really make a difference

o Things which are urgent but not important – do or delegate these today

o Things which are neither urgent nor important – delegate or dump these

• Most procrastination results from fear – fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being less than perfect, fear of the unknown, fear of confrontation

• Edwin Bliss offers a toolkit for tackling procrastination in his book ‘Doing it now'

o Pigeonholing – deciding exactly why you are putting off the task can help you understand your resistance (and yourself) better

o Salami technique – large projects can seem overwhelming until they are divided up on paper into mini-tasks, each of which is rapidly achievable

o Leading task – just do something – anything - to get started

o Worst first – tackle the hardest task first, then you can relax and enjoy the rest

o Five minute plan – make yourself take action for five minutes, then allow yourself to choose either to stop or continue. Often you'll get caught up and do much more

• Each day list the five most important tasks you want to do, number them in order of priority, then take Nike's advice and ‘Just do it'

• Learn to say No! And enjoy the time saved

Resources:

Edwin Bliss Doing it now

Edwin Bliss Getting things done

Dr Pam Brown is a GP in Swansea

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