Intended for healthcare professionals


How do I improve my time management skills?

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 09 September 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5322
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

With a busy schedule, it’s important to make the most of your time during the working day. Abi Rimmer talks to four experts about how to do this successfully

Don’t neglect self care

Laura-Jane Smith, consultant in respiratory and internal medicine at King’s College London, says, “In the clinical environment it may feel like you have little control over your time but there are things you can do. Successful prioritisation is a skill that you can develop, and batching related tasks can also help. If you need to concentrate, mute your phone and ask a colleague to hold your bleep. If you’re always leaving late, tracking your time using a diary or an app like Clockify can help you understand how you could work smarter.

“For career progression, identify what you most want to achieve and write it down. You don’t need grand aims—just set goals that are meaningful to you and be realistic about what steps are needed to achieve them. Give yourself deadlines and discuss progress with a mentor or supervisor.

“If you feel unable to manage your time, take a critical look at whether the problem is you or your environment. Colleagues or family may be asking too much of you and you may need to say no. Sometimes telling someone about your other commitments is enough. Sometimes you …

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