Time Management Tips For Health Professionals

by Rachad Davis

August 10, 2017

When it comes to the workplace, you may often find yourself balancing multiple responsibilities, projects, and deadlines. Learning how to juggle a heavy workload is critical for any professional, and especially important for careers in health care. Honing effective time management skills is crucial and something anyone can improve with enough practice, if you’re an administrator, analyst, clinical manager, or doctor.

We’ve rounded up some tips and tricks to improve your time management, from both personal experience and tried and true methods. Enjoy!

  1. Prioritize most important tasks first
    Fittingly, this first tip is the gold standard of time management: Identify the top two or three tasks you must complete at the start of each day and go from there. Once you complete those tasks anything you knock out afterwards is icing on the cake.
  2. Make a schedule
    Buy a physical planner. Use post-it notes. Choose your favorite medium and map out the things you prioritized, as well as everything else that needs to get done. This lets you physically see your workload and even helps you work toward something (who doesn’t try to finish as much work as possible before lunch time?).
  3. Focus. Focus.
    Close your Facebook and personal email browser tab. Leave your Snapchat or Instagram updates for after work. Really try to minimize as many distractions as possible. Some environments allow you to find a quiet place or secluded room to work, while others offer you the ability to close your door and really hunker down on the task at hand.
  4. Get ample rest
    A productive day at work starts the night before. For most adults, getting between hours of sleep is ideal. Aside from feeling energized and rejuvenated during the day, getting ample amounts of sleep also lowers your risk of obesity, decreases inflammation, and improves your overall mood, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
  5. Learn to say no
    While there will be times when this isn’t feasible, it’s important to be aware of your workload and how much you can handle. This could include everything from taking on new patients, to agreeing to head a work group. If you know you have multiple deadlines coming up, don’t agree to an additional task or project. Know the limit to your flexibility and react accordingly.
  6. Have fun
    It’s a well-known fact that happy people get more work done. Research shows happiness makes people 12 percent more productive. Similarly, it is considerably easier to manage your time better when you’re content and stress-free. Throughout the day, take some time for yourself, whether in the form of a walk, moment of silence, or snack break.

A health care professional’s day can be busy. It often may seem like there is not enough time in the day to get everything completed. This is what makes time management skills so essential. Use the tips listed above as a starting point to figure out what works for you as you grow within the health care industry.