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17th April 2015

Are you ready for the year ahead?

Time to planEnd of year

Many of us will have completed our end of year enhanced service returns by now and are just recovering from the annual pressure that the end of March / beginning of April brings. Now is usually the time I say to myself that I will get myself organised and plan ahead for the new financial year. I have good intentions every year of mapping everything out over the next nine months, in order to put contingency plans in place if necessary, and to avoid any additional workload demands in the last three months when I’m already very busy preparing for the end of the year. Well, this year I intend to work to a schedule and will try to stick to it.

Let’s get ready

Of course, with the General Election less than three weeks away, who knows what lies ahead for the NHS in the year to come? My guess is that there won’t be any major changes in general practice until April 2016, although from experience any information about proposed changes may start filtering through from about September this year. With that in mind, I will be focusing on a self-imposed deadline of the end of August to complete my current agenda. I know it's hard to concentrate when you have a lot on your mind and your to-do list is six feet long but I find creating self-imposed deadlines can improve my concentration.

Five top tips to get organised

Here are my five top tips for getting organised:

1. Make a list of tasks
Include everything you can think of, that way you won’t find later that you overlooked something.

2. Prioritise your list
Be realistic when it comes to prioritising and split them into four groups:

- Important and urgent (critical activities e.g. important tasks with deadlines)
- Important, not urgent (important goals e.g. future plans & training)
- Urgent, not important (interruptions e.g. some meetings & most emails)
- Not urgent and not important (distractions e.g. trivial matters & searching the web)

3. Allocate tasks to a timeline
Decide which tasks need to be completed daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly.

4. Complete two small tasks every day
Regularly dealing with small tasks helps to keep your to-do list down.

5. Complete one big task at a time
Focus on finishing one project at a time; you are likely to complete it well and on time.

Stick with it

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are not able to complete something when you planned to because of unexpected crises. Focus back on your to-do list as soon as you can and try to stay on schedule. Find out what works for you and strive to implement good habits, you'll be ploughing through your workload with new vitality in no time.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Alison Lowerson

GP Specialist

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