How To Leave Work on Time: Time Management Quickies For New Clinicians
Mental Health is a second career for me. When I graduated college, I enrolled in a teaching program and graduated with a Master’s in Special Education. For the next five years, I poured my heart and soul into a professional I hated.
Yep, I said it.
I hated every minute of being a teacher, even though I worked hard and was especially good at it. However, one thing that attributed to the stress of being a teacher was that I had horrible time management skills. I was also young and wanted to impress my boss and co-workers, so I’d would put in crazy amounts of hours at work.
This went on for 5 years, then I finally got the guts to quit and go towards my calling in Mental health. When I started my first job as a therapist, I vowed to be better with my time so that I can show up as the best version of myself for my clients.
I failed at this miserably!
Although I got really good at leaving right on time, the work piled up and I found myself swamped and constantly catching up on paperwork. When I left my first position, things I had to change. So I started being proactive about scheduling a day with tasks and ensuring that my task list was realistic. So here I am, a year into my new position, still playing catching on most days, but the days of feeling overwhelmed and out of control are few and far between.
Here’s a few tips to help new clinicians manage their time so that they are stuck at the office longer than they need to be:
Assess how long it takes you to complete tasks: This can be helpful because it allows you to place high priority tasks at the top of your list to get these out of the way first!
Block out a time in your schedule to focus solely things like documentation. Be sure to stick to that time so that it doesn’t interfere with your other tasks.
Put the hardest task at the top of the list… just get it over with!
USE LISTS… I have been referencing lists because for me, that the best way for me to keep organized.
Make your list realistic. I usually don’t put more than 5 to 7 tasks on my list per day. This way I can cross all items off the list and feel accomplished while things are ACTUALLY GETTING DONE!
LEAVE WORK ON TIME. Yes, even if one item isn’t crossed off the list. You have to learn to shut down and go home. Tomorrow’s another day!
FORGIVE yourself for not being perfect on most days. The goal is to be efficient, not tired and burnt out. So utilize some of these skills to help you through your days!
I hope this helps!