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A guide to saving time for primary care managers

We’re all thinking about reinventing ourselves once again, whether it’s signing up for that gym membership, sampling a vegan sausage roll or ‘generously’ giving away the biscuits at the back of the cupboard. But what about our professional lives – how do we re-evaluate the way we work?

Why not make your New Year’s resolution something that makes life at your GP Practice easier, not harder? If you want to get more done in less time, you’re not alone. Here are FPM’s top tips for GP Practice Managers aiming to become more efficient and work smarter, not harder.

Manage Lines of Communication

Pieces of paper strewn in various piles, post-it notes almost covering your PC, emails building up at a frightening rate… If this sounds even a little bit familiar, think about how you could simplify your systems and ultimately end up saving time.

An example could be creating separate files in your inbox and setting up rules to filter emails directly to them, making it easier to keep track of what you are receiving. Alternatively, ask yourself whether paperwork could be broken down into simple categories, such as ‘to do’ and ‘to file’.

Avoid Interruptions

When you get the chance, occasionally setting aside time to clear important tasks can be hugely beneficial. Mark a date and time in your diary, mention to colleagues that you’re only to be disturbed if it’s truly necessary, and commit to concentrating on those jobs you know need your full attention.

Create To-Do Lists

Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve in a set time frame – and having it written down in front of you – can be a big help in keeping your mind focused. Being able to tick off completed jobs as you go can also give a real sense that you’re making tangible progress.

Drawing up a list of jobs and committing to finish them before moving on to other tasks can also be helpful. It can help us resist the temptation of giving into distractions and putting off the things we really should be prioritising. Speaking of which…

Establish Priorities

How’s your juggling? With so many things to keep track of, it can be easy to lose sight of how many balls you have in the air at one time – especially when another is tossed into the fray at an unexpected moment – always a very real possibility in general practice. Thornfields’ Gerry Devine produced a vlog containing a wealth of info on this topic and it’s well worth a watch.

Last But Not Least… Take a Break

There will be days when getting away from your desk seems impossible, but not giving yourself the time to step back from day-to-day stresses and responsibilities can actually decrease your productivity. Taking even a short break can help to reduce fatigue, boost mental alertness and provide relief from nagging aches and pains. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!

Looking for more easy ways to save time? Are you unsure where to start when a HR-related query drops in your inbox? Do you spend hours updating the essential policies you need to stay compliant – or even worse, lose whole days creating new documents from scratch?


First Practice Management offers a professional HR help line, invaluable policy and procedure library and essential toolkit area that can save Practice Managers hundreds of hours. Find out more about our benefits of membership today.


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