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Time Management Clinical Molecular Genetics Society Grade A Trainees Meeting 2008 3rd/4th November Gemma Monaghan.

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Presentation on theme: "Time Management Clinical Molecular Genetics Society Grade A Trainees Meeting 2008 3rd/4th November Gemma Monaghan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Time Management Clinical Molecular Genetics Society Grade A Trainees Meeting rd/4th November Gemma Monaghan

2 2  An essential part of training in any profession is Learning to manage time The effective use of time makes the difference between wishing that we can accomplish our goals and actually accomplishing our goals

3 3 Learning Time Management involves: 1. Becoming aware of how you currently use your time 2. Identifying and eliminating time-wasting habits 3. Learning organising techniques 4. Setting goals and objectives 5. Discovering how to plan and set priorities 6. Developing a time policy

4 4 1. Becoming aware of how you currently use your time Track your time for a defined period –Keep a detailed diary for 2 weeks –Pause frequently to ask “Will what I am doing right now help me to reach my goal ?” –If the answer is “no”, make a concerted effort to get back on track

5 5 2. Identifying and eliminating time wasting habits Admit your weaknesses and come to grips with them If you are a procrastinator, try to work out why and then take steps to overcome it

6 6 3. Learning organising techniques A well organised work area saves time Avoid clutter Organise filing systems simply Take time each day to set priorities

7 7 4. Setting goals and objectives  In order to be productive – plan carefully  Establish your goals, both short and long term Write them down on paper in order of importance Be realistic, but not over conservative

8 8 5. Discovering how to plan and set priorities  Having set your objectives, you need to plan the activities that will allow you to achieve them Check your list of goals and prepare a daily ‘to do’ list  Prepared daily  Written down  Prioritised

9  Keep the list simple (10mins) – it is a planning aid, not an end in itself  Don’t use any old scrap of paper – small note pad is ideal  Prioritise tasks (either by order or a code) – a mix of priorities is best  Tasks which are ‘high-value’ are often different to those which have ‘high urgency’, but both are high priority  Probably won’t accomplish everything on your list in one day – focus on the ones directed towards your goals  Go home feeling you achieved rather than just wasting your time Effective time management does not mean finishing everything

10 10 Main objective : To complete Fragile X module within the next 4 weeks Sub-goals: To write essay on methods of fragile X analysis, both molecular and cytogenetic To complete notes on clinical phenotype To practice Southern blotting technique To gain ‘real diagnostic’ experience by taking responsibility for fraX PCR

11 11 Day 1 Activities: –Appointment with cytogenetics colleague to discuss fragile X testing (priority 1) ‏ –Read clinical review paper and make notes (priority 2) ‏ –Set up restriction digests and run gel overnight (priority 1) ‏ –Take turn on Sample Reception (priority 1) ‏ –Set up routine fragile X PCR analyses (priority ?) ‏

12 Day 2 Activities: - Set up Southern blot (priority 1)‏ - Plan essay (priority 2)‏ - Begin writing essay (priority 3)‏ - Label probe and set up hybridisation (priority 1)‏ - Set up routine fragile x PCR analyses (priority 1)‏

13 13 6. Developing a time policy Time-Users-Guide (TUG) ‏ Divide your time into manageable activity blocks Need to know - How you use your time now - Your most alert time of day Determine this by carefully tracking your time for 2 weeks. Allocate discrete blocks of time to office and lab work Sub-divide within these blocks for routine and non- routine work.  No time wasted wondering what to do next  Establishes concrete schedule which can be respected by others  Enhances creativity and productivity

14 14 Reality Anyone can write a list of tasks – the problem for most is translating words into actions. Once the top priority task is identified, it often seems huge and overwhelming. Putting off starting is bad practice – but how do you get over this first hurdle? »Willpower – mind-over-matter Once started (even if not completed) a task is much less intimidating Ease yourself in – break up into parts and then chose a small or easy part to start with Bribe yourself – promise a reward if you put in 2 hours work on such-and-such Don’t allow interruptions – always a good excuse not to do something

15 Do’s:  Write down your goals  Handle each piece of paper only once  Put things promptly in their place  Start an important task, even when you know you won’t have time to finish it  Use travel & waiting time productively  Control telephone conversations  Be firm – don’t let others interrupt you

16 Don’ts  Let reading matter pile up  Make unrealistically long “to do” lists  Let your desk become cluttered  Put things off until you “have more time”  Tell yourself that you work best under pressure  Keep huge files of just about everything  Constantly double check others’ work  Use small chunks of time to do unimportant tasks  Do several small low priority tasks instead of a portion of one large important task

17 17 In Summary Set own targets and deadlines Keep diary – plan days/weeks Discuss with trainers Allow time to do things properly Be realistic


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