Practicalities of managing your workload

This is the second extract from our Book of the Week, Positive Social Work: An Essential Toolkit for NQSWs by Julie Adams and Angie Sheard. This book will help you as a NQSW to understand your role within the context of a newly emerging and developing Social Work service. It will ensure that you are equipped with the knowledge and skills to do the job as best you can.

This chapter has given you information and activities on managing your time. There is more information available online and there are many books available on the subject. This is crucial to your success as a social worker. You CAN manage your time effectively if you are organised and plan ahead. (Remember the habits you form now are the ones you will keep.)

OUR TOP TIPS FOR TIME MANAGEMENT

  • Use your diary effectively.
  • Plan your day and week ahead, leave gaps between appointments.
  • Cluster visits that are in the same area.
  • Do not over-commit yourself.
  • Diary in thinking and planning time.
  • Leave time for unexpected events.
  • Never plan to complete reports by ‘the last minute’.
  • Always take at least half an hour for lunch, away from your desk.
  • Learn to say ‘No’.
  • Book some time with ‘no phone calls’.
  • Set aside time to check emails.
  • Break down large tasks into small chunks.
  • Use a ‘to do’ list.
  • Plan to do at least one ‘diffi cult’ task at the start of each day.
  • Think SMART.
  • Take time to pause and refl ect.
  • Take a computer break at least once in an hour – make tea for everyone!
  • Keep your desk and surroundings clean and tidy .

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