How to…look after yourself

Prioritise tasks  

The changes that you will encounter during your registrar year can be daunting. Your consultation time is cut from 20 to 10 minutes. You need to prepare for the summative assessment and the MRCGP exam. If you do not learn how to prioritise your tasks, burnout will be inevitable.  

Keep a diary  

Manage your time effectively by keeping a diary. It is a great way to prioritise and remember tasks. Choose whatever format works for you; it does not matter if your diary is on paper, the web, your PC or a handheld computer. An accurate diary will help you run your surgeries on time while leaving plenty of time for study and a private life as well.   

Learn to delegate  

Learn to say ‘no’ and to delegate. If you feel uncomfortable with your schedule or feel stressed, talk to your trainer. If you are having problems with your trainer, talk to your course organiser or your deanery.  

Take a break  

Make time for regular meals — do not skip lunch and breaks. If you can, join other staff for coffee breaks. Do not study or work the whole time. Make sure you exercise regularly and take up a hobby. Keep in touch with friends and family. Take a holiday regularly, every three months if possible.  

Preventing burn-out  

If you feel you are becoming burnt out, talk to a friend, partner or your trainer. Avoid alcohol or nicotine abuse, as well as any other substance abuse.  

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