Leadership and management series: Part 2 – time management for psychiatrists

by Dr Michael Hobkirk


Published: June 2015


Consultant psychiatrists are expected to manage their working day and make the best use of available resources within continually changing systems (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2010). They must demonstrate flexibility, decisiveness and a high level of organisation, as well as acting as positive role models to those around them. They often work long hours and are vulnerable to stress and burnout.


It is frequently claimed that successful time management can reduce stress and improve personal efficiency, service delivery and patient care. Unfortunately, time management publications tend to read as long lists of suggestions by those who have tried a few approaches and want to be helpful rather than scientific analyses of various techniques in a range of clinical contexts.


This module considers the key theories and models of time management and provides practical strategies to plan and prioritise effectively. It is aimed at psychiatrists in all specialties and readers are encouraged to increase their self-awareness and adapt their time management approaches to their unique circumstances.


In this module you will learn about:


  • the rise of time management philosophies


  • current theories of time management


  • the evidence for the impact of time management within and beyond mental healthcare


  • barriers to successful time management


  • how time management approaches can be applied in mental healthcare.


Start the module


This is the second of a series of modules covering the key concepts of leadership and management. See also: Leadership and management series: Part 1 – an introduction to leadership and management for psychiatrists and Leadership and management series: Part 3 – pragmatic leadership in teams and groups.


You may also wish to refer to the Leadership and Management pages on the Royal College of Psychiatrists' website for further information.



Please note: This module was published in 2015. A revision is being worked on, but in the meantime please be aware when completing the module that some of the guidance may have changed.
© 2021 Royal College of Psychiatrists