Are you a portfolio GP with too many roles? Are spending every evening pouring over emails or your diary trying to keep up with it all?
Here are 5 ways to get organised in 2016. (I am guilty of everything below but now is the time to change!).
Decide what sessions you’re available for clinical work
Say goodbye to little pieces of 1.5 or 2 hour surgeries scattered all over the week. Decide what days you want to do clinical work and communicate that to practice managers.
This frees up your head (as well as time) for your other roles.
Plan which appraisal toolkit you want to use
Some regions have benefited from NHS funding for the Clarity appraisal toolkit, however this is yet another funding cut for GPs as from 1st of April 2016.
London GPs have received a ‘special rate’ with Clarity as long as you pay by January 2016…
Those that don’t want to pay can use the MAG form. It’s a free, interactive PDF.
Making a decision well in advance of your appraisal could minimise the chances of you having to transfer all your 2015 portfolio from Clarity to MAG or finding you can no longer access your portfolio.
Should you pay for Clarity or use MAG? That’s a topic for another blog.
Fill in your appraisal as you go along
Are you leaving it until a few weeks before and then spending an entire weekend uploading stuff? Are you scuffling through piles of papers for CPD certificates or going back to the organiser, begging for copies and claiming your cat shredded the original?
Filling in bits of your portfolio little and often as you go along will save you that embarrassment and pain. Make CPD notes on your phone on the day and cut and paste into the portfolio. Take photos of any certificates with your smartphone immediately and upload them.
Look out for significant event opportunities – these can be something that went particularly well, not just problems.
If you can’t find 2 significant events, then do 2 or 3 SRTs (structured case reviews) – these are usually easier to find as a locum.
Remember as a portfolio GP, the appraisal portfolio has to cover all of your roles. Which leads us to…
Be wary of taking on too many portfolio roles
The portfolio life can be rich and stimulating but beware of getting sucked into too many things for the sake of it, because you can’t say no or you’re addicted to diplomas.
It’s easy to end up as a salaried/locum in the daytime, do out of hours, be a CCG lead and an appraiser…that can feel like too much stuff unless you’re very disciplined (and boundaried). Several part time jobs can suddenly add up to more than a whole one.
Beware of the number of unpaid evening meetings or trainings you’re required to attend and the volume of email generated by some roles.
Trying to juggle it all on the same day by multitasking also means that your brain never knows which hat it is wearing, making you ultimately less productive.
Limit your social media time
Every time you check your email or log into Facebook, it takes twice as long for your brain to refocus on the task at hand.
Blog traffic analysis shows that most viewers are reading on weekdays between 10 and 11 p m but the evidence shows that late night screen time means you’re likely to sleep badly.
Give yourself specific times to log on, reply to emails or join the conversation and then leave it alone.
Tip: write your plans to get organised on a piece of paper and stick it somewhere you’ll see it every morning to increase your success.