Time Management and Resilience


Key Points:

  • Sometimes you really do need to say "no"
  • Delegate as much as possible
  • Establish task priorities
    • Complete tasks based on priority
    • Revise your priorities at least every 3 months
  • Make a daily and weekly "to do" list
    • Plan the subsequent day's priorities on the day before
    • Do something to advance your top three goals each day
    • Do something each day on a task that you don't want to do
  • Minimize interruptions and distractions
    • Recognize when others are trying to make their priorities your priorities
    • Resist being taken off track by tasks presented as urgent that are not really urgent
  • Recognize and utilize your peak energy time
  • Book time on your schedule, preferably at the time of the day you are most effective, to finish tasks
  • Get a minimum of 10 minutes exercise each day
  • Don't micromanage others. It wastes both of your time. 



  • Prioritize tasks you need to complete 
  • Avoid over-committing


Recommended Resources: 

Brief Review


Get Control of Your Time. Tony Robbins. 8 minutes.

Radical Resilience. Eileen McDargh. 2 minutes.

6 Time Management Tips to Increase Productivity. Brian Tracy. 6 minutes.

Time Management. Darryl Cross. 7 minutes.

How to Manage Your Time Better. Watchwellcast. 4 minutes.

Time Management Skill to Learn for Life. Dr Adesina. 3 minutes.

How To Have More Energy For Life. Tony Robbins. 20 minutes.


Gordon CE, Borkan SC. Recapturing time: a practical approach to time management for physicians. Postgrad Med J. 2014 May;90(1063):267-72. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2013-132012. Epub 2014 Mar 5. Review. PubMed PMID: 24599633.

Schwartz T. Manage your energy, not your time. Harv Bus Rev. 2007 Oct;85(10):63-6, 68, 70-3, 164. PubMed PMID: 17972496

Beckman H. The Role of Medical Culture in the Journey to Resilience. Acad Med. 2015 Mar 31. PubMed PMID: 25830538.

Howe A, Smajdor A, Stöckl A. Towards an understanding of resilience and its relevance to medical training. Med Educ. 2012 Apr;46(4):349-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2011.04188.x. Review. PubMed PMID: 22429170.

Porta CR, Anderson MR, Steele SR. Effective time management: surgery, research, service, travel, fitness, and family. Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2013 Dec;26(4):239-43. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1356724. Review. PubMed PMID: 24436684; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3835580.

Wald HS, Anthony D, Hutchinson TA, Liben S, Smilovitch M, Donato AA. Professional Identity Formation in Medical Education for Humanistic, Resilient Physicians: Pedagogic Strategies for Bridging Theory to Practice. Acad Med. 2015 Apr 16. PubMed PMID: 25901874.

Schwenk TL, Davis L, Wimsatt LA. Depression, stigma, and suicidal ideation in medical students. JAMA. 2010 Sep 15;304(11):1181-90. doi: 10.1001/jama.2010.1300. PubMed PMID: 20841531.

Downs N, Feng W, Kirby B, McGuire T, Moutier C, Norcross W, Norman M, Young I, Zisook S. Listening to depression and suicide risk in medical students: the Healer Education Assessment and Referral (HEAR) Program. Acad Psychiatry. 2014 Oct;38(5):547-53. doi: 10.1007/s40596-014-0115-x. Epub 2014 Apr 5. PubMed PMID: 24705825.

Dyrbye LN, Eacker A, Durning SJ, Brazeau C, Moutier C, Massie FS, Satele D, Sloan JA, Shanafelt TD. The Impact of Stigma and Personal Experiences on the Help-Seeking Behaviors of Medical Students With Burnout. Acad Med. 2015 Feb 3. PubMed PMID: 25650824.


Improving Physician Resiliency. AMA STEPSforward. Free online educational module. 0.5 hour AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Preventing Physician Burnout. AMA STEPSforward. Free online educational module. 0.5 hour AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Berg K, Riesenberg L, Berg D, Davis J, Hargraves R, Schaeffer A, Mealey K, King D, Little B. Early Detection and Intervention for the Stressed Resident. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2013. 90-minute workshop with a PowerPoint presentation and trigger tapes to be used to educate faculty, residents, and medical students about the early detection and intervention of stress in medical training.

Lee W. Maintaining Medical Professionalism: Promoting Balance and Preventing Student Burnout. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2014. Presentation.

Steckler N, Young L, Ervin A. OHSU Resiliency Skills Elective. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2015. The curriculum OHSU Resiliency Skills Elective was designed to provide medical students with an experiential introduction to evidence-informed practices for resiliency in the health professions. The aim of this intervention is to provide an experiential “tasting menu” of resiliency practices to broaden the resiliency skills students have available to them, while also strengthening their emotional intelligence and social capital through the creation of a safe and supportive small peer group. All three components to this course (resiliency practices, social support, and faculty role modeling) play an equally important role in developing student resiliency; each component works to reinforce and strengthen the others.

Cottrell S, Warden M, Graves C, Hashmi M, Nield L, Larrabee H, Lerfald N, Clawges H, Ferrari N. Measuring Medical Residents’ Well-Being. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2013. The development of the Resident Well-Being Scale is an investigation of the internal reliability and validity of the responses to help contribute to how educators can assess residents’ well-being.


In-Depth Review


Radical Resilience: Staying Rightside Up In A World That's Upside Down. Eileen McDargh. 51 minutes.

Words Of Wisdom: Tony Robbins Compilation. 42 minutes.

Randy Pausch Lecture: Time Management. Carnegie Mellon University. 76 minutes.

About Time Management. Moovly. 58 minutes.

Struggling in Silence: Physician Depression and Suicide. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 1 hour video. $25


Overcoming Secondary Stress in Medical and Nursing Practice: A Guide to Professional Resilience and Personal Well-Being by Robert J. Wicks. 2005. 216 pages. $23.39

Remedy for Burnout: 7 Prescriptions Doctors Use to Find Meaning in Medicine by Starla Fitch MD. 2014. 112 pages. $13.83

The time management guide: A practical handbook for physicians by physicians by Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. 2011. 170 pages. $28.60


Get Organized: How to be a Together Teacher. Coursera, Relay Graduate School of Education.

International Conference to Promote Resilience, Empathy and Well-Being in the Health Professions: An Interprofessional Forum. Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education (CENTILE). The goal of this annual conference is to bring together educators, researchers, practitioners, faculty development leaders and academic policy makers to present and discuss the best practices and strategies to promote resilience, empathy and well-being in students, trainees, faculty, practitioners and care-givers across the health professions. Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC. $ Fee required