Medical time management: Everyone benefits from time tracking

Data, facts and instruments on the German health system

What it’s all about

GPs and specialists who systematically document and analyse all their activities in a personal time-use analysis for a specific period always benefit from a significant gain in time.

Because they don’t know what they are doing….

If practice owners are asked whether they are aware of what work they do every day, one receives only affirmative answers. But medical practitioners who, despite this attitude, set out to log their work in its individual components over several days quickly come to the realisation that

  • they did not know exactly how they were using their time and, above all, that on average
  • on average, 30% of the activities can be classified as unnecessary, time-consuming, inefficient, unproductive and / or partly even counterproductive.

Digital to professional time recording

The effort for such documentation is extremely low, because a number of apps relieve doctors of much of the work for this and also provide the corresponding evaluations at the same time. Two examples:


is a time management app with simple operation:

  • one touch is enough to start and stop the logging of activities
  • Bar or pie charts show what time was spent on. Other features:
  • a fully customisable user interface
  • the ability to categorise tasks with tags
  • the possibility to export data, and
  • the ability to synchronise data across multiple devices.


has a similar range of functions, the app

  • logs working hours,
  • tracks activity time and
  • effortlessly creates weekly timesheets with automatic time tracking.

Too little attention to time management basics

The results of such recordings also make it clear that doctors neglect the basic principles of modern time management too much: there is too little delegation, focus and concentration.

The workflow of many doctors is passively guided by external demands; only very few actively plan their use of time and thus actually become managers of their own time.

If one measures the degree of implementation of the regulations necessary for functioning self-management with the help of the key performance indicator (KPI) „Self Management Quality Score“ (SMQS), the average value for doctors working in general and specialist practices is 43%, i.e. 57% of the possibilities for avoiding stress and increasing personal efficiency and productivity are not used.

Benefits for all

As the name suggests, time management means actively planning and implementing the use of time, everything else is actionism. It may give the feeling of having achieved a lot, but in a critical evaluation of the whole thing under efficiency and productivity criteria, it has exactly the opposite effect.

Of course, behaviour such as discipline, consistency and the will to make decisions are also part of an optimised organisation of working time.

In the end, however, it is worthwhile for all those involved in the practice if the doctor manages his time professionally, because

  • patient care improves
  • the employees benefit from more balance on the part of their bosses as well as from structured internal collaboration, and
  • the doctor himself regains the joy of working and gains more free time.

How professional time management works

The guidebook „Free up your time! The most important best practices for doctors in private practice to create time freedom“ gives doctors in private practice an overview of how they can optimise their time management holistically – beyond time tracking activities – with easy-to-implement instruments and measures and open up previously unused scope.

To the guidebook (German)…