Are Time Management Skills Important for Social Workers?

A social worker has a challenging, rewarding career ahead of them. After finishing college, you’ll be able to help families and certain individuals who are facing problems. You’ll be teaching them life skills or referring them to programs that will provide them with skills for a fuller life. It’s incredibly rewarding, but there’s more to the job than helping.

There are emergency situations that require a priority. Paperwork is a vital part of the job too. There’s often a huge amount of overtime work that has to be done because of interruptions in the work. Time management is a key skill for social workers who want to be an asset to their clients.

Plan the Day

Before leaving for the day, you should be planning your next day in advance. Don’t assume that you’ll remember what needs to be done. You’ll have to figure out how you work best and make a plan. You might need sticky notes on your desk while others might need a book with notes and to-do lists. This might be a process that develops over time too. An agenda for the next day can help you stay on track when emergencies develop and the day is a complete mess. You’ll still know exactly where you left off if you have your agenda.

Prioritize Referrals

Every client has different needs that you’ll need to fulfill. Your job is to listen attentively to their problems and concerns. You’ll be able to determine whether they need your help or a referral to another agency or treatment center. These should be a priority because the person is reaching out for help, but it’ll also reduce your caseload if you can identify and treat problems immediately.

Paperwork Time

This is likely the most dreaded part of the job, but it’s the most vital. All forms need to be filled out correctly or your clients might not get the services they require. Whether it’s an elderly person in need of a nursing home placement or a teen mother who needs emergency services, that paperwork can make a huge difference in their lives. It needs to be a priority, so you should devote a certain time each day to filling out paperwork and updating your case notes. If you do it at the end of the day, you can round out your agenda for the next day too.

Returning Phone Calls

If you make the time in the morning for returning phone calls from the night before, you will start the day by knocking a chunk of work from your to-do list. Leaving messages might be the only way to reach clients or enlist the help of other services for your clients. Provide all the details needed during the message so you don’t need to field more phone calls regarding that situation.

Stay Organized

Whether it’s color-coding your immediate emergencies with a red dot or keeping file folders labeled in a certain color for organization, it’s a good way to know what takes priority. You can add color to your agenda too. It’ll help you prioritize and stay organized while providing help for the clients who require help immediately.

Time management skills are vital for a social worker. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the clients who need you, but you’re not helping anyone if you can’t stay organized and manage time efficiently. Those who need help could fall through the cracks because you’re overwhelmed.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Online Social Work Degree Programs