Time is valuable. As a nurse, proper time management and critical decision-making skills are vital to providing the best care for your patients. And just think about it: how much of your typical work schedule do you spend stressed about not having enough time spending with your loved ones, or not having much for yourself? Time management is something an essential part of your heavy-duty management. Time that doesn’t always come naturally, but can be easily taught and practiced how to.
Time management can really affect your work-life balance. As a nurse, poor work-life balance often leads to burnout and job dissatisfaction. With discipline and intention, you can become a master of time management. Here are some essential time management tips for nurses:
Time Is Limited
No matter how you slice it, there are only 24 hours in a day for everyone. That applies to you, and the other people you are depending on and the people depending on you. The same rule applies to other nurses also. So, if you want to rise through the ranks to have a stable and balanced life, you have to acknowledge the importance of finding a plan to manage this limited resource. Once you get the idea of how to take care of your time, you improve your ability to focus on your work. And with increased focus comes enhanced efficiency and quality patient care. You’ll start to breeze through your daily tasks more quickly.
Start From Your Home
Stable time management begins from your home. At home, if you’re running around discombobulated every time before your duty, you’re not likely to be productive at work. Chances are you will be exhausted all day or you tend to forget doing something on your way – it may be taking your extra scrubs, lunch, or anything. To avoid this dilemma, before you go to bed each day, lay out everything you’ll need for the next morning. Collect whatever you will need for the next morning – your new scrubs, shoes, socks, shoes, keys, purse, or wallet or literally anything that you will need that day. Keep your clothes in one spot in your bedroom or beside your bedside and put everything else as close to the front door as possible so that you don’t forget anything. This will help you to start your day off on the right foot.
Minimize Your Distractions
We all have a hobby. Even if we didn’t receive any new notification, we tend to check our phones dozens of times each day. If you have a habit of picking your phone to check notifications or scroll through social media apps, you are not only wasting your valuable time this way but also it would probably look unprofessional to your colleagues and supervisors. Avoid any temptation of picking your phone in the duty time try to keep your phone in your locker at work. You can check your notifications during your break times. In any case of emergency, you can let your loved ones know to call you directly at work. By getting rid of any possible distractions from work you will save a lot of time like this.
Avoid Uncharted Tasks
This one may seem stingy! Nursing is also teamwork, especially when taking care of patients and scheduling your patient care. You might have to help others to complete their tasks or if one of your colleagues asks for a favor, you can’t simply say you can’t help them. If you’re constantly helping your colleagues to complete their tasks, you will have most likely less time to complete your own tasks. Before you agree to do your colleagues rounds or help a patient with a nonessential need, complete all the high priority tasks on your list first. Complete all your essential tasks first, and if it’s not an emergency help your colleagues after that. This is not being rude or not having a helpful mindset. It’s understanding your own limits and managing your time essentially. So this way, you can provide a helpful mindset without letting your own job fall.
By technology, we didn’t mean to bring your social media games. While some of these social media apps can take up all of your time, some websites and apps can really help you to catch up with time. For example, you can use Google calendar to help you keep track of important staff meetings and other appointments, including setting reminders several days prior so that you don’t forget them. Or you can try using Evernote, which is a free app that allows you to record notes, track lectures and organize information, and so on. If you look thoroughly, you can find several helpful apps that will help you in some way to keep with your time management plans.
Try to set goals. Sometimes, setting goals will help you to manage your time. Set goals, and strive to meet them. Likewise, if your work starts at 5:00 a.m. and you have a task that will take two hours to complete, set a goal to complete it by 7:00 a.m. By working against the clock and challenging yourself to complete your task, you are more likely to finish your work faster and move on to the next task.
Innovate Your Studies
For nurses, if you are planning to advance your studies, such as trying to obtain your, or any higher education, find ways to save your time. Healthcare and technology are always evolving. You can choose online nursing classes to save time and also money. It has so many benefits, you can fix your class time, this will allow you to manage your life-work-class time. This way you will save time by traveling to and back from your college, you can fix flexible schedules, save money on traveling, vehicle maintenance, or any extra fees and all. Proper time-management for your online class can reduce the stress that comes with trying to balance taking care of your work-life responsibilities.