Nursing may be a benevolent profession, but it is hectic and tiring at the same time. Time management is one of the most crucial skills for a nurse to have considering the fact that they have to juggle their job and personal lives without compromising either.
So, if you don’t want to end up stressed, frustrated, and burnt out, you will need to find the perfect way to balance various activities that make up your day.
Here are some tips that can help you do just that:
Prioritize tasks during your day in order of importance
Developing your time management skills helps you relieve stress caused by the to-do pile. This enables you to concentrate on more important duties and on your patients, who are what really count. Include the following nursing time management techniques in your daily routine:
Start by creating a to-do list of the most important tasks: A nurse has to take care of a variety of patients, and the only way to do this more effectively as well as in a time-efficient manner is to establish a hierarchy for what each patient needs. With a carefully curated and tiered list, you can prioritize decisions about your patients by getting them the best care possible,
Take your education online: Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, online education has become a norm. If you’re looking to upgrade your academic qualifications for better prospects, you can explore options like an online RN to BSN program. Online education offers you the convenience and flexibility to take classes whenever you want and from wherever you want,
Avoid multitasking: Scientific research proves that trying to handle multiple tasks at once can reduce your productivity, so as tempting as it might be to multitask, it is best not to do anything like that. Instead of trying to focus your attention on too many tasks at once, you can aim to allocate time for items as they appear on your list,
Leave low-priority tasks for your downtime: Your to-do list with priorities set can also help you ascertain which tasks can be done in the quiet time that you have during the day,
Limit distractions as much as possible: Just as much as multitasking harms your mind, distractions can do the same. Whether it is uselessly scrolling through social media or binge-watching Netflix, you can find plenty of time to do that during your free time. It is best to phase out all distractions when you are working and getting the important work done.
Plan your week in advance
Spend some time planning out your forthcoming shifts, whether you choose to use an organizational nurse shift diary or a Google calendar through which you can access the tasks you have planned for each week from any device, anywhere you want to. To do it, precise commitment estimates must be made, including responsibilities you have outside the workplace. Give yourself some leeway if anything unforeseen happens, like traffic or extended shifts.
Also Read: The Nurse’s Role in Neonatal Care
Review your schedule on a regular basis
How well you can manage your calendar will show you just how good you will be at managing your time in general. Pick a time during the day when you thoroughly review your calendar while ensuring you are on top of everything on there. Make sure you tweak it occasionally, depending on how the week pans out.
Since your calendar has tasks ranked based on priority, reviewing it regularly can let you assess the tasks themselves. You need to ask yourself which of these tasks are making you more productive and which are just keeping you busy. This gives you a chance to resourcefully take some off the list that is not worth the effort.
Make punctuality a habit
Many people don’t realize the fact that punctuality is the basis of effective time management. A hectic schedule doesn’t give you the right to arrive late and delay tasks as you please. Moreover, punctuality is a habit and not something people are born with. Therefore, you must inculcate being on time into your daily efforts to get your time management right.
Arriving between five and ten minutes before your scheduled start time gives you time to settle in and get ready for the day. Consistent promptness guarantees a seamless hand-off without compromising patient care or requiring departing nurses to stay past their shift ends. Not to mention, it also gives you the window to leave on time and take care of other items that are on your to-do list.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a break every once in a while
Nurses have a tiring schedule that can see them working way beyond conventional working hours. This is one of the reasons that can lead to burnout, which may cause various other physical and mental issues. So, in order to protect your health and well-being, it is best to take a break every once in a while to refresh and rejuvenate.
A break doesn’t always need to be a week-long vacation. It can be something as simple as a weekend trip with friends and family. It can also be a ten-minute recess during a hectic day. Regardless of whatever kind of break you can carve out the time for, it is best to take every opportunity to give yourself a breather.
Don’t take work home
As much as your nursing duties may compel you to do that, it is an ideal time management strategy to leave work where it belongs; at the workplace. Whether you do this by ensuring your tasks are done within the designated time or that they are delegated efficiently, it serves you well to ensure your professional life doesn’t follow you home. Delivering quality care greatly hinges on your ability to handle all patient priorities at work.
Also Read: Technology and the Health Sector
Being a nurse is no walk in the park. No matter where you are working, whether it is a leading hospital in the city or an educational institution with a clinic, time management is one skill that you’ll need to be the best at if you want to lead a healthy and balanced life. This is why you must do everything to polish up this skill and take every chance you get.