Nurses are professionals who work with people, so time management is an important part of their jobs. As a nurse, you will need to be able to prioritize your tasks and manage your time efficiently to succeed.
Nursing is a profession that can quickly burn down if there are too many mistakes or bad situations for patients or nurses working under you. A lot of times, nurses have no idea how much time other staff members take before they leave the workplace, which can sometimes lead to wasted opportunities or even conflict.
If you’re looking to advance at your job, develop leadership skills, or get into another field related to nursing, knowing how to organize and use your time effectively is needed. This article will talk about some ways to improve your time management as a registered nurse (RN).
Settle down and focus
A lot of people try to time manage by doing things like organizing your desk, creating new folders, or using color-coded systems to organize materials. All of these are good tips, but they can be expensive if you have to buy all of them!
There is an easier way to do time management as a nurse. You may know this already, but I will say it again: settle down and focus.
Settling means putting your work aside and focusing only on one task for a specific amount of time. For example, instead of working on a project, take a short break and then start another project. Or maybe read an article or two about nursing related topics to refresh your knowledge.
Focus means limiting yourself to a small area so that you don’t distract yourself with other tasks. This could be avoiding social media sites while you’re working, having a limited phone conversation, or even just shutting off communication devices (like phones) during business hours.
Make a plan
A time management system begins with you making a plan. What are your goals? Do you want to find employment as a nurse? Then, what tasks must be done before that can happen?
You need to prioritize these tasks according to how important they are for achieving your goal. In fact, you could create an index card or note sheet to do this!
By doing this regularly, it becomes second nature to manage your time efficiently. You will also notice yourself completing certain tasks more quickly than others.
This way of organizing your life is something many people have success with. So if you’re looking to improve your own time management, try experimenting with different ways.
Do not try to do it all at once
A lot of people start practicing time management while they are busy with other things, which is great! But unfortunately, this can be a bad thing if you don’t have a good handle on how much time you have available.
By trying to fit everything into your schedule as quickly as possible, you may end up spending more time stressed out and overwhelmed than before.
This can be disastrous for your personal life and career because you might spend so many hours working that you forget to eat or sleep or interact with others.
You also run the risk of burningout due to overwork. It’s important to recognize that even though you may only have so many hours each day, you should allocate those hours productively — otherwise, you will waste them.
Establish a routine
A good way to organize your time is by establishing a routine. You can use this system for anything, from taking a shower to doing your makeup to going to work.
By having a schedule you will know what goes where at every stage of your day. This helps reduce stress as you are aware of when things happen and how much time it takes to get there.
You also learn how to be efficient with your time because you have organized yourself. The most important thing is to keep yourself focused and strive only towards one goal at a time.
When you start organizing your time, try setting goals for one week first to see if they work.
A lot of nurses are busy working long hours with little time for themselves. When they try to take a break, there is no availability or someone else takes over their job.
This can lead to more stress later when you have nothing done and zero downtime. Taking regular breaks helps your mind relax and re-energizes you.
You should make sure that you keep enough time between shifts so you do not work longer than needed. This way you will feel relaxed and able to focus on other things after work.
Plan some activities ahead of time and stick to them to avoid being too stressed out. You can read a book, surf the net or even go to a movie!
Weekends are great times to unwind and give yourself some rest. Do something you enjoy such as going to a park or taking a walk outside.
Make a to-do list
A good way to organize your time is by making a to-do list. You can use an app, paper, or computer software to make this easy.
A to-do list helps you stay organized because it creates a prompt for yourself to remember what tasks you have already done. This prevents you from forgetting about them which could lead to more stress when you try to get things done.
It also gives you a chance to check off completed tasks which makes you feel happier since you’ve marked something as finished. Plus, you can quickly see how much time you have left via the checklist!
Make sure to include both urgent and non-urgent tasks on your to-do list. Only do urgent ones first so that they get accomplished sooner, but don’t forget about the others! They help you keep track of other areas of your life, such as work and family.
Consistency is one of the most important things when it comes to time management as a nurse. You need to be consistent with how you manage your time every day. This could mean at work, home, or both depending on what tasks require your attention.
As mentioned before, nurses are under constant pressure. There’s always something that needs done – from taking care of patients to running errands back home. It can easily become too much if you don’t keep up your consistency.
You should try to set specific times for each task to help yourself stay on top of everything. This way, you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything because you made sure to put aside enough time to do it.
And remember, even though there will never be a perfect time, you can always add more time to any given activity. For example, instead of rushing through your job as a nurse after work, why not take the extra few minutes and really focus on what you’re doing?
That’s what I’ve done in past years, and it has helped me retain the knowledge I’ve gathered while also giving me some time to unwind.
Become a good manager
As a nurse, time is one of your greatest resources. Unfortunately, most nurses don’t manage their time well, which can be frustrating for them as well as patients and colleagues.
Nursing is an ever-changing field that requires you to keep up-to-date with new practices and technologies. Plus, there are always newer protocols or best practices for certain procedures that you must know about.
As a leader, you have to make sure that everyone under you knows what they should be doing, when they should do it, and how much time they need to complete their tasks. This way, people will fulfill their obligations and meet their commitments, keeping morale high.
Good time management allows you to use your time effectively, avoiding wasted effort and energy. When you’re aware of all the responsibilities that you have, you’ll be able to maximize the time that you have.