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Clinical Systems Leadership

The 5 Best Time Management Tips for Nurses

As a nurse, it can be difficult to get it all done in one day. Between worrying about class time, going through rotations and managing day-to-day tasks, it can be a handful to say the least. However, some people seem to have it all down pat. How do they get all that they need to accomplish done? Through effective time-management skills. Consider these five tips on how to polish your own time-management abilities so you can stay on top of everything that comes your way.

Week 3 Topic 1 Image 1 The 5 Best Time Management Tips for Nurses

1. Get a planner
If you have a million things to do in one day, why not plan out each day task by task? That’s why it’s important to get a planner. Write down each thing you need to get accomplished for that day in the order that you need to get it done. While this seems like such a simple recommendation, it really can help to see all that you need to do by planning it on paper. Jot down times that you anticipate each activity will take so you can map out whether you can get it all done or not. This way you’ll have realistic expectations for your day instead of faulty ones.

2. Ignore interruptions
If every day went like you planned it without some disruption, people would always get what they need done. However, sadly interruptions happen. From a chatty coworker to a last-minute favor, these small instances can get in your way and slow you down. That’s why it’s crucial to find a way to say no and avoid these interruptions. While it may be hard at first, it’s crucial that you realize you need to stick to your routine. At the end of the day, even if you feel guilty, you’ll be glad that you accomplished everything on your list.

3. Assign tasks to others
If interruptions that you can’t ignore do happen, that’s when it’s important to put the responsibility on others. If you have a shift at work but you need to study for a test, ask a friend to cover it. Do not try to do both – usually one will end up suffering. If you have more than one project at work that you need to do, delegate some of the responsibilities to a friendly coworker, even if you’re not higher up in the ranks than them. Though you may feel bad about the request, it will only help you get your daily tasks done accurately without stress or issue.

4. Take a break
While it’s great to get everything done, you can easily burn out if you’re rushing from one activity to another. That’s why it is so imperative that you take small breaks between every task you complete. Whether that means going for a quick walk around the neighborhood or listening to music in the car for ten minutes when you drive from point A to point B, stepping away mentally from your daily agenda will help you avoid getting overstressed and tired. If you continuously push yourself too much, you may lose motivation and drive to do the next task.

Week 3 Topic 1 Image 2 The 5 Best Time Management Tips for Nurses

5. Know when to stop
The people with the best time-management skills often have full control of their life. But that also means they know when to stop doing a task and go to bed or finish up for the day. If you create an agenda and don’t get everything done because of minute, unexpected tasks or other issues, you need to realize that it’s OK and you’ll get it done tomorrow. People with poor time-management skills spend more time stressing over getting every last thing done instead of doing it. Learn to let go and realize that tomorrow is a new day

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