The life of a nurse can be pretty hectic to say the least. It can be difficult trying to accomplish everything in one day. Nursing can be a very intense and focused career, so it’s important to hone your time management skills. Although becoming a great nurse doesn’t happen overnight, there are tried and true time management tips you can learn to effectively manage your time to make tasks easier. Time management will ease your stress and put you back in control.
3 Time Management Tips Every Nurse Should Know
Effective time management is all about critical thinking and how to prioritize your efforts as a nurse. While there are certain duties that you must accomplish every day, there may be a few things that can be left off your list until the next day or your next shift. Prioritize your tasks by asking yourself these 4 questions:
- Which action or task is more important? Why?
- What’s the first thing you’re going to do? Why?
- What’s more important for the patient?
- What would happen if you don’t act on that task now?
When you start questioning and creating a dialogue with yourself, your prioritization and critical thinking skills will strengthen.
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Just Say No
It may go against your nature since nurses tend to be selfless and always helping others, but trying to do everything can actually be detrimental both for you and your patient. It’s completely okay to say no to a request if you are feeling overwhelmed. You can’t be everywhere at the same time. Whenever possible, reach out to your coworkers for help or support. Effective time management means knowing your limitations and your strengths and often that may mean bringing in some help.
Don’t Let Distractions Slow You Down
Sadly, interruptions are almost always unavoidable. From a chatty coworker to a friend who is constantly texting throughout the day, these seemingly small disruptions can get really get in the way and slow you down. Put away your phone, avoid checking email and save the conversations for your break to stay on task and save you that valuable time.
Consider polishing your own time management skills so you can stay on top of everything and anything that comes your way.
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