Like all of us, a nurse almost certainly wishes there were a few more hours in the day to get everything done. But once your shift ends, it ends—unless you’re getting paid for overtime, you’ll want to make the most of the time you have at work. So, how can you maximize your time management to make every minute count? Here are a few tips:
Maintain a Work-Life Balance
The first recommendation on practicing good time-management might surprise you: Maintain a good work-life balance. If you do nothing but focus on work, day in and day out, you’ll become burnt out. And when you’re burnt out, you’re completely ineffective. Take breaks when you need them, and even when you don’t — it’s the only way to make sure your mind and body are ready for your workday.
Distractions are a clear enemy of great time management. While you’re at work, there can plenty of distractions anywhere you turn — needy patients, inquiring family members, coworkers, the break room, your phone… the list goes on. You can’t necessarily eliminate every single one of these, but take care of the ones you can to set yourself up for success. And being mindful of what distractions you’re vulnerable to is a big step in keeping them from wasting your time.
Prioritize Your Tasks
Let’s face it: Some tasks just aren’t as important as other ones. Try to prioritize the important tasks first and take care of the less important things later. And remember to be flexible. If you’re creating a hierarchy of tasks based on importance, you must understand that outside factors will come in and force you to adjust even the best-laid plans.
Do your best to think ahead throughout your day. What will you need for that patient this afternoon? What will make the best use of your time after your lunch break? Can you kill two birds with one stone by combining tasks at a certain point? By thinking ahead in this manner, you’re working more efficiently. All of those small time-savings really add up over the course of a day.
Learn to Say “No”
If you keep taking on tasks that you really don’t have time for, your time management plan will go right down the drain. Learn to say “no” when necessary — if coworkers or supervisors keep piling tasks upon you that you have no hope of completing in time, tell them. And always remember that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.
Make Your Time Count for All It’s Worth
Want to feel truly valued in your nursing career? Looking to take the next step and stop wasting your precious time? It might be time to look for a new position. Contact BOS Medical online and find out how we can help with your job search.