Time Management Tips for Nurses

September 1, 2021
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
feature image

When your day involves caring for others, sometimes it can feel like there are just not enough hours in the day. And, if you have trouble managing what little time you do have, that feeling will only get worse. From cleaning and administering medication to your patients to playtime and having adventures, you need a way to do it all — without sacrificing the quality of time spent with your patient. So, what tips can you implement to obtain perfect harmony?

8 Time Management Tips for Nurses

1. Make a List

Some people work more efficiently when they can visually see the tasks they need to accomplish. Creating to-do lists and writing down all the things that need to get done can help you stay focused and organized. Whether it’s typing out a list in the notes section of your mobile phone or keeping a planner, make sure your list is handy so that you can cross things off as you get them done — a fulfilling action in its own right.

2. Prioritize Important Tasks

Think about all the tasks you need to accomplish for the day. If you have them written down, mark each task in order of importance. Make sure you highlight or make notes next to any tasks that require specific times — such as administering antibiotics, picking up a child from school, or dressing wounds. Typically, writing down your tasks is easier for prioritizing, but if you don’t have them written down, think through each task and mentally categorize which ones are most important.

3. Organize Your Space

Eliminate time spent looking for items by organizing your space. From which medications you’ll need to administer to having a designated pocket for your pens, knowing where to find things that you commonly use will help you go about your day without any hiccups. And, this can apply to your home as well as to your workspace.

4. Expect the Unexpected

Things happen — spills, accidents, personal emergencies. While you can’t always plan for the unexpected, you can keep in mind that these things do happen and may require you to become more flexible with your predetermined schedule. When you’re making a list of tasks for the day, think through what things could be put off until tomorrow if an emergency happened today. This will help lower stress if the unexpected does occur and help you pivot when needed.

5. Take a Break

If your day is just go, go, go, you’ll never give yourself a moment to stop and think about what else needs to get done or to re-prioritize your list of tasks. This can increase your chances of making a mistake or spending longer on a task than what is needed. If you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed, take a step back and take a deep breath. Give yourself five minutes to collect yourself and your thoughts before diving back in. This is especially important if you have a high-stress job.

6. Delegate Tasks

Look over the items on your to-do list. Do you absolutely need to do all of them yourself? Or, can you delegate some tasks to other people? After a long day, coming home to do laundry feels exhausting. Laundry could be a task that you delegate to your partner or children. There are even laundry services where you can drop off your clothes in the morning and pick them up after work or have them picked up and delivered. Delegating frees up your time to focus on the more important things.

7. Learn to Say No

As a nurse, you’re used to caring for other people. In fact, you’re more likely to do things for others — even if it means sacrificing your own time. While this attribute is generous, it can easily cause you to burn out. By saying no, you aren’t letting people down. You’re just prioritizing yourself first and the tasks that you need to accomplish. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So, don’t be afraid to say no to the next party invite, happy hour, or co-worker needing a shift covered.

8. Be Kind to Yourself

Learning and effectively utilizing your time management skills won’t happen overnight. If you aren’t able to get everything done even after implementing these time management tips, don’t give up. Maybe you underestimated how long something would take, or you picked up extra tasks along the way. Recognizing these moments will help you learn and grow your time management skills. With practice, you’ll get better. And, before you know it, you’ll be showing up to places early and getting your tasks done ahead of time.

Contact Care Options for Kids for Pediatric Nursing Jobs in Florida

Are you looking to become a pediatric nurse? Care Options for Kids can help. We are currently looking for compassionate and nurturing Pediatric Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Pediatric Registered Nurses (RNs) in various locations across Florida. Care Options for Kids specializes in one-on-one hourly pediatric care in the home. We offer PTO, medical, dental and vision benefits, flexible schedules, and more.

If you or a loved one are considering a career in Pediatric Nursing in Florida, contact Care Options for Kids. Apply online or call today at (888) 592-5855.