Here’s an email I received just the other day… sharing a snippet… does it sound familiar?
Gosh, I see you all over the internet. How do you do it all? Anyway, I’ve been following your work and I’m just starting out. I’m making a career change and am looking to get into entrepreneurship. What I find I struggle with is getting things done. You see, I sit down at my desk, with the best intentions, and then… POOF! The end of the day is here and I feel I’ve run myself ragged with nothing to show for my time. Do you have any tips for someone just starting out like me?
Terrible with Time in Tampa
Right off the bat, I want to start with a bit of transparency. Ready to be blown away?
I have days like this too!
So while I appreciate the feedback from ‘Terrible with Time in Tampa’ and am flattered that I am perceived to be this nurse entrepreneur who has her entire nursing career figured out… let me be straight with you. I’m human too and sometimes I have a goof-off day where I look back and think to myself, “What the heck got done today?!?” Only to hear myself answer with…
A whole lotta nothing.
OK. Now onto what you’re really looking for. Some time-management tips that will have you cranking out the content as the most successful nurse entrepreneur in your industry. The time-savings strategies that will bless you with those straight A’s as a nursing student. The tried-and-true time secrets that every busy nurse is ready to pay mega millions for as they struggle to balance life with their nursing careers. Ready for them? Drum roll please… Here are:
- For Nurse Entrepreneurs: You sit down at your desk. You have the best intentions to get work done. And then ‘Holy Cow!’ Your spouse is home from work, looking for dinner. When did it get dark out?? You’ve fallen victim to the ‘no plan’ day with the bonus symptom of ‘being all over the internet’. I used to do this myself. Check my emails 50 times a day. Pop into (or dare I say, spend hours on) social media. You’re all over the place and because of it, you didn’t get anything done. What I recommend is clear off your desk the evening before. Look at the list of things to do. Decide on one project or task that you will dedicate the day to. Commit to getting one thing done. Then set up a strategy for social media, email, and returning phone calls. Only check email twice a day. Close your social media sites while working. Take the phone off of the hook. Do whatever it takes to spend a dedicated amount of time on the task at hand.
- For Nursing Students: OK, you’re an interesting breed. You want to get the best grades in school, be on all of the networking groups, take that internship, be a team player, and… oh yeah… have a life. For you, my first piece of advice is easy. Exhale. It isn’t that serious. And if you’re arguing with me… again, it isn’t that serious. Trust me. That grade on that exam won’t be the be-all-end-all of your nursing career. For you, I suggest a handy dandy hold-in-your-hand calendar that can be written in. Get different color pens and start to strategize things out. Mark your study time, your play time (yes, you need play time), and your professional development time out. Be sure to get into this practice now so that when you start your nursing career you already have a leg-up on work-life balance.
- For Busy Nurses: For the final group… I hear ya! This may feel like the busiest one yet- with overtime, holidays, shift work, and poor staffing… you never have any time for anything else, right? Wrong! My favorite time-savings tip here is the ‘yes’ / ‘no’ balance sheet. Think about something you say you never have time for. Then bring to mind something you’re always doing (hint… it’s a four-letter word that begins with ‘W’). Now each time work calls you for that ‘Oh, please can you help out with this extra shift’, refer to your balance sheet. How many times in the past six weeks did you say ‘yes’ to work? How many times did you say ‘no’? Can you start, by tracking it over time, to balance things out? This will save you more time and allow you to enjoy more life!
Now any of the above can really be used for each of the three groups. I just wanted to give you a flavor of my favorite tips for each. And being organized, getting things done, and saving time are probably some of my favorite topics. I’ve got boat-loads of good ideas up my sleeve. If you’d like to learn more of these work-life balance strategies that will help your nursing career, I suggest you check out my two-day intensive this fall. More information and your ticket can be found by clicking here.
About the Author: As a speaker, workshop facilitator, and Reiki Master, Elizabeth partners with hospitals, organizations, associations, and nursing groups to help transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the host of the Your Next Shift Workshop, Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver.