When a nurse signs up for my e-zine, they get asked a quick question. “What is the number one thing getting in the way of your nursing career?” Nine out of ten people response:
Nurses have a ton to do at work. Whether they practice in the hospital setting or out in the community, there is more and more to do with less and less time. So, we need strategies that will save nurses time!
1. Get Organized.
This is probably my favorite on this list. In fact, my RNFM podcast co-hosts, are constantly teasing me about this.
I LOVE my calendar. Actually, I have more than one. But besides being organized with an awesome calendar- think about work.
How do you get organized even before your work day has started? Do you get a good night’s rest so that you are prepared for the busyness of the next day? If you have the type of nursing job where this is possible, do you have an idea of your workload and weekly agenda?
Once you are at work, do you make a list of the things you have to get accomplished? How do you prioritize what needs to receive your attention first?
Finally, it is important to stay present and in the moment at work so that you can keep your workload organized.
2. Get Connected.
An interesting way to save time that you may not have thought of already is through your connections. Think about the last time you were working on a project and you got stuck. What did you do, besides get frustrated?
Probably waste a lot of time and energy trying to figure something out!
Well, if you had a network of professional colleagues that you could tap into, you might have been able to move through the issue more quickly. Asking for help can help you save time.
For me, if I cannot figure out something related to tech, I call on a trusted friend. In minutes (even seconds), he has the answer for me and I move onto the next thing. That is a LOT faster than me sitting there trying to figure it out myself!
3. Get Smart.
If you realize this, you are going to save yourself a lot of time. And headache. You cannot do everything yourself. You need support.
Hire help around the house if you are spending many of your waking hours at work. Delegate more at work and speed up the tasks that you need to get done. Work smarter, not harder.
Even though technology can seem scary at times, for the most part, it does speed things up. Once you get a handle on it and understand how you can use it to your advantage. Look for ways that you can learn new things and open yourself up to other solutions to problems. The more you can think outside the box, the more time you will save.
4. Get Unplugged.
Now, even though tech is a very good thing, you need a technology break from time-to-time. And- do you really need all of those notifications and alerts turned “on” on your devices? The reason that you are feeling as though you don’t have time is because you are constantly getting interrupted.
If I have my cell phone next to me while I am writing a blog post and my husband keeps texting me about car payments, well then of course it is going to take me twice as long to write the same article than if I turned my cell phone off. Even at work.
I know that there are alarms that you have to attend to. However, is there a system that you can use to work with less distraction? Maybe you cannot make these decisions by yourself- but get involved. Ask to be put on the alarms committee or bring these issues up in safety meetings. Find ways to eliminate unnecessary or false alarms.
5. Get Simple.
We live in a world of information overload. Think about it- we subscribe to newsletters; opt in to retail mailing lists. We watch the news; read magazines; and visit with friends. All good things… in moderation.
To have more time, you need to simplify your life.
Unsubscribe from unnecessary emails to clean out your inbox. Delete the phone numbers of toxic friends who drain your energy, saving you time and energy in the long run. Remove items that you do not use in your home (even clothes) as you will have less to clean and take care of. Simplify your life to have more time!
What did we miss? What are some of the things that you do to have more time? Leave a comment below so that we can discuss. Thanks for reading.
About the Author: Keynote speaker and bestselling author, Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, partners with hospitals, nursing schools, and nurse associations to transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the host of the Nurse’s Week program, The Art of Nursing, Elizabeth supports nursing organizations in celebrating and recognizing their staff in a meaningful way. Elizabeth received her dual master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a certified coach and Reiki Master Teacher. Elizabeth lives in Maryland with her supportive husband and playful pit bull.