It’s a well-known fact that many people struggle daily with time management. Lack of proper time management can cause stress, frustration, delays in productivity, allocating too much time to tasks, or not starting and completing the desired task. Having these skills will benefit you as a student and yield excellent results in your professional career. We’re here to help you master the art of effective time management.
Nurse Kelly from NurseHub has released an in-depth Time Management course that will teach students everything they need to know for nursing school and beyond.
Join a community of people who can share ideas and support you. For more information and community support, follow our Nursing 101 Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nursingschool101. In this group, students can:
- Join a group of nursing students.
- Join a community of future nurses in similar positions as you.
- Can ask any questions about nursing school.
What is time management?
Time management is a process of arranging, adapting, and being aware of one’s time, activities, and goals (Dierdorff, 2020). It is a skill that requires time and discipline to master. Once you learn the unique talents of time management, it’s a lifelong skill that is invaluable.
Why is time management important?
Being a nursing student, either full-time or part-time, can be very challenging. Add in parenting, jobs, family responsibilities, and the daily chores of adulthood, and before you know it, our to-do list has grown beyond our control. Time management helps us balance our responsibilities, goals, and how we can allocate time to complete tasks important to us.
Developing these skills will make you a more focused student and a more savvy, organized nursing professional. Several benefits include:
- Increased focus
- Reduced stress
- Decrease in procrastination
- Stronger sense of control and accomplishment
- Increased consistency
How to improve time management skills?
Here are several tips to jump-start you:
- Prioritize tasks. List all the projects you would like to accomplish in a day and assign priority to each. Tasks that require immediate completion work on first, while those with more flexible due dates can be scheduled later.
- Be very intentional with the tasks you establish as a priority. Being intentional will allow you to focus and help you prioritize what tasks you should focus your efforts on.
- Identify your optimal performance times. Do you find you’re more alert in the early mornings? Or do you function better in the evenings or late at night? Schedule tasks around this time frame for optimum focus to improve productivity.
- Track your tasks. Use a calendar app or day planner to track when you work on assignments and due dates for completion.
- Set boundaries. Although we may want to spend every moment possible working on a task, it’s essential to set boundaries and give ourselves grace. Establish a stop time, take note of your current level of completion, and start fresh after a well-deserved break. Having limits in place allows us not to become overwhelmed with all the tasks we need to complete and instead will enable us to give our brains a break.
- Reduce Distractions. Reducing the number of potential disruptions you encounter can be a beneficial way to manage your time. The fewer disruptions you have, the more able you are to focus on your tasks. Several ways to reduce common distractions include silencing phones, finding a quiet environment, using noise-canceling headphones, white noise, and listening to calming music.
- Block time. Have a dedicated amount of time you will allow yourself to work on tasks at any given time. Even 25-30 minutes of blocked time can allow you to focus on improving your planning skills. One technique of time blocking is to integrate the Pomodoro technique. Pomodoro, or “tomato” in Italian, is a technique that involves working on tasks in 25-minute increments, followed by 5-minute breaks.
- Make sure you sign up to take Nurse Kelly’s Time Management course that has just been released. It’s full of great tips and resources for students to learn better time management skills!
Time management is a skill. It requires practice, patience, and consistency. Take a few moments to reflect on how it can be beneficial in your life. For example, while a nursing student, time management can provide reduced stress, an ability to achieve our goals, and produce a higher quality of work. Once you begin working as a professional nurse, practical time management skills can allow you to stay organized, manage expectations, and prioritize patient care.
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