Time is precious at the best of times, and when you’re working shifts and maybe going to school, all while trying to get things done, time is gold.
So how can we save time without taking time away from other important aspects of our lives? Here are some tips that will help you squeeze it all in.
1. Start by doing “reflection work.”
Priorities need to be set. Not just once. Regularly. This is your first step to achieving work-life balance, according to a study published in American Medical News. Evaluating your values and priorities helps you decide what is most important. It doesn’t matter when you do this reflection work, be it your birthday, New Year’s Day or any other memorable day—the important thing is to do it.
2. Track your time.
Once you know what’s important to you and the goals you have, you need to learn what it is that’s taking up your time. Same is true for nursing students. If you’re looking for tips on how to go to nursing school with a full-time job, you may be anticipating the potential for getting overwhelmed. Consider this: Financial experts are constantly hounding us about the virtues of tracking spending, no matter how big or small, as a tool to save money. The same is true for your time. Spend a few days tracking what you spend your days (and nights) doing, and you may find that you spend a lot longer than you realized on unimportant things.
3. Use time-management tricks.
Now that you know where your time goes, you can start using some time-saving techniques. Here are five time-management tricks that work to get you to work (or school) on time, including reducing your amount of pre-work tasks. If you take care of the mundane tasks ahead of time, like making your meals to take to work or school, or ensuring you have bus or train tickets, you don’t have to worry about them as you head off to start your day (or night).
4. Try tech tools to keep you on time.
Looking for some technical aids to help free up some of your time? If you have an iPhone, try these top 10 iPhone apps for nurses that will save you from having to search for the information you need. At the touch of a finger, you’ll have a medical calculator, a drug reference, even ACLS guidelines.
5. Practice, practice, practice.
And finally, the best way to save time on the job, without fancy gadgets or deep soul searching, is to stay organized at work. Nurses who aren’t organized waste a ton of time running back and forth. Why not group different tasks together when possible? The more you make organization a daily habit, the better prepared you’ll be when emergencies or unforeseen events arise.