7 Time Management Tips for Nurses with Families

Time management for nursesBy Cynthia Iñe, MS, FNP-C, Contributor

Often, nurses feel that there are not enough hours in the day to get things done. 

Time management for nurses becomes even more essential when they have others depending on them—such as their family. 

Use these essential time management tips to start you on the process of managing yourself and time much better.

[BROWSE thousands of current travel nursing jobs across the U.S. to find one that will let you set your own schedule.]

7 Time Management Tips for Nurses with Families

1. Schedule

Nurses should get into the habit of keeping a weekly, even a daily, schedule. This will help you visualize activities that need to be completed, and of course, the days you are scheduled to work.

You can even include meals for the week and grocery lists on your schedule. There are many smartphone apps available for download that help create schedules and checklists. 

However, many people still prefer putting pen to paper and using planners and to-do lists to organize their schedule. Whatever your preference, set time aside to complete your schedule.

2. Prioritize

Know what a priority is and what can wait for later. Use the to-do list that you have prepared to set these priorities. In addition, set each task a value or importance. In doing so, you’ll be able to better prioritize tasks that carry the highest value. 

Getting your taxes in order, for example, holds more value than purchasing a gift for your niece’s birthday party. 

3. Establish a Routine

Establishing a routine can help nurses with time management. Work routines are not only important for the nurse, but family routines are also important. Some examples of common routines nurses can establish are:

  • Meal preparation—packing lunches for yourself, kids, and spouse the night before.
  • Selecting work and school clothes for the week.
  • Having dinner and family time.
  • Having a morning and bedtime routine.

4. Do Not Procrastinate

Edward Young, an English Poet, coined the phrase “Procrastination is the thief of time.” Time management skills will come into play when you have established your schedule and set your priorities. 

Procrastination leads to getting behind on important things and subsequently putting more pressure on yourself. Nurses should keep to their schedule and routines as much as possible to avoid procrastination.

5. Just Say "NO"

Nurses are so used to multitasking that they might tend to over-commit themselves and their families. Whether it is signing up for extra shifts, fundraisers, or extracurricular activities, sometimes it can all be overwhelming. 

Create personal and family goals. If a commitment is not in alignment with your current goals, learn how to say “no” without feeling guilty.

6. Set Aside Personal Time

In addition to learning how to say "no," time management for nurses should include personal time. Making sure to have time for yourself to regroup and relax is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

Nurses can use their days off or even find a quiet moment in the day to just relax and reduce stress.

7. Have a Support System

A support system can help with time management for nurses. The nurse’s spouse, family (immediate and extended), and friends can all help with time management skills. Nurses should not be afraid to ask for help from family or friends.

The support system helps reduce pressure and stress. Nurses can also include their spouse and children in household chores, hold them accountable for extracurricular responsibilities, and involve them in setting schedules and chores for the home.

With these time management tips, you should be able to finally find the time to get things done, yet still have time for yourself and your family.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn