The nursing school involves tons of responsibilities for most college students, making one question their commitment to the profession. As you work towards your degree, understand that time management is critical for your success. You may find yourself having to juggle online classes, a part-time job, and tons of assignments.
In nursing, time management is important as it allows one to plan and prioritize patient care. Remember, there will be educational tasks as well as administrative tasks demanding your attention. During the pandemic, nursing students also have to deal with new challenges, including increased workloads and social isolation.
While it is true that nursing is a demanding profession, those who work on their organizational techniques can balance their academic, work, and social responsibilities. The benefits of effective time management include reduced stress, better efficiency, and more chances for academic and career progression.
So, how does one manage the demands of nursing school while still finding time for family and friends? Here are some useful insights.
Create and Follow a Schedule
While in nursing school, creating a balance between your personal and academic life will be crucial. Formulate a schedule that allows you to prioritize your studies without neglecting your familial and social responsibilities.
Being in nursing school means coping with the challenges of shift work while still keeping up with your class assignments. Creating a schedule means going to bed and waking up around the same time each day, and organizing repetitive tasks in predictable ways. Once you have developed a working routine, try to stick with it. Predictability is one of the most important elements of effective time management.
Create To-Do Lists and Stay Organized
Another important insight when it comes to managing time is creating to-do lists. At the start of each week, write down your duties and responsibilities. Create lists that you can then keep your study materials and supplies organized and strategically located. This way, you will be able to find what you need with ease.
Maybe you feel that the amount of work you are expected to do is too much to handle within the stipulated time. Or you tend to forget crucial tasks until the last minute. If so, you have to learn how to create to-do lists.
Creating to-do lists not only helps you to remain organized but can also improve your memory. In addition, you can cross off tasks that you have accomplished off the list, increasing your productivity and helping with motivation.
Learn to Prioritize
While you will have many tasks to finalize as a nursing student, not all of them are crucial. Remain organized by using a formula to organize responsibilities according to their levels of importance and urgency. As you go through your tasks, consider what to do first and why and the deadlines for individual duties. Avoid procrastination.
Learn to Delegate
While it is good to be organized, there are times when you will need assistance. If you are working on tasks in groups, allocate responsibilities according to the skill levels of those in your group. The secret to effective delegation is communication. Also, understand that it is okay to ask for assistance whenever you feel overwhelmed. Online assignment platforms can help with some of your nursing papers.
Be Flexible and Leave Room for Emergencies
As you plan your weeks or days, consider the unexpected. Even if you are exceptional in organizing your days, some unforeseen happenings may complicate things, making it impossible to stick to your routine. Although it is good to create plans, you also need to be flexible. Create space for the unexpected and factor it into your plan.
Plan Your Meals
As a nursing student, your schedule will be hectic, and you may feel the need to sacrifice some duties, including meals. Unfortunately, according to research, one of the consequences of shiftwork is often unhealthy eating habits.
You should avoid going hungry given your busy program, as you need the energy to keep up with the many tasks. Planning your meals ahead of time means that you won’t need to spend valuable study time buying groceries or cooking dinner. At the start of each week, shop for groceries and essentials. You could also prepare dishes like soups and roasts well in advance. Eat healthily, and include fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Learning to manage time effectively is one of the most critical skills for nursing students. Know that it is okay to say ‘no,’ especially when you feel overwhelmed. Schedule breaks and make sure to allocate enough time for a quality and uninterrupted sleep. Most importantly, work on your social support system, and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance.