Nursing

Ask the expert: Time management for nurse managers

Nurse Leader Insider, December 5, 2011

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This week, Shelley Cohen, RN, BSN, CEN, identifies ways nurse managers can stay on track and manage their time.

Q: With all of my responsibilities at work, it is easy to get side-tracked. Any tips on how I can manage my time?

A: Sometimes the most difficult thing to accomplish at work is work.  With telephone calls, meetings, visitors, and faxes along with the deluge of mail, e-mail, and internal memos, it can be almost impossible to get anything done. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

  • Determine which times of day are your most productive and schedule your most challenging jobs for those times.
  • Build flexibility into your schedule so you can adapt when things don't go according to schedule or when new opportunities arise.
  • Split long tasks into smaller increments to allow you to fit them into available time, and divide a difficult job into several parts so you don't burn out before it is done.
  • Estimate how long you need to finish a certain project and use this as a guide to help you manage your time.
  • Vary your pace. No one can function at top speed all day. After a mentally taxing project, turn to something that is less demanding. Put small, enjoyable jobs in between tough ones.


Editor's note: Do you have a question for our experts? E-mail your queries to Editor Rebecca Hendren at rhendren@hcpro.com and see your name in print! In the meantime, head over to our Web site and view a growing collection of advice from our experts.



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