Time management is a skill, if you learn it while you’re in Nursing School, it will be a valuable asset while you work.
It really is true, that everyone has 24 hours in a day. If you sleep for seven or eight hours a day (which you should), then you’re down to 16 hours. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that the busier I am, the more productive I become. When I was working on my BSN, I worked full time, ran a business from my home and took the classes. The worst part of taking those classes was I had to drive five or six hours a week just to attend. I managed to do it, and if I can do it, so can you. I’ve included below some tips that helped me, if you have any that you would like to add, please don’t hesitate to put them in the comments.
- Time Wasters – no matter how many hours you have, if you waste a lot of time, then you won’t get very much done. For the next couple of weeks, keep a journal of what you do during the day. Try to be as accurate as possible. Details about how to do that can be found here – http://www.thesimpledollar.com/building-and-using-a-time-diary/
After you complete it, you’ll probably find some areas that you want to cut back on. One big waster I had was checking the internet / social media. There are several different ways you can get around this, the simplest thing to do is just turn it off. I use the internet for my business so that is hard to do, I put a post it note where I could see it, and that has helped.
Study in different ways, but find the ways you learn (and use them). When I was commuting, I would put my lectures on cassette, then listen to them while I drove. When I turned the tape over, I would challenge myself to list five or six things from the tape that I learned. Yes this was before the age of cell phones, so now it is even easier. I also learned if I read my assignment, made flashcards and then reviewed the flash cards, I learned better than doing anything else. One of my friends, read the chapter, listened to lectures, took diligent notes, and aced all the tests. Find out how you learn best, and that should be the focus of your study time.
- Use time that you would normally not, and do something on your to do list. If you commute and aren’t driving, use that time. If you spend a lot of your time walking from one class to another, listen to something besides the top 40 while you’re walking.
- I found a cool tool to use. You break the time you have down into 20 or 30 minute segments. When the segment is done you take a break and then do some more. During the 20 minutes or so you totally focus on doing just one thing, you do it till the time is up and only then can you do something else. You can learn more about the http://pomodorotechnique.com/ by clicking that link.
- There are many different ways to make to do lists. Use the one that works for you. Even with cell phones / computers I find that writing the list down on paper, helps me. It makes me feel good when I get to draw a big X through a task that I’ve completed. If I have something that I need to do frequently, on odd days, or something several months out, I use todoist, which is a free site on the web. https://todoist.com/
- Celebrate your accomplishments and when you reach a goal. Schedule some time to do something fun, maybe even one of those time wasters.
Good luck, and share your tips with us below.