July 02, 2009 | | Comments 2
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Time management tips for beating stress

Everything comes down to time management. You have to make sure there is enough time for your job, your significant other, your family, your friends, taking the kids to soccer practice and ballet lessons, the dog has to go to the vet, and somewhere in between all of that you are supposed to breathe and have time for yourself. In all this commotion, it can be hard to remain calm and stress free, especially for busy nurse managers struggling to keep track of other staff members and daily tasks. Exhausting!

Here are some helpful tips to remember while trying to manage your time and remain stress free:

  • Focus your time and energy: Make a to-do list to keep your day on track, prioritize your tasks and take care of what you need to do, and delegate tasks to others when you see fit.
  • Expect the unexpected: Remember that no matter how much planning goes into each day, surprises are bound to happen. But with your to-do list already made up, you will be able to quickly get things back on track.
  • Communicate with your staff efficiently and succinctly: Keep a pad of paper handy when making rounds with staff members. Take note of any suggestions, comments, or tasks that need to be taken care of, and designate a specific time to check and respond to emails or phone calls each day.
  • Find a daily respite: Take daily breaks so that you can remain alert and efficient as you carry out tasks or duties that day. Consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator or a quick walk outside to help reduce stress that may have developed throughout the day.
  • Energize yourself at home: Plan events and outings that you enjoy with friends and family. Try to limit phone, BlackBerry, and computer use. Remember to take some “me” time at the end of the day and relax.

What is it that works best for you to maintain a healthy balance between work and home? Have you developed your own checklist or mantra in your facility? If you found yourself in a stressful situation, do you have a support group or ritual that you use?

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Filed Under: Hot topicsStaff motivation

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Sarah Kearns About the Author: Sarah is an Editorial Assistant in the patient safety group at HCPro, Inc. She contributes to two monthly newsletters; Briefings on the Joint Commission and Briefings on Patient Safety, and manages four e-zines; Accreditation Connection, AHAP Staff Challenge, Nurse Manager Weekly, and Healthcare Training Weekly. She also helps research new products for the patient safety and nursing market. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2008 where she earned her bachelor's degree in English.

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  1. Great tips!
    It really helps to periodically take a step back and put things in perspective. Many times we make our stress worse by the negative “stories” we tell ourselves about situations or people. Managing our thoughts goes a long way toward eliminating stress. A unique, fun, and meaningful way I try to remind myself to do this is by following the principles of An Island Perspective. If thinking about swaying palm trees, gentle waves, and soft sand helps put you in a happy place too, you might want to check this out.

    Renee Ludwigs
    Palm Canyon Wellness Group
    http://www.palmcanyonwellness.com

  2. I find that these great tips do reduce my stress and make me more effective. I have also found that ensuring that I do my priorities (most important tasks) in my prime time is also really beneficial. I write more about this at http://www.effective-time-management-strategies.com
    All the best
    Kell

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