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5 Time Management Tricks for Busy Nurses

5 Time Management Tricks for Busy Nurses

Marijke Durning | Scrubs Magazine

April 15, 2010

Learning how to get to work on time isn’t like searching for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. It really is possible to arrange your life so you aren’t always rushing to be on time — something that’s particularly important in nursing because of the team aspect of the job.

So, whether your shift begins early in the morning, mid-afternoon or late at night, here are five tips that may help you gather yourself — and your things — before report starts.

1. Give Yourself the Gift of Time

No matter which shift you work, you have to get yourself out of bed and on your way with time to spare.

Be realistic and calculate how long it takes to get up, showered, dressed, fed and out the door, with enough time for a safe commute. If you have children, their needs have to be factored in, too. Now, take that time and add a good 15 minutes or so. Set your alarm to give yourself this calculated time. The extra 15 minutes will give you a head start and provide a cushion for something that could go wrong, such as a lost homework assignment, the dog upsetting his water bowl or burnt toast.

By the way, the snooze button is not your friend. Break up with it if you’ve become too attached. The snooze button is a great time sucker.

2. Reduce the Amount of Pre-Work Tasks.

Take a good look at your routine. Is there something you can move from that hectic time?

- Lay out your work clothes before you go to bed.


– Get breakfast items ready the day before so you can just grab what you need.
– Prepare work lunches the day before.
– Be sure that shampoo, conditioner and other products are replaced as soon as they’re empty so you’re not left searching for a new bottle when you need it most.
– Never let your gas tank get down to empty. Fill it on your way home from work so you don’t have to worry about it on the way to work.
– Be sure you have enough bus tickets or that you’ve updated your monthly transit payments so you’re not caught off guard.

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