It’s All About Time Management
The Importance of Sleep
We all have a Circadian clock, a pace-maker like mechanism in the brain that regulates bodily patterns, sleep cycles, body temperature, etc. Bottom line… it’s important! Which is why it’s so vital for nurses to be mindful of our bodies need for sleep. Below are some factors to be aware of.
- Light. Exposure to light at the right time helps keep the circadian clock on the correct time schedule. However, exposure at the wrong time can shift sleep and wakefulness to undesired times. The circadian rhythm disturbances and sleep problems that affect up to 90% of blind people demonstrate the importance of light to sleep/wake patterns.
- Time. As a person reads clocks, follows work and train schedules, and demands that the body remain alert for certain tasks and social events, there is cognitive pressure to stay on schedule.
- Melatonin. Levels of melatonin begin climbing after dark and ebb after dawn. The hormone induces drowsiness, and scientists believe its daily light-sensitive cycles help keep the sleep/wake cycle on track
Nursing is a demanding job and the stress can mount quickly. The day carries so many tasks with so few hours and to-do lists can change rapidly. This is why we see nurses get burned on occasion. They undertake so much and are responsible for so many people that it can get really tiring really fast. It is imperative to utilize time management practices to keep things moving smoothly. Here are some below:
- Focus on your top priorities first – At the end of every day take your to-do list and put the most important things at the top for tomorrow.
- Plan your day out in advance – It is imperative to place your to-do’s at strategic intervals throughout the day. If they end up being moved around, so be it. But it is always helpful to have a time frame for the day
- Keep your work space organized – A well ordered desk is necessary for a smooth workday. Organization streamlines every process it is implemented in. If you can keep a well ordered work space your day/week will essentially run itself.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks – This action not only relieves some weight from your shoulders but is also a good management practice. Delegating gives people an option to prove they are capable of handling more responsibility in an organization. Give it a chance.
- Interruptions are a guarantee – Your profession is nursing, you work in a health facility, and your primary function is dealing with human beings; there are going to be interruptions each and every day. But that is part of the job; it makes things interesting and keep you on your toes. Even when they seem to become too much to handle don’t let them throw a wrench in your day. Keep on keepin’ on.
Hopefully these bits of advice help you keep a more organized schedule and aid you in keeping your day on the right track. Know that sleep is imperative, especially in the nursing profession as you all already know. Be mindful of the time that can be wasted through not keeping and orderly work space and streamlined schedule. Try and keep these tips in practice and it’s guaranteed you will see an improvement.