9 Expert Time Management Strategies for Tired Healthcare Professionals

Physicians and healthcare professionals are extremely busy all the time in their careers. You’re probably suffering from an overwhelming schedule with no rest in sight for weeks on end! The best way to overcome that overwhelm and tiredness is to implement time management strategies. 

You want to continue to provide excellent service to your patients, but there’s no way you can keep providing an amazing service when you’re on the edge of burnout! If you’re noticing a shift in your schedule, I highly recommend you try these 9 expert time management strategies. 

Make Sure You’re Prioritizing Your Work

I know you’ve heard this many times before, but making a to-do list is a complete game changer! Write out the specific tasks you need to finish each day starting with the most important ones and work your way down. Fill out the time that you need to complete them by.

Check your to-do list as soon as you get to work in the morning. If you find your schedule shifting, make sure to adjust your plan throughout the day. Make sure your list is somewhere easy to access, so you can pull it out and cross off each item. 

I highly recommend you eliminate any distractions. Don’t take out your phone and check Facebook! One minute can turn into ten minutes real fast when it comes to social media! Eliminating those distractions will help you save time so you can stay focused on your work. 

Last but not least, make sure you check off each task you complete. This will help motivate you throughout the day. You’ll feel so much better when you see how much you’ve accomplished by the end of the day. 

Set Goals

Setting goals is an amazing way to help you put time management strategies in place. Set goals for the next week and add them to your to-do list! I also recommend you set 30, 60, and 90-day goals. 

Once you establish your goals and work on them, you’ll create a sense of purpose for your workweek. 

At the beginning and end of each week, you’ll need to review your goals and the progress you’ve made. 

Related: Why Healthcare Professionals Need to Infuse Self-Love into Goal Setting

The Best Way to Implement Time Management Strategies is to Create a Schedule

Sticking to a schedule will help you be more productive. At the beginning of the day, make a schedule of the specific things you’ve prioritized and everything else that needs to get done. 

I highly recommend you buy a physical planner and schedule everything in there. The planner will help in addition to your to-do list. Make sure you’re being specific with your schedule. Pencil in that 10-minute walk you always go on during your lunch break!

Scheduling your day out will help you physically see your workload and help you work toward something. It’s very motivating to try and finish as much as possible before a certain time each day.

Every Minute Counts!

As a healthcare professional, every second of every day counts! Think you can’t get anything done in five minutes? Think again! Use those tiny segments of time and do something productive. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get accomplished. 

For example, nurses rarely have huge blocks of time to accomplish tasks, but occasionally they’ll have five minutes here, and ten minutes there. Instead of sitting around and waiting for your next task, try and get ahead on some paperwork! 

Or if you work in a doctor’s office and there are 5 minutes before you see another patient, use that time to work on one of your tasks that keeps piling up. It may save you enough time that you’ll be able to leave work earlier than usual!

Know When To Say No

Your coworkers most likely know how busy you are. But from time to time they may still ask you for help with something, and sometimes it’s hard to turn them down.

Know what your workload is and how much you can handle each day. If you don’t have the extra time, don’t take on extra projects or more patients. 

Maybe you think you’re improving your career if you take on more projects, but it can lead to overwhelm. If your stress increases you won’t be able to stay productive or happy. Turn down any extra requests especially if you don’t have the time. It’s okay to say no.

Related: How to Help Stress and Burnout in Healthcare Professionals

Don’t Procrastinate!

Usually, people procrastinate because a certain job looks too big. Or it could be a very unpleasant or overwhelming task. 

The best way to overcome procrastination is to break down the task into bite-sized segments. Just dive into the first section which will take much less time than the whole project. This helps you see progress and gives you realistic deadlines.

If you have trouble starting a project, then you can break down what you need to do to prepare for the task, like gathering different materials you may need. 

You can also try and build a reward system for completing each step of the task until it’s done. And then celebrate when the whole project is finished. 

Avoid Multitasking

Women have been known to multitask over the years. Recent studies have shown that multitasking doesn’t actually save time! 

When you multitask, you actually lose time when you’re switching from one task to another. That’ll make your productivity plummet. You’ll have a hard time concentrating and keeping your focus when you need to. 

One thing that can help is to do your work in batches. If you have a pile of paperwork with some recurring tasks, do that work in a batch at the same time. You’ll find that you can accomplish much more this way. 

Learn To Ask For Help

As a healthcare professional, your workload may pile up and you may need some extra help. You don’t have to do it all on your own. Find the help you need.

There are medical assistants, administrative staff, interns and volunteers that are there for a reason. Take advantage of their help. They want to help.

If you have nobody around that you can ask for help, then you may want to consider hiring someone to help with your workload.

Get Plenty Of Rest The Night Before

If you want to have a good productive day be sure to have lots of sleep the night before. Adults should get about 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night. That means don’t sit up watching Netflix all night or scrolling through Facebook or IG!

Prepare your evenings to help you get more and better sleep. Do something relaxing like reading a good book while taking a relaxing bath. Use essential oils to help you get calm and relaxed if you like. Try to unwind at least an hour before you go to bed, and start a routine where you go to bed at the same time every night. 

If you get regular and ample amounts of sleep it will decrease inflammation and improve your overall mood. You don’t want to start your day feeling grouchy and overtired. 

Getting enough sleep is an important step in your time management strategies. 

Time management strategies for healthcare professionals are essential. They should be worked on every day. Find out which strategies work for you and use them regularly. It’s also important to take a few minutes every day for yourself in the form of a walk or a snack break. Take care of yourself and you’ll be happy and less stressed each working day.