As a health professional with a busy schedule, are you struggling to incorporate healthy time management habits for yourself? Is it hard to find enough time to complete all of your to-dos? It often seems like there are just not enough hours in the day. If this resonates for you, you’re not alone! Health professionals are some of the busiest people on the planet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to improve your time management skills to help you be more productive in your work life with the hope that you have time to spare for hobbies, family, and other essential activities. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips for health professionals who want to learn how to manage their time more effectively, have time for self-care, get more sleep, and simultaneously reduce stress levels.
What is Time Management, and How Can it Help You be More Productive?
Time management is a way of balancing all of your responsibilities and deadlines. You’ll feel more at ease with a clear understanding of what you need to do, when you need to do it, and why. All of this will, of course, help you manage your time more effectively!
One important caveat is that working hard should not be confused with overworking. By managing your time, focusing on revenue-generating activities daily, and incorporating time for non-urgent yet essential tasks, you’ll get more done in less time without adding more stress to your day.
Bottom line? With a few time management skills under your belt, you’ll have more spare time in your daily life for your family, entertainment, and hobbies.
Your Morning Routine: A Healthy Habit
Your morning routine can significantly affect how you manage your time at work. An effective morning routine to help you get your day started on the right foot. While there is no one “right way” for a morning routine, there are a few universal tips.
✅ Take the time to eat a healthy breakfast with nutritious foods and a good protein source. It will kick-start your metabolism and elevate your energy for the day ahead.
✅ Move your body. Go for a run, stretch, practice yoga, or take the dog out for a walk. By moving your body, you’ll feel more prepared to handle whatever the day has in store.
✅ Plan a time for yourself each morning to reflect on your life and consider your goals. Setting aside this precious time to focus on yourself will ensure you better understand what’s important to you daily, which will help you make better decisions throughout the day.
How to Make the Most of Your Day and Week
Before heading to work (or your home office), plan out exactly how you want your day to look by organizing your tasks and the corresponding due dates for each. Also, it’s helpful to make an effort to start each day with a proactive approach — lay out your goals for the day and the corresponding tasks, prioritize them and leave time for unexpected obstacles.
I also recommend tracking how much time you spend on each task for a week. Carefully tracking your time in this way might feel a little uncomfortable initially, but it will help you identify where you are wasting time and what’s important. Also, consider how long it takes to complete specific tasks to know if you’re rushing or leaving enough room for something unexpected. Most people tend to underestimate the amount of time various tasks and activities will take so this exercise can be highly enlightening!
✅ Plan your day with a calendar as much as possible. If something is urgent, schedule it in advance so that you know the day will go according to plan. Remember, if you don’t block out essential tasks (including your self-care) in your calendar, it won’t happen!
✅ Prioritize your tasks at the beginning of your day. Write them down on a to-do list and set realistic deadlines. It also helps to break down larger tasks into smaller sub-tasks to prevent overwhelm!
✅ I’m preaching to the choir again here, but please eat healthy meals and snacks daily! Eating healthy foods throughout the day creates a healthy habit that will pay off in the long run by providing more energy and helping you to increase your ability to focus. Even when you don’t feel like you have the time to take a break, stress and not eating (getting over hungry and experiencing low blood sugar) will add hours per week to your schedule since you won’t be as effective.
✅ And, of course, don’t forget to reward yourself! You’ve put in a hard day’s work, so give yourself the time you deserve for something you enjoy. For example, I spend at least 15 minutes each evening reading (preferably historical fiction – my favorite!).
I look forward to this small reward each day and find that it contributes to my sense of well-being and helps me fall asleep at night.
Managing Tasks Throughout the Day
Remember to manage how you spend your time throughout the day, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. If deadlines are looming or you’re fatigued, take a step back. And if you find yourself putting out fires all day long without making progress on your projects, start saying no! It’s a common belief that we should push through and work harder. Instead, taking a step back and saying no when necessary gives you clarity, puts your tasks into focus, and improves the quality of your work.
✅ Take breaks throughout the day to recharge your batteries.
✅ Step away from the steady stream of interruptions that are sure to pop up and focus on something else for five minutes. One thing you can do is close your eyes and take several deep breaths.
This little break in your day will allow your mind time to reset itself, so when you get back to work, you’ll be able to complete your tasks more efficiently. No one works well with chronic stress, and taking breaks helps keep the pressure at bay.
Try not to get distracted from your tasks during the day, which is easier said than done if you work from home! My best advice is to separate your work hours and personal time and apply a disciplined approach to help you stick to these boundaries. If you struggle to concentrate, take a short rest, eat a healthy snack, or take a walk to get some fresh air.
One of the tools that I use when I need to hunker down and get stuff done at the computer is called.focusatwill.com I set the alarm within this application for 45-minute increments, turn off all notifications, put in my AirPods, and listen to their music while I work. Try it – I’d love to hear how this application works for you.
So if you have some long documents that you need to write (i.e., a blog article), be sure a good strategy is to write them in chunks rather than all at once. Doing so will save you from getting overwhelmed, and you can spread the work evenly throughout your day.
End your day by prioritizing tomorrow’s tasks and writing a comprehensive to-do list for the next day. Use the most productive time (perhaps first thing in the morning) to do the more challenging tasks that require more brainpower. Kicking off your morning by getting your more taxing tasks completed and out of the way will help you get more done while allowing you to build time for more self-care and spending time with friends or family.,!
Delegating Tasks to Your Team
As a business owner and healthcare professional, you must ensure that your team is productive and motivated. And while this can be challenging when you have so much on your plate, there are several things you can do to say in control.
Please encourage them to set goals by offering full autonomy over tasks. Giving your team members this sense of independence will get them more invested in the company’s mission and help them take ownership of their work.
It then almost goes without saying that micromanaging should be avoided. It doesn’t show that you trust your team members, and it will slow everyone down – especially yourself. Give employees enough space to succeed or fail on their own accord without your constant interference.
✅ Create a positive work environment. Research shows that happy people are 12% more productive! The University of Pennsylvania found that businesses with high employee satisfaction perform better.
✅ Teach your team the most efficient ways to do things so they can manage these tasks independently. If you want something done a certain way, show them how to do it and explain why it’s essential for them to do the job in that particular fashion. And if you’re delegating work that requires problem-solving or creativity, remind them that you’re available to help if they get stuck.
✅ Be upfront with your team about what’s urgent and essential, so they know when to work quickly or when it’s best to take their time. Encourage your team to prioritize tasks that need to be done in a particular order and help them plan the order in which they tackle vital tasks.
✅ Team members should feel comfortable asking each other questions to promote active communication with daily huddles and quick updates on what everyone’s working on.
If team members continually make the same mistakes, it’s essential to track these errors and schedule extra training or mentoring for them to brush up on their skills. When giving feedback, it helps if you can make suggestions about what your employees can do differently next time versus focusing on what they did wrong.
Encouraging your employees to embrace healthy time management habits is essential to get the most out of the hours you spend together. Allow your employees to take breaks throughout the day and implement flexible scheduling if some days are busier. Just don’t forget that there’s a line between taking productive breaks and letting your team waste time with unproductive distractions like surfing the web or playing games.
Your End of the Day Routine
Tackle whatever needs to be done before leaving the office for the day — or work on it until you’re satisfied that you’ve made some real progress. Once you’ve finished your work for the day, there should be nothing left on the top of your mind so you can finally relax and enjoy some free time before it’s time to “clock out .”You deserve it!
Your business needs high energy levels, so you should never skimp on rest. Even small amounts of chronic stress can affect your sleep quality, lead to higher fatigue, and ultimately impact your well-being. Take some time to wind down before bed by practicing good sleep hygiene by meditating, practicing deep breathing exercises, or doing light stretches. These practices don’t need to take hours; even 15 minutes before bedtime can make a huge difference. The goal is to integrate healthy time management habits that might help you feel more relaxed and sleep better at night.
Health professionals will never be able to honestly care for their patients if they don’t take good care of themselves first! Sustained stress from work can harm physical health, so it’s super important to stay active and exercise regularly. It could also do wonders for r state of mind. As you likely know, being active releases endorphins that give us a natural high, boost serotonin levels, and help you improve your sleep quality, among other things.
Balance is Key!
Health professionals can often find themselves in a constant battle between work and home life, with the demands of their profession being challenging to manage at times. But by following these healthy time management habits, you can make your job easier on yourself, your loved ones, and your family!
Implementing time management habits like eating healthy meals, taking breaks, working in chunks (or sprints), planning your week, and delegating tasks to your team will improve your quality of life. There is no need for you to have chronic stress and feel overwhelmed every day.
Ideally, try never to lose sight of what’s essential in life, even though your job may sometimes make it difficult. But by making healthy time management habits part of your daily routine, you’ll be more efficient on the job, have better patient outcomes, and feel less stressed when you’re not working.
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