Not enough time

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The feeling of ‘not enough time’ to achieve what is needed in a day can overwhelm the best of us. The stress of which not only affects the time poor nurse or midwife, but their colleagues and patients as well.


When it becomes too hard, and too much how do we minimise the effects of this type of stress?

Registered Nurse, Educator and former ANMJ columnist Bron Watson offers six tips to minimise the effects that could protect your own health and wellbeing and of others.

TIP #1

A typical day in nursing involves routine. You have learnt this over time, you tend to do the same thing, because that is what has worked, in the same order. It means you have developed habits, you know what is expected.

Why not have a ‘stocktake’ of your habits at work, what is working and what could do with improvement? Sometimes, a small change in the way you habitually work can add valuable minutes to your schedule.

TIP #2

Remove the word should from your vocabulary. When making a decision, choose to either do or don’t and forget the ‘should’. The word ‘should’ creates confusion and gives permission for you not to make the decision.

TIP #3

Take a quick break outside the building, fresh air and a place to free up your brain and rejuvenate your energy.

TIP # 4

Time to lose the time pressure obsession or as researchers like to call it, time urgency. The state of time pressure creates a chronic state of worry in a hurry, or a constant rush hour.

Time urgency fuels the ‘not enough time’ disease, increasing the signs and symptoms we are all familiar with.

The workload will not go away, the staff shortages may not change, the one thing you can control is your ability to lose the time urgency and relax, concentrate on what you are doing, the patient in the bed, rather than the watch on your uniform.

Tip #5

In the current state of the nursing profession, taking care of yourself and wellbeing will lead to a sustainable future. The only person who can do that for you, is you. Taking responsibility of how you view your time, or manage very tight deadlines in an often unpredictable environment is a good place to start. Of course, there are many parameters and stakeholders involved, it is up to you to look after you.

Tip #6

Tell a friend, a colleague, a family member or your boss. This is about sharing your thoughts, what is happening and coming up with positive solutions, rather than using the same strategy.

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