The subject of self -care is incorporated into most every class I teach. It goes without saying that nurses are not able to totally care for others until they practice the same strategies on themselves.
I've been asked by students and friends alike how I maintain my personal sense of balance in life. In other words: "How do I get everything done on time? How do I have time for everything?"
As a nurse, I'm no stranger to critical analysis of most situations that I encounter - from the complex to the mundane. Like it or not - it's how most of us in the healthcare fields are wired...!
In other words, is this 'you would not believe how perfect this project is for YOU and only YOU can do it justice...' project relevant, logical and significant in my life goals?
I'm forever amazed at how many projects, favors and other contributions of my time have been proposed through the years.
As such, I have become guarded, even selfish, with time. Because I enjoy the way that I choose to spend my day - both personally and professionally - my 'work' as a nursing instructor feels more like a passion than a position.
In all work and personal commitments:
1- I have a calendar and prioritize my deadlines. I maintain ongoing communication for exceptions.
I know that different styles work for others. I derive a sense of peace from organization and I'm old fashioned in my methods.
I am challenged to learn the capacity of systems such as Evernote and am open to improving my current 'notepad system in the raw'.
Sounds simple, but it boils down to 'whatever works'. If I make a promise, I will keep it or give notice as to why not / with plan of correction offered.
2- I will not bite off more than I can chew regarding assignments / promises.
This becomes easier with each passing year. It used to be quite difficult for me to say 'no'. I placed extreme feelings of guilt on myself - to the point of becoming stretched quite thin at times.
Mom taught me 'there are only so many hours in a day'. I'm teaching myself some of those hours must be preserved for ourselves and what we dream of pursuing.
Every so often I work with a student who has enrolled in school at the wrong time in their lives. Reasons are varied including: stressful job; marital issues; family / child care issues; grief / loss / trauma.
Adult education is exciting, yet not without its potential stressors of time demands, technology snafus and mastery of unfamiliar content.
In times of stress, adding a college course can be 'the straw that broke the camel's back'. Self awareness and being gently honest with yourself is the best strategy. School will always be waiting for a time you are centered for learning.
3- My style is to plan ahead rather than back track.
As I discover a goal in my life is to never be caught up (LOL), I'm finding this mindset works for me.
I look to tomorrow, actually as far ahead as feasible, for broad planning. I jot ideas, goals, notes in calendars and notebooks as a 'brilliant' idea pops into my mind - as one never knows when these flashes of insight will strike...!
So now I've shared my complicated and magical strategies with you...!
As for: "How do I get everything done on time?"
My calendar rules. I obey her every day.
And as far as: "How do I have time for everything?"
I do what I signed on for. Anything else is my pleasure and a sheer bonus...!
Oh and I build in some time for music - dancing is even better...can't resist a little Janelle Monae: "Tightrope"...
Until next time, be good to you...
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This multi-topic blog publishes weekly on Wednesdays.
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