Balance Working While in Nursing School: 7 Tips for Maintaining Your Sanity
Working While in Nursing School? Here Are Our Top Tips
Nursing school is one of the most difficult challenges you will face in life. At times, it can become both mentally and physically exhausting. When you add your job’s stress into the equation, it may seem downright impossible to get everything done and balance working while in nursing school with your sanity intact.
Remember, simultaneously being in school and working won’t last forever, and all of your hard work will pay off in the end. In the meantime, here are some tips to keep you moving forward with your goals without losing your sanity.
1. Keep a Schedule
One of the best ways to retain your sanity and balance working while in nursing school is to keep your phone’s calendar and task managing apps consistently up to date. This way, no matter where you are, you’ll always have access to your schedule, which will ensure you’re realistic about what you can fit into your week.
Keeping an updated, accurate schedule may be an adjustment, but you’ll thank yourself when you can quickly glance to confirm whether or not you’re available to pick up an extra shift. Regular schedule upkeep will allow you to manage your time and prioritize your to-do’s. This will stop you from making commitments you can’t keep and help you block time off to study, work, and keep your personal life afloat.
2. Batch Your Tasks
To make the most of your time, consider streamlining your workflow by batching tasks. Task batching refers to grouping similar jobs or assignments together. Getting all of your errands done while you’re already out grocery shopping or setting aside a specific block of time to check and reply to emails will help you maintain flow and get more done in less time.
To do this, create a master list of all your tasks and categorize them based on where you will complete these tasks. You should group errands together, place computer-based tasks in another category, and put any necessary phone calls in yet another. This method allows you to sit down and complete all of one type of to-do in one sitting or outing instead of multiple.
3. Lean on Your Support System
If you’re working while in nursing school, you’re taking on a lot and shouldn’t have to do it alone. Make sure you’re reaching out to your support system regularly. This can include friends, family, coworkers, classmates, professors, and mentors. Your support system is an invaluable resource that you shouldn’t overlook during this time.
Don’t be afraid to accept help. Let your significant other do that load of laundry. Have your co-workers quiz you on flashcards. Check-in with your teachers and advisors regularly for assistance and advice. Sometimes it just feels good to talk through your struggles. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, know that you aren’t alone and others are there to help.
4. Stay Organized
Organization is the keystone to success when managing a busy schedule. Do you ever feel like you’re working really hard, only to find you have crossed nothing off of your to-do list? In the meantime, more and more things seem to pile up on your plate. If you find yourself in this position, it’s time to hit the reset button and get yourself organized.
Start by taking steps to ensure your workspace is clean and clutter-free. Once your space is clean, review the past week and your upcoming schedule. Check-in on all of your projects and make a list of the next steps that need to be completed to keep things moving forward. This will bring clarity to your to-do list and help you prioritize what needs doing now and what can wait. Just like that, you will begin to feel you have regained control of your life and schedule.
5. Keep a Routine
Finding a routine that works for you can help you be more efficient with your time, but did you know that keeping up a regular schedule has health benefits too?
Sticking to a good routine can help reduce stress, which can significantly improve your quality of life. So what does a good routine look like?
A balanced routine must include your required priorities, like working and getting in your clinical hours. You should also incorporate eating healthy meals, getting quality sleep, spending time with friends and family, and making time for the fun things you enjoy doing. Ultimately, it’s all about maintaining balance and giving yourself the personal care time needed to get into a positive mindset before and after work and school.
6. Reward Yourself
Part of creating great habits and staying inspired is to reward yourself for a job well done. A reward system can help you do just that, so we recommend setting realistic goals and determining how you will celebrate these goals once you accomplish them.
Make sure that your rewards are genuinely motivating. This will help you to stay focused and ensure you can look forward to what is coming next consistently, rather than feeling stuck where you are. Rewarding yourself for all of your hard work can make the difference between working through obstacles to accomplish your goals and losing sight of your dreams.
7. Find a Job That Supports Your Goals
Whether you are already established in your career or working in an entry-level position, it’s crucial to find a job that supports your goals. This may be easier said than done, but it helps to be honest with your supervisor and HR to ensure your company knows how to support you when you’re working while in nursing school.
If you are working in a career that you feel just isn’t the right fit, it might be time to consider making a change. Companies like NurseDash, which offer flexible scheduling for better work-life balance, can offer the support you need to survive working while in nursing school. NurseDash can also help you get the real-life experience you need to increase your knowledge base and take your nursing career to the next level.