How to effectively manage your time for home care
The challenge of time management is ubiquitous. It applies to all job roles and also in our home lives, so you’d think we’d be pretty good at it. The truth is, you probably already do a good job, but it doesn’t feel that way – so here are some extra tips to help you out.
Write stuff down
Whether or not you’re a “list person” doesn’t really matter. The important thing is the exercise of writing down your tasks for the day or week. Nobody can keep mental notes without making a mistake, so taking the time to write down what you need to do is an effective way to organise your thoughts.
Some people love notes and lists anyway, but even if you’re not a fan, it is worth persisting with writing stuff down just so you can clear your head and think objectively about your work.
Without doing this, you’ll likely find it hard to…
Some elements of your job may be prioritised for you if you have a manager or rota manager, but there will undoubtedly be instances where you need to choose between tasks.
- Is this task urgent?
- Can it realistically be completed later or tomorrow?
- Is this new task more important than the one I am currently doing?
If you’re not sure, speak to a colleague or manager and work out with them which objectives should be tackled first.
Plan your day and week
This goes hand in hand with the first two points, but spending some time organising your day and week ensures you allocate the time necessary to complete your objective, whether that is new appointments, visits, or meeting with a manager or staff member.
Make sure you plan in enough time for each task, so you can it well before moving onto the next one.
This also means accounting for travel time too. In fact, planning your days and weeks effectively could mean you plan more efficient travel routes or organise appointments differently (if appropriate).
Make sure you make it achievable too, so don’t bother including tasks for today that you know won’t be completed. Include those on your weekly plan for instance.
Be prepared for change
Okay, so we’ve suggested writing things down, prioritising and planning your week, and now we’re telling you to be flexible. Which is it, right?
Unfortunately, in this profession, it’s both. You need to be ready for the unpredictable and account for other unexpected delays such as traffic.
There is not much you can do about it, other than be as prepared as possible. This means a plan that builds in time for unexpected delays and so on is really important. Don’t try to cram in as much work as possible – be realistic.
Thinking is underrated. In our daily lives, we often spend so much time just doing that we don’t stop to think whether we should.
Taking the time to stop and consider your next move or your plans objectively is still work. Just because you haven’t produced a report or something else tangible does not mean it is not worthwhile.
In fact, taking some time to think about your work might actually save you time anyway.
Take a break
With this in mind, make sure you plan and actually take your breaks. Our profession is highly demanding both physically and mentally and it’s important we are at our best for our patients.
Ensure you take those well-earned breaks.
Start a little earlier… maybe?
We’re reluctant to include this one as we all work plenty anyway. But depending on your situation, it might be worth starting 10 or 15 minutes earlier just to gather your thoughts and have a coffee before starting work proper.
Let Webroster do it all for you!
Okay, all might be a little over-zealous, but our products do a lot of the time-management and prioritisation legwork for you. In fact, our Optimiser platform will automatically produce rosters reducing the admin burden and planning the most efficient schedules for care professionals.