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Time management

Time management the optimum use of the available time.

What are the importance of managing the time:

  1. To know how to use time wisely
  2. To get more work done in less time
  3. To conserve time and energy

What are the Principles of time management:

The nurse manager may start a plan for maximizing the use of managerial time by the application of the following principles:

 FIRST. Selection of staff:

Selection of well qualified staff is critical for time saving because they require less supervisory time for development and corrective action:

  • Appropriate use of staff through assessment of work and careful planning of the number and qualifications of personnel needed, and matching the staff member’s interest and abilities to her job further reduce waste.
  • Also, staff who are adequately informed do not waste time wondering what to do
  • The availability of organizational charts and job descriptions save time to find out who is responsible to whom and for what, line of authority etc.
  • Grouping similar activities in hospital unit, also save time i.e. medical unit, surgical unit, ICU 

 SECOND. Goal setting:

A critical component of time management is defining short and long range goals and time frames:

  • Goals provide direction and vision for actions and a timeline which activities will be accomplished
  • Five major questions about goals must be answered if the nurse manager is to manage time effectively
  1. What specific unit objectives are to be achieved?
  1. What specific activities are necessary to achieve these objectives?
  1. How much time is required for each activity?
  1. Which activities can be planned and scheduled for concurrent action and which must be planned and scheduled sequentially?
  1. Which activities can be delegated to staff?

THIRD. Setting priorities:

Priority should be established for activities to be performed by the nurse manager. The nurse manager should take into account both the importance and urgency of activities

There are five types of activities

Categories of time use Examples
1.Important and urgent Replacement two call-offs and ensuring sufficient staffing for the upcoming shift
2.Important and not urgent Drafting and educational program for nurses on the change in Medical Science and Technology
3. Urgent, not important Completing and submitting the “beds available” list for a disaster drill
4.Busy work Compiling new charts for future patient admissions
5.Wasting time Sitting by the phone waiting for return calls


Prof. Rajha Abdul Hassan Hamza


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