Carving Time Into Your Day

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Carving time into your day sounds fantastic in theory; then life happens. Sound familiar?

Trust me, I understand where you’re coming from! As a mother, nurse, and entrepreneur, time management is anything but easy. There is one thing all these hats I wear have in common though; They force me to multitask in order to get things done. When you run a business, a household , or a hospital department, there is one thing these all have in common, and that is, you have to learn to prioritize.


I remember in nursing school one of the biggest things they drilled into our heads was to prioritize. The professors would tell us that was going to be our biggest pitfall on the NCLEX exam. I passed mine on the first try, so I must’ve been listening.

Before my shift every day, I take care of the most important thing on that particular time/day. As a charge nurse, that can be anything from helping another nurse in caring for a critical patient to simply having a room ready for a patient who may just come in and have a baby. Whatever that priority is, I’m always prepared, and most importantly, ready for anything!

Being a mom is stressful in different ways. There are priorities to get the house clean, to get kids to various activities, or just family time. This is why, when working inside the house, the day prioritizes the tasks at hand for me.

Being my own boss isn’t easy, especially on these cold winter mornings when getting out of bed seems like a chore in itself, but I’ve developed a few great habits to help!

  • I get up before my kids. I know it’s easier said than done, but I have to get up before my kids, or my productivity level just won’t be as high.
  • I use tools to help manage my blog, social media, etc. This is very helpful (check out my favorite list-making tool below) in the realm of time management!
  • I have what I need before I need it. I have drafted cover letters, pitches, and my resume saved right at my fingertips for different jobs I may be interested in applying for.

These things could be different for you, because only you know the goals that take priority in your business. Setting goals is a good place to start. Joining a supportive peer group, like the Healthcare Writers Network can help, too!

How to prioritize

I always say there are two types of people in this world; list makers and non-list makers.

I am a list maker.

However, there’s nothing wrong with non-list makers! My husband is not a list maker, but he understands my lists, which I suppose is a good thing since you’re likely to find two or three lists around my house on any given day. They usually consist of what I need to do and in what order I need to do it (wake up and consume coffee is usually first, of course!).

I have two separate lists; a work list and a family list. If I’m off work and wake up early, my work list gets started in conjunction with my home list because there’s no reason I can’t throw a load of laundry in to wash as I write a new blog post or do my research before the kids get up for breakfast!

Prioritizing also gives me the flexibility to not complete the list. I’ll admit that my type A personality likes the list to be complete, which is why I don’t add everything to it.

So that’s how I do it in a nutshell!

Carving time into your day isn’t easy, especially with little ones, but please know you’re not alone! If you need help or advice, please reach out to our group: The Healthcare Writers Network. We’re here for you!

My favorite list-making tool: Google Keep


Are you a list maker or non-list maker? What is your favorite tool?  Please share in the comments below! 

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Janine Kelbach

Nurse and Writer at WriteRN
Janine Kelbach, RNC-OB, started her nursing career in a community hospital learning the basics of labor and delivery, admitting patients, the normal newborn, and scrubbing into the operating room. She quickly became a breastfeeding resource nurse and certified CPR instructor. In 2007, she took a position in a higher acuity facility in the Cleveland, Ohio area. There she worked postpartum and labor and delivery. She became the assistant manager and educated new nurses, developed educational content, and managed other labor and delivery specifications. She has worked homecare jobs with high risk pregnant women in the inner city of Cleveland, Ohio, obtained her CCW and decided her life was not worth losing over her work. She has 2 young boys, a husband, 2 cats, and a great Dane. Writing has always been a passion of hers, but launched her career while caring for her grandmother in 2012...and never looked back to the streets of Cleveland. She still works in the hospital part time as the charge nurse in labor and delivery.

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1 Comment

  1. Renee Thompson on October 14, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I’m a crazy list maker! If I do something and realize it wasn’t on my list, I put it on just so I can scratch it off! Great article .

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