I have a hard time doing it.

Lately I’ve gotten worse, and this is particularly bad timing as administration is looking over every cost with a magnifying glass.

I know that the majority of my problem is that I do too much.  I’ll take care of anything that crosses my path, including meeting other patient’s needs – big or small.  This wouldn’t be a problem if everyone did this.  Because they don’t, I find myself running all shift long and wondering just how the other nurses are able to leave at 7:08 on the dot while I end the shift exhausted and still needing to finish charting.  I realized that I’m part of the reason everyone else is able to do so.  Not completely, I’m sure.  But it can only help them to have me running in the halls so they can stay caught up with charting.  I don’t believe any of them are actively using me.  I believe I’m allowing myself to be used.

I cut some time off by using the lounge computer to finish charting after giving report.  If I stay in the station I’ll keep answering the phone and doing random tasks just because nobody is in the station.  This helped, but it’s not enough.  I need to better manage my own time and tasks.  Somehow over the last year I’ve taken on more than my share.

Our nurse director recently brought up her wish to have everyone charting in patient’s rooms as they do their morning assessments.  (We already use rolling laptops for medication administration.) Other nurses were rolling their eyes, but this caught my attention.  If I’m in my room charting, this guarantees that it gets done and keeps me away from all the extras that keep me late shift after shift.  We carry voceras, so I can always be reached for my patient’s needs and physicians.

This weekend will be my first attempt to do so.  I do realize that what I plan to do to better manage my time is to actually hide myself instead of just saying no.

Baby steps, people.