9 Practical Tips to Manage Work and Stress Better for Healthcare Workers
As of 2018, there are over 16 million healthcare workers, which equates to about 11 percent of all positions in the job market overall. No one can deny how important healthcare workers are.
But as they care for others, they must continue to care for themselves. These are ways to manage workload and stress, to keep things manageable.
- Plan and Prioritize
The night before or even at the start of the day it is a wise choice to set aside some time, 30 minutes at most, to make a plan for the coming day. Budgeting out the time for the day, so to speak.
By making this plan you can check the tasks you have and figure out what tasks need the most time and what needs less. But doing this ahead of time makes the process a lot easier.
It is important to distinguish between important and urgent. Both of the tasks need to get done, but the important tasks do not have a deadline set.
The urgent tasks have an impending deadline or need from someone. Make sure to prioritize them on your plan.
- Time Management Apps
Sometimes managing our minutes is an overwhelming task and we need a little help. It is even harder in the hectic world of healthcare. But don’t worry, there are plenty of options to help you!
For more information about managing your time visit here.
The concept is that you work in blocks of time, 25 minutes after these blocks you take a five-minute break. After three more of these work sessions you can take a longer break 15 minutes.
There are multiple apps related to the technique available for both mobile and desktop systems alike.
After using the method for a period it trains your mind into a rhythm shown to greatly improve productivity and reduce stress related to workload significantly.
Another to-do list powerhouse, with the added benefit, that it syncs easily between the desktop client and a mobile device. That means you can easily plan your coming day at home and send it to your phone for the coming workday.
Set up lists for each project or workday and categorize and prioritize each item depending on what they need.
You can also save plenty of time with dictation software and various other helpful software additions, read more here to find out how. Be sure to work that into your management apps and see how it adds up!
- The Multitasking Myth
We all like to think of ourselves as masters of the multitask. Unfortunately trying to achieve that title does little to save time, actually the opposite. It is a dangerous practice that we trick ourselves into trying to manage.
In a fast-paced world of healthcare, it is understandable to believe that multitasking would be to your benefit. But actually, it is “task-switching” jumping from one task to the other task quickly.
By the end of both tasks, or more depending, it takes much more time and effort than finishing one and moving on. The other huge problem, especially in this case, is the rate of error rises exponentially.
Reset if you get interrupted. Relax and restart the task you are on. Do not jump between a half-dozen items. You are working against yourself if you do.
- Optimize and Organize
Most of these productivity items are organizing your time and your mind. But what about your physical space?
It has been proven that decluttering a space and keeping your work area organized has marked effects on all aspects of a worker’s well-being. On productivity, stress, emotional state, health.
You spend a huge amount of time at work, you need to make sure you are creating an ideal experience.
- Thoughts of Self-Sabotage
Take charge, remind yourself what you are here for and why you are here. You are talented and have the skills needed to do a range of tasks that people need you for.
There is a reason you are where you are, someone chose you because they knew you could do the job well. We all doubt ourselves at times and that is when the work feels overwhelming.
But that is when we have to stop and remind ourselves of the abilities we DO have. We are offering not by chance.
- Recognizing the Value Of Your Service
Remember that you are doing the best that you can in a setting essential to all people, despite all things you are making a huge difference to many people’s lives. But you need to take it moment by moment.
Recognize your worth and then remember that you need to care for yourself. This goes along with the idea above, taking control, and empowering yourself.
You have value, you can make things happen, and you will make things happen.
- Healthy and Effective Coping Strategies
In times of heavy stress, especially in a field such as this, you must have an outlet for these emotions. If there are not ways to release and relax, you may turn to unhealthy methods.
There is plenty of healthy ways to release and deal with workload stress. Some best include:
- Healthy Diet
- Mental Health Days
It is important to recognize fatigue and burnout in yourself and your fellow workers and to act as a support to them. There are some signs that you should look for that they, generally are unaware of:
- Isolation and Frustration
- Exhaustion and Poor Self-Care
- Disconnect from Work
Anyone must recognize the signs of these and be sure to offer a break to those in need of help so they can have that moment of rest.
- Being Alone Together
Just because social distancing is in place does not mean you have to live in a world of isolation. Humans are social animals and because of that, they need connection. It is important to remember that we are all alone together in this.
You can still connect with others in creative ways. For example, have a game night! With those on your staff, you can plan a remote game night and have all on staff join in. You can also use your laptop to install zoom software for group video call.
This is another self-care method. The healthcare field is inherently high stress and nights like these can lower that stress and build strength between the ranks.
- Knowing When to Ask For Help
Not only knowing when to ask but also knowing when to offer. Just like we can connect to manage well-being, we can form support networks to manage the ever-growing workload being faced.
An effective way to do this is through a “buddy system” or a team-based setup. By pairing up, there are several ways to support both in and out of work;
- Monitoring workloads
- Regular check-ins
- Getting to know each other
These things can allow for a deeper understanding of the needs of the team we work with, which in any situation is a great thing, but especially in these times.
When you check-in on someone it can make a huge difference in their entire day, just a simple text or email can change an entire day, once off-course. Because you are a work partner, there is an even deeper insight too.
Healthcare Workers Are The Front Line
When society calls upon healthcare workers, they expect immediate results. But those workers need time to recover themselves. With these ideas and the help of your fellow care workers, you can more easily bear the weight
Keep reading and keep improving your health and your life. We are all in this together, helping each other to live and to learn.