Since the Holiday in December I have completed a one week ‘Stress Testing and Ambulatory Care’ course that led into our second lab block. Since this second lab block consists of mastering phlebotomy, stress testing, and ambulatory ECGs it is very important we get lots of practice. To ensure this, our east coast group of students was split into two groups to have more one on one time with instructors and use of equipment. The first lab group ran from Jan.4th until Jan.20th while the second is running Jan.21-Feb.6th. I am in the second lab group and am still awaiting this portion of the course but in the meantime I have completed a personal and professional development course. This course may seem boring to some but it reminded me of something that is very important to practice in this course and in my day to day activities which was time management.
Many people including myself struggle with learning to manage our time to be the most productive we can be each day. Instead we often are very productive one day and see the time blow by us the next day with very little accomplished. This is something everyone can improve on as everyone has the same amount of time to work with no matter where they are in the world; we all have 168 hours a week to do what we wish. I wanted to quote something from a reading in my personal and professional development course on time management which really stuck with me…
“Time is a non-renewable resource. If you’re out of wood, you can chop some more. If you’re out of money, you can earn a little extra. If you’re out of love, there is still hope. If you’re out of health, it can often be restored. But when you’re out of time, that’s it… Approach time as if you are in control… When you say you don’t have enough time, you might really be saying that you are not spending the time you do have in the way you want.” (Ellis, 2006). Reading this reminded me that my time is precious and that I wanted to make sure I am using it efficiently for completing school tasks while making sure I have time for myself. Here are the best tips I have found that help me better my time management:
1. Make lists: Whether this be in your phone memos, on a post-it note, or in a yearly planner, make a list of the things you wish to accomplish that week including activities for yourself such as exercise, meditation, or reading a novel, and assign them to the days in the week you want to complete them. Be sure to prioritize each day based on what is most important for you to complete and estimate the time it will take you to do each task. Keeping this list in a close proximity to you will act as a reminder of what you should have done each day.
2. Get into a routine: A list will help your time management however some tasks may slip away from you if you underestimate time. To help structure your days you should try to get into a routine. The routine should consist of a wakeup time, morning tasks/ activities that you want to have completed before lunch, afternoon and diner plans, all of which will help you keep on top of your to do list.
3. Make time for sleep: Overworking yourself is not beneficial as you can become burnt out and lose time due to the need for recuperation. It is vital that you get a goodnight rest with at least 8 hours of sleep if not more. I always make sure I am in bed before midnight and like to wake up with the sun shining in my windows (around 8am) as our pineal gland can kick start our day with a little sun exposure.
These tips are things that have worked for me and I hope can help you as well. If you need more help with time management I recommend googling or pinteresting time management tips to find what works for you. If you are interested in taking the cardiology technologist program at Stenberg I strongly advise you start practicing now as it is very fast paced with a lot of work to get through. In my time off waiting for my group to start the second lab block I have been looking back at old material that I wanted to review but felt I didn’t have time to (due to poor time management). Reviewing material is essential for this program as one course materials transfers into the next as we move along. This may seem demanding but it isn’t as it is only training us to be the best we can possibly be in the field working as registered cardiology techs. It is also preparing us for our national exam put on by the CSCT which gives us our registration as an RCT(registered cardiology technologist) and allows us to work anywhere in Canada. We have been told that this exam will most likely be the hardest test we will ever write in our lifetime but more on that later. Thanks for reading and following me along on my journey through the cardio tech program. I hope you found this blog useful!
Ellis, Dave (2006). Becoming a Master Student (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.