Time Management Challenges for Caregivers

by | Aug 5, 2022 | Caregiving | 0 comments

Caregivers face multiple daily tasks, and most of the time, the stress and sacrifice they must endure are a product of time management challenges.

Time management challenges every individual in modern society. From corporate managers to field workers, proper management means a lot in terms of getting the work done and avoiding unnecessary stress. Caregivers face a very hectic schedule and multiple tasks daily. The responsibilities laid out them involve the welfare and safety of patients. During the pandemic, these responsibilities multiplied and raised to a degree where people’s lives were at stake.

Consequently, many caregivers suffered stress, depression, and even breakdowns. Many of the issues they face stem from poor time management. In her book, One Caregiver’s Journey, author Eleanor Gaccetta, talked about how to navigate the caregiver challenges, including time management.

Time management challenges for caregivers take many different forms. They affect the caregiver’s capacity to perform their usual tasks and on-the-spot situations. Most importantly, they affect a caregiver’s physical, mental, and emotional welfare. Most caregivers returned to their homes not only physically tired but emotionally drained. And if stress and workload become too much to bear, they cause caregivers to feel severe anxiety, depression, and even breakdowns.  For sole 24/7 caregivers and families providing caregiving during Covid, the need to manage time and stress become paramount.

On average, most caregivers work 8 to 9.5 hours daily, and some extend to a few more hours.

They perform physical tasks, monitoring, and reporting as well. One might think that caregivers are not that different from managers and ordinary workers juggling different roles every shift. And in a way, that is correct. But caregivers also have too much on their plate that they, more than most, need an effective management system. That said, what exactly are the factors that contribute to caregivers’ time management challenges?

Not Having a Plan. The absence of a plan and relying on executing the tasks at hand can lead to serious time management problems. Caregivers are prone to this issue of just navigating through the day and completing the assigned task within the shift.  Having a plan also helps when unforeseen events occur.

Priorities Not Set. Even with a general plan, it is still essential to identify priorities at work and in one’s personal life. Each category has its own priorities, and one must learn how to arrange them. Do not try to do everything all at once.

Work-Life Balance. One of the top reasons why caregivers suffer from stress, anxiety, and time management issues is the absence of a work-life balance. Too much work can take a toll on any person’s body and, in time, affect their mental and emotional state.  One Caregiver’s Journey stresses the need for balance and the many ways to achieve it in a caregiver’s duties.

Loss of Motivation. Addressing the question of purpose and motivation is essential, especially for caregivers who spend their time, energy, and emotions on the care of others. Finding a reason or reason to continue going to work every day is vital.

Despite their hectic schedules, caregivers can overcome time management issues if they take the time to sit down and plan their work and personal activities holistically.

Overcoming time management issues is slightly different for caregivers compared to other professionals. Caring for others as a profession is not only physically draining but also mentally and emotionally tiring, especially if you are dealing with difficult patients and extended shifts. Therefore, it is vital to implement the following:

Always Plan Ahead. This is the most critical step in overcoming time management issues. Always make plans for your work routine, schedules, and specific tasks. Divide your time wisely and create a plan way ahead.

Make A Priorities List. While plotting your task and calendar or your day, make sure to identify the priorities and most urgent among all the items in your calendar. Doing this allows you to divide not only your time but also your energy. Just like architecture, a good foundation is stress adequately propagated.

Don’t Procrastinate. Another leading cause why many of us (not just caregivers) are having problems with time management is procrastination. This delay mentality causes work and responsibilities to pile up, and before we know it, we are in deep trouble. So, don’t procrastinate. Ever.

Schedule “Me” Time. Recently, there have been calls to prioritize caregivers’ mental and emotional well-being. Caregivers can begin by always taking time to relax, enjoy, and rest one’s body and mind. Leisure and recreation should be part of every caregiver’s personal calendar.

Manage & Organize. Manage not only time but also expectations and complications. Lastly, make sure to get organized. It is the only way you will ensure to manage your overall affairs. Manage your time, stuff, working station, and everything else. Getting organized today will get you a long way.

Eleanor Gaccetta is the author of the book One Caregiver’s Journey. Check out her book and her blogs at www.onecaregiversjourney.com today!

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