Ten Time Management Tips to Balance Your Day Job and Life as a Freelance Nurse Writer

Balancing your day job with freelance nursing writing can be difficult as a nurse. 

The demands of your job as a nurse can be overwhelming, and it may seem impossible to find the time to pursue freelance nursing writing. However, with careful planning and dedication, it is possible to balance your day job with freelance nursing writing successfully.

The first step in balancing your day job with freelance nursing writing is to set clear goals for yourself.

  • What do you want to achieve through your freelance writing?
  • How much time do you have to dedicate to it?

These ten tips can help you as you forge through the life of entrepreneurship as a freelance writer.

(Note: I cover these tips in more detail in Episode 188 of the Savvy Scribe podcast.)

10 Tips to Manage Your Time as a Nurse Freelance Writer

  1. Plan your week – Plan a week ahead. Setting clear goals will help you stay focused and motivated. I love having weekly, quarterly, and monthly goals. Once a month, I plan my monthly goals for the next month, and I take time to think about them. I plan my week on a Friday (or Sunday) for the next week. 
  2. Create repeatable tasks every week – I use Clickup to manage my business tasks. You can use Clickup or whatever tool works best for you. When I have recurring tasks, I set automated reminders in ClickUp to remind me to do them. I save the mental energy to think about it, it’s there, I don’t forget, and I get it done.
  3. Streamline with home systems – Number three is a tip that has helped my son and myself. My youngest struggles immensely with ADHD, and the mental energy for him is also something I have to keep in mind. He needs help completing multiple steps to a task (ex: go upstairs, get dressed, do your hair, brush your teeth etc). I bought one of those little closet organizers with a fabric shelf for my youngest. I made labels for each day of the week. I have his shirt, underwear, pants, and socks on each shelf. He feels so confident that he completed that task, making our morning routine much faster. This new system has made it easier to keep him organized and it saves me a lot of time during the week.
  4. Get up early OR stay up late – If you have followed me in the past. you might have heard me talk about getting up early, but I do that because my mind is the clearest in the morning. When is your mind clear? Monitor your mind’s clarity often. Ask yourself, when are my high energy/creative moments? Base your work around those if you can.
  5. Pomodoro all day long – Two tools that keep me on track are Pomodoro timers and binaural beats (you can search it on Youtube). They keep me focused, especially on those days that I don’t feel focused at all. I also like to change up my focus time. If I am feeling fresh, I can concentrate for 50 minutes or so before I need a break (even though my Apple Watch yells at me to stand).
  6. Create a morning routine – Starting tomorrow, create a morning routine, but start slow. Think about your energy level when you first wake up.
  7. Don’t plan 8 hours of deep work – Your brain can only handle a few hours of deep work. Writing is significantly different than nursing at the bedside. At the bedside, we think critically, but most of our time on the floor is task driven. Writing is the opposite.
  8. Walk often – If you are looking to manage time you’re probably like, “I don’t have time for a walk”, walks help you with your creative energy and can give you some blood flow to help clear your mind. The New York Times says every hour of work, get up and walk for 5 minutes to help keep your mood happy and banish lethargy. You’ll come back focused.
  9. Power naps – I know this tip is like the last one where you’re like, “I can’t nap, I don’t have time”. When I take a power nap, I don’t go to my bed because I will get too comfy. Instead, I use the couch or the floor beside my fireplace. Let me share this fact from Medicalnewstoday.com, “Power naps have been shown to enhance memory, improve cognitive performance, and nappers have stronger logical reasoning.” Make sure if you take a power nap to schedule it early in your day and keep it to 20-30 minutes.
  10. Create home rituals – One of the best things about working from home is doing little household things “while I work”. I have rituals for keeping our house clean, without breaking into my work time. Examples include: throwing in a load of laundry when I get up in the morning. When I get up from my first hour of work (see tip 8), I refill my water, flip the laundry, and so on.

It is also essential to plan your writing activities around your day job. Writing can be difficult when you feel overwhelmed by your job. Set aside some time each day to write, and make sure you are taking breaks to relax and recharge. 

When balancing your day job with freelance nursing writing, being realistic about how much work you can accomplish is important.

Finally, make sure you are taking care of yourself. Eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep are all important to maintaining a healthy balance between your day job and freelance nursing writing. It is also important to take breaks from writing to engage in activities that you enjoy, such as spending time with friends or family. 

By following these tips, you can successfully balance your day job with freelance nursing writing. With some planning and dedication, you can achieve your goals and succeed as a freelance nurse writer. Please excuse me now, it’s time for my 5-minute walk.