I’ve previously covered the top time-saving tactics I use as a nurse practitioner. NP students gave a “What about us?!” response. It’s true, my top time-savers require some disposable income and may not be financially savvy moves for nurse practitioner students. So, in the interest of living on a student budget, here are a few hacks I found useful for maximizing my time in my life as an NP student.
Exercise with a dual agenda
As an NP student, I trained for my first marathon. It wasn’t easy fitting daily workouts, cross-training and long runs into my routine. So, whenever possible, I planned my exercise routine with an additional purpose in mind. Choose memorizing flashcards over watching the Ellen Show on the elliptical. Perch your textbook on the handlebars of a stationary bike while you pedal out your midterm exam stress. Or, exercise with a friend accomplishing a much-needed social visit.
Set your phone up for success
Nurse practitioner students spend a lot of time on the go. You may find yourself with a lengthy commute to a clinical site. Why not listen than NP certification audiobook while you drive? If you have notes to study, upload them to your phone so you can review them conveniently during lunch or downtime. Download a certification study app you can run through a few practice questions while you wait in line at the post office. Maintaining a few ‘to do’ or ‘to study’ items on your phone helps you use the those minutes of lost time here and there to your advantage.
Order everything online
Thank you, Amazon, for the convenience of almost anything delivered direct our doorsteps in a timely manner. As a nurse practitioner student you may be strapped for cash, but many online retailers offer free delivery and free returns eliminating additional charges associated with delivery convenience. Ask for an Amazon Prime membership for Christmas so you can have household goods delivered direct to your doorstep without a shipping charge all year long.
Plan ahead for the week’s activities…all of them
Get a weekly schedule in place that encompasses all of your activities – social, personal, work and school-related as well as the basics, like eating. What needs to happen for each of these events to occur as scheduled? How can you most efficiently organize these activities to leave maximum time for studying (…or Netflix)? I have found that planning my meals, all of them, for the coming week saves me last minute trips the grocery store. I also prepare ingredients by peeling, chopping etc. on Sunday evenings to avoid multiple kitchen clean-ups during the week.
Try a meal delivery service (they offer free trials!)
Not one for planning your meals in advance? Let someone else do it for you! Meal delivery services are all the rage these days and they’re not as much of a luxury item as you might think. For example, $60/week spent on three, Blue Apron meal deliveries for two, gets you 6 healthy meals for about the cost of takeout. While you will need to prepare the meals yourself, items are pre-portioned making prep work a cinch not to mention you save a trip to the grocery store. Some companies even let you try your first week of meals free or give a discount on your first delivery. An option for finals week, perhaps?
What time-saving tactics do you use as a nurse practitioner student?