Time Management Strategies and Harmful Perfectionism


In general terms, time management is the combination of techniques and strategies one applies to effectively complete planned tasks and ensure that the allocation of the resource in question — time, is done correctly. Time management provides an individual with an obvious benefit — proper allocation of a valuable and non-renewable asset (DeNisco &Barker, 2013). Other positive effects of adequate time management include clarity of mind, conservation of energy, and positive emotions both in the workplace and everyday life (DeNisco & Barker, 2013). In addition, time management allows prioritizing significant chores or tasks that will require a dedication of substantial amounts of time to finalize, which helps produce work of the highest standard (DeNisco & Barker, 2013).

As a result, proper time planning is a useful skill for all people regardless of their profession. In particular, for nurses, this issue is of specific importance since it affects not only their performance but also the well-being of their patients. This paper outlines time management strategies, such as delegation and allocation of private time, and addresses ways of controlling interruptions, procrastination, harmful perfectionism, and managing communications.


In the field of time management, the term “delegation” implies that an individual assigns either personal or professional tasks to other people and provides them with authority to complete these assignments. This strategy is a way of optimizing one’s workload by focusing only on the critical errands and allowing others to complete the less significant ones. DeNisco and Barker (2013) emphasize that in healthcare, task delegation should be approached with caution, and a nurse has to be sure that an individual is qualified to do a certain thing before delegating it. Moreover, there are responsibilities that cannot be delegated, such as meetings or some organizational functions. Tasks, which can be assigned to others, are checking the patients, completing the paperwork, and similar duties.

A nurse should reward a person who accomplished the reassigned task so that the latter would not feel that they are mistreated or assigned additional and burdensome work (DeNisco and Barker, 2013). Being a practicing registered nurse (RN) with a degree of Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), I would delegate measurement of patients’ temperature to the colleagues because this is a simple task that any nurse can handle, and I would use the free time to attend work meetings.

Allowing Private Time

Many healthcare facilities use an open-door policy as a tool that helps simplify the communication between the management and staff, however, it can be harmful unless the nurses can reserve some private time. McConnell (2009) claims that under the real open-door policy, employees are aware of the possibility of communicating with administration whenever needed. Despite a positive influence on the relations in a team, this practice might be destructive for the managerial personnel and nurses because unscheduled communication might interfere with focus on specific activities.

Due to these adversities, DeNisco and Barker (2013) advise implementing the practice of closed doors. This strategy implies that every nurse has from two to four private hours per week when they can dedicate time to paperwork or other tasks, uninterrupted by others (DeNisco and Barker, 2013). Nurses should book these individual hours beforehand for the following six months. Thus, the strategy of allocating private time guarantees that a nurse had a clear plan of action and understands how to spend time efficiently.

Controlling Interruptions

Interruptions are a natural occurrence in any workplace, but if an employee cannot focus on the task, the outcome of their work may be substandard. One could claim that if a nurse has time to interrupt, the workload must be increased. However, Ma et al. (2019) warn that increased demands exacerbate “the detrimental effect of workflow interruptions” (p. 252). It is more efficient to figure out the reasons for the interruptions and eradicate them than to assign more tasks and responsibilities to an employee.

According to DeNisco and Barker (2013), the application of time logs and tracking the patterns of unplanned breaks lead to the creation of a more detailed work schedule. In turn, it allows a nurse to stay focused and be distracted from their tasks less frequently. One example of applying this time management technique is a detailed schedule that contains precise timing of what and when should be done.

Procrastination and Perfectionism

Procrastination is a common problem that most people have when dealing with work assignments, which is characterized by delaying the tasks that should be done until the last minute. Procrastination might be driven by different reasons, and some examples include the unwillingness to engage in unpleasant tasks or the fear of being unable to perform a task perfectly. The key recommendation that helps overcome procrastination is to separate an entire assignment into smaller parts that are easier to complete. In the case of nursing, one can develop a plan for patient care and create a checklist comprised of several consistent steps.

Apart from unwillingness and fear of not completing a task, procrastination is often caused by perfectionism. An individual’s aspiration to be perfect harms self-esteem and beliefs regarding personal abilities. The best strategy to address this problem is to explain to the employees, the expected accuracy level is, for example, through benchmarking. Falco et al. (2017) argue that this strategy would help perfectionists eliminate irrational beliefs in incredibly high demands and improve their overall performance.

A clear understanding of the quality level would encourage perfectionists not to be afraid of poor performance and motivate them not to procrastinate until the deadline. Furthermore, without a proper mistake tolerance culture, any team will be unable to overcome procrastination caused by perfectionism. If a nurse knows that the mistake will not lead to dismissal, they will be willing to take action regardless of the fear of being imperfect.

Managing Communications

Unwisely planned communication could be immensely time consuming and lead to interruptions or procrastination. DeNisco and Barker (2013) recommend checking one’s email account no more than two times a day and sort all emails depending on their urgency and the sender. Additionally, a nurse should spend approximately two minutes answering an email, and in case of the lack of possibility to respond immediately, an email should be printed out and used as a reminder (DeNisco and Barker, 2013). Moreover, nurses’ working process could be optimized if they allocate some time in their schedule specifically to receive phone calls or assign the calls with patients. Finally, every phone call should not exceed the time limit of five minutes.


To conclude, this paper discusses the five most critical concepts of time management – delegation, perfectionism, allowing private time, procrastination, and communication management. These are the core strategies that any nurse should use to maintain a healthy balance between one’s work and private life and perform well in both domains.

However, apart from these basic time management tactics, there are others, more advanced practices, for instance, the hospital administration can address the issues of stress, precise scheduling, goal setting, and prioritizing tasks by their urgency and complexity to improve the efficiency of work further. Another suggestion is implementing these time management recommendations simultaneously since they perfectly complement each other, but one cannot be used as a substitute for the other.


DeNisco, S. M., & Barker, A. M. (2013). Advanced practice nursing: Evolving roles for the transformation of the profession (2nd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Falco, A., Dal Corso, L., Girardi, D., De Carlo, A., Barbieri, B., Boatto, T., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2017). Why is perfectionism a risk factor for workaholism? The mediating role of irrational beliefs at work. TPM – Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology, 24(4), 583-600. Web.

Ma, J. (Y.), Kerulis, A. M., Wang, Y., & Sachdev, A. R. (2020). Are workflow interruptions a hindrance stressor? The moderating effect of time-management skill. International Journal of Stress Management, 27(3), 252–261. Web.

McConnell, C. R. (2009). Dislike the answer? Ask someone else. The Health Care Manager, 28(3), 191 – 193. Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


BusinessEssay. (2022, December 9). Time Management Strategies and Harmful Perfectionism. Retrieved from https://business-essay.com/time-management-strategies-and-harmful-perfectionism/


BusinessEssay. (2022, December 9). Time Management Strategies and Harmful Perfectionism. https://business-essay.com/time-management-strategies-and-harmful-perfectionism/

Work Cited

"Time Management Strategies and Harmful Perfectionism." BusinessEssay, 9 Dec. 2022, business-essay.com/time-management-strategies-and-harmful-perfectionism/.


BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Time Management Strategies and Harmful Perfectionism'. 9 December.


BusinessEssay. 2022. "Time Management Strategies and Harmful Perfectionism." December 9, 2022. https://business-essay.com/time-management-strategies-and-harmful-perfectionism/.

1. BusinessEssay. "Time Management Strategies and Harmful Perfectionism." December 9, 2022. https://business-essay.com/time-management-strategies-and-harmful-perfectionism/.


BusinessEssay. "Time Management Strategies and Harmful Perfectionism." December 9, 2022. https://business-essay.com/time-management-strategies-and-harmful-perfectionism/.