7 tips for better time management with renal failure

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Quality time, quality of life

People with renal failure spend a fair amount of time every week for dialysis sessions. In addition, regular visits to the doctor and follow-up appointments are also necessary. As a result, time and energy become much more important than before.

Consider specifically: What things in life are important to me? What do I want to do? What makes me feel happy and satisfied? Once you set your priorities, it’s helpful to take a closer look at your weekly routine and organize your time so that you can meet your goals.

During the initial period, many patients develop a weekly schedule in which they keep track of medical appointments as well as other important matters such as: their work, hobbies and private life. This helps them to ensure that they can do the things they love.


Making a schedule

Take a piece of paper, draw a grid and visualize your schedule for an entire week. Then, allocate time slots and divide them into three categories:

  • Fully busy (e.g. work, doing the shopping)

  • Partially busy (e.g. dialysis sessions)

  • Entirely free

Check your list of activities and allocate time slots for them within your schedule. Some activities can be done while being partially busy – for instance, it’s possible to read a book during a dialysis session. Other activities require time slots where you are entirely free.

1) Make use of dialysis session

Even though dialysis sessions require several hours of your week, these hours are never lost. You can use this time for reading, listening to music, watching TV or checking e-mails while being dialyzed

2) Use additional gap time

There are additional time slots within your day when you are not fully but partially busy, e.g. when commuting or waiting in line. These time slots are great for smaller activities and things to do. Over the course of a whole week, these short slots add up to a significant amount of time.

3) Watch television more consciously

Watching TV is entertaining, but is it on your list of priorities in life? You can gain several hours per week by watching TV more consciously. Don’t switch on the TV out of habit. Instead, focus on those programs that you really want to see and cut the rest.

4) Cut commercials

Up to 15 minutes out of each hour of TV are actually commercials. If you watch TV, tape in advance and fast-forward through the commercials. Many modern television sets even make it possible to cut the commercials entirely when taping a program.

5) Optimize your chores

There are several ways to reduce the time you spend on your chores. For example, try cooking larger portions for several meals in advance. Instead of having one day to do all the housework and cleaning, try to use gap time slots in between other activities.

6) Focus on meaningful relationships

Friends are an important part of our life, contributing to our overall well-being. However, there are people in our lives who use up much of our time and even sometimes use up our feelings without adding to the relationship. Navigate away from those people and focus on those relationships that are really worthwhile.

7) Don't stress yourself

Many of the tips above are useful to make better use of time. However, when organizing your week, make sure not to exaggerate. It’s not about doing as much as possible, it’s about doing the things that are really important to you. The suggested time gaps can help you to escape from a rigid schedule and sometimes just to follow your gut feeling of doing what is good for you.