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Time Management Tips

People with CF are required to spend a great deal of time doing treatments, eating well, exercising and taking care of their medical needs. That time can take away from things you enjoy — like work, school, hobbies, friendships and family.

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Time-Management Tip

"I've resorted to auto-refill prescription services. It's a major load off … going to the local pharmacy one to three times every week."

— Eric, age 34

Organizing your time to fit in your health needs can help make your CF health care seem less overwhelming and help you stick to your treatments. And the more time you spend taking care of yourself, the more time you’ll have to do all the other stuff you want to do for many years ahead.

These time-management tips can help you stay healthy while living a full life:

  • Multitask when possible. While doing your nebulizer, put out your meds and clothes for the next day, fold laundry, etc.

    You can move your air compressor to the kitchen (or better yet, get a second machine for the kitchen), and do your nebulizer while packing tomorrow’s lunch or washing your other nebulizer parts.

  • Shift your chores online when possible. Order meds by email or use an auto-refill option, and go online to send questions to your health care providers, pay bills, order stamps, and shop — you can do all these chores while doing a breathing treatment.

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    Time-Management Tip

    There are some pager-like devices, computer programs and vibrating pillboxes that can help remind you to take medications and start treatments.

    Ask your CF health care providers about these or search online for “adherence management tools.”

    Use technology tools. Set your cell phone alarms, or use an online calendar such as Google or Outlook Calendar, to remind you about appointments or when it’s time to order your meds.

    Set an alarm when it’s time to start a treatment or get ready for bed. Regular alarms can help you get into a routine.

    Don’t waste time waiting. When going to your CF clinic or other appointments where you’ll know you’ll be waiting, bring homework, a good book, paperwork from your job or a laptop/tablet to make the most of your time.

  • Learn to love lists. Keep lists of reminders and things you need to do. As questions pop into your head for your CF health care providers, jot them down on a sticky note in your calendar on the date of your next appointment. This saves the time you’d need to call back with questions after the visit.

  • Combine errands. If you have a clinic appointment, maybe you can also pick meds up at the pharmacy, get your IV line flushed and then go to the store for tissues, calcium or an oral supplement like Ensure®. The rest of your week is freed up.

  • Just say no. When you have CF, you can’t push yourself to do everything or your body will feel it. You have to know your limits and know when to say no. It’s more courageous to admit you can’t do something than to blindly endure and pay the price.

Additional Resources 

  • Watch a webcast and learn how others are building life skills to manage CF.

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Updated 8/7/13

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.