As a recruiter, you are juggling multiple open positions and constant communication between hiring managers, potential candidates, and your expansive network. Most of what you do is likely in different stages, all happening simultaneously—scouting for candidates, sending letters of offers, or attending events to connect with leaders in an industry. Nothing you do follows patterns or cycles, so time management best practices and organizational habits can be hard to establish. To help you make the most of your finite hours, we put together five tips for maximizing your time.
1. Write It Down
Getting your to-do list out of your head will free up brain space to focus on checking those things off your list. Every Friday, sit down and record your top three priorities for the next week, so when you come in on Monday, you have a plan of action and can hit the ground running. Every morning, write out 10 tasks that you need to complete. It doesn’t matter how small they are—like calling to make a lunch reservation for a meeting or confirming with a candidate that you’ll be meeting on Tuesday. Getting those little details recorded, resolved, and off your list will not only be satisfying to check off, recording your tasks each day will keep you on track and on pace throughout the week. You’ll also be pretty satisfied when you see the list at the end of the week and realize how much you’ve accomplished.
Choose a method that works for you—whether it’s handwriting your list and keeping it visible by your computer, or writing it in an app or digital file you can access on the go. Either way—check things off or cross them out as you go—it’ll show you what you need to carry over to the next day if you didn’t get through the whole list.
2. Block Your Time
When you’re constantly getting calls and emails it can be hard to get in the groove, concentrate, and complete tasks in full. Blocking out thirty-minute or one-hour blocks in your calendar to complete a must-do task every day will help you protect that time and serve as a reminder that you need to dedicate that time to the one specific task. Close your email and put your phone away—you’ll be amazed at what you can get done when you’re only focused on the task at hand.
3. Schedule in Breaks
We all need time to let our minds have a rest. Giving yourself brain-break rewards after completing a task will motivate you to get through the rest of your to-do list. Focus for 30 minutes and then take 10 minutes to go for a walk around the office, make a coffee, or catch up with a coworker. Being mindful with your time, whether it’s for focused work or downtime, will help you manage your day and maximize your minutes.
Creating strong time management habits now is an investment that’ll pay off through your entire career. Set goals for becoming a productivity master and watch your to-do lists get crossed off every week. Each quarter, fill out our SMART goals worksheet and set time management goals so you can stick to your new habits and make them permanent.