Archive for August, 2012

Recruiter Time Management Skills

Monday, August 6th, 2012

There are several pre-fabricated time management plans on the market, but you’re unique, so why should you try to fit your life into someone else’s plan? The key to any successful time management plan is self-evaluation. How do you work? When are your most productive hours? What parts of your day do you enjoy most? Now, combine the answers to those questions with simple priorities. What are the most important things you must accomplish each day? What time of day is most conducive for making the most of your time? So, for example, let’s say that you enjoy talking to prospective candidates and the best time to contact them is the evening at home, rather than in the office during the day. Great! Set up a block of time for calling candidates, determine the best environment for doing the job, turn off the computer monitor, close the door, smile and dial. Now, continue the process for your second most important task and so on. Once you have several blocks of time set at optimum work times, you’ll have some empty spots. This is the time to take care of ongoing projects like entering candidates into the CRM, or for meetings with co-workers. Again, if you know your own work habits, you know what will work for you. Data entry is a great way to keep your mind active without drawing on your creative side, so find the times that work best for you and plug them in. And speaking of plugging in, play background music while performing those mundane tasks. Personally, I’ve found that the forward rhythmic momentum in Bach’s keyboard music keeps me moving during these times, but find the music that best suits your situation.

Sounds easy and basic, right? Well, here are the tough parts. You must discipline yourself to follow the plan! The toughest part of any task is getting started. I find that thinking about the best way to do a task makes it easier to start actually doing it. Once you’re in the act of doing something, you’ll usually find that the time passes quickly and you’re getting a lot accomplished. The other difficulty is that something will come up that will distract you from your plan. In those cases, remember the Latin phrase “Semper Gumby: Always Flexible!” Naturally, you’ll want to prioritize these “emergencies”, but if you decide that something just can’t wait, take the time to deal with it, but do it quickly and efficiently so you can get back to your original plan as soon as possible. This brings up the final key to successful time management: Allow more time than you expect to complete a task. Many of us make unreasonable demands on our own time. So, if it takes 90 minutes to call your stack of candidates, allow 2 hours. If you get through the stack early, you can move on to another task or treat yourself to a little extra free time.

The best part of learning effective time management is that once you have the skill, it can become second nature, and you can apply it to other parts of your life. Just think about how much stress you can alleviate by just getting more accomplished. That should keep you motivated at any time of the year.