Every day of your entire career has seen so much paperwork and so many issues with co-workers that you forget about yourself. This is everyday life for HR professionals.
It can be a real headache having the same work-related problems day in and day out, but it’s the norm in HR.
Fortunately, time management skills are as effective as your favorite painkiller. As long as you manage your time, you’ll avoid burnout and keep it all handled.
To be an effective HR specialist, you’ll need to differentiate between the things you can handle and the things you cannot. From a co-worker’s complaint to a sudden printer malfunction, you can easily identify the things that are beyond your control.
Planning, organization, and setting priorities are something you can control. These things are of the utmost importance when you want to manage your time.
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran in the HR industry. You are bound to succeed if you know what you’ll need to manage.
Plan ahead of time
HR professionals are the bridge between employees, managers, and CEOs. Tasks from different departments can pile up in the blink of an eye.
You can deal with these tasks by planning for them. Set up a schedule to know when is your busy time and when you can handle interruptions.
Determine your priority and allocate a realistic amount of time for a task. By planning ahead of time, you have a path to follow to accomplish the task.
A crucial part of planning for your task is your team’s availability. A project may take a longer amount of time if you have fewer people on your team.
Know what to prioritize
Tasks flooding in from different departments is an everyday scenario. Combine this with different office disputes and you’ll end your day with a headache.
Learn to say no. Deal with problems one at a time. Multitasking only eats up your time and you’ll end up with incomplete fragments of tasks.
Prioritize tasks that will demand much of your time. This is often a huge project, so be sure to break it into small, doable tasks. Divide your work between multiple people so you can be more efficient with your time.
Task priority should follow Eisenhower’s principle:
Urgent tasks require an immediate response. These tasks are often assigned to your team by someone else. We concentrate on these tasks because the consequence of not doing it is immediate.
Important tasks, however, are tasks that lead to our specific goal. This goal could be professional or even personal.
Time-block your schedule
Setting up uninterrupted blocks of time on your schedule is what we call the Pomodoro technique. This allows you to focus only on what is the task at hand, disregarding every other distraction.
When using time blocks (often called ‘Pomodoro’) on your schedule, you set a timer for a certain task. A Pomodoro can be:
- Ninety (90) minutes – twenty-five (25) minutes uninterrupted work time with five (5) minutes of rest, repeated three (3) times.
- Sixty (60) minutes – twenty-five (25) minutes uninterrupted work time with five (5) minutes of rest, repeated three (2) times.
- Thirty (30) minutes – twenty-five (25) minutes uninterrupted work time with five (5) minutes of rest.
Imagine being an HR professional for an IT company. Your time block schedule should have a specific time allotment for each task. It should look something like this:
Time blocking helps you focus on what you need to do. You can pursue your plans and still have time for yourself.
Using the Pomodoro technique requires a lot of self-control. This means not responding to emails, closing your office door, and a full-on focus on what you need to achieve.
Take a quick five (5) minute break after accomplishing a task. Whether you finish the task or not, you still deserve this. It gives your brain some time to refocus and regenerate.
If you use time-blocking in your schedule, you can focus on large projects throughout the day. Get rid of distractions during your Pomodoro so you can make use of your precious time wisely.
Having too much paperwork on your desk while handling internal problems can derail you from making the right decisions. Hence, you have to be creative in how you’ll deal with certain scenarios.
When given a lot of tasks, the smart and creative way to finish them all is to delegate them to a few other people. You should know what to prioritize before delegating tasks to people. To rank them:
- Know what tasks you need to do yourself
- Know what tasks you can do, and if others can help
- Know what tasks others can do, and if you can help
- Know what tasks you can’t do
Another example of being creative is tracking your team’s progress through an online HR management system. You can keep track of projects and other progress through these systems.
An example of a detailed timesheet from effortlesshr.com.
Using this software, you can also manage your files with ease. Save yourself from printing time and travel time just to give someone a file.
By placing your files on cloud storage, you can share company files and upload calendars, handbooks, and other important files.
Being creative in your approach to problems allows you to be flexible on the job. When facing a lot of tasks, delegate them accordingly, and track your team’s progress.
It will also be helpful if you organize your company’s files and upload them. Once uploaded, the files will be accessible to whoever has permission for use. This saves you a lot of time in the long run.
At the end of the day, never forget to give yourself some time to relax and breathe. It will always be a stressful day at the office, so make yourself comfortable when you get home.
Even in the office, it would be a good habit to take a few deep breaths when you encounter stressful situations. You can take a five-minute break or just stare out the window!
Take vacations if you feel the need for it. Taking some time off from stressful situations can save you from burnout.
A successful HR professional will have the ability to manage their time responsibly. Remember, efficient use of your schedule will go a long way toward maintaining balance in the workplace and in life.
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