Time Management for HR Professionals: Tips and Tools
As the term “human resources” alludes to, an HR professional deals with everything that involves the human and the resources in the company. There is a mountain of tasks set out for an HR professional who serves as the link between the company’s upper management and employees. From recruiting new staff to managing existing employees, effective time management is crucial to get everything done.
Our blog post from a few weeks ago on setting goals for the new years touched on the topic of setting department-oriented goals with quantitative SMART criteria. In this post we will dive into some more specific tips and tools that can help you achieve those goals at a daily level!
Effective To-Do Lists
For anyone that works with people, calendars are essential for booking meetings and setting deadlines. Calendars can also help make your personal to-do list more effective. When simply listing tasks you need to get done in the foreseeable future, the memo could look endless. Try slotting in these tasks into your calendar a day before its absolute deadline. Not only does this serves as a reminder of when it needs to be done, it also helps you sort out the level of urgency of each task. An additional day also leaves a little leeway for you in case something urgent pops up.
Before the end of a workday, look at your calendar and sort out your top five priorities for the next day – what are some tasks that absolutely needs to be done the following day? In what order? This way when you start work the next day, you can save the scramble of trying to figure out where to dive in.
Hour of the Day
As much as it would be nice to be able to 100% focus on whatever task at hand at any given hour, our body simply does not work that way. However, we do cycle through similar periods of productivity each day – in 90-minute intervals.
Just like our 24-hour days, our bodies also run on a 24-hour internal “clock” where we would feel tired, hungry, alert, and other physiological reactions at similar times each day. In this cycle, which researchers call a “circadian day”, we cycle through 90-minute blocks of productivity called “ultradian cycles” where we are the most productive. For each person, this ultradian block appears at different periods of time of the day.
Take some time to think about at what points during the day are you most productive. Is it right at the beginning of the work day in the morning? Or could it possibly be right after lunch when everybody else might be craving a nap where you feel the most pumped to get work done? After figuring out when you are most productive, try to really commit and fully focus for 90 minutes.
Take a break as soon as the 90 minutes is up even if you feel like you’re on a roll – because the reality is that your energy is running low. By “pushing through” and ignoring signals from our body that we need to take a break, this is actually turning our periods of productivity into short bursts of energy that ends up leaving us even more unproductive for the rest of the day.
Software and Tools
On top of just using a calendar to help you organize tasks that needs to be done, try employing some of the following software and tools that can expedite your work progress!
- If you like traditional bullet lists, Trello is your best friend. In Trello you can collaborate your team and organize your tasks and projects into individual boards. Within each board, you can see who is working on what, when is the deadline, level of urgency, as well as sticky notes and attached files for further reference.
- If you are a more visual person and like tools that you can play around with in terms of display, Notion is another great platform for you! Compared to Trello, where projects are in boards, Notion can take the look of boards, calendars, and many more! Notion enables you to organize, collaborate, and keep track of everything you need to do in a versatile way.
Applicant Tracking Systems
- As an HR official, a large component of your job would involve hiring. An applicant tracking system can support your HR marketing efforts, sorts candidate in order of potential, keeps a tidy applicant database, and helps to automate communication. By using it to organize and streamline the interview and hiring process, you can save time and direct your energy to other tasks that may require your attention.
Finding What’s Best for You
Working long hours does not necessarily mean you are being more productive. Finding the best methods and tools to help you maximize productivity is what will make your job easier. We hope that this blog has given you some helpful tips as to how to manage your time better!