HR professionals have a lot of workload at hand, such as recruiting, training, employee reviews, payroll, time card, policies, maintaining up-to-date compliance, keeping benefits, and more. There is often less time left in a workday day for activities such as strategic initiatives, strengthening company culture, professional development, and more towards which HR professionals should ideally devote equal efforts.
Thus, to manage workload better and get enough time for more useful activities, HR professionals need to improve time management. Apart from using time management strategies to manage their work efficiently, HRs can also promote time management among the employees to create a smart work culture at work.
Tips to Improve Time Management
Plan and Set Goals
Making a work plan for the next day and setting goals to achieve them is an important strategy for improving time management. To achieve this, select the most urgent tasks for the next day and put them on paper. Writing down the most pressing tasks prevents confusion at the workplace since you come prepared with a clear mind about the important tasks at hand. Even if you did not get enough time to plan your work the previous day, you could do it in the morning before leaving for your office.
Without a coherent work plan, you tend to juggle between tasks and waste a large amount of time. Working in a planned manner to achieve the goals set for the day saves a lot of time for other activities.
Prioritizing work is a major component of the efforts to improve time management. The to-do list of work for the day should be created on the basis of levels of importance of tasks. The most important tasks should be placed at the top of the list so that you complete them right away without delays. Giving priority to a task depends upon a number of factors such as its level of importance for the company, how long it will take to complete, what would happen if the task is not completed, and delays expected in completing the task.
By completing the high-priority and tough tasks early in the day, you save yourself from the urge to delay them to the next day. Once the high-priority tasks are out of the way, you can work on the less important tasks with high speed and accuracy.
There are many types of tasks that chip away at your precious time. Thus, in order to Improve Time Management, organize your workload in the correct manner so that you do not end up devoting more time than required to less important tasks.
Follow the below-mentioned points to organize your work properly –
- Important And Urgent– Tasks that are not only important but carry rapidly approaching deadlines. Complete them immediately
- Important And Non–Urgent– Tasks that are not required to be completed urgently but are highly important. A considerable amount of time should be set aside for such tasks to complete them carefully.
- Urgent and Not Important- Tasks that are urgent but unimportant should be completed in a day. Such tasks can also be given to subordinates or eliminated from the to-do list if the workload of important tasks is high.
- Not Urgent and Not Important- Tasks not requiring immediate attention and not carrying any importance are nothing but distractions and must be eliminated from the to-do list. Such tasks can be postponed until the week’s important and urgent tasks are completed.
Streamlining workload instead of working haphazardly is also an important step to improving time management. To this end, similar club kinds of tasks together and assign specific periods to each category of tasks.
For instance, create time chunks for various tasks such as writing reports, reading and answering emails, making phone calls, briefing employees, and more. Time silos for every kind of work prevent you from jumping from one to another and getting your work jumbled up.
It is necessary to focus on the tasks which are high in priority. Non-essential tasks tend to create a lot of distractions and take the focus away from the important tasks. Thus, such tasks should be identified and delegated to others capable of completing them. Delegating non-essential tasks is a good way to improve time management because you are left with enough time to work on important tasks.
Dedicate Time for Less Pleasant Work
Procrastination is common when it comes to tasks that we don’t like. The best way to avoid procrastination is to assign a particular time period for completing less pleasant work. The less pleasant work is often delayed and postponed. Since the less pleasant work has to be completed anyway, you regularly work for extra hours to complete such tasks.
Sending and responding to emails and meetings are essential parts of the communication duties of an HR professional. However, these are time-consuming activities and must be managed efficiently to improve time management.
Choose one or two time blocks in a day to read and respond to emails. There is no need to respond to emails immediately. Turn off notifications when engaged in other tasks. When it comes to meetings, skip the less important ones and ask someone to brief you about the meeting you slipped.
Interruptions at the workplace take your focus away from work and result in a waste of time. Thus, avoiding interruptions is also important to improve time management. Interruptions in the form of reading personal messages and emails, and getting involved in office politics must be avoided.
Schedule Tasks for Peak Performance
Keep the most important and tough tasks for those hours when you are at the peak of your energy and productivity. Scheduling your tasks throughout the workday ensures that specific tasks are completed at particular time periods. Even if the to-do list is large, scheduling the tasks prevents stress and procrastination.
Ensure Proper Balance
It’s not possible to improve time management without striking a balance between work and personal life. Taking work home or working after office hours frequently disrupts the work-life balance and indicates a lack of time management. Working for extra hours can be necessary, but it should not become a habit.
Proper time management prevents you from getting overwhelmed with work and increases your productivity. As an HR professional, you need to be at the top of your performance despite a high workload. Thus, improving your time management skills is crucial.