At Hunted we’re constantly trying to give recruiters ways to be more productive. Why? Because if you’re more productive, you can get more things done in a day. And if you get more things done in a day, you should make more money.
Time management therefore should be something you’re looking at closely.
You work long hours, and I would put money on the fact that at some point, you’ve complained about it. I’d probably also bet however, you don’t regularly look at ways to get more of that time, or even shorten it…
No, sneaking off for fake meetings doesn’t count.
What if I could magically give you 3 hours extra in a day? What would you do with those hours?
The answer to all our productivity vs autonomy struggles is obvious… work smart.
Optimise your work process to create the most productive day possible. The goal of ‘power hours’ and over aggressive KPIs is just that. They focus your time and concentration on the most productive activities possible. Obviously these can prove to be counter-productive ironically, but the intention is there.
Recruitment is often reactive
Sometimes your plans change. You have to switch roles you’re working or go to a meeting arranged at the last minute. It’s always a tough call between the benefits of switching between productivity (business development) and reactivity (work in progress).
Rather than learning to work within the boundaries of KPI’s, what about learning how to manage your own time. Set your own KPI’s based on your current goals and what you need to achieve that hour, that day or that week.
The Pomodoro Technique
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best – and this is the crux of the Pomodoro Technique. It’s got four basic principles:
– Work with time, not against it
– Eliminate Burnout
– Manage distractions
– Create a better work/life balance
1. Pick a task (any!)
2. Set a timer for 25 minutes
3. Work on that task until your 25 minutes is up
4. Take a five-minute break
That’s one complete Pomodoro.
The key to using this in a day is to repeat the action with a 15-20 minute break every three to four Pomodoro’s.
Simple eh? Not so fast.
A Pomodoro means 25 minutes of work on one task – no replying to emails, no taking phone calls, no distractions – just that task. In recruitment that’s 25 minutes of targeted BD, interview feedback, writing content, catching up with candidates… then five minutes of undistracted break – ideally away from your computer or phone. I realise this will be tough, probably the toughest thing will be convincing your boss this is a good way to work.
It’s hard to keep focused when you have to react quickly and keep reassessing your priorities.
Before you start, it sounds easy to work through 8+ Pomodoro’s a day but it’s a real challenge of focus and determination.
It involves planning but once you’ve got a rough idea of how many Pomodoro’s you can fit in a day (four is a good starting place… eight is a good benchmark), you’re onto a real winner.
And it comes with a real sense of achievement.
How it builds up…
A Pomodoro is 25 minutes long.
8 Pomodoro’s a day is 40 Pomodoro’s a week.
That’s 1,000 minutes of undistracted work, or 16.7 hours of work – only 10% of your week!
Managing your time is especially hard in recruitment when you spend a lot of time around distractions. You are always talking to people, you’re likely have to do some of your work on social media (LinkedIn) and are likely to work in a pretty loud office.
Using Pomodoro’s is about finding those couple of hours a day when you can really hit ultimate productivity.
Instead of putting off those KPIs until Friday do a little bit of every one on a daily basis.
No task is unmanageable, it’s just hard to focus on them if you don’t break them down, and helps you reconsider if answering the phone or replying to that email whilst you are focused is really necessary.
Read more about the Pomodoro Technique and how it could be helping you here.