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Who doesn’t like to see themselves as constantly, happily, productively busy?

Maybe at first glance. But when you hop off that hamster wheel for a few seconds and take a breath, it probably dawns on you that, no, you don’t want to be running 24/7 or even 12/7 or 10/7. But, how do you manage your schedule so that “downtime” is more than just a mirage?

Start by being realistic.

Stop overestimating how busy you are. According to one study, people who estimate they work 75-plus hours a week are off by an average of 25 hours. Taking a realistic look at your time and how you spend it is just like budgeting your money or monitoring your daily calorie intake: it’s a starting point for improvement and healthy maintenance.

Learn how to say no.

It’s two letters and one simple syllable but for many, “no” is the most difficult word in the world for them to pronounce, at least out loud. But if you want your time management efforts to succeed, you need to master it.

  • Look back at the things you said yes to during the past year. Which ones paid off? Ideally, only agree to projects and assignments you’re instantly excited about. Of course, this may not always be possible at work, and sometimes, you have to bite the bullet. Hmm. If that’s happening far too much, maybe it’s time for a change?

Do less.

Say what, now?

Yes, this too, can be a realistic option. Think: What could you do less of without imploding your business or your work performance? Make it your end goal to do a smaller number of things that add value, rather than a lot more things that don’t.

  • One way to achieve this is by delegating more. As noted by author John C. Maxwell, “If something can be done 80 percent as well by someone else, delegate it.” So, if a coworker can edit your article or design a flyer for the fundraiser you’re spearheading, make it happen. Caveat: this may require a conversation with your boss if it’s not up to you to dole out assignments. Hopefully, if that’s the case, you can help everyone be more productive as a result of your suggestion.

Eliminate distractions.

If you suddenly became a remote worker in 2020, this suggestion will literally hit home. But even if you work on-site, you need to eliminate distractions that take you away from the task at hand. Turn off desktop notifications while you concentrate on a task. Schedule times to check your inbox.

  • Think about your time in minutes, not hours or days. Some classic “minute killers” that cause you to fail to include “just hopping on a quick call” that was unplanned, but that you just couldn’t resist answering, or scheduling an hourlong Zoom session when you could have covered your agenda in 30 minutes.

Build Your Future with Search Wizards

Effective time management is just one aspect of your successful career as a recruiter. At Search Wizards, we’re here to help. With recruitment and talent management being our sole focus areas, we’d love to partner with you to build your awesome future. Contact us today to learn more.