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7 Strategies for Boosting HR’s Time Management

7 Strategies for Boosting HR’s Time Management

Time management is a crucial aspect of finding success as an HR professional. You must manage many tasks and stressful decisions each day that can weigh on you both physically and mentally. Discerning the best course of action for dealing with these timely decisions is necessary if you seek to grow in your career.

Here we have cultivated a list of 7 essential strategies that can help you maintain productivity, manage your time effectively, and boost your HR career. 

 

  1. Prioritize Tasks

    1. As HR professionals take on many responsibilities, it can be challenging to determine which tasks should take priority. Poor prioritization can lead to wasted time and affect your entire schedule by slowing down your progress. When tasks are efficiently ordered, you accomplish even more.

    2. HR often has an array of tasks throughout the day, though some will likely be more time-sensitive than others. Suppose there is an issue with payroll on the day that checks are to be distributed, or perhaps there is a workplace safety concern that must be addressed immediately. These concerns are both examples of time-sensitive issues that if not quickly resolved can have serious consequences. If you have concerns such as these be sure to prioritize them early in the day so that you give yourself plenty of time to course-correct, and resolve less urgent matters as the day progresses.

  2. Create Realistic Schedules

    1. Once you have established the order in which you best perform specific tasks, you must develop an achievable and efficient schedule. Don't fall into the trap of over-scheduling in one day. While it is healthy to push yourself, constantly falling short of your goals can take a heavy toll. Space out your schedule, and give yourself a real shot at achieving your goals each day. 

    2. As an HR professional, you will need to make countless decisions each day. Some of those decisions will be very low stress, but some will take an enormous amount of focus. If you have three tasks for the day that all require a large amount of concentration and finesse, don't try and overdo it by stacking them all at the start of the day. Schedule your day in a way that allows you to make one really good decision at a time so that you don't become overwhelmed and lose focus. This can ultimately lead to poor decision-making and a very stressful day.

    3. Give yourself space to breathe throughout the day. The Pomodoro technique works well for people who need breaks more often. This technique allows you to put 100% of your focus into one task for 25 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break. The Pomodoro technique can prevent daily burnout and help you sustain energy levels throughout the day. 

  3. Build Healthy Habits

    1. Habits form the basis of our daily productivity, and regardless if they are good or bad, they undoubtedly affect the work we do each day. For example, if you build a habit of lying in bed each morning while looking at your phone, it will make it that much more difficult to roll out of bed on days you need to get an early start. And the longer we indulge our habits, the more difficult they will be to break. This is why HR professionals must take the time to develop healthy habits as soon as possible. 

    2. One such habit would be taking time to learn about your business. HR professionals, especially generalists, typically have their feet in just about every aspect of their organization. This means they are in communication with many different department heads, as well as upper management. The HR professional that takes time each day to learn more about their industry and organization will find greater success down the road by maintaining a better understanding of their workplace as a whole. 

    3. Another crucial habit is "eating your frog." Based on the bestselling book by Brian Tracy, this method is essentially a metaphor for taking the task you least want to do and knocking it out at the start of your day. If you have to eat a frog, it is better to do it right away and be done with it than anticipate it all day long. 

  4. Know Your Limits 

    1. Pushing yourself is an important quality that all HR professionals need to succeed in their careers. Achieving new goals is essential, but there comes a point when this pressure is overwhelming and can produce negative results. This can look like burnout, increased stress levels, and decreased quality of work. 

    2. Don't be afraid to recognize your limits, and order your day appropriately. Every professional will reach their maximum output levels at some point. This just means that growth will look somewhat different than an increased workload. It may involve taking on different responsibilities that require more finesse and specialty skills. As an HR professional, this can look like finding new systems such as a human resource management system (HRIS). An HRIS helps organize and improve your day-to-day operations to increase efficiency. This allows the HR professional to allocate more time to more nuanced tasks and concerns throughout their organization.

  5. Don't Fear Help

    1. Learning to accept help can be a challenge for many HR professionals. The job requires much attention to detail and continued oversight of many responsibilities—including sensitive matters—making it very difficult to let go of specific duties. The reality, however, is that help is a good thing. This doesn't mean that you should hand off sensitive matters to other employees–it simply means that sometimes letting go of control is necessary to remain productive and timely. 

    2. Delegating can feel scary because it involves loosening control over a task and trusting coworkers. However, the reality is that, by doing this, you can actually end up holding other tasks up—which may, in turn, prevent others from completing theirs. If you are in communication with other departments that are capable of helping you, don't be afraid to reach out and request they assist with certain tasks. 

  6. Take Time to Reflect

    1. At the end of each day, it is essential to reflect on your wins and losses. What is working? What seems to be presenting the most significant challenge? Asking yourself these questions in a time of reflection can help you identify what areas need improvement and what appears to be working the best. 

    2. Reflection can also be a great way to clear your mind throughout the day. Reduce stress by spending a few minutes each day focusing on meditation. A 2018 University of California study found that focused and well-developed meditative practices led to an increase in sustained attention, improved problem-solving skills, and overall cognition. 

  7. Manage Work-Life Balance

    1. Managing a healthy balance between work and personal life is crucial for any profession. But finding the perfect medium is not always easy and can present its fair share of challenges. It is essential to take each day one at a time. Some days family concerns will come first, and some days significant work concerns will come first. 

    2. Allow yourself room for some fluctuation as days present different challenges. Don't spend every day working well beyond your necessary hours, and don't refuse to work extra on hectic days in the office. When you give yourself hard and fast rules, it can make the balance more stressful. If you have been staying late for an entire week, it may be worth making an effort to leave earlier the following week to focus on recuperating personal time. By allowing yourself this leeway, you can more comfortably allocate time where it is most needed. 

 

Additional Resources

You can also stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with time management and other important topics by using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news

  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance

  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics

  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit

  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics 

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