There are only so many hours in a day – and hardly ever enough to take care of everything you want to accomplish. In HR, there’s always more work to be done. And the more time spent on routine administrative tasks means less time for bigger-picture, more strategic planning and tasks.
To help you save time and work more efficiently, try these four productivity hacks for HR professionals:
1. Practice time blocking
Some people pride themselves on being great multitaskers, but more and more research shows that the brain just can’t effectively digest information from lots of different sources at once.Instead, try time blocking. As HR Playbook explains, this method involves designating a certain amount of time during your day to focus on one specific task. You can even put the scheduled block on your calendar so other employees know you’re busy. Before you work – and this is key – eliminate all distractions so you can focus fully on the work in front of you. You can also schedule time blocks to match natural changes in your energy levels throughout the day. Maybe some tasks are better suited for first thing in the morning, while others can be tackled after a filling lunch.
2. Prioritize work-life balance
It can be tempting to want to do more, more, more, to always be “on” and reachable by your boss or colleagues, even after hours. But a healthy work-life balance is essential to maximize productivity – without it, you’ll quickly become burned out. Take breaks throughout the day, enjoy your lunch away from your desk, walk around the block in the afternoon to clear your head and then once you’re home, avoid the urge to check your work email.
3. Adopt the ABC 123 method
Deciding what to accomplish first on your to-do list can be a daily battle for HR professionals, constantly being torn between regular administrative duties that have to be done versus long-term, strategic projects. ERC recommends the ABC 123 method to figure out how to prioritize tasks.
First, make a list of everything you need to do. Then go through the tasks and label each one with an A, B or C:
- A is for strategic projects that have a large impact on the business.
- B is for required tasks that have minimal impact on the business.
- C for duties that have no impact on daily operations.
Next, assign each task a number for their urgency:
- 1 for tasks that must be done immediately.
- 2 for tasks you still have some time to work on or with flexible deadlines.
- 3 for those tasks that do not have a pressing deadline.
This method helps you get a clearer understanding of the work facing you and helps you craft an effective strategy for tackling it.
4. Automate administration tasks with HR technology
HR technology can automate routine HR tasks, such as payroll and benefits administration, that take away time from working on larger projects, brainstorming strategy or collaborating with colleagues and executive leadership. These are all areas that help make HR a strategic player within your organization, but they can only happen when HR leaders organize their time and tasks effectively.