Get Home For Dinner – 5 Simple Time Management Tips

It’s 9 AM and you have a planner in front you with 30 important calls to make when the “urgent” call comes in from an unemployed candidate needing an update on the status of his resume. You then check your email (for the 4th time in the last 60 minutes) and see that you have 15 new emails to go through, 10 of which are SPAM. Little events like this eat away at your most precious and irreplaceable resource; time.

It is very easy in this business to be extremely busy doing the wrong things. The frantic pace of many recruiters’ desks adds to the illusion that something meaningful is happening. There is no doubt that there are a great many details that need to be tended to, but how and when you take care of them can make a significant difference in your paycheck at the end of the month.

Here are 5 simple steps for increasing your effectiveness

1. Think of all activities as being in 1 of 2 categories

There are really only 2 categories in your work as a recruiter: revenue generating activities and everything else. You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule which says that 80% of a typical salesperson’s success comes from 20% of his or her activities. One of the characteristics that big billers have in common is that they consistently focus on the 20% and virtually nothing else.

More often than not when we are trying to decide what to focus on during the day we are actually choosing between a wide variety of tasks that could all be classified as a “good” use of our time. Big billers have a finely tuned ability to gravitate toward the best activities while allowing many good, but less important, activities to go undone.

2. Create systems for everything

Creating systematized ways of doing things will help to free up your time. Set an aggressive goal to only do a certain small number of hours of administrative work per week and see if you can find creative ways to achieve this. For instance, if your goal is to do no more than 2 hours of administrative work per week you will start to make note of what items are wasting your time and then be able to consider a way to automate, delegate or trash that activity. If you are able to off load administrivia, research and data entry to a researcher or support person you will have a much better chance of staying focused on leveraged activities.

For example, you may want to create a folder (or signature file) in your email software where you keep form emails for specific situations (marketing email, follow up email, prep email) that you can customize quickly, hit forward, and send out. Any message that you send out regularly ought to be saved and updated regularly. This way you write the message once, save it, and never have to write it again.

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3. Work in blocks

If you plan your calls in blocks of time (marketing block, recruiting block etc.) and guard this time carefully you will be much more efficient. If someone calls with an “urgent” request that is not urgent to you, tell her you will call her back during your next break. Leave a half-hour towards the end of the day for database updating, web research and administrivia.

4. Track and analyze how you spend your time

It’s important to understand how much of your time is spent on productive activities that contribute directly to the results that you want and how much of your time is spent unproductively. If you are the type of person who has no idea where the time goes then I’d suggest the following activity:

  • Track exactly how you spend your time in 15-minute increments for a 5 day period. If you do this you are almost certain to discover some things that will surprise you.
  • Categorize your results into blocks (marketing, sourcing, deleting spam, personal calls etc.). Get specific about where the time is going.
  • Identify what % of your time you are spending on money-making activities.
  • Identify your “Time bandits.” Those little buggers who steal your prime hours and hold them hostage.
  • Make a plan to delegate, automate, minimize or eliminate your time bandits.

5. Establish an ideal daily schedule

Objectively looking at your habits and deliberately choosing more productive habits enables you to create an ideal daily routine. The ideal daily routine is a template of how your perfect day would go. It’s a map that guides the way your day will unfold. So it’s a guideline but not an inflexible template. It will assist you in focusing on the best activities and feeling more control of your schedule and production.

Gary Stauble believes you should work hard and play harder. He assists owners and their teams in implementing leading edge strategies that create the biggest impact with the minimum effective dose of effort. You can download his complimentary report entitled “$1 Million Time Management” on his website. In the report, you’ll learn 9 time management secrets of a $1 million producer. Get your complimentary copy now at


1 Comment on “Get Home For Dinner – 5 Simple Time Management Tips

  1. Time management is one of the most important aspects to success in any line of business and recruiting is no exception.

    We hear all the time from HR professionals that there is often such a large number of administrative tasks to perform that it’s nearly impossible to find time for the higher priority items.

    As a provider of applicant tracking software one of our most important responsibilities is to understand what tasks are inefficient and repetitive. Then, we work to develop ways to speed this up and automate work processes and tasks in order to save time.

    Having the right tools on hand, and knowing how to use them is an important way to effectively manage your time.

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