When I started working in Talent Acquisition, I struggled with juggling daily tasks like reviewing resumes, interviewing, and following up with hiring managers. Amidst that chaos, finding time for social recruiting — creating engaging content, networking on LinkedIn, tweeting job openings –led me to burnout.
I crashed fast and hard…
However, the positive results of my social recruiting were evident. I was outperforming everyone around me, and the candidates I hired were happy and outperforming their peers.
I wasn’t willing to change that part of my strategy, but something had to give.
One of my friends told me about Time Blocking, and I decided to try it.
What is Time Blocking?
Time Blocking is a simple yet powerful time management technique where you divide your day into blocks of time. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific type of task. Instead of an unpredictable to-do list, it’s a structured schedule where each task type has its own time slot.
Time Blocking has also helped me beat procrastination and context-switching. Knowing you have a set time to work on specific tasks keeps you focused and on track.
Implementing Time Blocking in Your Routine
Here’s how to get started with Time Blocking:
- Take Inventory of Your Tasks: List out everything you need to do – calls, interviews, email, social media, everything.
- Prioritize: Identify what’s urgent, important, and what can wait.
- Estimate Time: Figure out how much time each type of task might take.
- Block Your Calendar: Assign each task to a specific time block in your calendar. Don’t forget to include breaks!
- Stick to It: When it’s time for a block, focus solely on that task. When the block ends, move on. I use brain.fm to help me focus. (Use code: rhonapierce for 20% off)
Check out this video to learn more about how I implemented Time Blocking when I was a Director of Talent Operations.
Balancing Flexibility and Structure
But if you’re a recruiter, you know that more often than not, the sh*t hits the fan, and one small change like a candidate rescheduling or an urgent role popping up can wreak havoc on your day.
The key to successful Time Blocking is not just in the planning but also in staying adaptable.
Here’s how to remain flexible while sticking to your structure:
1. Build-In Buffer Blocks:
Buffer blocks are chunks of time set aside for, well, nothing specific. They act as your time cushions.
When something unexpected comes up, use a buffer block to handle it without throwing off your entire day.
2. Review and Adjust Daily:
At the end of each day, take a quick look at tomorrow’s schedule.
If today was swamped, and you couldn’t do everything, shift tasks to the next day’s blocks. It’s about being realistic with your time.
3. Embrace the ‘One Thing’ Rule:
Focus on Priority: Each day, identify ‘one big thing’ that must get done.
Work around this ‘non-negotiable’ task. If something unexpected pops up, adjust the less critical tasks.
This very simple approach has lowered my stress levels and made me even more successful at work.
It’s been instrumental in helping me reclaim time, set boundaries, and get shit done!
Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it.
Try it yourself and see how it feels to get the important stuff done without the constant interruption of context-switching.
If you do try it, let me know how it goes.