We all know how important it is to keep lists of tasks, not to be distracted by “time eaters” and to rank things by priority. But all this does not work when a new urgent task arises at the moment of report writing. And while you put out the “fire”, the time that should have been spent on the report runs away. And so day after day: the number of postponed tasks accumulates, the feeling of inefficiency and fatigue grows, and this is a direct road to burnout. How can you prevent this?
1. Plan a vacation
You can plan your work schedule perfectly, but there are so many temptations around: an interesting article, news from a colleague, another cup of coffee, etc. Each of these activities doesn’t need much time, but if you don’t put them into your schedule, you run the risk of spending 30 to 90 minutes of your work time on personal matters. In the afternoon, it’s even harder to resist the temptation to drift off into a non-work environment. That’s why you need to plan not only your work tasks, but also your breaks, when and what you will spend them on.
2. Find a convenient tool
There are so many different programs and applications that help you structure your computer usage time. For example, according to the pomodoro principle: 25 minutes of productive work and 5 minutes of rest, after every fourth “tomato” – a longer break.
An HR manager often has to choose between strategic tasks and what is important right now, e.g. communicating with a demotivated employee. What if you don’t have to choose? Incorporate a “flexible hour” into your schedule. One hour of time for which you don’t plan anything! And if no “firestorm” has arisen, you can quietly close current tasks. And if a difficult conversation is unavoidable, at least you’ll be assured that there is reserve time to close current tasks.
Think about how important and confidential the task you are doing now is. Perhaps it should be delegated? Of course, not every employee will be happy about a new task, but if it helps them grow professionally, why not? The clearer the instructions are, the less time you will spend explaining them later.
4. Accept tasks based on your workload
When you are assigned a new task, you should already have an understanding of when you will be able to get started on it. If you communicate your workload initially, the other person will understand the deadline and, if anything, will be able to guide you on the urgency and importance of the task. At the same time, be sure to warn people who are waiting in advance if deadlines are postponed.
5. Group the tasks
Set aside one hour to respond to all messages and no more distractions. It’s often difficult to keep this promise because the flow of messages can be endless. Give your colleagues advance notice of when you will be able to respond, and feel free to engage in the planned action.
6. Keep an online or offline calendar
Of course, many people like to write by hand more, and visual memory is more active here. But it affects mobility and responsiveness. As it happens, an HR-manager can be written to at any moment, and we are not insured against various life situations. And having a to-do list in Google Calendar on your phone makes it much easier to keep track of your schedule and any changes in it. Reminders are also a significant advantage.
7. Keep the balance
And even with perfect time planning it is possible to get emotionally burned out. After all, a lot of time and effort is spent on making sure everything is taken care of. The state of emotional balance also plays an important role. In order to be in good shape, it is important to remember the rule: everything can be repaired! When you are not trying to assess how difficult a situation is, but concentrate on finding the optimal solution, it is easier to react constructively.
A work-life balance helps you cope with stress. It is important, very important, to make time for loved ones: the feeling of loneliness has never added to anyone’s strength. Watch your diet: the healthier you eat, the better you feel, the better your mood and the more productive you are. Follow the drinking regime. Try to get enough sleep and find time for hobbies. In short, take care of yourself.
At first glance, it seems difficult to fit it all into 168 hours a week. But if you treat your life as responsibly as you do your work, it is quite realistic.