Eat the Frog and Other Time Management Tips

by Veronica Blatt

In the world of time management tips, you’re likely familiar with the “Eat the Frog” concept. American humorist Mark Twain is often credited with the origin of this saying, paraphrased as if you eat a live frog every morning, nothing worse will happen the rest of the day. In other words, if you get your most unpleasant task out of the way first, the rest of your day will be easier and smoother. The trouble is, it’s hard for all of us to actually eat the frog.

Here are some other ways to organize your tasks to improve your time management:

Triage according to Must Do / Should Do / Nice to Do

Obviously your most important tasks get put into the Must Do column. Things you’d like to do go into the Should Do category. Everything else is in the “wishes and dreams” category of Nice to Do. I like this system when considering something like a software purchase … the software MUST do these things, there are a bunch of features that you basically expect to be there, and there are some things that would be amazing if they existed, but are not a deal-breaker if they don’t. When it comes to prioritizing work, it’s not as helpful for me. “Should” is a squishy word – somewhere between required and optional, and often tinged with guilt. Nice to Do, for me, really means optional … I don’t think many of us feel like we have “optional” work.

Use the Eisenhower Method of Urgency/Importance

With this method, tasks are applied to one of four quadrants: Important and Urgent, Important and Not Urgent, Urgent But Not Important, and Not Urgent OR Important. This is another commonly-cited option when researching time management tips. I have tended to use this most often, but sometimes have difficulty separating urgency and importance. I have a lot of calendar-driven activities that create urgency, and those can sometimes get in the way of more important tasks.

And a Bonus Variation

After eating a frog earlier this week, I stumbled upon a variation of the Eisenhower Method that I am going to start using. This uses the same four quadrants, but labels them a bit differently: Things You Don’t Want to Do But Need to Do, Things You Want AND Need to Do, Things You Want to Do but Don’t Need to Do, and Things You Don’t Want OR Need to Do. These words definitely resonate with me. They’re not squishy. They’re not cute. They don’t make it hard to know which tasks belong in which categories. And honestly, I kind of like how they call it like it is … because the frog I ate earlier this week was SQUARELY a thing I did not want to do, but which needed doing. Why pretend it’s something else?

Ultimately, the best time management tips are the ones you will use. The right system is the one that meshes with your style and the kinds of tasks you have. What is your best tip? Do any of these work for you?

6 Time Management tips for Recruiters

by Liz Carey

In the recruiting business, you often have to “wear many hats” – especially if you work for a small firm or are an independent recruiter. There’s always work to do. We hear over and over recruiters are inundated with job orders, and just don’t have the time to do things like draft up and post job descriptions, or respond to the numerous emails and phone calls they get daily, because they’re focused on scouting top talent. When you’re spread so thin, is it time to hire another recruiter or administrative person? Can you outsource some of your tasks? Or, could it just be that time management needs to be addressed?

Time is money, and if you’re spending your valuable time doing things that someone else could do for you just as well, it might be time to lighten the load by hiring another recruiter or administrative associate, or outsourcing it to another company. But before taking that step, here are a few time management tips that might free up some time to get those other tasks done: Read the rest of this entry »

5 Time Management Tips for Recruiters

by Liz Carey

photo-1441323263989-281bc2f5b68cOne of the biggest challenges a recruiter faces is trying to manage a schedule and predict the events of the day in an industry of constant change. What happens when you face an unexpected fall-off, a position goes on hold, or your client changes their requirements? You won’t get far in this business if you just give up – you have to adjust your strategy and plan your time to accommodate everything that’s on your plate.

Here are 5 time management tips for recruiters:

1) Be selective with your search assignments – It’s easy to try and take on as many assignments as you can, but you don’t want to overload yourself and not be able to deliver for a client. Working on the wrong assignment will cost you time and money, as well as potential future assignments with clients.

2) Be selective with your candidates – When you post a job, you’ll be inundated with a plethora of resumes and phone calls from candidates. Only a small percentage will actually be relevant to the role and your client, so screen much more selectively or you’ll be wasting more time and money with unplaceable candidates.

3) Create a plan and stick to it as best you can – Before you leave for the day, make a list of the names of candidates or clients you will call the next day. It’s easy to get distracted by a phone call or check your emails more often than needed, so it’s important to have a plan of attack for each day, rather than winging it and realizing at the end of your day all you’ve done is ‘busy work’ which doesn’t generate revenue.

4) Limit work hours to work – If you work from home or are a solo recruiter, the line of work life and home life might start to blend. It’s best to have set hours and during those set hours, close your door, screen out personal calls, and limit internet use to your sourcing activities and work emails only. You may think you’re only spending 5 minutes checking your personal email, but it can interrupt your train-of-thought and flow relating to your search assignments.

5) Prioritize goals – It’s easy to feel busy and have a lot on your ‘to do’ list, but if you’re not producing placements, it’s just wasted time and energy. You may be hitting your goal on how many calls to make, but if you’re not qualifying the right candidates and making placements, the number of phone calls is irrelevant. Replying to every email and application will keep you busy, but won’t necessarily generate revenue. Not everything is urgent — prioritize your tasks and condense your to-do list to the most essential and important goals.

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Business Growth for Recruiters

by Dave Nerz

The economy is recovering, or at a minimum it is much improved from 2009 and 2010 levels, but are you seeing an increase in recruiter profits? Are you feeling that you have a plan in place for business growth for recruiters and your business?

If you want to be a very successful business owner or recruiter, so much of your success depends on focus.

Warren Buffet is quoted as saying, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” That is why I am a proponent of a “Stop Doing This List.” In order to focus, we all must decide what we will stop doing to make time for the really important stuff. As with all things in life, moderation in the execution of an idea like this makes the idea more realistic. Don’t give up eating, sleeping, and breathing, but look for other things that add no long-term value to your focus and defined goals.

Here are some ideas I have been working on. It is a work in process for me so check back and I’ll let you know how it’s going.

  • STOP…Spending time on junk email. I have spent time setting up some really good filters on my Outlook so if it hits the “Junk Folder” it doesn’t even get a second look.
  • STOP…Doing things at or past the deadline. It takes less time to do these things on time or ahead of schedule. Less follow-up emails and reminders to worry about.
  • STOP…Sending very long emails. Pick up the phone it might even save you time.
  • STOP…Being disorganized. It takes time and creates stress.
  • STOP…Taking phone calls, emails, or meetings that do not align with your goals. If you made a commitment or if you see potential for profit, saving, learning, or growth, then go for it. Don’t turn off new ideas, but choose to be selective.
  • STOP…setting all meeting times for 30 minutes or 1 hour. If you set the expectation of an hour, it will last an hour. Try setting a 15 minute meeting instead of a 30 minute session. Or, be really strange and try a 12 minute meeting.

You get the idea. It is not easy and the old habits will die hard. But your sacrifice just might create some space to do something that increases recruiter profits and creates growth for your business.