Just like every other recruiter I know, recruiting does not make up my entire life. But sometimes it sure does feel like it! I mean, I do have other things going on – I’m a wife, mother, and let’s not forget (sometimes most importantly) avid wine lover. The truth is, though, many times my work will begin to consume time intended to be devoted to these other aspects of, well, me. I often have to remind myself to reset, reorganize and refocus.
For me, confidence in my work/life balance comes in waves. I’ll be coasting through my normal req load, with time blocks all over my calendar, even fitting in a casual walk to Starbucks with co-workers and thinking to myself, “I got this.” Then, little by little, my req load will increase and BAM! my time blocking is completely out the window. My emails are insanely unread, and I’m closing my laptop much later than I had intended – even reopening it after I’ve put the kids to bed. It’s pure survival mode.
Here are some tips to get you out of survival mode and instead start living today.
More hours worked ≠ more work done. Don’t spend time on tasks that don’t yield results. Take the time to review which steps are gaining you more quality candidates or which steps aren’t benefiting you at all and create your processes around those. If it’s a task related to metrics set by your department, schedule a time to speak with your manager about your concerns and have a transparent conversation. Perhaps the metric can be reexamined, or the task can be modified to your benefit.
Turn off your emails. It’s no secret that as a Millennial, I thrive on fast communication and instant gratification. That said, emails are not text messages. Do not feel pressured to answer every email as it comes in. And if you don’t have the discipline to ignore them, shut off your messages altogether until you are ready and able to dedicate solid time to them. Remember, if the other person wanted or even expected an immediate answer, they would have undoubtedly picked up the telephone and called you.
Do what you hate first. If you’re anything like me, you transfer the same three tasks from your To Do list every day. Some tasks may seem unnecessary, tedious or even uncomfortable, but continuing to put them off is not helping. Schedule time in the morning to complete what you hate first – before excuses can be made or fires have to be put out. Don’t even open your email until after you’ve crossed these tasks off your list.
Time block and stick with it. In regards to staying organized, this step is might be the most important. It’s so easy to become distracted, whether it be a friendly co-worker updating you on their love life or an email about the food in the break room. You’ve got to keep in line with the time blocks on your calendar. But BE REALISTIC. It’s definitely acceptable to block time out for socializing, checking emails, and most importantly, eating an actual lunch.
Be present. Finally, wherever you are – at work, stuck in traffic, at home with the kiddos – embrace it. Please don’t schedule your doctor appointments at your desk. If you’re already certain that there is no likelihood of you making it to work on time, go ahead and turn that dial to the right and sing along to the music. Take the time to snuggle and talk with your children and family. Put 100% into every single moment. Live.
Trust me, I know that putting these steps into practice is a lot easier said than done. I still struggle with it myself from time to time, but it has made a huge difference for me. It’s normal that you’ll go through ups and downs – we all do – but just making the conscious effort is the important thing. These tips will not only improve your efficiency and quality of work, which will make your hiring managers and candidates happy, they will also allow you time for yourself. At the end of the day, you can focus on the important things: your health, hobbies, family, and maybe even that smooth glass of red wine.
Post contributed by Cristal Nobles, Recruiter. Connect with her on LinkedIn.