How well do you handle time management?
Is it something that comes naturally to you? If so, we’re jealous.
Or is time management something you remember at the beginning of the day but evaporates somewhere between breakfast and lunch?
Even though we hate to admit it, haphazard time management happens more than we’d care to admit. We start our days out with the best intentions, plan a small daily goal or two, and start our days. However, without the proper time management systems in place, it’s easy to follow our days down a path of low productivity and distractions.
Here at DotConnect, we source a lot of talent. Sourcing talent is what lights us up inside, and it’s why we wake up in the morning to do our jobs. But even though talent sourcing is our passion, it would be impossible to effectively connect the dots between people and their dream jobs without getting our ducks in a row first.
During our days of juggling research, client calls, Zoom meetings, and emails, we’ve learned a bit about managing time effectively and what strategies lead to success.
So if you want a better grip on time management, you’re in the right place!
Join us as we dive into the time management tricks we’ve picked up while placing talent for our clients. From the best practices to the things you need to avoid at all costs, we’ve got the tips to get systems in place that help you manage time with intention and ease.
Tip #1: Avoid Context Switching
It’s so tempting to do all of the things, all of the time — you know, multitasking.
But let’s be honest — when you’re out there trying to set appointments while sending text messages during a Zoom call, you aren’t 100% focused on any of those things.
Multitasking Kills Efficiency
Your efficiency suffers when you aren’t entirely focused on one particular task. As a result, crucial details slip through the cracks. It could be something as small as forgetting to hit the “buy now” button on your Amazon cart or as large as missing your noon video call with a potential client.
So, why does multitasking seem like a good idea at the time but turn out to be a disaster when we try to do it? The simple answer is a process called “context switching.”
Our brains aren’t designed to handle everything all at once. For example, context switching is the reason behind why it’s hard to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time — we all did that as kids, right?
When we try to handle complex multitasking, our brains don’t handle the tasks collectively. And because we’re really only focusing on one thing at a time — even though we think we’re doing multiple tasks — we waste time in the process.
How to Overcome Multitasking Madness
So, what needs to happen to overcome the urge to multitask? We’re glad you asked.
It honestly all comes down to how you schedule your day. Dividing your day into smaller time blocks that focus on similar tasks can dramatically boost your productivity.
For example, instead of planning to make phone calls, screen a potential new hire, and choose what you’re going to eat for lunch between 10 A.M. and noon, do things that make sense when grouped together.
For example, handle responding to emails for your first hour of the day. Then, transition into client calls until your lunch break. It will keep your mind from having to switch gears multiple times throughout your morning.
When you can master efficient time blocking, you’ll see a significant change in how efficient you are during a typical day. Instead of switching from one task to another without giving your mind a chance to catch up, you’ll be smoothly flowing from one task to the next!
Tip #2: Write Things Down
If you don’t write things down, you will forget them.
Have you ever felt anxious for your server at a restaurant when they just listened to your order instead of writing it down? Yeah, us too.
In today’s world, we have numerous tools at our fingertips to record our thoughts and take notes, from apps on our phones to the ever-reliable pen and paper — which means we should have no excuse for forgetting to write down important details.
The Pitfalls of Video Calls and Online Communication
We all know that Zoom calls can be recorded, but take a second to think about the last time you actually went back to watch through an entire meeting for one piece of information. The odds are that the number is low or maybe even zero.
The blessings of increased connection through technology are great — you can meet with remote coworkers face-to-face, share your screen with someone, and even utilize live collaboration through Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace. However, increased reliance on video calling, in particular, can be a stumbling block.
In fact, 42% of people feel like they contribute nothing during Zoom meetings, and 27% of remote workers think that video conferencing actually puts up a communication barrier, which leaves us with the question — how can we make a better impact with remote communication?
The Benefits of Writing Things Down
Zoom calls aren’t going anywhere, so how can we utilize them to our benefit and turn them into time management pluses instead of minuses?
A great place to start is by taking notes during your Zoom calls. Whether by pen and paper or a note-taking app, writing down the highlights from your virtual meetings will boost your retention. As a result, you’ll start to find that your video conferences are much more beneficial.
Let’s break away from the world of Zoom for a second and just look at the benefits of writing things down in general. Simply writing a to-do list can remove the looming burden of uncertainty from over your head and allow you to think on a higher level.
Why? It’s because your list removes the responsibility of remembering everything from your brain, and it relieves the worry of keeping every aspect of your life top of mind. To put it simply, your notes take that pressure off your brain because you know you can refer back to them.
Be sure to keep that pen and paper handy! It may be just the tool you need to unlock improved efficiency, get more out of your Zoom calls, and take steps toward better time management.
Tip #3: Use Apps to Help You
Technology is your friend — use it to help you maximize your time management.
The phrase, “Work smarter, not harder,” exists for a reason! And apps can be the key to helping you streamline your day-to-day processes by saving valuable time, energy, and brain capacity.
Remember how writing things down can put your mind at ease because it removes the burden of handling everything from your brain? Utilizing the right apps can help in the same way. The more you can effectively outsource from your brain, the more efficient you will be.
Apps to Help You Schedule and Remember
Sure, you can depend on your default calendar or notes app to help you stay on top of things, but there are better options out there!
There are so many apps that say they make your calendar better, but from our experience, Calendly is the only one you need to worry about. This app has revolutionized how we handle scheduling at Dot. It allows you to automate your calendar, meeting confirmations, and reminders to your clients — with no hands-on interaction needed.
Pocket is another great app to help you save valuable information and make it easy to find later. With the click of a button, you can save information from over 1,500 apps directly in one place. It’s honestly a game-changer when you’re looking for important information — like that one article you wanted to save for your upcoming keynote presentation about time management, remember?
Apps to Boost Your Communication
With everyone working remotely these days, it’s essential to stay connected. At Dot, we love to communicate throughout the day with Slack. It helps keep everyone on the same page and opens up opportunities to connect even though we’re spread out across the country.
If you’re like us and love Slack, you definitely need to get your hands on these extensions!
Troopr is an excellent extension that creates daily check-ins for your team to let you know how everything is going on their end, and it can be personalized to meet your team’s unique needs. It can handle everything from schedule-checking to intention-setting and morning stand-up. If you’re looking for a unique way to engage your entire team on Slack, look no further!
Oliv is another great Slack extension to help your team get the most out of the app. Instead of breaking away from important tasks, you can let this brilliant extension take care of everything for you. It links with your calendar to let coworkers know when you’re in meetings and can be personalized to send messages informing them who to contact to solve the problem in your stead.
We Can Help You Connect the Dots with Your Team
Before we head out, we want to leave you with one more quick tip to make your time management systems shine. Don’t forget to connect with your team!
It may seem like an extra step, but clear communication is integral to making things flow smoothly. At DotConnect, we use tools that let us check in with our team members and keep everyone in the loop. After all, conscious connection is the key to our success.
If you’re looking for someone who can help foster growth at your organization and help you connect the dots in the hiring process, look no further. We’re experienced talent advisors that help people find their dream jobs by putting their humanity first.
We believe that team members are so much more than a name on an org chart or a cog in a machine and have helped companies like Beautycounter, Samsung NEXT, and Zendesk build people-focused teams.
If you’re a business ready to take the next step in growing your team, someone looking for a talent advisory company dedicated to your well-being, or a recruiter interested in joining our team, reach out to us. We have the tools you need to build connections and help you grow!