We all know that working from home adds a host of productivity challenges to our workflows, whether that’s the added distractions, the merging of our home and work lives, or the simple lack of office equipment (we’ll never take that double-monitor setup for granted again).
But one of the things that doesn’t have to change whilst working from home is the way we approach tasks. In fact, many of the productivity frameworks that prove valuable in the office can become more valuable than ever when it comes to making our homes our headquarters.
Productivity frameworks are designed to shape the way we approach task management, helping you to tackle your to-do lists as systematically and efficiently as possible.
Following our guide to the Eisenhower decision matrix in our last productivity blog, we’re sharing four more key frameworks to boost the way you work, wherever you are.
Break it up with the Pomodoro Technique
One of the hurdles we all face, in whatever role and whatever working environment we’re in, is our own attention spans. Whether we’re at home or in the office, our attention spans simply won’t last forever. And the facts back that up.
Researcher Jonathon Schooler claimed that an average mind wanders 15-20% of the time, with a study by the journal Cognition concluding that the mind “tunes out” when we consistently work on the same project. Working for long hours ultimately steers our minds towards cognitive boredom, meaning it’s no wonder that remaining motivated at a certain point in the afternoon can sometimes feel near impossible.
That’s where the Pomodoro Technique comes in.
This widely-used productivity tactic turns ongoing tasks that don’t suit our cognitive working tendencies into smaller tasks that do. This means splitting your time into 30-minute segments made up of 25 minutes of active concentration and 5 minutes of break time. If these timings don’t work for you, it can be helpful to think of the Pomodoro technique as more of a guideline, and adjust the method to work around your workflow and environment.
For recruiters, this technique is particularly valuable when it comes to that constant admin. While much of your day is broken up with calls and moving between tasks, the time-consuming and seemingly never-ending admin on your to-do list can always benefit from the Pomodoro Technique.
Set a 25-minute timer at the end of the day and get your admin done. Not only is this the least productive time of the day mentally, but it is also the time you’re less likely to catch clients and candidates.
Eat that frog and move on
Originating from the words of writer Mark Twain, this odd-sounding productivity hack is extremely popular when it comes to time-management.
This framework is based on the suggestion that if you start every day by eating a live frog, you’ll have gotten the worst task for that day over and done with first thing in the morning.
This means getting your biggest and toughest projects tackled first thing, overriding the temptation to get the ‘small stuff’ done before your major tasks. There are two key reasons why approaching your smaller tasks first can be a drain on your productivity:
Reason 1: Working on “smaller tasks” first thing when time is precious can cause delays in major projects that require your input in order for the rest of your team to continue.
Reason 2: Behavioural science demonstrates that we are naturally at our most focussed earlier in the day, meaning that using this time to focus on our toughest tasks helps us to ensure that we are utilising our most productive stretch.
At the end of each day, write down your to-do list for the next day, with the toughest project(s) at the top. Then, first thing the next day, you know exactly what you need to jump on and get done straight away.
If there are no “tough” overhanging projects at the top of that list, client-led recruiters can start their day by getting straight into the leads section on their SourceBot and pull a job to get working on. Meanwhile, candidate-led recruiters can jump into new candidates and begin canvassing them or setting them up to send across to their client
Manage your to-do list with task batching
The idea of task batching is fairly straightforward: use the concept of a factory assembly line to see your team’s productivity soar.
By grouping similar tasks and working through them all together, you can save yourself more time than you would if jumping between different tasks.
The human brain works well with patterns and repetition, meaning developing a routine to work through similar tasks will allow you to get the overall group of tasks done significantly more quickly.
That means whether you’re sorting through applications, formatting CVs or working through emails, similar tasks done together will help you get through that to-do list significantly more efficiently.
As a recruiter, you have to balance so many different aspects of your role. But this can be easily separated into client work (BD) and candidate work (resourcing). Batching your workflow into these categories is a great place to start as they are incredibly distinct skill sets.
List your top five
Another simple yet powerful way to manage your workflow to finish each day by listing your top five tasks which you aim to complete the following day. These can be separated into what you’d like to get done, and what’s really urgent.
This allows you to capitalise on the clarity you have at the end of each day by lining up the day ahead. And when you log on the following day, your tasks will be already lined up for you, allowing you to get going as quickly as possible and make the most of the most productive part of your day.
All in all, productivity frameworks are incredibly useful in allowing you to shape the way you approach work to be as productive as possible, even while working from home. We’ll be back next week with more tips on getting the most out of your day, wherever you are.
Not only can you list your to-dos , but you can also set yourself up for the day with your “top 5 to achieve”. This may be three CVs for current roles, one interview booked in for a live role, and one job pulled. Consistently meeting these five targets will add up very quickly.
To read more about recruitment productivity frameworks, templates and habits, you can find the full guide here.
SourceBreaker’s Recruitment Productivity Hacks offers a conclusive guide to help you supercharge output, drive revenue and deliver a high-value service with maximum efficiency, everyday.
- Productivity Frameworks – A closer look at multiple popular strategies for effective overall time management & personal organisation.
- Templates & Automation – Our guide to templates and automation to get the most out of your communication and minimise your repetitive tasks.
- Habits of Super Recruiters – The workday habits to get the most out of everything you do and change the way you work to get maximum results.
- Productivity Toolbox – A guide to the up-to-date tech tools you need to upturn your team’s overall efficiency.