One of the most critical skills we need as recruitment consultants is the ability to multitask. However, learning how to train yourself to multitask effectively can be helpful in any job role.
In recruitment, we have a range of tasks on our to-do list every day. Our responsibilities may involve communicating with both clients and candidates, resourcing, headhunting, negotiating contracts, screening candidates, organising interviews and helping candidates to prepare, and building relationships with clients.
Being able to multitask is vital if you want to be a good recruitment consultant. You need to switch between different tasks and still concentrate on whichever exercise you are currently focusing on. The truth is that the human brain isn’t exactly designed for multitasking as we often think of it. Although we can’t really focus on several tasks simultaneously, we can split our time between different duties. We can then quickly switch from concentrating on one task to another so that we can get multiple tasks completed within a specific timeframe.
If you want to train yourself to “multitask” effectively and increase your productivity, you can complete several things in the time it usually takes to complete one. Using the proper techniques to organise your workload, you can balance everything you have to do and become more efficient in everything you do. Try these tips for improving your multitasking skills.
Our Top 5 Tips for Training Yourself to Multitask Effectively
Try to Bundle Related Tasks
Switching between tasks that are very different makes it more challenging to move from one job to another. When you start working on one thing, your brain fires up everything it needs to complete that task. But if you change to focus on something entirely different, your brain has to switch directions too, and it can be more difficult for you to get into the new task.
To combat this, try to manage your time and only work on related tasks during the same period. If you need to send emails to clients and you also need to email candidates, it will be easier to switch between these two things. Conversely, writing an email to a client and then changing to help a candidate prepare for an interview requires more effort.
This effective method of time management is called time blocking or batching. So, for example, each morning, group the tasks you have to work on into blocks. Then set yourself an amount of time to spend on each batch or block of tasks.
For example, plan to spend an hour calling candidates and then another hour resourcing on social media. If you don’t get a response from these people straight away, it gives them the rest of the day to get back to you. In the meantime, you can focus on other things. Getting into the habit of using this time management technique will save time in the long run.
Create a Visual Workflow
Staying on top of everything that you have to do can help you stay organised and multitask effectively. You can only work on one task at a time, but having a list of things you need to do will help you prioritise the most crucial. A list of tasks, whether you write it out by hand or as a digital list, will give you a visual reference of where you are up to. It also enables you to cross things off your list as you complete each item.
This can be especially important when you’re working on long-term projects. It will help you ensure you don’t forget about ongoing tasks that you need to continue working on.
Set Goals That You Can Meet
Setting goals is essential if you want to be productive. However, an important part of learning how to multitask is knowing how to set realistic goals. Being a recruitment consultant means that you’ll always have something to do, but it’s essential not to try and do too many things at once. Prioritising the most important tasks will help you set more realistic goals and ensure you’re not putting pressure on yourself to meet impossible ideals. When setting goals, choose your tasks carefully and ensure you give yourself enough time to complete them.
Filter Out Distractions
You need to be able to focus when you’re working on multiple tasks at once. Trying to do too much at one time can lead to incorrectly processed information, so it’s essential to avoid distractions. However, there is a difference between multitasking and being distracted.
It’s difficult to focus on the task at hand and switch between tasks if unimportant things distract you. Removing distractions when you’re busy could include asking your team members to wait until a specific time to approach you with any questions or discussions. If you have an instant messaging app or anything similar, mark yourself as busy, so people know to only chat with you if it’s urgent.
Of course, in recruitment, you can’t stop the phone from ringing. Unfortunately, this is a constant distraction that we can do nothing about! However, you can keep a clean and tidy work environment so your brain won’t be distracted by the mess.
The life of a recruitment consultant is a very busy one, but that doesn’t mean there’s no time for breaks. Taking breaks is essential when multitasking, giving your brain time to reset between busy periods. When grouping similar tasks together in blocks, it can be good to take breaks between blocks. Give yourself a few minutes when switching between different task types so that you can stretch, drink some water, and give your eyes and brain a break.
A Few Final Thoughts on How to Train Yourself to Multitask Effectively
Of course, this article focuses on how multitasking can help us get more done as recruiters. No matter what profession you’re in, effective multitasking is something that you can train yourself to do. With the right multitasking skills, you can become more efficient no matter what job role you do.
We hope that reading this article has helped improve your multitasking and time management skills. If so, please share it on social media where others can benefit from such useful content.