You are likely to encounter many tasks as an HR professional every day. You have a million jobs to complete daily: payroll, performance management, or team building.
We all want to increase our productivity in times like these. It’s not uncommon to feel like this – consultancies, authors, and other ‘productivity experts’ have made a multi-billion dollar industry out of concerned professionals. These simple hacks will help you get more from your nine-to-5 and make your daily tasks run more smoothly.
1. Make a daily plan
You can give structure to your mornings by creating a daily plan. This will help you list all the tasks you must complete for the day. Then, consider what needs to be done now, what can wait until tomorrow, and your ultimate goal for the day.
2. Get rid of your inbox
There are two types: people with zero unread emails and those with 5,000. Whatever the case may be, productivity depends on mastering your email, Slack, or messaging app inbox.
You’re likely to get hundreds of emails daily as an HR professional. Wait to read and respond to emails as soon as they arrive. Instead, spend at least two hours each day managing the inbox. This will ensure that you can focus on the rest of your day by allowing yourself to respond to every email.
3. The Pomodoro is your friend
Productivity is all about managing your time. The Pomodoro time management technique has received the greatest praise.
The Pomodoro technique, invented in 1980, was named after a cooking timer. The method consists of the following:
- Your kitchen timer (or any timer, really) should be set for 25 minutes
- For 25 minutes, work on the task you have chosen.
- Take a 5-minute break after the 25-minute mark is up.
- Keep going until you finish your job.
This cycle of work-then break ensures focus and a halt to help manage stress. But, again, this can be easily adapted to your office. Just use a quiet timer, so you don’t disturb your colleagues.
4. Stop multitasking
No matter how skilled you may be at multitasking, it doesn’t matter. Research shows multitasking reduces productivity and leads to more errors. Multitasking is not something our brains were designed for. Scheduling and daily planning are essential for organizing your time.
5. Do not get distracted
According to, it takes 23 minutes to get back to work after an interruption. So, although it might seem complicated for HR to become distracted, you need to have the right mindset to focus on essential tasks such as resource planning, job descriptions, or other work.
This can be achieved by setting aside an hour daily to do severe and head-down work. There are no meetings, notifications, or chit-chat—just pure productivity.
6. Learn how to say “No”
It’s difficult for HR professionals to say no to people. But, while you want to be helpful and a team player, sometimes you must set limits to ensure your productivity.
It is easy to let productivity slip if you do tasks that are outside your job description. It is important to help when possible, but not at the cost of your work. Set your priorities and deadlines, and be consistent. This will make it easier to say “no”.
7. Go natural
A stuffy office is not a conducive environment for productivity. Fresh air and natural light are essential for productivity and wellness. A healthy environment will lead to increased productivity. It is no accident that modern office design emphasizes open, bright spaces with ample ventilation.
8. Take some time for yourself
Although it may seem counterintuitive, people who take regular breaks are more productive. It is essential to take time for yourself not only for productivity but also to avoid burnout. Relaxing and taking a break can help you recharge your energy and bring back your motivation to return to work with renewed productivity.
9. Automate tasks with HR software
The HR function has many repetitive tasks, including leave tracking, expense claims, payroll, and expense claims. These tasks can be done manually, which is slow and costly.
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