Time management is essential for success in any profession; however, for Human Resource (HR) people it is a matter of survival. And this is also true for those who have chosen to stay at home or pursue starting their own business. Managing your time can actually give you more time.

For one, most people these days are being asked to do more with less and as a result are finding it challenging to fit in everything within the normal work hours. Secondly, most professionals—especially managers—have dual responsibilities: one of being available for their staff, and a second of providing feedback through reports and presentations to management. Obviously, in order to successfully accomplish these tasks you would have to give them to complete attention; further, such would not be possible unless you are able to dedicate a part of your work day to them.

Time management is, therefore, essentially about dividing your day into several parts so you can give equal attention to each aspect of your job without having to spend extra hours in the office on a daily basis. The following are a few time management strategies to help you achieve balance and better work performance for you, your colleagues and your family.

Take a step back and analyze your typical work day objectively. Make a note of the activities on which you spend the maximum amount of time like:

- talking on your phone
- researching for information on the ‘Net'
- talking to employees and others

Then ask yourself if you spent more time than necessary on these activities.

- Do you receive too many personal phone calls at work?
- Do you start surfing or chatting with someone while researching for information on the ‘Net?
- Did you have an hour-long meeting with an individual over an issue that could have been wrapped up sooner?
- Do employees who come to speak to you spend most of their time venting?

The answers to these questions will help you figure out on what activities you can cut back to save time. For instance, if you have noticed more often than not people who come to you with their problems spend a good part of the conversation venting or ranting on and on about how distressed they are, you can make a conscious effort to divert them gently toward the real issue.

Another important element of making time management plans is that you can make sure your schedule is practical enough to include little breaks from time to time. Working without a break may seem like a time-saving strategy, but it usually backfires in the long run because the mind tends to get sluggish and lethargic after a while.

Look for empty spaces in your daily schedule you can fill. An example is if you spend a lot of time traveling, try to figure out what you can do to fill the traveling hours with something useful like making calls you have been putting off, trying to catch up on industry trends by surfing the ‘Net', reading the newspaper or checking your email.

Making priority lists is also a useful time management strategy if you do so before you start your day. List everything you wish to accomplish before you head back home. Remember to make this list practical and not overly ambitious.

For any position but especially those in HR, your job is to iron out human resource issues in the office. The problem is that conflicts and problems concerning people never seem to end. Every day brings with it a new set of issues—whether or not you have managed to get past the previous day’s problems. It is therefore extremely important for you to manage your time well; otherwise you will find it difficult to have a life outside the confines of your workplace. Remember, these time management strategies are transferable to just about any position in which you may be working. And no matter how successful you feel you already are at time management, there is always room for improvement.

Author's Bio: 

Life Coach and Business Coach Karen Kleinwort is the founder Therapy in Transition and is a Certified Professional Coach specializing in the integration of her clients' mind, body and spirit into her Personal Empowerment Coaching practice. For more information, visit www.coachkarenk.com. www.therapyintransition.org or contact her at success@coachkarenk.com.