Time management is an acquired skill for many busy professionals, but it helps increase productivity. Healthcare recruiters with aggressive hiring goals, virtual staff meetings and recruiting events certainly understand the demands of working under pressure.

Here are some time management tips to help you manage daily tasks and increase productivity:

Scheduling apps can increase productivity

Technology can help you automate repetitive tasks with tools designed to help recruiters save time and increase productivity. Recruiters use them for applicant tracking, candidate follow-up reminders and scheduling interviews. The sheer amount of repetitive tasks involved in the hiring process can be overwhelming.

Timetrade is an app that blocks out time when you are unavailable and allows candidates to select open slots to independently schedule interviews. Debbie Hoekstra, talent acquisition recruiter and respiratory therapist with Banner Health in Greeley, Colo., said many of her colleagues like the app because it is a time saver. However, Hoekstra prefers the soft-touch approach of giving candidates a call. “I think it’s so much more personable to have a real person,” she said.

When using automation apps, Hoekstra suggests being aware that some applicants never see the emails generated from these apps because they land in a spam filter. Other candidates tell her they may not read the emails because they’re overwhelmed by the amount of emails that hit their inbox.

Look at the calendar more often

It might seem like simple advice, but one tip Hoekstra suggests is to look at your online calendar at the end of the day and the beginning.

It is easy to miss a meeting or a call — simply because we think we can remember everything. Making sure they’re listed in your online calendar can increase productivity and keep you from missing out on important meetings.

On a similar note, map out daily tasks in a way that fits your workflow. For Hoekstra, she does not plan interviews before 10 a.m.

“This allows me to get in and see if there are any fires,” she said. “I go through my candidates and get my day ready because I deal with facilities in six states and nine critical-access hospitals in different time zones.”

Get organized in between interviews

Hoekstra also organizes her day by scheduling interviews every 30 minutes. And when a call only lasts 20 minutes, she uses that time to research her next candidate.

In just 10 minutes, Hoekstra verifies the applicant’s license status, if the candidate is internal or external and the person’s pay range.

Hoekstra checks out details such as “if it’s a lateral move or if it’s a promotion, a 3% to 4% pay raise” before talking to the candidate. By knowing if the candidate holds a BSN, it helps Hoekstra feel prepared for the call, especially when it comes to discussing pay grade.

“And it prepares us to make that offer,” she said.

Delegate tasks

How often do you delegate tasks to others? It might be challenging to know what you can and cannot remove from your plate, but relying on team members to get things done can increase productivity and free up your time to tackle another project.

One tip is set up the task in a way that makes it straightforward for another person to take on. Don’t make it cumbersome, Hoekstra suggested.

“If I delegate something, I want it to be an easy process,” she said. “Whether it’s a nursing leader or human resources partner, I’m going to have everything in a nice package so all they have to do is do it.”

Take breaks

We often think it is easier to power through the day like a superhero. When the work piles up, chances are so does the stress level. That is why Hoekstra takes a lunch break every day.

This helps to ensure her needs are being met while improving productivity.

“Taking a lunch gives you the ability to get away,” she said. “I have my lunch in my calendar blocked off from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., and I typically don’t schedule interviews during that time.”

Did you know?

Taking more breaks during the workday can increase productivity and focus, according to a study published by the Draugiem Group.

Researchers found some people were most productive with 52 minutes of work followed by a 17-minute break.

If 17-minute breaks seem impossible, experiment with shorter breaks at regular intervals.