Working in human resources, you are constantly bombarded with tasks and even more so with information. Like everyone in business, you are confronted with data all day long. And, as information technology has advanced, it has turned this stream of data into a deluge.
When confronted with this ever growing river of information, our natural reaction is to try and catch it all. We work longer, we try to move faster, we multitask more. We feel like we have to grab it all or we might miss out on something important.
But according to business consultant Peter Bregman, trying to absorb it all is exactly the wrong thing to do. All that does is to make us feel harried, under too much pressure, jumping all over the place. We become more irritable and anxious, which in the end hurts our performance.
The way to handle it is not to try and catch it all, but to establish priorities that will enable us to navigate through it deliberately and intelligently. We have to make choices – decide that there are meetings we won’t attend, e-mail we won’t respond to immediately, or phone calls we won’t take.
The point is to focus on what is important and to avoid the stuff that is a distraction. In order to do this, Bregman advises drawing up two lists.
On the first list, you put the things you’re trying to accomplish, the activities or tasks that make you happy, that are important. You plan your routine around these things, you focus on these things because there are only so many hours in a day, and time is one thing that is a limited resource.
But Bregman also advises drawing up a second list. On this list you put the things that don’t make you happy, that you don’t care about, that you really aren’t interested in pursuing. This is stuff that just gets in the way.
Now many people already have the first list. But not very many have the second. But Bregman says it is important to have the second list because it makes explicit in your mind what you need to avoid. This is so important because in this age of 24-hour information, it is more important than ever to keep your focus, to know exactly what is important – and exactly what is not important.
And you need to look at each of these lists each morning. Use them to plan your day. Are there things you need to change on the lists? Then make your choices and follow through.
If one of the things that are on your second list – the list of things you don’t like to do – is recruiting, call Winston Resources. We can find, vet and place great workers for your New York City company’s temporary and direct-hire needs. We look forward to hearing from you.
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