Is busy the new stupid?

Are you at your most productive when you have every minute of your week scheduled? According to none other than Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, being ‘busy’ and scheduled at all hours is not a great way to work, or to live. The number one challenge for recruiters is wasting time on activities that are producing little value.

How many regular weekly meetings are planted in your calendar? How many hours of your week is taken up with mundane administration tasks? Sure, there is nothing wrong with meetings, and administration is often necessary, but when such activities are keeping you overly busy so that you are stressed about trying to reach your targets – priorities need to be re-examined.

Time is the only commodity one is unable to

purchase on the open market.

Buffett and Gates made a compelling argument that time is the only commodity one is unable to purchase on the open market. Then logically, it should follow, that your time should be valued highest, rather than lowest, when organising your schedule.

Listening intently, one-on-one conversations with no distractions, spending time immersed in conversation – how often do we prioritise this in work, let alone in our personal lives with our loved ones? Critically, human connection defines the role of a recruiter, yet how frequently does time allocated to engaging with candidates get truncated by other tasks? How many times have you never gotten around to following up with that business lead?

Buffet recently auctioned off the opportunity to have a private lunch with him this year and the winning bid was $4,567,888 (donated to a charitable food bank in San Francisco), illustrating the idea that enormous value is placed on time spent with someone who’s presence is in high demand.

Time is your most valuable asset.

With the obsession with digital connection to everyone 24/7, physical presence is our most valued commodity. Unfortunately, most people are their own worst enemy when it comes to protecting their time. Against all intents and purposes, we end up spending far less time than we mean to on the things that truly matter to us.

The pressure to work faster is increasing exponentially with the progression of technology. We now seek out the most efficient ways of working so we can ‘get more done’, however working through your to-do list faster just means that your list of responsibilities will increase proportionately to fill the gap. With the array of technology available to us to make our lives ‘more efficient’, it is our responsibility to value our time with the highest regard. Time is your most valuable asset and unless you protect it, it will be consumed for someone else’s agenda.

What is the best investment of your time?

Instead of deluding yourself into feeling productive in work with busyness, conduct an assessment of what your highest valued tasks are. Any HR professional will recognise the looming shadow of outstanding administration work. Recruiters are pressurized by the steady stream of candidate CVs to be stored, logged, and formatted. Although spending a couple of hours on admin may give momentary relief, is it truly the best investment of your time?

What drives value and productivity in your business? If I had to bet, formatting candidate CVs wouldn’t take the top slot. Rather, revisiting the value of your most precious asset might prompt you to dedicate an hour of your administration time to checking in with clients, or to discussing your candidates’ career aspirations to better understand their motivations.

Prioritise the most important tasks in your working day – not only for business productivity, but for your own satisfaction.