We all get the same number of hours in a day, why are some people able to get so much done?
If you need to improve your time management, the first step is to where the time goes.
For the next week log how you spend your time in 5 minute increments. This is me from this morning
06.45 – 07.15: wake up, shower, cup of coffee
07.15 – 07.55: check emails and reply
07.55 – 08.40: filing and sorting out computer desktop
08.40 – 08.55: breakfast
08.55 – 09.15: read part of newspaper
09.15 – 09.20: open mail
09.20 – 10.05: working on job search programme
10.05 – 10.15: start writing this article
I’m typing this on a Saturday, mid week I spend much more time on emails and browsing on the web.
What can be really useful is at the end of each day to make a note on how much time is spent on personal tasks (eating, exercise, shopping), how much is productive to do with your work or job search, and how much is wasted time. Wasted time can include surfing the net, watching TV, checking emails every 10 minutes etc.
I know I can waste hours checking emails every 5-10 minutes, I deal with them much quicker when I have them in a batch. When I’m focused I just check emails twice a day. Social media can really take over our lives, checking mail on our smart phones every 10 minutes, being interrupted by updates on LinkedIn and having a quick peak at Facebook to see what other people are doing, and still being there 30 minutes later.
If you are job searching you need to think about how much time you spend being busy but not focused on your job search. Cleaning, mowing the lawn, going shopping, all of these things keep you busy but if they are not helping you get a new job you need to ensure you spend no more on these tasks than you would if you were in a job.
Once you have measured what you are doing you can then focus on reducing the time you spend on unproductive action.
If you are currently in work alongside job search it is even more important to manage your time or you will never get another job. so get logging your time and I’d love to hear how this helps, why not post a message on Facebook? http://www.facebook.com/amazingpeopleUK
Denise Taylor is a double award winning career coach and Chartered Psychologist with Amazing People, established in 1998. When you are unsure of your career future, need help with job search or seek to improve your presence in an online world, Denise can help. Denise is the author of 7 books including How To Get A Job In A Recession, Now You’ve Been Shortlisted and Fat to Fantastic