All of us have a lot to juggle on a daily basis between work, school, managing a home, maintaining relationships, exercising, etc.
When we add looking for a job to the list, good time management is key. It will take a significant amount of time to prepare directed cover letters and resumes, network, keep up with social media, research companies, interview, and follow up. Fortunately, there are a lot of tools at your disposal to help manage your time.
First, when it comes to time management, it’s probably a good idea to think about what you could be doing wrong. According to Forbes magazine, here are seven things you are doing that is wasting your valuable time:
Reading the news
Scrolling through social media
There is quite a variety in these seven habits.
Some focus on personal qualities (like being disorganized or procrastinating) and some about our social interactions (like gossiping), while others refer to our negative tendencies (like worrying). But the constant checking of email, the news, and social media can be real time suckers and likely where it’s a good idea to have some self-control.
One critical step to good time management is setting and achieving goals.
To even set goals in the first place, hone in on what you’re passionate about. Then, set objectives that you have control over and are not dictated by other people’s actions. When thinking about your goals, imagine what your future looks like, then, brainstorm and ask yourself questions like, “What goals would I set if I couldn’t fail?”
Achieving these targets we set for ourselves also involves tracking our time.
The expansive use of cell phones makes this easier. Apps like Clockify allow for easy noting of work hours, creating reports, tracking payroll, and monitoring where we spend most of our time. Of course, these things can still be done on paper or spreadsheets if that suits you better. The con to writing things down is it takes more time and you could lose the information. While helpful, an old-fashioned spreadsheet can also be time-consuming and a chore to maintain.
Any time things feel like a hassle, humans tend to procrastinate.
A few tips to help overcome this debilitating habit is to lessen the amount of things you need to make decisions about on a daily basis. One way to do this is by creating habits, such as working out on certain days of the week or choosing your clothes the night before a meeting. Another practical tip for procrastination is holding yourself to either doing the required activity or nothing at all. In other words, set aside four hours one morning to crank out what you’ve been avoiding, and if you don’t do those things, you’re not allowed to do anything in their place such as watch videos, text, scroll on your phone, take a nap…nothing. The sheer boredom is likely to make you antsy and push you into action.
When you’ve overcome a bit of procrastinating, the next thing to do is create schedules.
When doing this, think about balance. Identify what are your priorities and how frequently you need to do certain activities. As much as possible join tasks that are similar, such as washing the car and returning a call you’ve been putting off while waiting. Chart it out on a weekly calendar (start with a printed one to get used to it.) Stay flexible and adjust your schedule where needed.
Fortunately, we live in a time of smart devices where we can also use apps to help us keep track of our time.
One mentioned previously is Clockify. This is a good tool to use at work when multiple teams are involved. It lets you track the hours you put in across various projects. Asana is another popular app where you can assign tasks, track goals, and manage workflows. Other popular apps include Evernote, Toggl Track, Trello, and Rescue Time.
Ultimately, good time management helps us in all areas of our lives, so the job search is no exception.
Your tendency may be to focus on pursuing one dream job, when in reality, you’ll probably need to go after multiple openings in order to land one that’s right for you. That’s where all of these tips come in because it will take an effort to juggle applying for different jobs. Start small and see which of these suggestions you can start implementing today. One step at a time.
Tools and apps for enhancing time management skills
Real-life success stories of jobseekers who improved their time management
Conclusion emphasizing the impact of better time management on job search