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  • David Still

Job Search & Time Management

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

I recently listened to a few books related to time. One was The Time Paradox by Phillip Zimbardo and the other is Felt Time by Marc Wittman. Both were interested in the psychology around time and how our perception of it influences our behavior. Both are worth a read if you have interest and some spare time (pun intended).

In thinking about time relative to the present and its unique challenges, I could not help but think about how many are using this present time to re-evaluate how they set priorities and the allocation of time against those priorities as we move forward and slowly extract ourselves from this painful pandemic.

Time, of course, is the most valuable asset that any of us possess. With adequate time, you can regain ill health or re-establish financial stability. Without time, nothing is possible. In fact, you could liken this to death, which is the absence of any available time and possibilities.

The obvious point here is: Try not to waste time. It is your most valuable asset.

I realize that this is much easier said than done, especially as relates to utilizing time towards tasks that we do not find enjoyable. For many, this would include a job search, especially during a pandemic that imposes additional challenges beyond the norm for this already undesired task.

Irrespective of today’s present challenges or your unique situation, if you are reading this blog, you are still standing and do possess time. You certainly possess the present and hopefully much more time awaits you in the future.

The above said, here are few suggestions to keep in mind with respect to time relative to your job search.

Job Search Time Management Suggestions

Organization & Time Compartments: Get organized and allocate time compartments to specific tasks such as career networking. Remember that work is infinite, and time is finite. Good work invites more work and bad work necessitates further corrective work. And, again, time is finite unless you are God so try not to waste it. Focus on the NOW and the task at hand. Allocate time to specific tasks related to your job search and/or career network activities and focus accordingly. When the time is up, move to a different task before becoming overly fatigued or frustrated.

Present and Future: Remember that whatever your time investment in your job-search right now, it will almost certainly payoff in the future. Do not let the setbacks or hurdles frustrate you too much. Trade your present job-search pain for future satisfaction. Keep at the search daily – no matter how much you do not feel like it – and you will eventually reap your due rewards.

Avoid Overwhelm: One way to do this is to roll many related tasks under one “umbrella” task. This helps to keep the key tasks summarized without making your task list too long. When we are overwhelmed, we tend to shut down. Another term often utilized to describe this situation is “analysis-paralysis.” So, chunk related tasks under one main key task and make the effort to avoid the state of overwhelm at all costs.

Priorities: What are your real priorities? List out the key goals you need to accomplish, say, no more than 10 (3 to 5 is even better) and then stack-rank in descending order of priority. Now, go about achieving each goal one after the other. Yes, you may need to work on some of your tasks simultaneously but always be mindful of the main priority you are presently working on and devote your primary efforts to it until completed. Then, repeat the process.

Planning: Plan your day the night before and block out time on your calendar. This simple organizational technique will work wonders. It will help you feel more in control and will help to reduce task anxiety.

Managing Stress: Take short breaks of approximately 10 minutes, say, each hour and longer breaks throughout the day to break things up and give your mind time to recoup from the more draining or strenuous tasks. An hour walk is a good thing to do. This simple tool for managing stress is one of the most often mentioned amongst successful people.

Procrastination: Procrastinate your procrastination. Take action now. You can always consider procrastinating sometime off in the distant future.

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