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I decided to write about time management for this post because it seems to be something that many people grapple with. We all have so much to do whether you’re a busy professional, a student, or in job search. Being in job search is a job in of itself if not even more demanding.
One of the ways you can effectively manage your time is with goal setting. I wrote about goals in my previous post. Having a buddy system can keep you accountable for the things you have to do. Let them know what your short term or long term goal is.
Get organized. Clean up the clutter around your desk, office, house. These are distractions, you want to eliminate distractions. This also includes TV, email, video games etc. One needs to focus on the tasks they have that are on the list. It’s important to do, that is why it’s on there so eliminate the “stuff” that is going to make you lose focus.
Block out time on your calendar to do certain things. Maybe it is only checking email at certain times a day or put your cell phone away and on silent and only check it at a specific time (this is another distraction).
Take time to check in with yourself mentally each day for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and unplug from what you are doing. Are you on track with what is on your list. Where are you in what you want to get done? Take additional 30 minutes a week to do the same thing to reflect on what you have accomplished that week and what you still want to do.
The last key point to make in time management is an exercise I learned a few years ago. We all have a lot on our plate with things we need to do or want to do. Imagine a clear container, a large rock, some pebbles, and some sand. If you put the rock in the container first followed by the pebbles then put the pebbles in the container, they fall around the rock. Lastly, add enough sand so that the container is filled to the top. Putting these items in the container in this order, everything fits perfectly but if you remove the items from the container and put them back in the container in any other order, your container will overflow. These items represent the things you need to do in your day (your list). Imagine the tough items to do on your list as big rocks, do them first. Then the rest will be easier to do, they fall into place. If you don’t, you’re throwing your day out of balance causing your container to overflow.