Job hunting is a full-time effort. Unless you're careful, you might be working overtime. Here's how to make it seem like part-time.
If someone calls to schedule a job interview, what do you think is more impressive as a response?
“Tuesday at 4pm? Yeah, I'm available all day Tuesday. Whenever you like”
“Let me check my schedule. Sure, Tuesday at 4 is fine.”
So basic, so simple, yet so few people use schedules outside of an office setting. And even there, people often update their planner only with meetings and events that OTHER people have scheduled for them.
As much as possible, divide your job searching activities into one hour blocks that have a single, achievable goal such as “followup to Springfield Nuclear Plant” or “Update cover letter for Mr. Burns”.
Are you already doing this?
The Benefits Are Immediate
- Planning your time forces you to think about how to spend it. This way, you decrease the risk of doing things out of order. Indecision leads to wasted time.
- You're less likely to get bored and more likely to stay in focus with a short task. Boredom is when you're least efficient and wasting the most time.
- Every item on your agenda is a mini-achievement. The feeling of accomplishment adds up throughout the day and increases your confidence. You'll feel terrific by mid-afternoon when you're normally getting tired and looking forward to stopping.
Use Simple Tools
If you're comfortable installing software on your computer, this freeware will immediately pay for itself. Not only can you organize your calendar with it and manage your address book, you can also set up alarms so that your computer can warn you when a new activity is supposed to begin. Finally, if you ever decide to buy a Palm PDA or smartphone, you'll be able to simply upload all your information to the gadget right away in just a few seconds.
Download the Palm Desktop
Google Calendar / Yahoo Calendar
If you prefer to work in a browser as much as possible, either Google Calendar or Yahoo Calendar should cover all your needs. Being on the Web means that you can update and check your schedule from anywhere, and easily share that information with other people too. And of course, they're free to use.
If you're already scheduling your time, what tools work best for you?
This article is part of Inspiration Bit's Time Management group writing project.