How to manage your time

Whether you’re looking for a job or preparing for your first day of work, managing your time will be one of your strongest assets. In fact, being able to control your time will be a skill any new employer will appreciate.

Benefits of time management

While the primary use of time management is simply to get more done, there is far more to the process. Honing your time management skills will also offer the following benefits:

More personal time

Apportioning your time better will afford you more time to yourself. 

Reduce Stress

Apportioning your time better will afford you more time to yourself. 

Fewer problems

When you’re in control, you make fewer mistakes. Fewer mistakes means you won’t be repeating the same tasks over again.

Less Wasted Time

As we become stressed, we lose focus. This could come in the form of games on our smartphone or talking to the neighbour at the water cooler. When you’re in control, we waste less time.

Time Management

Having made the decision to learn time management skills is a significant part of your battle. You will need that determination to push through when things get tough and as you know, life has its difficulties, especially during times of change like finding a new job.

Here is a list of time management tips.

Audit your time

You won’t be able to control your time if you don’t first understand what you’re spending it on. Get a watch or use your phone and time yourself doing your daily activities. How much time did you actually spend drafting resumes or playing Scrabble on your phone?

Pro Tip: You can download an app like Rescue Time to track your time.

Set Time Limits

Once you understand where you spend your time, you can set limits to what you do. For instance, if you are applying to jobs, set yourself two hours to customize your resume and cover letter.

Build in a Buffer

Setting limits to each task won’t work if you’re always cutting yourself short. You need to build a buffer for your tasks. Over time, you will understand which tasks need more time and how you can adjust your buffer. Your goal should be to reduce your buffer as you set your limits more accurately.

Set Priorities

There are some tasks that are more important than others. If you don’t prioritize what needs to be done first, you end up working on items that shouldn’t take you as long. Prioritizing also allows you to get the major tasks out of the way so you can feel better about your accomplishments.

Schedule Your Time

Once you know what’s important and have an idea of how long it should take then you can establish a plan for your day. It’s best if you review your day when you’re done at night and when you start again in the morning. 

In the evening, look back at what you completed and in the morning, look at what tasks are outstanding.

Pro Tip: A plan will reduce the time you spend determining what to do next.

Get Organized

A tidy workspace will allow you to work unhindered. You won’t waste any time looking for your pen or the cord for your computer. You will have your own system, but make sure your office space is clear and no one can access it. If you have children, teach them that it isn’t their playroom. Keep liquids away from electronics. Whether it happens when you’re tired or someone else does it by accident, you can’t afford to have your computer compromised when an important job application is due.

Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking presents two major pitfalls for your job search. You aren’t a computer so you aren’t actually devoting your full focus to any one thing at a time. When you split your focus, you end up misplacing things and then tasks are only partially completed. You will end up committing mistakes when you aren’t focused and you can’t afford things like sending resumes to the wrong employers. 

Manage External Time Wasters

Whether it’s your mother calling, or a video game on your phone, you need to control whatever you find sucking your time. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy time speaking with your family or playing a game. You need to schedule those things just like everything else so they don’t end up monopolizing your time.

Pro Tip: Take a break from your video game for a week to know you’re in control of it.

Focus

Stop procrastinating. Force yourself to focus on the task at hand. Once you complete a task, feel free to reward yourself, but until then, keep working.

Stay Healthy

A healthy body means a healthy mind which leads to focus and reduced stress. Reducing your stress will help you rely less on procrastination and other things to keep your mind occupied.

Pro Tip: Staying healthy includes getting enough sleep.

Create Good Habits

Developing good habits is a great way to keep focused on your end goal. It also establishes a pattern to combat adversity and temptation.

Delegate: Get Help from Others

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s your family, friends, or an employment agency, sometimes you need help to accomplish a goal. This could mean getting help with a resume or cover letter or it could mean having your spouse get the kids ready for school. 

Pro Tip: Teaching kids good time management skills can help you too.

Use a Planning Tool

There are several planning tools like Rescue Time that will do more than track your time. You can use them to take control of your time entirely.

Time Management is a Commitment

Just because you are busy, doesn’t mean you’re productive. Possessing time management skills will do much more than help you accomplish more. It takes work though. You need to be committed to the process. You will have goals that come along like writing resumes, getting interviews, and securing a job. Your time management skills will help you achieve them all and set new ones.

Belleville Office

Unit 8, 161 Bridge Street W. 
Belleville, ON K8P 1K2

Phone: 613-966-9069
Toll Free: 1-888-401-9636
Fax: 613-966-7357

Marmora Office

10 Forsyth Street
Marmora, ON

Phone: 613-966-9069
Toll Free: 1-888-401-9636
Fax: 613-966-7357