Whether applying for a job or managing one’s career, there are constant pressures in the work environment toward unproductive and wasteful time-use.
When analyzed closely, a great deal of one’s day is spent on activities that do not contribute to the overall goal of either the individual or their company.
The problem is that while other resources are in abundance (i.e. money), time is scarce. No matter how high the demand, the supply will never rise; time is a unique, irreplaceable and necessary resource.
Time-use does improve with practice, but only constant efforts at managing time can prevent drifting. While yesterday’s time is gone forever, below you’ll find key exercise to ensure that you make the most of this scarce resource going forward.
1) In detail, define what you want to achieve:
Instead of “wanting to make more money” or “get a job in marketing,” strive to “make $60,000” or “obtain a digital marketing position in healthcare.”
When you spell out your goals in vivid detail, you begin to see what activities will get you to where you want to be and which serve little to no purpose.
2) Perform a time- diagnosis and keep track of hours and days real-time:
Prior to being able to manage time, you must possess a firm grasp on how your hours and days are used.
As opposed to going off sheer memory, the most efficient way to do so is to log where your days are going.
The problem with relying on memory is that psychological experiments have shown that human beings are naturally inept of estimating how much time has passed performing a certain activity.
Therefore, if we rely on our memory of the activities we’ve performed, we won’t get an accurate measurement of where our hours and days go.
3) Pinpoint and eliminate the activities that don’t need to be at all:
When examining your activity log, go down the list of daily functions you perform and ask yourself a key question, “What would happen if I didn’t engage in this activity?”