How to Control Time Management as a Job Seeker

While time management is a very good thing, there are situations where job seekers tend to take the whole idea of using time wisely to the extreme. When this happens, the essential goal of managing your time gets lost in all the busyness and drive to cram too much into too little time. As a result, the process of time management ceases to be a help and becomes a severe hindrance instead.

There are several early warning signs that you are beginning to abuse time management rather than use it to best advantage:

A. You Multitask A Lot – All The Time Actually

In today's world, it is not unusual for job seekers to handle more than one task at a time. This is perfectly all right, as long as the tasks in question can be conducted concurrently without causing a great deal of stress. For example, it is possible to participate on a conference call while also sending instant messages to the moderator of the conference. The two activities actually work together without any real difficulty.

However, many job seekers attempt to conduct two or more labor-intensive tasks at the same time. This can lead to a great deal of inner conflict and possibly have a negative impact on the quality applied to all the tasks involved. In other words, instead of ending up with one task done well, you have two tasks that you may complete but are barely acceptable.

Some job seekers find themselves unable to stop multitasking even when it is not necessary. The idea behind this approach is that the multitasking will make it easier to finish all the action items currently on the agenda and enjoy some well-earned downtime. Unfortunately, job seekers who have become obsessed with multitasking to manage their time never get around to having any downtime. Instead, they finish one set of projects and immediately start looking for another set to do at once.

Multitasking as part of time management is fine, provided the tool is used with wisdom and discretion. When it becomes an end in and of itself rather than a means to reach a goal, it is time to step back and re-evaluate the situation.

B. You Feel Guilty If You Are Not Doing Something

Guilt can be an effective tool when it comes to keeping us on track. However, guilty feelings when we have nothing to feel guilty about is another matter altogether. When guilt creeps into the time management process, it is usually an indicator that the individual has begun to believe on some level that unless they are not actively engaged in some task, they are not managing their time well.

While it is important to take care of necessary tasks in a timely manner, job seekers also need some time to simply relax and recharge. From this perspective, failing to include time for rest and recreation is actually a breach of good time management policies. By denying your mind and your body of what it needs to be healthy, you are actually defeating the purpose of time management, and setting yourself up to fail at some future point.

C. You Become Hyper-Critical Of Others Who Do Not Do As You Do

One of the ways many job seekers validate their actions is by comparing them with what other job seekers do. After all, if others are employing the same approaches and methodologies to time management that we are, that means we are on the right track. However, when job seekers do things differently from us and we immediately assume they are wrong and we are right, something has gone terribly awry with our sense of time management.

Every job seeker brings different talents and abilities to a given task. This means you may find more than one right approach when tackling the same tasks or projects. Job seekers who have a balanced view of time management realize this and may even welcome the opportunity to learn something new. However, job seekers who assume their way is the only right way will immediately be on the defensive and find fault with as many aspects of the alternative method as possible.

Again, this negative point of view is not in keeping with true time management principles. Not only does this mindset make it impossible to expose yourself to new ways of managing tasks and possibly saving time, it also can create a great deal of stress and friction for everyone concerned. As a result, everyone's ability to manage time effectively is impaired and no one progresses as quickly as they would if all parties would attempt to learn from one another.

The bottom line is that you can become so obsessed with time management that you actually begin to undo any good you've created and put yourself in a position where you are more likely to fail. When this happens, you may be worse off than when you didn't attempt any type of structured time management at all.

About Brian Scott: Learn how to manage your time better while seeking a job. Visit Brian's website, http://www.FastJobResume.com and learn how to write a resume and find employment using good time management techniques.

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