Time is the one resource in your life that is neither replenishable nor renewable. Regardless of how you spin it, everyone starts each day on an equal playing field with 24 hours in the time bank. And while people often yearn for more time, what they really need is better time management. Understanding where your time goes, when you are most productive, and why you should protect yourself against distractions are the keys to achieving your max productivity.
Time management is your ability to allocate time to each task you need to accomplish. According to former professional basketball player and motivational speaker Walter Bond, effectively practicing time management is extremely important to your success and mental wellbeing. By not managing your time, you may put yourself in stressful situations in your job search, workplace, or personal life.
“We all have 24 hours in a day, so why are some people more successful than other people? Simple answer: they managed their time better,” Walter says. “It’s not that they’re smarter – they just figured out how to manage their time.”
As part of his year-long series of motivational messages, Walter Bond discusses the importance of tracking your time, managing projects, keeping on track, avoiding stress, and more. Check out the full message below.
When it comes to your job search, how do you manage your time to avoid stress? Let us know in the comments section below.
About Walter Bond
A former professional basketball player, Walter Bond’s NBA career included 153 games with the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, and Detroit Pistons. Now, Walter takes what he learned from his life on the court and translates it into motivational and educational messages for thriving businesses and careers. With entertaining and dynamic messages, Walter has spoken to companies and associations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe.
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.
Last month, the U.S. Labor Department reported that new U.S. claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a four-year low, which is a sign of an improving job market. While it may be improving, it’s still very competitive and will take determination and hard work to find a job that’s right for you.
With U.S. unemployment seeming to slowly trickle down with a job market that’s still fierce, many frustrated job seekers can fall into the trap of relying on excuses to justify putting their job search on the backburner or give it up altogether. To help inspire you, here are some of the top excuses job seekers make and how to avoid them.
There are no Second Chances in the Job Search…
Ok, so you might not have gotten a job offer after two interviews with the same employer, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. It may be easier to think the next time won’t be any different, but everyone deserves a second, third, or fourth chance. Don’t let your past interfere with your future. Clear that stinkin’ thinkin’ from your head, because you start with a clean slate every time. Surround yourself with supportive friends if you can’t get over your slump. Take charge and move ahead, because you deserve to control your destiny in a job that’s right for you.
This is Just Too Hard…
Anything worthwhile isn’t going to be easy, but finding work is possible with determination and a willingness to learn and adapt. Although difficult, if learning a new language or hobby can be done, so can creating a successful employment search. They both just take some time and consistent effort. Even when we keep trying, it’s easy to make the effort the same exact way without adapting, and ultimately finding the same results. We all fail, but instead of dwelling on the failures, focus your efforts on adapting and changing your strategies to be more effective.
I Can’t do This on my Own…
No one says you have to. There’s a myriad of resources available to assist you in your job search. There are countless websites, books, and other resources at libraries or stores to help you better market yourself and showcase your accomplishments. If you want more hands-on help, consider going to a staffing agency. Many local staffing offices can provide interview, résumé, and general career advice for little to no cost.
Also, don’t forget to harness the power of your network. Whether it’s friends, family, or industry peers, someone can help encourage, support, advise, or train you during your job search. If they can’t, they could find someone who can. You don’t need to feel alone in your job search.
I Don’t Have the Time Anymore…
It’s true that a job search can be a full-time job in of itself, and sometimes it’s almost impossible to devote that much time to job searching when you have to do what you can to survive. You can make a big difference by carving out 45 minutes of your day to devote to your job search. Try turning off the television or logging off Facebook and use that time for finding a job. Focus on plotting a course, writing a proper résumé, crafting a unique LinkedIn profile, researching companies, and getting your networking efforts in order.
The most important thing to remember is to never give up. The economic climate is slowly looking a little brighter, and now is your chance to find the job that’s right for you. Do you have some uplifting stories about staying determined on your job search? Tell us in the comments below.
I am a runner. I am competitive. I especially enjoy running outside on a nice day, feeling the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair, and hearing the sound of my running shoes on the pavement. Once I know what distance I’m capable of running, I push myself to improve my time. I start thinking, how can I improve my stride? My pace? My breathing and posture? For me, it’s a challenge of setting a new personal record. Then, I think to myself, wait a minute ….
Like me and running, do you find yourself striving for perfection in the day-to-day activities of your job and in life? It takes a lot of energy and effort. And when it comes down to the bottom line, all you’re really doing is striving to get somewhere you think you should be. Perfection is hard to achieve because it’s nearly impossible to obtain. But what you probably achieve in the process is a lot of stress, feelings of unmet expectations and failure, and a wandering mind that can’t stop thinking of things that went wrong or what you could have done differently.
Being less than perfect is OK. You’re only human and can only do so much. Sometimes it’s not about being the best, but learning and developing your skills to help you become better. So, the next time you feel yourself sweating the small stuff in an attempt to be the best of the best at your job, try following these tips.
Discover what you love. Find what it is that brings you joy. When you have a passion for something, you will find that you don’t have to work so hard to get things accomplished. You will be more of a natural at it, not needing to put so much effort into becoming the best.
Learn from your mistakes – and move on. Everyone makes mistakes. But the grand thing is, life goes on. So, learn something from the situation and become better because of it. Don’t dwell on what you did wrong because you’ll spend so much time in the past that you’ll miss out on the present.
Set limits for yourself. Attempting to achieve perfection can be a time waster. Be realistic in the goals you set. Along with your manager, create deadlines for your projects. Knowing when things are due will help you adjust your schedule accordingly to get things done. Also, here are a few tips to help you finish your work week strong.
Seek out experts in your field. Is there someone in your field that would be a great source for ideas and brainstorming? When you have someone to help you talk out a project, you will find that it goes a lot smoother than trying to do all of it by yourself. Seek input – it’s not a bad thing to have some help along the way.
Take a break. At the end of the day, shut everything down and go home. Learn to leave work at work so you’re not tempted to tweak things on a project when you go home. Use that time to pursue other interests that make you happy.
Achieving the perfect run would involve a lot of time – cross training, eating healthy all the time, getting at least eight hours of sleep each night, correct warm-ups and cool-downs, stretching, etc. Being focused on this ALL the time would not make running the break I need and enjoy now. So, instead, I’m just going to enjoy the moment and take in the sights along the way.
How would you say you manage your time through the workday? Have you taken on a bigger workload, find yourself working longer hours, or feel like you have never-ending projects staring you in the face? Before you get overwhelmed with your to-do list and the stress sets in, here are a few tips to help you manage your day and keep your projects in check.
Keep your project list up to date. It’s never a good feeling when you have projects that seem to just sneak up out of nowhere. Try to always be aware of what is coming up that you need to do. Using a project list as a time management tool and keeping it updated will help you prioritize. For example, outline all of the projects you need to accomplish for the week and when they are due. From there, outline the daily actions you need to complete in order to finish the projects. Prioritize what needs to be done first, second, third, and so on. Breaking larger projects out into smaller steps will also help you better manage them and not get so overwhelmed.
Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about your projects, don’t shy away from talking to your manager about them. Having open and clear communication is important for you and your manager. Make sure you talk through the details of your projects to help you complete your tasks in a timely manner. Also, keep your manager in the loop about your progress and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Learn how to prioritize. Let’s face it. There are only so many hours in a day, so there’s only so much you can get done. What projects are most important for you to complete right now and which ones can wait? Always talk to your manager first to learn how to prioritize your tasks and outline your day. If there is something that needs to be done right away and you don’t have the time to do it, find out if someone else can cover that project or if the deadline can be shifted? Don’t adopt the superman or superwoman mentality that you can do everything by yourself and in record-breaking time. When you’re already dealing with a full plate, trying to make room for one more thing isn’t always easy. Overextending yourself by agreeing to take on additional projects when don’t have the time will not leave a good impression for your employer if you under perform.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, but someone comes to you for help with another project, be honest with them about what you’re working on. Let them know you will visit with your manager regarding the project and will get back to them about when it can be completed or who can take the project on. This still shows the initiative that you want to take on new duties, but also that you’re responsible about how much and when you can do them.
Make time for you. Do you get time for lunch each day? Do you use that time to get away from the office or can you be found at your desk still doing something work related during that time? Use your free time to get up from your desk, grab something to eat, or stretch. Just getting away from your current tasks for even a little bit can give you the chance to refresh and refocus for the rest of your day. Take time to recharge yourself throughout the day with a few little breaks and you can see a big difference in the amount of energy you have to accomplish your priorities.
These are just a few ways to help you get through the work day with less stress. When you have more control of what you have to do, it won’t control you, and it will help you be a better employee and have better days at work.
Last year, Ben Southall beat out 34,000 other applicants in a competition for the “best job in the world.” The job was a six month assignment to explore and blog about the Great Barrier Reef Island off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia while earning a cool six figure sum.
Since July, Southall has been hard at work living in paradise, strolling the beaches, exploring the wonders of the sea, scuba diving, surfing, sailing, and having breakfast with koalas. But, last week while on the job, he was stung by a Irukandji jellyfish, proving that every job – even the very best job – has its ups and downs.
Found mostly near Austrailia, Irukandji jellyfish are miniscule to the human eye but extremely venomous. Despite their size, they pack a powerful and sometimes even fatal punch. Fortunately, Southhall has fully recovered from his injury and is back on the beach for another day at the office.
Whether you’re being stung by a venomous jellyfish, dealing with an annoying coworker, being buried under a load of paperwork, or having to let someone go, every job has its bad days. These days are not a lot of fun, but they are an opportunity to learn, develop, and grow personally and professionally.
Dealing professionally with an annoying coworker can teach you how to respond tactfully in difficult situations – a must for developing management skills. Tackling the paperwork that is stacking up can help you learn to prioritize, and manage your tasks and time. And, if you’re paying close attention, it can even teach you when to ask for help or direction. A dangerous jellyfish sting taught Southhall to always wear a stinger suit when in the Australia waters.
The bad days can help prepare you for future obstacles and challenges. They can force you to diagnose inefficient areas in your work processes to adjust and avoid future pain. Bad days help you recognize and appreciate the good ones. After all, what would good days be without bad ones to compare them to? So, the next time you’re faced with a bad day or even a number of bad days, take a deep breath, and focus on what you can gain from it.