As busy job seekers, we seem to drift through our work, never worried about anything and never seeming to accomplish anything. At some point, we swoop in and pick up our slack. Or we simply role with the punches, do no more than we have to do to get by, and let everything else take care of itself.
Is that the way you want to work? If so, stop reading and take a nap.
There is only one good reason to take control of your time and manage it to best advantage: you want to get things done and make work better for yourself.
Is that a selfish thing? You bet it is! But just think of all the benefits that come out of this type of selfish behavior. Because you proactively manage your time, you benefit from creating more spare time to spend doing the things you love. If you have family or close friends, that means more time to be around job seekers who make you laugh and who care about you. It can also mean you acquire a reputation for being an efficient job seeker who gets the job done on time -- or even before the deadline. As a result, you have a better chance of making more money and increasing your productivity.
So go ahead and be selfish about the way you manage your time. You benefit, your loved ones benefit, and as a job seeker, you benefit. That means there is not much of a down side for you.
What Happens When We Don't Manage Our Time Effectively?
When we make a choice, either consciously or by default, to not take hold of our time and use it to our best advantage, life can get pretty rough. You will most certainly miss out on a lot of good things, many of which will never come your way again. Even everyday tasks will become overwhelming and seemingly impossible to handle.
It doesn't matter whether we are talking about work, things around the house, your friends, or conditions at work. If you don't manage your time well, you will lose a lot.
Here are some examples of how failing to manage your time properly can have a negative impact on your workday:
1. You're twenty minutes starting work this morning. That's because you didn't set the alarm clock last night and overslept. If that wasn't bad enough, you have a bunch of e-mails to respond to. And one of your clients has left four messages on your answering machine, asking you to call him back ASAP.
2. There is a good reason why your client wants to see you. Your weekly project is already two days overdue. What your client doesn't know is that you are only half way through the task, since you seem to get sidetracked by something else every time you attempt to finish the project. Things look pretty bleak as far as getting it done today, since you are already behind with today's tasks, thanks to starting late once again.
3. Poor performance and a growing reputation for tardiness is not winning you any new clients or impressing your existing clients.
4. Want to make more money? Forget it. Your existing clients are not about to recommend you to their colleagues because you are habitually late and can't handle your present workload. In fact, one of your clients has threatened to halt work and find another job seeker to complete the task. You will soon be spending extra time and stress looking for new clients to maintain your business.
Before too long, things begin to fall apart, creating a lot of stress and inconvenience that you could have avoided if you had simply managed your time better.
Job seekers sometimes think the process of time management focuses on tasks that are somewhat complicated and have a series of steps that they must complete. While there is no doubt that time management principles apply to detail and labor intensive tasks, they also apply to the everyday mundane tasks as well. This is where many job seekers trip up and get themselves into a lot of trouble.
If you don't get anything else from these examples, take away this one simple fact: Poor time management creates a snowball effect that eventually causes you and others around you a lot of grief. Life is a lot easier when you master the little things and keep the boat on an even keel.