Friday, May 3, 2013

SMART Job Seeker Cheat Sheet: Time Management

 By Mary Salvino, Career Management Coach

This easy-to-use cheat sheet pulls together the best tips, tricks, and advice from our archives.  It has been created to provide clear recommendations on how to address the most common areas for improvements related to managing your time during your job search: 

  • Eliminate/mitigate ALL distractions:
    • Learn to say, “No”
    • Turn off your phone
    • Check e-mail only at scheduled times of the day – 9:00 am, noon and 4:00pm
    • Shut the door to your office
    • Take the first 30 minutes of your workday to plan/re-prioritize your daily activities
  • Identify and use some sort of simple time-management system:
    • Excel sheet?
    • Post it notes?
    • Pen and paper?
    • Electronic calendar/agenda?
  • Establish routines and stick to them as much as possible
    • Set time limits to address each task
  • Classify your tasks into one of the following:
    • Maintenance tasks
    • Progress tasks
  • Sort your tasks into one of the following categories:
    • Must do
    • Should do
    • Nice to do
    • Delegate
    • Eliminate
  • Colour code your tasks using the following system:
    • Red – URGENT
    • Amber – Important
    • Green – If time permits
  • Add/prioritize top 3 tasks in each category
  • Complete all tasks on your RED list before turning your attention to the Amber tasks.  Complete all items on your Amber task list and address the green tasks on your list at the end of your day.  (Be ruthless! If it is not on a list, it doesn’t get done!)

Do you have any other time-management tips to share?

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Copyright © 2013, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved.  Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2013, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog authored by Mary Salvino, the Senior Consultant for SMART Career It is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future career opportunities. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please send an e-mail to