Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!!!
We hear this word all the time right? Well sometimes it is easier said than done. Being organized and managing time does not come easy to everyone. However, prioritizing tasks is very useful when job searching and life in general. Learning how to prioritize tasks is very simple. All you need to do is incorporate at least one of these tips into your everyday routine.
Define your priorities
One of the first things you need to do when prioritizing tasks is to figure out what are the most important things you need to do. An easy way to do that is by making a to-do list.
Break your list into three categories of importance:
- high importance
- medium importance
- low importance.
A good tip when job-searching, is to complete the tasks that take up most of your time in the first half of the day. Things like following up on job leads and editing your resume, CV, and/or your cover letter. Those tasks can be time consuming and you want to be able to concentrate. However, if you are a person who is more alert in the evening you may want to make that time your high priority hours. Your priorities are just that…YOURS!!! Just make sure they are working to your benefit and not setting you back.
Develop a routine
Once you know what you need to do, you have to decide how you are going get those tasks done. Developing a routine is helpful when prioritizing tasks because it allows you to keep track of your work and your schedules. It also keeps your mind from wandering all over the place. Routines don’t happen overnight. If you find yourself slacking off in the beginning, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just make sure you try to remain as consistent as possible.
Calendars are your friend when in comes to prioritizing tasks. They are extremely useful in helping you keep up with what needs to be done and when. Writing in your appointments on the family calendar doesn’t take much time and it keeps everyone in the loop. Most people have smartphones these days. Use those calendars to your advantage. Even if you forget if you have your phone or online calendar set up properly, it can send you reminders.
Have a central to-do list
Having a central to-do list allows you to be up-to-date on the status of your job searching and other projects or activities. There are several ways to create these kinds of lists. Again, make use of your smartphone and download some of the productivity apps that are available. If you are not a tech savvy person, keeping a notebook is just as effective. The thing that makes all of this work is YOU.
Don’t spend most of your time on email
Active job seekers receive countless emails each day. Learning how to organize these emails can definitely be a lifesaver. You don’t want to feel like you missed out on anything by not reading all of your emails. But time can very easily get away from you if you don’t have a priority system in place. Most email providers now have tabs that actually can prioritize your emails for you and not against you. These features are a huge help. You know what is important and what doesn’t need your immediate attention. Explore your email and you surely can find ways to use your email for prioritizing your work. Make it work FOR you and not against you. This will benefit you greatly not just in getting a job, but throughout your career.
Tools to help you prioritizing tasks
There are a number of tools and applications that can go a long way in helping you organize and prioritize your tasks. We put together some of the most important and popular tools being used by professionals across the globe.
Remember, prioritizing tasks is an extremely personal process. There is no one way that fits all. Some things may work better for you. Some may not suit you at all. The secret is understanding what works best for you. All you need to do is to be clear about what you need to get done, how you need to get it done, and by when do you need to have it done.
Featured image credit: Phil Desforges
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