How a budgeting problem can help your job search (or job)

I was overspending by 20% every month. I had an absolutely fixed income.  So I bought a notepad and kept track of every expense.  In one week it was obvious where the money went.  In a month it was unavoidable.  The truth? 20% of my very limited income was going for lemonade from cozy little shops in Murcia, Spain.

Your time is very limited.  You only get 24 hours a day.  You can’t buy more time. Do you really know how you use it?

Buy a small notebook.  Exert incredible discipline for one day or one week.  Every time you shift tasks, write it down.  A phone call is a shifted task.  An internet link can be a shifted task.  Write it down.

It may help to create 15 minute intervals on the paper and write down what you did for each 15 minute period.

Now get out the chainsaw.  What was really REALLY productive?  Do you spend 2 hours daily trying to avoid offending people by chatting amiably or reading their useless emails.  Cut out the unproductive stuff.

Make sure you do what is important.  Education—essential. Networking—critical.  Talk about the NCAA tournament with Larry—don’t kid yourself.  That email of funny things kids do—delete it.

I did a 2 month experiment.  Years ago I took all my job openings off the internet.  I found I was spending hours each day with email that wouldn’t do any good.  Instead I found alternate sources of good candidates.  In the recruiting business that is taking a chainsaw to your daily schedule.  Nothing neat and clean, I just cut 25% of my schedule off with a chainsaw.  It worked.

I did a new experiment.  For two months I posted jobs to minor job boards.  I wanted to see if things have changed.  I used logs, discipline, and experimentation to see what worked best.

Your job search and your day at work can probably use some scientific discipline too.  Track your time occasionally.  See where your time is being spent and where the greatest return on your time is.

Create the time log.  Keep it for a day or a week.  Get your chainsaw out.  Cut off the termite riddled, least productive part of your schedule.  Use the time you save to get the most useful things possible done.

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Something To Do Today

Create a time log.  Use it for your job or your job hunting.  Keep it. Analyze it.  Chainsaw it.

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Later:             Unbelievable networking facts.

Take unfair advantage of those networking facts.

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