If you check my LinkedIn Recommendations, people say I work at ‘an incredibly high speed’, am ‘the best organized person I know’, and am ‘somehow, always simultaneously thoughtful and expeditiously efficient.’
So I thought it would be fun and useful to share how I manage my time and energy while job hunting. Of course, I practice these and they apply 100% even when working at a job or on personal projects!
- Analog Productivity - It starts with writing down what I want to do for the day in an index card. The physical limitation helps a lot to not overload myself.
- Time Blocking - I schedule the tasks I wrote down into my calendar, in 30min to 1.5h chunks. If it's not on the calendar, it likely won't get done! Many of my 30min chunks are like ‘Prep Jed’, which is reviewing a person’s LinkedIn, their company, how we met, etc. Then thinking of 3-5 questions I want to ask them. I write all these down in a note in my notes app. Helps a lot to ‘reload context‘ when you’re in simultaneous conversation with 15 to 25 people per week, which I am when job hunting. (Tip: This is how I prepare for and make meetings effective, too.) Time blocking also helps me turn amorphous ideas into actionable todos.
- Physical Timer - Once I start on a task, I often (not always) set a timer. It helps in two ways. One, to help me work more efficiently, e.g. I don’t necessarily have to write this post, but it’s fun for me to! So I want to limit it to 30mins. Two, when dealing with scary, procrastination-inducing tasks, I set a timer just to start working on it for 15mins. Usually, once I get started, I can keep going!
- 10 ideas - Inspired by James Altucher’s ‘The Ultimate Guide for Becoming an Idea Machine’ I start my work day with writing down ten ideas at the back of that day’s index card. Helps a lot to keep my energy and motivation high (one of the biggest challenges when job hunting). It’s how things like this post comes about! Ideas on what? On anything! Yesterday’s was ’10 ideas to provide better UX for power users of app’. The other day, ’10 ideas to make job hunting fun'
- Walk - I take a walk around the block for 15 to 30mins in the afternoon. It helps a lot to clear my head and keep my energy high.
Hope this helps, and if not, then I hope it was at least entertaining!
OK, my 30mins are almost up, time to prep for Jed ;)