I’ve been getting ready to go on vacation all week. Four days of preparation traded for 9 days gone. The nights are short because I wake up at 3:00 or 4:00 AM, thinking of all the things that must be done BEFORE I LEAVE. I have been rushing around, making lists, doing wash, packing, writing checks and notes, paying bills online–you know the drill.

The strange thing is–I feel incredibly efficient and powerful. What is causing that?

My theory is this: rather than go through the week and “allowing” things to happen, I am consciously planning:

  • “What is essential to get done today, tomorrow, and the next day?”
  • “What can I put off for 10 days?”
  • “What activities can I drop altogether?”

This hyper-awareness of the shortness of time is actually exhilarating. My planning makes me feel powerful and efficient. I am focused because I have strict limits on the time available to me.

What if you applied these concepts to a Job Search? How would that look?

Act “as if” you only have 90 days to get a new position. Map out a plan of when you need your marketing materials (2 weeks), when you will be seriously campaigning (8 weeks) and when you’ll be interviewing (2 weeks). One client created her own schedule–and the universe cooperated by providing her just the right resources along the way. She worked hard–during her campaign, she was networking 3-6 times each week!

Drop some activity that is getting in the way. When you’re planning a vacation, you don’t hesitate to cancel some activities. If you’re job hunting, be sure your family, social and community responsibilities don’t get in the way. Your first priority is YOU and your new job. Because getting a great new position allows all the other things to flow in your life.

Schedule yourself for more than you believe you can get done. Your first priority is expanding your network and getting job leads. Spend a day at Starbucks, and schedule 3 Information Interviews instead of just one. Even if you really don’t want to go to that association meeting on Wednesday night, do it anyway. Pushing a little now will pay off in big dividends.

Create and set aside your Interview clothes. Put them–clean and pressed–in a special place in your closet. When you are ready for an interview, you are much more likely to get one.

Ask yourself, “If I could do only one thing today, which one is most important?” Chances are, that one thing is actually a phone call, a face-to-face meeting, or an email. The most effective thing might be the thing you are putting off. Do it FIRST.

When you challenge yourself with time, you’ll find you are more efficient than you could have imagined.

Gotta go. I still have to make it to the post office, bank and grocery store. What about you?

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