Here's something a little different! For today's blog post, I recorded a video, with 7 Time Management Tips for Resume Writers.
Using these time management strategies, you may be able to cut the time it takes to write a resume in half. Good work habits can be the factor that makes all the difference.
Here's a summary of the tips:
1. Identify your easiest tasks. Make a list of things that you really enjoy -- especially the activities that put you "in the zone," making time seem to fly by. Move items that are not legitimately work-related to another list. Prioritize the remaining activities in order of importance. Highlight in yellow activities that directly make you money; highlight in blue activities that are not directly billable to a specific client, but are still work-related. Start each day by doing the "money-making" (yellow) tasks first, then see how many "maintenance" (blue) tasks you can fit into the rest of your day.
2. Identify your most-hated tasks. Compile a list of your "drudge tasks," and think about each one. Ask yourself: Why am I having so much trouble with this task? Do I feel inadequate or overwhelmed by the task? Is it just boring or outside of my skills and interests? How can I eliminate this task? Will my resume writing business survive if I do? Who can I outsource or delegate this task to? If I decide to keep doing it, what would make it more fun or easier to manage?
3. Identify distractions. Eliminate predictable distractions (like that hour you lose each day on Facebook) and work to minimize unpredictable distractions (like the dog whose paw is stuck in the dishwasher). Schedule those "time-suck" activities for a specific time of day (ideally, at the end of your workday), or set a timer to remind you it's time to get back to the "money-maker" tasks.
4. Set goals you can reach. Break projects down into bite-size components, then schedule and tackle those components in a manageable number each day. If a long-term goal seems unattainable, break it down into easier, short-term steps.
5. Re-evaluate your daily priorities. If being overwhelmed is a big problem for you, pick just three single priority tasks per day, and tackle those first, before you do anything else. (Usually, these will be client consultations and the actual resume writing process itself.) You'll be amazed at how much easier the rest of the day will flow.
6. Take breaks. You'll produce your best work if you remember it's all about balance in your emotional life, your personal life, and your work life. Get up from your computer at regular intervals. Schedule small, regular household tasks into each day as a "work break." Consider an exercise break midway through the day -- say, a 20 minute walk around the block. And take a music break -- especially for tackling high stress projects!
7. Recognize your rhythms. Every resume writer has an optimum time of day when they produce their best work, as well as a minimal time of day when they are most likely to "fight" their work. Fit your work around your minimal periods -- and do your best to ensure your "peak" periods aren't interrupted by unnecessary distractions.
Want more resources to help you with time management and your resume writing? Check out the "Write Great Resumes Faster" special report.