I’ve had to lead a self-directed day since I got laid off, and I’ve found I am really good at putting things off.
There are always priorities, and always new little fires. There are always things I want to do, and things I DO NOT want to do.
What I’ve learned in the four years since I’ve been self-directed is that I have to do the things I don’t want to do first, or else they get pushed back.
First they get pushed back until the afternoon, then the next day, then the next week, and before I know it, I have tasks that just aren’t getting done.
Unfortunately, these tasks are usually important tasks. Many times they are critical. But I still figure out a reason to put them off.
If I get them out of the way as early in the day as possible then I can move through the rest of the day easier, faster, and seemingly more productive.
Put me on the spot and ask me what job seekers will think their #1 dreaded task is and I have to say:
Calling someone on the phone.
Okay, perhaps it’s not dreaded to call a networking contact on the phone. But once that “someone” is a hiring manager, HR, or someone you are trying to network into, the phone suddenly weighs 500 pounds and it seems like you’ll never be able to pick it up.
Do it first. Get it over with.
Here’s a salesperson’s secret: Call before business hours. You’ll either get the person at their desk, with time to talk (no other interruptions), or you’ll get their voice mail, where you can leave a great voice message that they’ll start their day with.
Whatever your thing is that you’ve been putting of, readjust your schedule so that you do it first… I bet your entire day will change!