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Time Management Tips to Create Your Ideal Career in 2020

By Donna Cooper MS, NCC, Career Management, Onboarding and Encore Career Planning, The Workplace Coach, LLC

Donna Cooper MS, NCC, Career Management, Onboarding and Encore Career Planning, The Workplace Coach, LLC

If you want to take charge of your career in 2020, start by learning time management.  

Wherever you are in your career path – whether you’ve hit a wall in your current job or are pondering shifting careers – your ability to manage your time effectively will determine your success. Healthy time management, not too little or too much, will give you the leverage to change any situation.   

You need to make the time 

In my career coaching practice, I encourage new clients to set aside time to think and reflect. This is an essential first step to broadening one’s perspective so you can see new possibilities in your current work situation or imagine an altogether different path for yourself.   

Those who have poor time management skills typically run into problems, quite simply because they’re unable to find or make the time for this foundational process.   

Do you have time management issues? 

Time management involves being mindful and intentional about how you use your time.   

Poor time management manifests in many people as procrastination or paralysis.  

Others believe they are just too busy. They may be the victims of too much time management. (Yes, this does exist.) They load up their schedules so much that they have no time for movement in a new direction.   

This type of poor time management typically manifests as perpetual busyness or feeling overwhelmed. With regards to career management, it provides an excuse, intentional or not, for lack of change.   

Regardless of the manifestation – procrastination, paralysis or busyness – poor time management squeezes out the creativity you need to envision your next career move or moves and put them into action.  

Time management facilitates change 

Once you’ve visualized where you want your career to go, you’ll need to develop a strategy and action plan. Your action plan is your map. It provides direction, as well as flow, purpose and hope.  

Here too, good time management is critical, because it allows you to use your time in service of your highest priorities, goals and values.   

I have found that career coaching clients who have strong time management skills are far more likely to prioritize their own success. Rather than getting bogged down by procrastination, paralysis or busyness, they make sure the tasks in their action plans get done! This creates movement toward their goal or goals.  

5 steps to putting time management to work for your career 

If you want to take charge of your career in 2020, you’ll need to carve out time both for the creative work of envisioning the new and the different and for the action phase. Making sure you manage your time effectively is a great first step. Here’s how to get started:   

1. Analyze your current time management habits. How do you use your time? What’s working? Where do you waste time? What could you do better?  

2. Identify the time management tools and tactics that will work for you and commit to using them in 2020.

3. Take your new time management strategy for a test run. Give it 6 weeks, then reassess. What’s working? Have you freed up time to manage your own career? What do you need to change? 4.

4. Tweak your time management strategy every quarter or so.  

5. Be sure to build time into your schedule for your career management, then guard that time at all costs.

It’s time to make a change 

The phrase, “It’s time!” calls for action and NOW. If you’re at a stage in your career where you find yourself thinking, “I’ve had it!” or if your current work is no longer fulfilling, why not make 2020 the year you do things differently?  

There is no better time than now. “Later” delays.  “Maybe” procrastinates. But “now” creates action, and action creates change. It’s time for you to have the change you desire.  

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