Career Management & Time Management–How They Mesh

You might consider yourself a savvy career manager and still miss the boat if you actually aren’t using your time wisely. Before you say, “Who, me? I’m a great time manager!” take a few minutes to evaluate yourself honestly. Maybe you’re not doing quite as well as you think in that regard.

Difference Between Career Management and Time Management

In my view, here’s a concise version of both these concepts–you might have a different view:

  • Career management: A well-thought-out plan for a healthy career with progressive action steps to be taken that help you get where you want to go and stay where you want to stay. (This includes planning and conducting a successful job search when that’s your goal.) Note the mention of “well-thought-out” and “action steps.” The two need to go together–and will, if you’re doing it effectively.
  • Time management: A plan that relies on careful organization and execution of tasks (“to do” items) within a fairly specific time-frame. As you probably know, any number of systems and approaches have been presented by “experts” to guide people like you in achieving successful time management. If you’re not doing well at this, it must be because you’re doing something wrong, right? Perhaps, but not necessarily.

Productivity and Time/Career Management

As noted, I believe you need to combine (mesh) career management and time management in the most effective way in order to be truly productive with both of them. I don’t know about you, but I feel as if I’m constantly seeking new and better ways to be more productive in my business and personal life. Because I’m a human being, not Wonder Woman, I sometimes come up short of that goal. Maybe you have, too. If so, you might find it worthwhile to read an article I came across today by Janet Choi, titled “4 Ways You’re Lying to Yourself About Being Productive.”

Choi’s article offers 4 self-deceiving views of productivity and a possible solution to each one (listed only briefly below–read the article for more detail):

  1. Lie #1: My Day’s Full of Activity, So I Must Be Super Productive. Solution: Use a “Done” list rather than a “To Do” list.
  2. Lie #2: Please, I’m a Multitasking Master. Solution: Practice single focus; try to concentrate on just one task at a time.
  3. Lie #3: Schedule, Schmedule! I Go With the Flow. Solution: Get into rhythms instead of timetables–replace itemized tasks with higher-level goals.
  4. Lie #4: No Worries! I’ll Do it Tomorrow. Solution: Find an accountability ally to help you overcome that pesky foe of productivity: procrastination.

Will this make a positive difference in your career management and time management success? Hey, it couldn’t hurt, and it might just help. When you really make the most of your time, instead of just kidding yourself, you could also find your career management planning becoming much more effective and…well, productive.

To briefly summarize: Mesh your career management and time management activities so they move you toward ongoing achievement of your career goals, instead of spinning your wheels and deluding yourself into thinking you’re really accomplishing something worthwhile.

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