4 Steps to Remove the Not-Enough-Time Barrier

Not Enough Time ExcuseDon’t tell me you don’t have enough time to make things happen in your life – to find a job, to go to school, to start a business, to change careers, to lose a few pounds, whatever it is you’ve been wanting to do…enough TIME is not an excuse to NOT achieve higher levels of success in your life!

Every single one of us is given 168 hours a week, no more, no less! It’s how we choose to spend those hours that determine what kind of life we live. We can choose to just settle and let life happen or we can choose to be INTENTIONAL and take control of it!

You’re not alone in believing the “I don’t have enough time” lie. I too, believed it and used it many times as an excuse to why I was overweight or why others got promoted ahead of me. It’s the easy way. It deflects the real reason behind the why I don’t have ___________________ (fill in the blank).

The real reason was not that there wasn’t enough time; it was the fact that those things weren’t a PRIORITY! I allowed other things to control my time & energy preventing me from reaching my goals.

You see, I found time to be on Facebook. I found the time to watch American Idol, The Biggest Loser, and do other non-productive activities. It wasn’t that I didn’t have time; because when I added it all up I found I did have time to make changes in my life. Changes that are allowing me to live a full life!

  • If you’re sick & tired of being sick & tired.
  • If your job is “sucking the life” out of you.
  • If you can’t seem to get off the Merry Go Round of life.

I have one question to ask… “What are you doing about it?”

Are you falling into the trap of telling yourself and others around you that things would get better if you only had enough time? Sounds like an old worn out excuse.

But Jeff you don’t understand, you don’t know my situation – I work 50 to 60 hours a week, spend an hour a day commuting to work, then I get home and I spend time with my family and then its time to start the cycle all over again: Wake up, go to work, come home, eat, go to bed, wake up…you get the point. It just seems like life is spinning out of control.

You just don’t understand! If I had the time, don’t you think I’d be doing something about my situation? Don’t you think I’d be trying to make a change for the better? I’m just so worn out and tired by the time I get home it’s useless to consider something different.

Sound familiar? We’re sick of our job. We’re tired of being overweight. We’re just so worn out from a life out of control that we can’t do the things we want to do! Saying I don’t have enough time makes it easy to give up. It’s an excuse, a lie that we come to believe as fact.

  • If we’re sick of our JOB and don’t take the time to change our situation it’s easier to accept the fact that we’re always going to be “stuck.”
  • If we’re tired of being overweight and don’t take the time to exercise it’s easier to accept the fact that this is the way God made me
  • If we don’t take the time to do a better job at work it’s easier to accept it when others get promoted ahead of us.

Are you ready to make a change? More importantly, are you willing to make a change?

If you’re ready to take control of your time and live an empowered life then follow the 4-step T.I.M.E. plan outlined below. No need to be elaborate here – Start simple and build upon the change you create. The key is to “DO Something” – take ACTION:

T - Track your time. An important tool in getting out of debt is a budget. You’ve got to know where you’re spending your money before you can move towards eliminating your debt.

It’s the same with your time. You have to know where your time is being spent before you can take it back.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a simple piece of paper to track your daily activities. Keep this up for 1-week and document everything. I recommend keeping track of your time in 15-minute increments. At the end of the week…

I – Investigate where your time is being spent. Where are the opportunities to “take control” of your time?

  • Do you find yourself spending an hour a day on Facebook?
  • How much time do you spend watching TV?
  • What about playing video games?

Is there an opportunity to cut back on these activities?

What about waking up 30-minutes to an hour earlier or reverse this strategy and stay up later?

Write down these “time block” opportunities, be realistic about the time you can commit. Start small and build to larger blocks of time.

M – Make a plan to achieve your goal. What is it you want to achieve with your new found “time freedom?” You need to have a plan targeted towards the goal you want to achieve, otherwise you’ll slip back into old habits.

A simple strategy I recommend to people is the 30/30 Plan. Anyone can do this! Commit to spending at least 30 focused minutes each day for the next 30 days working towards your goal. If you will do this – YOU WILL see results!

E – Evaluate where you are at the end of 30-days or whatever time period you give yourself.

  • Did you reach your goal?
  • Are you closer now than you were before? You should be if you followed the plan outlined above.
  • What obstacles did you hit?
  • What successes did you experience?
  • Is there an opportunity to redeem more time?

Don’t stop after the first 30-days, build upon your success and go another 30-days, take it to the next level and do the 60/60 plan – 60 minutes a day for the next 60-days.

When I followed this plan and evaluated my time I found I could get up 30-minutes earlier in the morning, which allowed me to get to the gym at 5:00 am, workout for an hour and get to work by 6:45. Over the course of a few months I lost 12-pounds, have more energy and am feeling better about myself.

I’m now building upon that success by focusing on other goals. I try to be as intentional as possible about how I spend my time. It wasn’t too long ago I’d spend an hour playing video games, but now I ask myself, “Is there something better I can do with my time?” The answer is usually a resounding Yes.

Stop letting “enough time” rob you of the success that can be yours!

Redeem your time, Take control of your life, and Be empowered to make the necessary changes. Give it 30-days – time is going to pass anyhow, why not make it count?

Question: What is your biggest obstacle in “finding time” to achieve your goals? How have you overcome the too busy or not enough time barrier? Share your tips or questions below -

Photo provided by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wow the Employer Quantify your Accomplishments

Employers want to see results when reading your resume – what’s in it for them and how can YOU help them achieve their goals!

One way to show your results and wow the employer is by quantifying your accomplishments!

90% of the resumes I see contain generic statements that don’t tell an employer anything about what they accomplished – you need to “quantify” your results:

Compare:

  • “Organized company wide luncheon recognizing the accomplishments of women in the workplace.”

To:

  •  “Organized company wide luncheon attended by over 1500 people involving senior leaders and state legislators recognizing the accomplishments of women in the workplace.”

Compare:

  • “Trained several employees in the Prevention of Sexual Harassment.”

To:

  • “Trained over 2,000 employees annually on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment in the workplace.”

Think about what you did, the amount of people involved, percent of improvement and/or dollars increased or saved – each of these add value to your accomplishments. Taking them from generic to specific, measurable results showing the employer how you’ll benefit their organization.

Here are 5 Powerful Questions to ask yourself that will help you identify, clarify, & quantify your accomplishments:

  1. Did you do anything that improved things making them faster, better, or cheaper than they were before?
  2. Did you save the organization money, increase productivity or sales?
  3. Did you coordinate any events or projects i.e. like a fundraiser?
  4. Did you train anyone? What were the results?
  5. Did you volunteer for more work or responsibilities?

Sometimes all it takes is asking a few questions to get the creative juices flowing, to spark the brain into action and fire up old memories. Spend some time answering these questions, writing down what you’ve accomplished. Use your answers to “Quantify your results & wow the employer.”

Question: What tips do you have for quantifying your accomplishments? Share your tips or questions below -

Coping with Job Loss Breaking the News

Losing your job is never an easy event, but breaking the news to your family can be one of the hardest things you do.

You’re likely to ride a wave of emotions from anger to depression and a variety of others in between. Let’s face it, coping with a job loss is tough, especially if you have children at home who may be at an age where they don’t understand.  

We all handle things in a different ways, but there are universal similiarities to what we experience when dealing with a job loss. Some experts say it’s like grieving the loss of a loved one!

One of the keys to coping is recognizing the emotions you’re feeling. Don’t be surprised by what’s happening – as you deal with this you may experience a range of physical & behavioral symptoms such as:

  • restlessness
  • loss of appetite
  • irritability
  • trouble sleeping
  • etc.

You’re going to feel what you feel – so be prepared for it. Don’t use it to justify any inappropriate behavior, but anticipate the fact that you might not be in the best of moods when in crowds or dealing with people, especially family.

Stay positive, seek the support of others, & most importantly get into a routine. Channel your emotions into the fuel that ignites your job loss into an exciting new career or business. Empower yourself, take control of your career and persue your PASSION!

James Pilcher in his Article “Telling the Family You Lost Your Job” uses some emotionally descriptive words to describe his feelings: Angry, Hurt, Scared, Vulnerablecan you relate to these? I bet you can, I can!

James gets real in his article and provides great tips on how to handle the conversation with your family. I especially liked the point he made about “remembering what’s important” and the quote he uses from Marc Cendella of The Ladders -

“Teach your children that the most important things in life are health, family, and being together.”

Take some time to read James’ article http://manofthehouse.com/money/career-advice/telling-family-lost-job (link opens in a new window) – it will assist you in putting things in perspective when breaking the news to family, while helping you cope with a job loss.

Question: How have you coped with losing your job? What helped you keep your perspective as you went through the emotional roller coaster? Share your tips or questions below -

Photo provided by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3 Benefits of Creating a Resume Outline

Your resume is a “key” component of the job search process and “one resume does not rule them all” – each resume needs to be targeted to the specific job announcement! A resume outline is your strategic advantage to highly focused resume. Remember…

Generic resumes get generic results!

Most employers, in today’s competitive environment, spend 20 seconds or less scanning your resume. That’s it – your shot at getting the job is summed up in a 20 second scan. In that time your resume needs to clearly outline how your skills, experience, education, and accomplishments “qualify” you for the position.

Many people I talk to know they need a resume, but they just don’t know where to start! I always recommend starting out with a resume outline. It takes about an hour or two of concentrated effort, but the payoff is incredible. It’s one of the best ways to cut your resume writing time in half, while allowing you to target each resume to the job for which you’re applying.

3 Benefits of a resume outline are:

  1. It consolidates all your information in one convenient place.
  2. It re-familiarizes you with your employment history, accomplishments, and the value you bring to an employer.
  3. It puts you in a better position to write a highly effective resume, because you’re prepared!

Follow the guide below to assist you in preparing your resume outline:

Thank You for Interview Email

Thank your way to new job!

Can it be that simple? Well, yes & no.

Today’s economy has painted a bleak employment picture with many people competing for the same opportunities. It’s not a secret that you need to “Stand Out” to get hired. Thank You for Interview Email

What can you do to make yourself memorable? To keep your name in the forefront of the hiring manager’s thinking?

One way is through a simple “thank you for the interview email” – it can make you memorable! It can give you the competitive advantage you need to get hired.

The question or questions you may be asking yourself or me (Career Coach Jeff) is…aren’t emails informal? Do they really make an impact with the employer? Shouldn’t I send out a thank you note through snail mail? My answer is always yes, yes, and yes!

Email does tend to be a bit more informal for communication, BUT when you’re sending an interview thank you email make sure you keep it formal.

Also, they do make an impact. Feedback from employers is they appreciate a thank you and think highly of the person who sent it to them. It’s not a guarantee for the job, but it definitely moves them up higher in the consideration pool.

Sending out, what I call a “hard copy”, thank you through snail mail is the double impact. I highly suggest people I coach to send both an email & follow up with a card in the mail. The email allows you to make a quick follow up, within 24 hours. The snail mail approach gives a delayed impact a couple of days later.

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Breaking Through a Job Search Plateau

Has your job search hit a stand still?
Have you been sending out your resume and getting little to no response?
Have your job interviews been far and few between with no feedback from the employer?

You’re stuck and there seems to be no hope in sight! That’s exactly how it can feel when you hit a job search plateau. You’ve lost traction and just can’t seem to get back on track. All your progress has come to a grinding halt. How frustrating!

You’re not alone in your experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an unemployed individual who decided to give up and leave the labor force spent an average of 21 weeks trying to find a job. These individuals hit a plateau and instead of breaking through to success they just gave up!

You see, most people think of plateaus as a setback, but they’re not! Typically, it means you’ve stopped making progress. It doesn’t mean you’ve gone backwards. Many people seeking to lose weight hit plateaus. It doesn’t mean they’re gaining weight. It usually means their body has adapted to their current changes and they need to do something different. If they continue doing what they’ve been doing they won’t see the results they want.

If you’ve spent some time looking for a job and haven’t seen results, see it as an opportunity to focus your attention and evaluate your current condition. Don’t see it as a setback. Realize your efforts so far have not been in vain.

The 3-steps outlined below will build on your recent efforts helping you break through your job search plateau to achieve success:

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