How-to: efficiency

People with a lot of free time, don’t always use it as good as they could. Unstructured free time does not imply getting things done. At university, I had a class ‘Effects of the media’ that obviously was about the consequences of the use of media. We learned about studies that found out that people reach out to television and computer because they have a lot of unstructured free time. So media isn’t to blame on this matter actually: it’s not because we have media, we tend to use it in our free time; it’s because we have unstructured free time, we use media (e.g. Robert W. Kubey). This is of course put too simple, as there are other reasons to use media too. But for this matter, you have to keep only this in mind.

When you have so much free time (I’m thinking about people on retirement, the unemployed, sick people,…) you often think ‘I can do that later’ and can get consumed by media: with digital TV there’s always something to watch, the internet has Youtube, Facebook,… which can be addictive and so forth. Being unemployed for a couple of months I experienced the same thing. In the beginning, I was busy with sending resumes 24/7. After a while, when only getting negative responses, I lost my motivation and drive. My alarm clock got set back to 10 o’clock instead of 8 and I watched a lot of series on the internet. This didn’t help me get a job of course and once I realized it, I decided to make a change.

There are three things you need to do to make sure your free time is structured and to be efficient:

Set goals
Ask yourself this: what do you want to do (in life, in your spare time)?, where do you want to go?, what do you want to accomplish?,… These questions will help you set goals. Write your goals down so you won’t forget about them. You can even put a deadline on them if this works better for you.

Some of the goals I set for myself were: getting a job ASAP, finish projects and get the mess out of my head (job rejection really put me down for a while) and out of my room.

But other goals can involve travelling, hobbies,… Anything you want.

Make lists
What do you need to do in order to get to your goals? Write this down, so you can tick things off when you’ve finished them. This works very motivating and keeps you going because it shows your progress.

For example, in order to get a job I need to:
–    Make sure my resume is good enough: let 2 people check this out, ask 3 people their resume to compare
–    Send at least 3 companies a day your resume
–    Go to at least 3 employment agencies
–    …

Be as specific as possible!

And last but not least: do not lose focus on the goals you set. Keep them in mind every day, so you won’t forget about them. You can even hang them on your wall if this helps you remind.


Proof that this actually works? I found a job within 2 weeks I decided to use this method 🙂


Time to get started!

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8 Responses to How-to: efficiency

  1. TBM says:

    Good advice. I love making lists!

  2. ivan stewart says:

    retired after 40 plus years….still loving life and all it’s wonders…my take on life and work….the more you work..the better you live…the less you work..the less you live…and treat every day like an incredible adventure…

  3. ha-vinh says:

    And I would add another advice: don’t run after too many goals at a time. If you face too many goals the first action to be undertaken is to prioritize one.

  4. ha-vinh says:

    And I would add another advice: don’t run after too many goals at a time. When you face too many goals, the first action to be undertaken is to prioritize one.

  5. geralin89 says:

    This is some great advice… I’m gonna get started on that now!^^

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