EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Ah, that very useful invention of mine, the day stretcher. If only it actually worked.

Not only doesn’t it work, but it would also appear that there is nothing one can do about time that is lost. Once time has passed, it is gone. (When sailing, it is similar to what I call the sploosh syndrome, which I apply to anything that falls over board that doesn’t float.)

It is a shame we can’t make our days longer or actually make up for lost time, but it is one of those “facts of life” that we can’t do anything about.

All that is left for us to do is to make the best use of the time we have each and every day, and that unfortunately requires planning.

As you sit at your desk in the evening, give serious thought to what happened during the course of your day or recent days. (I don’t know about you, but I have problems remembering anything much before yesterday, so my reflections only cover a short time frame.)

Anyway, let’s first think about those very valuable hours from 9AM to 5PM and set a few priorities.

The first law (recently passed by congress) is that you can’t call anyone much before 9AM or after 5PM. Since human contact is our most important activity, try to block out those hours most days for phone calls, or as we like to say: Networking, networking, and more networking. If you aren’t making calls then, hopefully you are engaged in face to face meetings at those times.

Early mornings and late evenings are the times to work at your computer. Hey, you can’t call anyone anyway. Surf Internet sites for job leads (if you must) at those hours. Research companies that you want to contact the night before or on the weekends when you can really focus. Each evening, make up your lists for the following day of things you want to accomplish.

(Personally, I sometimes practice “just in time planning” which is where I make up a list at the end of the day of everything that I did, and then cross everything off as accomplished. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work as well as advanced planning.)

Especially early in a search process you will find that there is so much to do and so little time. Setting priorities can be difficult. Remember, not deciding what is most important is also a decision.

The law of phone calls is that you can only have 30-40 actual conversations in a day. Each actual phone call takes on average 15 minutes, so plan accordingly. If you are doing mailings where you promise to contact folks, don’t send out more than you can handle.

I always promise myself that I will get caught up some day. If only I could get time to stand still.

Now that would be a winning invention, don’t you think? I’ll have to put it on my list for tomorrow.

Regards, Matt

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