You’ve made the decision that you want to change career. You’ve got your to-do list.
You’re feeling motivated to get researching and networking and go for it.
There are loads of things you could do, researching, contacting people, searching, applying for jobs, looking at courses…
…but where do you start?
There’s a way I deal with my to-do list which works really well (whether for career change or anything else for that matter).
1. Highlight 1-3 of your top priority tasks on your to-do list.
Take a few moments to pick the things that will actually have an impact and move your forwards. Such as contacting someone who could give you practical advice or an opportunity, or sending off an application. Don’t get bogged down in the easy stuff like general ‘research’.
2. List each teeny tiny easy step you need to do to complete each task.
Really easy – such as ‘find phone number’, ‘have a quick read of their LinkedIn profile’, ‘write small summary of what I want to say’, ‘make the call’.
Or, ‘open up job application document (or download and print)’, ‘open up copy of CV to refer to’, ‘set aside x minutes to complete’, ‘work on first section’, ‘work on second section’, ’review’, ‘hit send’.
3. Pick one of these top priority tasks and get to work, step by step, crossing each off as you go along.
4. Ignore all else until you complete it. This is important. Focus and get it done. Then pick the next one and carry on.
So now I know how to break down the tasks on my to-do list. But how do I actually get started?
Now, as a client pointed out to me, you might get wrapped up in the art of to-do list-making. You spend all your time adding to and reordering your list (ehm, procrastinating) rather than actually ticking off the steps. How do you get yourself motivated to actually take action?
A few more tips:
- You need to focus on the result you want. Are loads of the tasks things you could do but aren’t essential? What is it that you really need to do that will make you progress? What will have the biggest impact if you do it?
- A fresh short list for that morning can help, forget about everything else for now, what’s the one thing you need to do today or this morning? What are the priorities?
- I’m a fan of setting a timer, 10-15 minutes to really focus and make progress, then I can have a break and make a tea or whatever. That really helps me, doing what I can in a short burst. If I’m then on a roll I’ll extend the timer!
- Finally, when you’ve had something on your list for a long time, a week, a month, it’s worth reassessing if it’s something you really want or need to do? Can it be scrapped? Or does it need to be broken down into something more doable?
Keep things as simple as you can to avoid overwhelm, and just super methodically work through the important tasks, breaking them down.
If you’d like to work with me on some coaching sessions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find a slot and sign-up here: calendly.com/joannaopokulifecoaching