566: Time Management Strategies for Career Change

Unlock the secrets to optimizing your time and achieving your goal of work that fulfills you and makes you happy!


on this episode

Are you feeling stuck in your current job and longing for a career change? 🙇

Overwhelmed by the thought of finding the time to make it happen? 😓

We hear this all the time, but the good news is that there are practical time management strategies you can implement to make time for career change!

Let’s dive in! 🏊‍♀️

  • Create a Master Schedule 🗓 One of the first steps in managing your time effectively is to create a master schedule. This involves mapping out how you want to spend your time each day and week, allowing you to prioritize tasks related to your career change.
  • Outsource and Automate 🔂 Consider outsourcing or automating non-essential tasks to free up valuable time. Whether it’s household chores, meal prep, or administrative work, delegating these tasks to others or using technology can give you more bandwidth to focus on your career goals.
  • Batch Similar Activities 👯 Batching similar activities together can help streamline your workflow and maximize productivity. Whether it’s running errands, responding to emails, or making phone calls, grouping these tasks allows you to focus and minimize distractions.
  • Eliminate Time Wasters ⏱ Identify and eliminate small, time-consuming tasks that add unnecessary stress and drain your energy. By decluttering your to-do list and focusing on high-priority tasks, you can reclaim precious time for your career change endeavors.
  • Manage Mental Bandwidth 🧠 Don’t overlook the importance of managing your mental bandwidth. Addressing minor irritations and distractions can help free up mental space and enhance your focus and productivity.

By implementing these time management strategies, you can overcome the obstacles that stand between you and your desired career change! 🏄‍♀️

Remember, effective time management is not just about doing more tasks—it’s about doing the right tasks that align with your goals and priorities.

Ready to take control of your time and make that career change a reality? 🤩

Start implementing these strategies today and watch as you move closer to a fulfilling and rewarding career path. 🚀

What you’ll learn

  • How to create a master schedule to effectively manage your time and prioritize tasks.
  • Practical strategies for outsourcing and automating non-essential tasks to free up valuable time.
  • The importance of batching activities and how it can streamline your daily routine.
  • How to identify and eliminate small time-consuming tasks that drain your energy and focus.
  • Insights into managing your mental bandwidth by addressing seemingly minor irritations that impact productivity.

Success Stories

The biggest thing in CCB that's changed my life, it helped me understand that I had an abused way of going back to the unhealthy environment in my current workplace without even realizing what it's doing to me. Once you helped me see that and once I got out of it, all the other areas of my life also improved! So it wasn't just CCB I noticed this career changing and wasn't just a career change. It was like a whole improvement all areas of life.

Mahima Gopalakrishnan, Career and Life Coach, United States/Canada

I was nervous. But obviously, it worked out extremely well. (Kelly) was unbelievable. I still keep in touch with her. She's phenomenal. And we had such great conversations. I didn't know that I would be getting laid off from this job. And I signed up for Career Change Boot camp a week before I got laid off. Which was just insane timing. And I just started it. I remember I wrote you guys, and I was like, “I just got laid off from this job. I'm so happy that I enrolled in this program.” And it was, it just was the perfect time.

Melissa Shapiro, Career Specialist, United States/Canada

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:01

If you've been considering a job, or considering a career change, or if you don't love your career right now, then you literally and figuratively can't afford not to dedicate the time to doing something about it.

Introduction 00:17

This is the Happen To Your Career podcast with Scott Anthony Barlow. We hope you stop doing work that doesn't fit you. Figure out what does and make it happen. We help you define the work that is unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you feel like you were meant for more, and you're ready to make a change, keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:43

Today, it's just you and me talking about how to find the time to make a career change even when you are insanely busy. And the reason that we've wanted to do this type of episode for a really long time is this is one of the biggest things that stops people again and again and again if you are wanting to make a career change. Finding the time, making the time, prioritizing the time, those sounds like they should be easy, and we all know they're not. And I don't want you to have to feel bad when it isn't easy, and instead, I wanted to be able to give you some ways to be able to find that time, take back that time, and do something about it here. Okay, so here's the reality. That to do something different, of any kind, you know, whether you're making a big career change, or whether you are training for a marathon, or whether you like to do anything different in your life, you literally and metaphorically have to stop doing something. It doesn't happen, like, think about it, if I'm going to spend my time in different way, I cannot do that without stopping doing something that was already in existence. It simply is not possible. Right? Okay. So now, the challenge here is that most people in the world, they get to this point, they get to this realization, and that's where they give up. And I totally get it. I mean, if you're listening to this right now, chances are high that you are a really busy person, you might have lots of responsibilities, you might have obligations, maybe even other humans depending on you, I have three little humans. So how on earth do you layer in something new, like making a career change to a new job, or you know, a new company or even a new industry with so many people out there saying, "finding a new job is a full-time job in itself", is no wonder it sounds so intimidating, and it starts to sound impossible. And then many people just give up at this point, continue to live in toleration, continue to say, "Well, you know, I guess that this is good enough." So in this episode, I actually want to give you a variety of ways, some you may have heard of, and never thought could actually work for you, and others you probably haven't heard of before in the way that we're going to talk about them. And I want to give you this variety of ways. And we'll call them techniques tools so that you can make 5 to 10 hours a week of space for your career change. And then it becomes very, very possible for you to do something about it at that point. I'm even going to share some of the more advanced techniques that I've personally used when trying to make time and space or some of the ones that we teach in our career change boot camp program as well. So before we get into those, though, I want you to truly understand what the cost, the actual cost, not just monetary cost, but also other costs as well of not doing this, not making the career change that you want to, when you're in a situation and you know something needs to be different going forward, not doing something about it or accepting it and living in toleration. So here's some really interesting pieces and a different way to look at it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 04:03

First of all, we've seen internally that changing jobs or changing companies is the absolute best time to increase your salary. We've seen lots of 10,000, 20,000, 40,000 dollar increases with our clients when they've changed jobs. And you've even heard some of the stories on the podcast, although we don't typically share in the episode how much they made before and after. If you've heard them on the podcast, most of the time, not all the time, they've usually made a pretty significant salary shift. But let's say that you're not getting a $40,000 increase. And let's say that you get just a 10% increase. Let's just use this as an example for a moment. You just get a 10% increase for your salary when you make this change. Let's do the math on that. If you made $50,000 per year, I know you probably make more than that, you probably make a different amount, but let's just do the simple math on $50,000 a year. So let's say that you make 50k per year, and you get a meager 10% increase, which is fairly common and relatively easy to do when changing jobs. That means that's $5,000 more than you made after making that change. $5,000 more. Okay, now, let's say that you spent 10 hours per week for four months working on that job change to be able to make that happen. Okay, what does that $5,000 more translate out to? That means that that's $31.25 per hour that you just made because you spent 160 hours working on making that job change, 10 hours per week, over spread over four months, translates to $31.25 per hour. What's crazy is that at $50,000 per year, which you know, if you make more than that, if you work around 40 hours per week, you're actually only making $24 per hour. And this means that your time is actually more valuable per hour when you're spending at changing jobs than working on the job itself. Okay, and this holds true as well when you do that same math, you know, at $100,000 as well and make it at just a 10% increase. It still is more valuable making the job change, spending your time on making the job change than it is working in the job itself, too. Crazy, right? Okay. And by the way, this isn't even counting future annual earnings at your new rate because I found that what happens is most people continue to take that raise with you over the years, wherever you go, they typically don't go backwards. And if we consider that you might have an additional 20 to 30 years before you retire, then that means that the 160 hours that you spent making a career change is now worth at least $625 per hour or a total of $100,000 over the next 25 years. And that's again, if you're just making a $50,000 a year salary. If you're making $100,000 a year salary that doubles, then, that makes that when you're looking at it spread over across those next 25 years, then it's worth significantly more, literally double that amount. Personally, I've done this, I've tracked this because I'm a total nerd like this when it comes to these types of things and really optimizing time. And I tracked this for about 10 years or so when I was working for other organizations. And the additional income I made from making career changes and getting raises each time, it made me an additional $200,000, little over $200,000 actually, during that time from just two job changes. Crazy, right? Only it's not really that crazy, this is something that happens all the time, only we don't think about it in these types of contexts. And this means that if you've been considering a job or considering a career change, or if you don't love your career right now, then you literally and figuratively can't afford not to dedicate the time to doing something about it. And this holds true whether you make 50k, 100k, 250k a year, the time that you spend changing jobs is likely more valuable to spend that way because it's the very best and easiest time to negotiate a raise. And why is that? Well, we've found that that's the time where you have more power in the negotiation process than any other time. Okay, so here's the crazy thing about all this. We just cited all that math and everything like that. And a lot of times people at this point are like, "Well, you know, it might take me longer to change industries or occupations or figure out what I want to do or anything else." But what we found is that, especially when it translates to raises, because that's the other thing that pops up too, it's like, "Well, if I'm changing industries, I can't really make as much." But we found that most of the time, this actually still holds true even when you're changing occupations or industries or jobs or roles to something that's new to you. We've seen that again and again and again and again. Are there exceptions? Sure. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, if you want to go from lawyer to beekeeper, then yes, you might experience different results. But most of the time, what we see is that people that want to keep their salary high and use the transferable skills that they enjoy are able to do so when that's what they're seeking out.

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:41

Okay, so the question comes back, of course, to how do I make the time to do this? In this episode, I want to give you some of the best ways that you can use to create an extra five to ten hours a week of time that you didn't have before that now you can devote to making a career change. So sometimes our episodes are not incredibly tactical. We delve really deeply into a lot of psychology and other pieces that have a tendency to stop people from making career changes, and some of the transformation that takes place during that process. A lot of times when you hear these stories of people that we've worked with on the podcast that have worked with our coaches, worked with our team, gone through career change boot camp, a lot of times, they're not the same person, in many different ways, when they started working with us, compared to after that transition, and there's a lot of psychology that goes into that. I love that stuff. But that's not what we're going to talk about today. Instead, we're gonna be fairly tactical here. And I want to give you some really specific ways, that way, at the by the end of this episode, you can say, "Hey, I want to pick one to two of these that I can use to get back time, so that I can devote it to making this career change." Because if you really want this to be a priority for you, then guess what, you're gonna have to do something about it. And I want to help you be able to do those things in order to make the time, make the space in your life.

Scott Anthony Barlow 11:08

Okay, so here's one of the things that behind the scenes in our career change boot camp program, some of our other programs, too, we use these methods. So we start out with, how can we actually plan better. How can we actually plan better. So there's two pieces to this that I've seen that are really, really simple. One, this is absurd. And you may have heard of this one before, but very few people actually take the time to do it because they don't realize the sheer amount of value that it can have. Okay, and that is taking a time inventory. So this can be really very simple. And an easy way to do this is, as you're going throughout your week, just keeping the journal, keeping an Excel spreadsheet, whatever is your style, it doesn't even matter what it is, that really doesn't matter. I have used a Google Sheet, I've used literally a notebook and a piece of paper, and capturing where you're spending your time, especially not what is on your calendar, especially those things that are taking you off of your calendar, or off of your routine, capturing what that looks like and understanding where your time is going. That is a huge hairy deal. Every time somebody does this and does a great job of it, and is capturing those pieces, and not just the actual things that you're doing, but even the decisions that you have to make that are taking time away from you, then inevitably, there are always pieces you realize that you can remove, or do differently. So this starts out with a time inventory. So that's one suggestion.

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:56

Another thing that we use that is a variation of that, skips over the time inventory, we call it creating the master schedule. In this exercise of creating a master schedule, think about it as creating how you want to spend your ideal week in terms of time for whatever it is that you're doing right now. So for example, that might be, I want to make the space and time to change jobs, change roles, identify what it is that I want to do, what creates an ideal career for me, and then be able to make the space to make that happen. So going through the process of detailing out what your week looks like. And almost thinking about this as a time budget. A time budget in which you plot every 15 minutes of your day for one week. And then that makes up your ideal week at the end of that exercise. Okay, this can be really simple, we don't have to overthink this at all, you can literally draw this out on a piece of paper on one side and put the times or the hours of the day, down the left-hand side, and then on the top divided into each day within a calendar week. So seven days in total. And then draw in and write in, again, imperfectly where you want to spend your time. So for example, that might be getting up at 6 am each morning, and then what's the first thing that you do before you go to work. What do you want that time to be spent on? So this does not sound super complicated. But unless you understand the value that you're getting out of it, you may not actually want to spend the time doing it. Inevitably, here's what happens. First of all, we've never had a big go through this exercise and be like, well, I found no value out of that. We've had many people that have hesitated to do the exercise and said, "Ah you know, that seems like one that, you know, people that really haven't figured out calendarisation, or budgeting their time or anything, that's one that they should do." And instead, what we've realized is that when people go through and take the time to do this, they find one of two things– they either find that they just have tons of things jam-packed into their day, right now. And it's really difficult for them to create time, and then it becomes just super, super relevant to them to make sure that every minute or every hour is spent valuably on things that they want to or that they're going to have to get rid of something, or the other realization is more along the lines of, "Wow, I actually have more time than what I realized. And I'm just not using it in the way that I thought that I could." So we usually see one of those two extremes. I've got less time or more time than I have realized. Either one, whatever conclusion that you come to ends up being valuable. So for master schedule, this is something I actually use. I've used for, oh my goodness, probably 10-12 years now at this point in time. So that thing that pops up that we've been told in the past by some people look at and go, "Oh, that's for amateurs." We respectfully disagree. We believe that much the same way that you see somebody running along side of the road, that is training for a marathon, and you think that "Wow, that person doesn't need to run. They're really, really fit." They're fit because they run, or they're fit because they take care of themselves in that way. And they do that all the time. This is the same type of concept here. You know, somebody who has time and has created time for the things that they believe or most important at any given time are, because they do things like this, they go professional in the areas where it counts. So that's perfect example. I do master scheduling, I have done one, at least quarterly for the last probably 10 or 12 years, can't remember exactly when I started. Either way, this helps you understand what and where you want to spend your time on and creates that ideal for you so that you can then put that into reality. Because if you haven't identified what is the ideal, it's going to be really difficult to try to model that day after day in reality. So this is not intended to keep track of like every appointment that comes up, if you have hair cut, you know, two Tuesdays from now, that's not the way that you're using the master schedule. This is literally a one-week version of how you want to be ideally spending your time. Is everything going to go perfectly to that? No, absolutely not. But it does help going through this exercise helps you understand the difference between where you're at, and where you want to get to. So we use this method and we use this exercise all the time in our career change boot camp program. It is so incredibly helpful to realize where your time is going, and where you have those pockets of time.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:04

Okay, so this is one place to start because it helps pave the way for just how much time you actually need to create or free up or make use of or what you already have maybe that you didn't know you need. Maybe you've got already three hours of time that you just didn't realize that you had in there. And now you only need to find an additional two or three or five hours. Okay, so let's talk about another really useful set of tools here. And we're gonna put these into a category. And this is outsourcing and automating. The things that you don't have to do yourself. We've alluded to this on one other episode on the Happen To Your Career podcast. But I think that this is one of the most underrated things that you can do is identifying and either outsourcing or automating those things that don't require you unless you absolutely love them. So were talking about things like laundry, meal prep, lawn mowing, occasionally, I mean, if somebody else picked up the kids. All of these pieces, unless you are absolutely loving them, then there may not be a reason to keep them in your schedule. They're things that take up time that are not necessarily adding massive amounts of value that somebody else easily could be doing. So let's talk through some of these pieces here. So I have kids, mentioned that earlier, I've got some small humans, and one of the things that we have found is it takes a lot of time to run them around. It absolutely does. Especially where, you know, they're into sports or into taekwondo. My son plays hockey, my two other kids play soccer. You've got all these different things. We've got tournaments, we've got games, we've got school activities, you name it. You might have those too, if you have small humans running around. And if you do, something that can be super easy to take the time to set up, even if you don't want to do something extreme, like, I've considered hiring a driver at different points in time. And we haven't done that, however, what can be the next step down that might be super easy to do for you, and also incredibly effective is set up a carpool. We found a lot of times that other parents of other kids are going to the same places at the same time, all the time. Taking the time to set up a carpool, or have somebody else pick up the kids or trade-off. I do it this week, you do it next week, all the kids got to get to the same place, they're coming from the same place, you know, it's often with a small amount of upfront planning can save you that back and forth across town at least once a week. Which that back and forth cross-town, even if you're in a small town, you know, it can add up to if it's just 15 minutes one way, 15 minutes another way, or 10 minutes one way like that's 20 minutes each time, half an hour each time. If it's longer across town, that can add up to hours in a given week, which gets spread across the month. So something that's really easy to do. There's a great example there. Let's say that you don't have small humans. Well, what about if you have lawn mowing, meal prep, all of those types of things, cooking, planning out meal for the week, all of those types of things can be outsourced. And in some cases, automated. Lawn mowing is a great example. And you might think some of this stuff is actually really expensive to pay someone else to do. It doesn't have to be. We found a neighborhood kid to mow our lawn for $20 each time, and he would have done it for less. But $80 a month and never ever have to think about the lawn again. I don't have to think about it. Occasionally, I talk to him and say "Hey, can you mow it a little bit longer? But that takes all of 15 seconds." But I've taken this a step further too. We have a guy from our church who's a teacher who comes to fertilize our lawn four times a year, the house is sprayed for bugs four times a year as far as outdoors go, I don't enjoy mowing the lawn, I don't enjoy spraying for bugs, and I don't want to spend my time that way. And it's taken away from the things that I can be doing that are more valuable for me to spend my time. In this case, it's my work, or it is spending time with my kids or family or traveling, or other things like that too. In your case, it might be freeing up that extra time in order to allow you to focus on changing jobs and taking advantage of the increases that have a tendency to come along with that too. All right. So here's another thing too, I find that so many people have not taken the steps to set up everything on direct withdrawal, or auto pay or created an automated finance system. This is something that if you haven't done, taking the time to do it once now may take you a total of five hours, but then for the entire rest of your life, it just becomes small tweaks. And you never have to do that, again. Never have to write another check again. You never have to, and yes, there might be exceptions, yes, I know I'm gonna get some emails where it's like, "I'm still gonna have to write a check about dadada-" save the email instead. Let's focus on the bigger picture. And then that instead, you end up freeing up many, many, many hours over the course of month, year, and future years, as well. So that's another area that you can get into too. And by the way, if you want to get really good at outsourcing things that you don't have to do, you can go take this up to three five notches here, you can hire an assistant. And I have learned that some people have real hang-ups and mental barriers about hiring an assistant. Some of these are around time worth, some of these around having other people do tasks that you've grown accustomed to doing yourself, and some of these are other types of hangups too. But I've personally done this, even by hiring a virtual assistant when I was in HR leadership. And we were down some team members at the time, and I even had this person help out with the non-essential tasks or tasks that didn't require passing along sensitive information from the company, which are way more than what most people realize. And at the time, I even did this with my boss's blessing, and the company paid for it. It gave me back about seven hours per week, which was pretty cool. But you can do the same thing for you as well, personally, it doesn't necessarily have to be paid by your company. But you can get back this time too. And people often wonder what can assistant do for you. Well, they can take all of the little things off your hands that you don't even realize they're taking up your time, like, calling and scheduling appointments and putting them on your calendar and calling and sitting on hold for customer service departments or ordering items. I can't tell you how much time prior to having an assistant that either myself or Alyssa would spend ordering items or researching items or trying to determine what is the perfect item. And then a lot of times, now, I can have an assistant actually do all that research, send me the options, I can look at that, and then they can do the ordering. Booking travel is another one. Finding and calling the repair guy to come fix the dishwasher. All of these little tiny things, researching things I need to know about my son's hockey camp, whatever it is, there are likely that you have 20, 30, 40 things that are taking place in your given month that you don't need to do yourself that somebody else could do. So yes, I realized that for some people, this is going to come off extreme. And sometimes people get hung up about the value of their time here. And you might think I pay 250 or 300 dollars a month for a virtual assistant to work part-time 15-20 hours a month because I could just do it myself. And that's the hang-up people get into. And I've been there. I totally understand that, felt the same way myself. But think about what that saying about how you feel about your time if you don't believe that your time is worth more than 15 or 20 bucks an hour, you may have a hard time convincing your next employer that you're really worth the extra money that you're going to be asking for them, right? So it comes back to that mental perspective too in what you believe about your own time that doesn't get considered. And also is, potentially, costing you money as well.

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:48

Okay, so here's another great one that you can do– batching things together. Taking the time to recognize what gets done throughout the week, and can be batched together that takes less time, overall, when you batch it together. So here's an example. Getting the mail. I realized and Alyssa, my wife, realized that we were getting the mail every day. First of all, very few things that were really important actually came to us in the mail, lots of it was junk mail, the vast majority of it, I'd say 90 plus percent of it was junk mail. And the occasional time where we got something that was important or that we did want to see, well, it really didn't matter if it's at an extra couple of days, right? So what we started doing at that particular time is going through it once a week just getting an email once a week and then sorting through it and the tossing everything in the recycle bin or even every two weeks. For most people, nothing life-changing is coming in the mail anymore. And the extra minutes you gain back by not getting the mail and sorting through it every day is much more valuable than knowing three days sooner, that you're pre-approved for yet another Black Label MasterCard. Okay, other things that you can batch together that take less time when you do them all at once. Ordering household goods, or better yet, automate them like we've talked about before setting them up on subscription. Or what about meal planning in a given week, creating a menu ad at the beginning of the week, and even batching together trips for the grocery store. Instead of making multiple trips throughout the week, can you do a better job of planning the meal and allowing yourself, yes, it takes more upfront thought and time and everything like that, but batching it together might save you an extra 2, 3, 4 trips throughout the month to the store. Okay, so there's a few examples of how you can batch things together. Here's what I would encourage you to ask. As you're going through, and as you're doing that time inventory or you're thinking about your time start to recognize what are those areas where I'm spending my time on that pop up more than once throughout the week. Or more than once throughout the month? Is there opportunity, and likely there is, to be able to batch them together in some way? Or as we talked about earlier, can we automate them? Or can we outsource them in one way or another? Okay, I want to give you another area here too. Eliminating the small things that take time on your to-do list. Completely removing this from your life. I love doing this by the way. It appeals to my maximizer and strategic strengths if you're using the StrengthsFinder verbiage, both of those are something that I love. It also appeals to my nerdiness about how I can enjoy just four more seconds today than yesterday. A recent example of this was we realized that our once really nice cooking pans had a lot of use over the years. And now every single time we use them it takes so much longer to clean by hand. And we might use these three or four times a week and although it only takes a couple of minutes to clean the pan, neither Alyssa or myself like doing it. So it was extra time that could have spent spent elsewhere. And time that we certainly weren't enjoying, or what would happen a lot of times is we simply wouldn't do it that night. And then it would sit in the sink for the next 24 hours and become an irritation, which ended up taking away our mental bandwidth. And we'll talk more about that here in just a minute. So instead, we realize that it would be actually less than $75 to replace the pans. Why? Well, because we don't need the whole huge set of pans that we had, and instead just got two pans that are the type that we use most often, and that clean up in seconds. And over the week, this gives us back about 10 to 12 minutes each week. And I know I know, I know, I know, 10 to 12 minutes does not sound like a lot, it really doesn't. And it isn't, except that when you realize that you probably have lots of 10 to 20 minutes, or 10 to 12-minute weekly items that are sucking your time away minute by minute. And if you can just find and remove 5 to 10 of these, it starts adding up to hours every single week. Every time we find one of these, we always say the same thing. We always are like, "Ah, I wish we would have done that months ago.", "I wish we would have done that years ago." Okay, now here's something that's really important to know. It's important to note here that the actual time taken by tasks, and that's one category, and then there's a whole nother category of mental bandwidth and stress that impact your ability to function productively with the small amount of time that you have left over. Now, here's an example of this. We constantly have things that we want to donate to Goodwill. And we made a conscious effort over the last couple of years to just try and buy less stuff. Because we kept noticing the same pattern like we'd buy it, a kid would use it, we'd use it for a short period of time, and then nobody would ever use it again. So we just now buy less stuff. And actually, that ends up saving our time over the long run for a variety of different reasons. And in this case, even though we buy less stuff, we still find that there are those toys, the kids no longer play with or clothes that we no longer wear, or it just don't work anymore. And once we decide we no longer want these, what used to happen is we would pull them out, and we'd set them aside in the corner of the room until we would go to Goodwill and drop them off. Now this doesn't sound like a big deal, except that it might be two or three weeks until we were planning on making another trip. So then every single time I would walk past those, and we think, "Wow, that looks messy over there. We've got to take those to Goodwill." And then I'd spend the next 10 minutes irritated that the house always felt messy, whether it actually was messy or not. You know, that's what was happening. And so we realized this was sucking up our mental bandwidth. Simply because we hadn't actually done anything about it. And because it was constantly a present. I might walk by that pile 5 or 10 times a day. And that ends up becoming not just an irritation, which is a lesser quality of life, but also ends up capturing my attention. When my attention and bandwidth could be focused on something that is more enjoyable or more productive. And again, this is getting into the nitty gritty. But by not addressing these things, it feels more stressful. And that's what starts to add up to the, at the end of the day, I don't have any energy to be able to focus on doing something like making a career change, too. So all these little things have a tendency to add up. So in this case, here's what we did, we decided we don't want to look at those anymore. And every single time we're looking at them, it's a bad situation, it takes away that bandwidth. So we created a staging area in our garage. Really, really simple solution. And now every single time we have something that we want to give away, then there's an oversized laundry basket that sits there in that staging area and collects all the donation items until we make the next trip to drop them off. And our kids know that that's where those go, we know that that's where those go, we've got a place to put those it's not in the corner of the room, it's not taking our attention. Now I spend literally zero minutes a year thinking about it or being irritated about it. It's just something that happens on autopilot. And it can been completely removed from my time and attention.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:19

Okay, so you have some of these right now too. Here's what I would encourage you to do in order to find these. As you're going throughout your day, pay attention to those things that irritate you, and write them down. And that's likely where you're going to find those areas that you can do something about that are stealing your actual time and also your energy and bandwidth as well. And then create a solution for the ones that are capturing the most of your attention and check them off one at a time. And what you're going to find is you're going to end up getting actual time back as well as mental bandwidth and energy back too. Both of which are important. Okay, so we've gone through a huge list of examples here. What I would encourage you to do is go through and just choose one or two of these to start with, so that you can create more time in your given week. And then you can read devote that time to be able to make a career change. This has got to be where you first start, this sets the foundation for nearly everything else to happen later.

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:35

Hey, if you've been listening to our episodes here at Happen To Your Career and you want to make an intentional career change to much more meaningful work and have it neatly laid out into an organized framework, well, guess what, we actually have that available for you in the Happen To Your Career book. It's available on Amazon, Audible anywhere else where you get your books. You'll learn about the five hidden obstacles, stopping your career change, how to figure out what would truly make you happy with your career. And what brings you more happy more often. And more importantly, how to transition to a much more fulfilling career and life. You can find the book on Amazon, Audible anywhere where books are sold, by the way, people are particularly loving the audiobook, which you can access right now in second.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:24

Here's a sneak peek into what we have coming up for you next week right here on Happen To Your Career.

Speaker 2 36:30

If you don't know where you're going, every path is good for you. And when you have a path that you choose, then you can focus all your strengths and your resources towards that path. That was a feeling that never had failed before and it was amazing.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:46

If you've had a successful career, you may not even realize that you're on autopilot. That is until one day something changes. Maybe it's something in your personal life. Maybe you're part of a round of layoffs, whatever it may be, you realize your career has unfolded around you and you've never really stopped to think, "Is this really the direction I want to be headed? Is this the type of work I want to be doing? Is this how I want to spend my time?" What happens then? Then what? How do you take control of your career when you're already 10, 20, 30 years in?

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:19

All that and plenty more next week right here on Happen To Your Career. Make sure that you don't miss it. And if you haven't already, click Subscribe on your podcast player so that you can download this podcast in your sleep, and you get it automatically, even the bonus episodes every single week, sometimes multiple times a week. Until next week. Adios. I'm out.

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