Tips For Organizing Your Time And Life

So often you hear people say ‘but I just don’t have enough time’. In this chaotic world that we live in, it is essential to have good time management skills if you are to get the most of your day. Some handy ways to do that include:

 Making Meals Is Now A Breeze

Take the time to think and plan your menu each week. That way you will know what ingredients to buy when you are shopping saving not only time, but lots of money buying unnecessary items. Then plan your meal in advance using these simple strategies.

  • Peel the vegetables the night before and leave them sitting in a container of water in the fridge

  • Prepare your meals in a slow cooker, turn it on before leaving to go out and when you return your meals will be cooked. No fuss, no effort, and lots of saved time

  • Look for one pan recipes to save on time, dishes and energy

Using a slow cooker not only saves you loads of energy after a long day at work, but will assist you greatly in your busy lifestyle for those times when you need to be in and out the door in a hurry with only limited time between work and your next commitment.

Organize Your Self In Advance

Due to the ever increasing pressure of rising home prices and expensive grocery prices many families have now found that both parents have to go out to work. Consider doing the following to saving yourself valuable time each morning and take the stress out of your day.

  • Pack the children’s lunches when cleaning up dinner the night before

  • Organize your work clothes and children’s clothes before going to bed

  • Iron any clothes that require ironing for the next morning and hang carefully

  • Get up before the rest of the family to have your shower

These few little tips are proven strategies for easing morning stress in many households whilst keeping the hectic schedule of getting yourself and any children you may have out the door and off to your daily activities.

Keeping A Planner

  • Carry a small diary/planner with you at all times
  • Schedule in your appointments and be sure to make time for those all important family get togethers.

  • Be sure to factor in travelling time from one place to another. This way you can stay on track with your day and not waste time by being late because you didn’t think about travelling time when planning your outing

  • By keeping a diary/planner you will never double book yourself, saving your self time in having to re-schedule appointments due to double-bookings.

 Implementing these easy tips and tricks into your personal, social and business life will make things so much easier and you will always be able to make the most of your time. They are proven strategies that have been used time and again by many families with positive results that show a reduction in stress and an increase in contentment. Try them for yourself and see what you think.

What is a Chronological Resume?

A chronological resume is one of the most standard styles of resumes used. It is also the formatting method that most employers tend to prefer; it is simple and straightforward for a prospective employer to read through quickly and it clearly delineates relevant work experience. The basic overall formatting when writing a chronological resume is to list your job history in chronological order, beginning at the top with your most recent or present work experience, followed by your subsequent work history. Additional skills, education and other pertinent information is then usually listed at the bottom of the resume.

The chronological resume format offers both certain benefits and disadvantages. The effectiveness of using a chronological resume format will depend largely upon your personal work history. This resume style focuses primarily on your work experience, therefore if you have large gaps in your work history or a trying to make a switch in careers, another resume format, such as a functional resume or combined resume, may be more appropriate for you. If you are applying within your current job field or have a solid work history, one of the advantages of this style is that it highlights these positive aspects for your employer.

What Is A Combination Resume?

A combination resume is a format that combines both a functional resume style and a chronological resume style. A combination resume begins with the functional resume attribute of functional skills. This allows candidates to seem relative, no matter what their previous employment history is.

Make sure to add key skills that would make you appealing to the job, not just personal attributes. From there, the resume lists work history in reverse chronological order. This is still important, as it is what employers value potential employees by the most. Many people can benefit from a combination resume, as it allows potential employers to see both sides of your workability. Not only does it list previous employment, but it also gives the employer a chance to see skills that you possess naturally.

By using a combination resume’, it is easy to clear up any long droughts of unemployment. Candidates entering the job market for the first time in years as well as people aiming toward a new career will benefit from a combination resume. Candidates that have a solid work history in the same field likely would not benefit from a combination resume. Combination resume’s combine the best of both worlds and can enhance your ability in landing a new job.

A Guide To Overcoming Job Loss

If you’ve unexpectedly lost your job there are several things you can do to soften the immediate impact. Following are some helpful tips to identify and pursue the benefits, direction, and attitude you’ll need to move toward finding a new job and taking care of yourself and your family financially during the transition.

Exiting Successfully

Finding out that you’ve suddenly lost your job is a huge shock. But no matter how shocked, angry, embarrassed, confused or worried you are upon getting the news, remember that there is one thing you still have control over – your response. How you respond to finding out that you’re out of work can affect your relationship with your soon-to-be-former employer and what sort of support you’re able to get as you exit your position. You don’t have much control over the situation, but you do have control over yourself and you can try to choose how you deal with it, to try and act rather than only react. When people lost jobs suddenly or unexpectedly, they often have little time to make decisions and that compounds the stress.

Think about what you might need during your transitional period while you’re looking for another position. For example, if your employer offers a severance package, review it before signing it. You may be in a position to negotiate with your employer about possible benefits before you leave. Even if your company uses a pre-determined formula to set severance payouts, given the sudden nature of your circumstances, think about whether or not you may be able to negotiate for additional benefits such as:

  • Giving you a longer transition period – for example, asking to be kept on with the organization for an additional period of time to finish or find a better stopping point for any key projects, to organize your work and pack, with the understanding that you’re beginning the process of disengaging from your employer;
  • Allowing you to use your office (in an unpaid capacity) for a certain period of time while you look for another job;
  • Permission to apply for other jobs within the company, or, if circumstances make that impossible, ask if your boss will consider you for future positions, temporary assignments, or consulting opportunities in your area of expertise;
  • A letter of recommendation or reference you could take with you to use in your job search (if you have a good relationship with the organization and with the person you’re asking to be a reference), particularly since many companies are only willing to confirm that you worked there for a specific period of time;
  • Use of office equipment such as fax machine, copier, Internet access, etc. while you look for a job; and
  • Outplacement services that might include career counseling or coaching, training, and job search support including resume writing and interviewing techniques, paid for by your company. As part of your exit process, the Human Resources department should provide you with information on your benefits, but in case they don’t, ask for:
  • Information on any financial benefits such as stock options, pension benefits, and your 401(k) plan and rollover options
  • Paperwork to COBRA your health insurance if you choose. You may also want to inquire whether such policies as life insurance, long term disability insurance or anything else you may have had as an employee can be converted into individual policies and get information on how that could be done and at what cost, should you choose to.
  • Information on how to access your credit union funds (if you had opened an account through your company) As you close out your work and pack up, make sure to take or make copies of any performance evaluations, samples of work you’ve done, and any awards of letters of commendation.

Although this is an awkward time for both you and your former colleagues, remember that with some time and a well-planned job search strategy you’ll be working again. Also remember, you’re not alone! Other people have lost jobs suddenly, unexpectedly, and successfully made the transition to a new position!

The Emotional Aftereffects of Job Loss

Losing a job is a major life change. It’s natural to experience a wide range of emotions when you’ve unexpectedly lost your job. Many people experience grief-like symptoms including shock, confusion, anger, denial, and depression. It can help to remember that just as looking for a new job is a process so is absorbing and adjusting to the loss of your old job. As much as you can, try to take a few days or weeks to grieve and resolve emotional issues before you look for a new job. If you are overwhelmed by these feelings, talk them through with a trusted friend or counselor. Journaling can be helpful in working through powerful emotions. Check out your library or local bookstore for resources on processing grief and moving forward after experiencing such a significant loss. Look for local job networking support groups. If your former employer provided you with outplacement, consider taking advantage of services they provide to deal with job loss, and then begin focusing on what they provide to help you get to what’s next such as workshops on resume preparation, access to equipment such as computers and fax machines, and even career development strategies. Keeping physically active, eating well, and getting enough rest will also help reduce the stress you’re experiencing. Take small steps. Caring for yourself physically and emotionally both while you are working through the sudden shock of losing your job and when you begin taking steps toward your next job will improve your approach to finding a new job and how you interview.

Try to see this as a period of transition. Because unemployment can feel isolating, stay connected by intentionally spending time with close friends and family. This is a unique time in which you can do things you haven’t had time to do before – like see your kids’ plays or soccer games, volunteer at church or for a community cause, make some needed home repairs, learn some new skills.

Realize that your sudden unemployment affects your entire family, kids included. Children pick up on their parents’ stress and anxiety. Do what you can to reassure them, and try to keep to predictable rhythms. Don’t pretend everything is the same; don’t hide the event from them or your anxiety. As much as you love to provide your family or dependents with what they want, explain to them that you as a family will need to harness your spending so that you can weather well the time between jobs. Encourage your family to brainstorm together about ways you can save money. Assure children that the job loss is nobody’s fault. Consider letting your child’s school guidance counselor know about your situation so that he/she can be attuned to any change in your child’s behavior. Take care of yourself and each other as much as you can. Get the outside support you need to manage your job/career and worklife transitions. For example, there are great websites such as www.familiesandwork.org;www.nww.org; www.womenconnect.com; www.workfamily.com;www.ncoa.org; www.shrm.org that can help you cope.

As you go through this process, you will have to establish a new set of routines and rhythms. Set goals and schedules for various aspects of your job search. Even small things can help provide you with a sense of accomplishment. As difficult as this time may be, by choosing to make some lifestyle and attitude adjustments, you’ll be well on your way to landing a new job.

Filing for Unemployment

Many people feel ashamed at the thought of claiming unemployment. It’s important to remember that unemployment compensation is not a government handout. Your employer paid money toward unemployment insurance while you were working. You have a right to receive those benefits. You can file for benefits by phone and should begin the process once you’ve formally left your job. You’ll receive your first compensation check approximately two weeks after losing your job, depending on whether or not you received any severance. You’ll need to call in once a week thereafter to keep your account active and to keep receiving benefits. You’ll receive your first claim check 2-3 weeks after filing.

To get your benefits, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number, address, phone number you can be reached at, and pay stub, and names and addresses for all employers within the past 18 months. The amount you’ll be paid is calculated based on your salary prior to job loss. The amount you’ll receive, and for how long you’ll receive benefits, varies state by state. Remember that tax isn’t withheld from unemployment checks, but it is taxable income so you’ll need to put money aside so you don’t end up having to unexpectedly pay taxes at year-end.

Maintaining Health Insurance Coverage

Even though you’re out of work and money may be tight, you don’t want to risk being uninsured. You are legally entitled to maintain your health insurance under your company’s health insurance plan under something called COBRA (the Consolidated Budget Reconciliation Act). Although you’ll be able to maintain your insurance, you’ll now need to pick up the full tab for the policy. You may also be charged an additional 2% for administrative costs. You’re allowed to continue your coverage for up to 18 months.

You might find that the premiums are too costly for you and that you can find a cheaper plan by shopping around. If you belong to any professional organizations or clubs ask if they provide member discounts on insurance.

It’s important to maintain your health insurance not only in the event of a medical emergency, but also to maintain what’s referred to as “credible coverage” that may help make you eligible for your spouse’s plan if necessary.

Managing The Transition To A New Job

Looking for work is an intimidating process for most people. Looking for work when you¹ve just suddenly lost a job can seem even harder. But in some ways, you should consider yourself ahead of the curve. This period of transition can be a time of discovery that opens up new doors and maybe an entirely new career path for you. Maximize this time of transition by reflecting on what you liked and disliked about your former position; taking time to identify what benefits you¹d like from a job; and finding the resources and tools you need to prepare yourself for the job-hunting process. With a smart strategy you¹ll be well on your way to finding the job that¹s right for you.