In a previous article, I shared with you the importance of continuous career management and how spending nine minutes a day every day can help you advance your career.
Finding nine minutes and spending them building your brand doesn't seem like a hard task, but in this world of email overload, Twitter attention spans, and instant messaging interruptions, even a nine-minute habit can be hard to create.
Here are nine tips and tricks for making nine minutes a day work for you.
1. Set a specific time of day when you will devote your nine minutes, if you think doing so will make it more likely that you'll develop the habit. Use calendar invites and iPhone reminders to help turn intention into action. My nine-minute habit usually happens at 12:50 or 6:50 pm.
2. Set your iPhone alarm or computer alarm for nine minutes when you begin the task so you can stay focused on it don't have to keep checking the clock. You can also use an app like Bang Boom Buzzer as your timer.
3. Turn off your phone, instant messaging, and email chimes, and close your door (if you have one) to ensure complete focus during these brief but fruitful minutes. If you need to, lock yourself in a conference room or other quiet area.
4. Know that things you do outside of work have value to your career. For example, the charity work you do can be extremely valuable. We know that hiring managers and recruiters look for this in your LinkedIn profile. And the skills you gain while volunteering can make you more attractive and valuable to your current employer. Look at these activities through the lens of career management.
5. Consider using your nine minutes during nontraditional work periods throughout the day, like during your lunch break, while commuting, or while you're drinking that morning tea or coffee. If you link it to another habit, it will be easier to cement this new habit.
6. Prioritize the actions you will take and choose the ones that will bolster your brand. There are so many potential brand-building actions, you need to focus on the ones that will truly bolster your brand. For example, if your brand is all about being global, consider using the Tripit app and inviting your colleagues so they can see how international you are.
7. Challenge your team to adopt the nine minutes a day mindset, or be the sponsor of a corporate-wide initiative! Remember, career management is part of your job. And bringing the nine-minute routine to your marketing team or an even large group increases your visibility! And when others are looking to you for nine-minute guidance, it makes it more likely you will act on your nine-minute plan.
8. Blog, tweet, and update your LinkedIn status with the actions you're taking to advance your career. Don't keep your nine-minute actions a secret. It's a good way to let your colleagues know you are serious about your career.
9. Build a calendar each month with your nine-minute actions and put them in your "Do List." Spend Friday's nine minutes on recording what you did in your previous four days.