Maintaining productivity increases the chances of discovering your perfect job. But sustaining focus and motivation can be challenging, especially during a long hunt. Make your hours count and keep productivity up by incorporating these six job search habits into your daily routine.
Here’s are job search habits to keep productivity up when you aren’t feeling motivated:
1. Create a plan.
Want to make tomorrow great? Formulate your course of action before you stop working today.
“How you prepare for your day the day before will have the biggest impact on your daily production,” says Mitzi Weinman, author of It’s About Time! Transforming Chaos into Calm, A to Z. “Because you just ‘lived’ your day, it’s still fresh in your head. If you wait and plan in the morning, there’s a better chance that distractions will end up preventing you to plan, and you’ll be in reactive mode throughout the day. Also, moving undone tasks forward in the calendar means that you are taking control of your tasks and don’t feel like you’re always behind—no need to look backwards to see what you haven’t done.”
2. Start big.
Ranking activities in terms of importance can help ensure that the most promising or pressing things receive due attention. Weinman suggests tackling these tasks first each day. You’ll get a mood-boosting feeling of accomplishment and reduce stress when that important custom cover letter is complete rather than hanging over your head all day.
3. Limit interruptions.
While it may not seem like a big deal if your child comes by to ask for a snack or your spouse decides now would be a great time to discuss paint colors for the bedroom, being pulled away even for a moment disturbs focus. You’ll waste time trying to get back in the zone and increase the odds of making errors. Deal with issues before you start to work, and let others know the “do not disturb” sign on your closed door needs to be respected.
However, it isn’t only other people who lure your attention elsewhere. Self-interruption can be a huge distraction. Since we often worry that we’ll forget something if we don’t act on the thought immediately, keep a notebook next to your work area. Quickly jot down whatever pops into your mind—returning your sister’s phone call, searching for a missing library book, making a weekly menu. Then, pick a time later to deal with this list and assign each item a place in your master schedule.
4. Control social media usage.
Facebook, Twitter, and the like rank among the top modern-day time zappers. But since these things also have a role in job searches, people often consider time spent on them justified. Instead of giving yourself free reign, be strategic. Close anything you’re not using to avoid the “I’ll just look for a second” temptation. Block out time to complete specific activities on LinkedIn, which tends to be the most useful professional platform. Save the primarily personal-use sites until the end of the day when other tasks have been accomplished and “wandering” won’t be so disruptive.
5. Schedule in breaks.
Lunch is a necessity, not a luxury (and eating at your desk doesn’t count). People need time to relax and recharge. Looking forward to a planned break can make work hours pass more pleasantly. Even if you fill the time with a “practical” activity such as unloading the dishwasher, moving around and thinking about something else besides job hunting for a bit can revitalize your efforts when it’s time to return.
6. Surround yourself with positivity.
Finally, don’t underestimate the energy required for a successful job search. Fill your life with people and activities that keep your spirits up. Make time to exercise. Create a dream board. Hang out with friends who offer hope and reminders of your great attributes. Feeling confident can boost productivity because you’ll be excited to show others what you have to offer!
Readers, what job search habits do you employ to keep productivity up in your job search? Share your tips with us below!
This article appeared in the January 22, 2016 edition of FlexJobs blog.