Have you ever set out to check off tasks on your to-do list while job searching and realize that the day has slipped by with nothing completed? If yes, then you’ll definitely benefit from these 3 time management hacks to use while job searching!
3 Time Management Hacks for Job Seekers
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Tip #1: Prioritization
When I have things that I need to get accomplished, I brain dump a huge laundry list of tasks. Then, I go back and prioritize their importance and assign each a number. This way I know in what order I need to complete my tasks.
This gives my day structure and structure is something I find to be very important when job searching. I too get caught up in shiny object syndrome. If you can complete projects one by one and cross larger accomplishments off your to-do list, you boost your confidence. And gain more headspace to focus on the next project at hand!
Think of job searching like building a house. If you don’t have a strong foundation, nothing is going to solidify. I highly recommend not skipping steps and taking the time to understand your priorities of what needs to get done and when.
Tip #2: Time Blocking
You might cringe if you tally up how often you refresh your inbox or open up Instagram and scroll each day. However, every time we switch gears, it takes time for our brains to catch up and re-focus. I highly recommend that you schedule tasks for your job search just like you do your meetings in the corporate workplace.
Time blocking is scheduling certain days and times to focus on specific tasks. For instance, if you know you want to finish your resume within the week, get even more granular and schedule time slots to work on specific sections of your resume. For instance, you might schedule 7-8 AM on Tuesday morning to complete your profile summary, 5-6 PM on Wednesday to complete your skills section, and so forth.
Break It Down Even Further
I also recommend mapping out your day based around when you’re at your personal best. I’m most creative at night and thrive in a nocturnal setting. When creating new content for instance, I never block out time for that task early in the morning because I don’t operate that way. Think about when you’re at your best for specific activities and build your schedule around that.
You can also time block your lunches, breaks, and even, when you’re checking emails. Personally, I check my emails three times a day, at 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 6:00 PM. I’m not refreshing my inbox or constantly responding to emails notifications this way. When you time block, you’re focused and know exactly what’s going to be on your calendar.
And one more thing.Treat your task time block schedule like it’s mandatory (just as important as a project meeting at work) and you can’t just cancel. This will help you hold yourself accountable to your job search.
Tip #3: Finding Your Focus
It’s too easy to get distracted these days. No matter what, every morning you should know what you want to accomplish most that day. After setting this non-negotiable, no matter how busy you get, how tired you get or what pops up that you weren’t expecting, you’re not going to bed until you complete this one task.
Some people like to complete their biggest, most challenging tasks at the beginning of the day and just get it over with to make everything else seem manageable. I actually handle smaller, more admin-focused tasks earlier in the day and leave my big creative projects for later at night. Take some time to try out different routines and experiment with what feels best. Find your own style and what environment you thrive in.
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If you can master this concept and apply it to your job search, there’s no reason why a week would go by that you still haven’t touched your resume or you still haven’t reached out to the contacts that you have because you’re setting these very intentional goals and you know when you’re doing them.
Just remember that your job search really is a marathon rather than a sprint. When you can put this structure in place, you’re more likely to keep the momentum up and continue progressing forward. Again, I want to emphasize that what works for me may not necessarily work for you, and if you don’t know what works for you, just have fun with experimenting!