How to Stay Focused and Be More Productive During Your Job Search
Between my computer and phone, it’s difficult to focus on one thing for long periods of time. After getting one rejection after another, it gets really hard to stay focused. How can you keep yourself from getting distracted while searching for a job?
Set aside a couple of hours just for job searching. Or, schedule to apply for 3 jobs a day. Reward yourself for sticking with your plan. If you want to be active on social media to build your network, use schedulers like Buffer, TweetDeck or HootSuite. This way you can be on social media without being on it.
Surround Yourself with Motivation
I have quotes on my walls to focus on my goals. They help me bounce back from failed plans and rejections. People help too. If you’re feeling discouraged, talk to a friend.
Use an App to Cut You From The Internet
Writers use this method all the time. They install an app that prevents them from accessing the internet for a period of time. I know you need the internet to search for a job. Try this. Find job openings, print out the announcements or save them as PDFs, then turn on that app while you work on your resume, cover letter and/or portfolio.
“If you’re able to look at how much time you spend each day doing certain things, you’re less likely to waste a bunch of time on the internet because you know you’re going to feel guilty later when you review it.” (Thomas Frank)
As a writer, I discovered that using an app to keep track of my word count helps me write more. Ever use an app that tracks the steps you take during the day. I use Samsung Health. It’s nice to get that notification that I was active during the day. There’s some pride in seeing your progress on screen or paper. Set goals and write them down. Each day, track how good (or bad) you were at sticking to your goal.
Try RescueTime to keep track of what you do online and how much time you spend doing it.
Setup Notifications on Your Phone
Yes, your phone can be a major distraction. It can also save time. Job hunting is a lot like marketing. It helps to be on social media.
“Make a point of posting comments or articles, retweeting or sharing on your social media sites daily to keep them current and relevant. This shows that you’re up to speed with your industry and connected with leaders in your field.” (Kerry Hannon)
Since I setup notifications on my phone, I cut down the time I spend on social media. If my phone doesn’t buzz or ring, it means there’s nothing going on and I don’t need to be on that network. Same with email. I spend a lot less time checking my email now that I get notifications when something new comes into my inbox.
Know When to Say No
It doesn’t always feel good saying “no” but if you say “yes” to everything, you’d find yourself burned out. You definitely won’t have time for job searching if you have a million things on your plate.
Ever work on something while watching a video. You usually miss most of the video. Ever cook something like bacon while updating your social media accounts. You usually end up with burnt bacon.
I’m really bad at focusing on one thing. Sometimes, I’ll need to force myself to focus. Other times, I’ll break up tasks: an hour here and an hour there.