3 Tips For Managing Your Time During a Job Search
It's easy to lose track of time when you are in a full-time job search. Without a supervisor and deadlines it's easy to say "I'll do that tomorrow." Here are three things you can do to avoid falling into the black hole of Netflix.
Schedule it. Keep a calendar and schedule time for the job search every day. Think of this as your job and show up for work on a schedule. Shoot for a minimum of 20 hours a week. The only things that can supersede your scheduled time are networking and interview offers.
Reduce inefficiencies. If you know that opening your e-mail or LinkedIn when you first sit down at your desk increases the chance you will fart around on the internet for 30 minutes, then tell yourself you have to first spend 30 minutes researching a job, or 30 minutes reading a job search book, or 30 minutes doing anything productive. Once you have built a little productivity momentum you are less likely to engage in the behaviors that cause you to lose it.
Write down the next day's Top 3. At the end of every work session make a list of the Top 3 tasks that must get done the next day. Put it in a prominent place on your desk and don't work on anything else until those 3 tasks are complete. They don't have to be huge tasks, either. Simple things like "answer Sonya's email" or "add new volunteer role to resume and LinkedIn" are small but meaningful tasks. The sense of accomplishment you will have for that day will help you build momentum.
Constantly being aware of the ways you get off track will allow you to stay focused and maximize the time you spend on the search.