Have you heard about the magic of time blocking your calendar? It’s a productivity practice for scheduling your time around your priorities. It’s all about reserving a segment of time in your calendar to focus on a certain task only.

Here’s why it’s helpful: adding structure to the time you have to complete your tasks allows you to be more efficient. When you have excess time available to complete work, it actually expands, leaving you feeling like you have more to do than you really need to.

When you rigidly schedule your time, you know exactly what you need to accomplish, as it’s clearly laid out when you scan your calendar each week. It also allows you to be more efficient, by forcing you to zero in on your top priorities first, and be more mindful of wasted time and distractions.

So how is this relevant for job searchers?

When looking for a new job, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. You could theoretically never stop filling out applications, sending resumes or reaching out to contacts, and this may be on top of already having a full time job! When you simplify everything you need to do into a systematic, time-restricted process, not only will you be more productive but you’ll save yourself a lot of stress as well.

How do you actually do this exercise?

First you need to lay out all your tasks: here’s a helpful checklist to start with, and utilize Rake’s 3-step process to simplify your search. Take time at the end of each day to scan your task list and calendars. After reviewing, estimate how much time each will take to complete. Finally, schedule intervals of time for each in your calendar. The objective is to make sure that appropriate progress is being made on the right things each day.

The real trick is sticking to the schedule once you’ve created it. Because such a detailed level of planning is only effective at increasing productivity if it’s actually executed. So first, block your time. And then, fully commit.

Time blocking isn’t only for productive work, it can also be used for reactive work, like responding to emails, and to limit time spent on being unproductive, like scanning social media or reading news updates.

The practice really fosters discipline in focusing on your priorities. By committing to this proactive schedule, you can work toward on your job search in a systematic and deliberate way. It forces you to be more mindful in avoiding procrastination and diligent in working on what counts.

When you begin to view your time as a resource, to be used for maximum productivity, it helps shift your focus to where you’re wasting it. Open, uncontrolled time is generally wasted. Harnessing the time blocking technique will allow you to take that control back, and to organize your most precious resource in a way that allows you to be more productive and find your perfect job.

Be sure to download Rake today to simplify your search and get hired faster!