Job searching is hard, but it can be even harder when productivity is a problem. And let’s be honest, it’s a problem for most of us. Staying focused can feel impossible at times, especially if you’re job searching at home, constantly tempted by the couch and television. In order to help make the job search process a bit easier, we’ve collected our top 10 productivity tips for you to try and incorporate into your daily life. Pick your favorite one and get started! Check them out below:
1. Turn Off Your Notifications
Studies show that the average smartphone owner checks his or her phone over 200 times per day. Sound crazy? It’s not! Consider all of those times you click your phone because it’s buzzed with an alert that is less than significant in the current moment. When you consider all of the time we waste checking our phone throughout the day, it’s a no-brainer that turning off notifications could help to increase our productivity exponentially – especially because we all know that many of those 200 smartphone checks turn into scrolling through Facebook or playing Candy Crush.
2. Exercise As Soon As You Wake Up
Not only does exercising first thing in the morning ensure that you actually get that workout in, but it’s also been shown to increase productivity! Exercising when you wake up gives you a burst of energy that carries on throughout the day, and it’s also been proven to improve mood and decrease stress levels. Not to mention, maintaining an exercise routine keeps you healthy, and the healthier you are, the more time you’ll have to work (and play!).
3. Use the Pomodoro Technique
Coined the Pomodoro Technique, the process of cutting large tasks into 30-minute intervals has been said to improve productivity by increasing your attention span and helping you focus. All you have to do is set a time for 25 minutes, the time that you will dedicate to your work. Then, after the 25 minutes is over, take a five-minute break to clear your mind. After four of these cycles, feel free to take a longer break (somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes).
Ever look at your messy desk and feel overwhelmed? That’s totally normal: clutter has been known to induce stress and anxiety, making it harder to focus on the task at hand. Not only will your desk look better after clearing it off, but you’ll feel better too! Plus, it’ll be easier to get that work started.
5. Get Enough Sleep
No, five hours doesn’t count as enough. Those all-nighters you pulled in college? They probably didn’t help you much, losing a night of sleep is comparable to being intoxicated! If you want a sharp mind and increased productivity, aim for seven to eight hours of shut-eye per night.
6. Follow the Two-Minute Rule
Like the Pomodoro Technique, the Two-Minute Rule is a widely-used productivity hack. The concept is easy! First thing in the morning (after your workout), make a mental or physical note of all of the things you have to do that day. Then, immediately complete the ones that will take you less than two minutes. Responding to emails, sending a text message, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, and washing the dishes are all small tasks that add up quickly into something much bigger when we procrastinate. Getting them out of the way in the morning clears your day for the real important tasks.
7. Nighttime Prep
You’ve probably heard of meal prep, but food isn’t the only thing that we can prepare before bed! If you decide to work out in the mornings, putting your sneakers, socks, and gear next to your bed at night will make the “getting ready” process much faster. Even the small act of preparing your outfit for the day can make the task feel ten times easier and start off your morning on a productive note.
8. Get Some Natural Light
This productivity hack is as easy as doing your work next to a window! Studies have shown that working near natural light improves sleep patterns, and we’ve already noted how important sleep is. Even if it means moving your desk, we promise – it’s worth it.
9. Just Say No!
Especially when you’re in the middle of a job search, saying no can often feel unproductive and even counter-intuitive to your end goal. But just like how it can be important to decline the wrong job offer, it’s also super important to decline invitations and requests when you feel that they might interfere with your work, whatever that may be.
Meditation isn’t for everyone, but there are endless benefits to meditation, including improving focus and memory, increasing energy and blood circulation to the brain, stress relief, and cultivating creativity – and don’t all of those sound great for productivity? We’re not saying that everyone looking to be productive should buy a membership at the nearest yoga studio. However, sitting quietly for a few minutes each day, either alone or through guided meditation (which can easily be found on YouTube or various apps) can have a huge affect on your productivity.
All of these productivity hacks are some of our favorites, but – surprise! – there’s an eleventh one that we love the most. By downloading Rake, you can find and save your favorite jobs from popular boards and career sites, narrow down your favorites, set your to-do lists, take notes, and more! By simplifying your job search process with Rake, you’re guaranteed to save time and increase productivity.
Also published on Medium.