How to Manage Your Job Search Time
You may have broken your goals down into the smallest chunks possible and gathered everything you may possibly need for your job search via social media, but if you don’t practice good time management, all those efforts may be for nothing.
It is super easy to while away the hours on a social media site; it can happen without you even realizing it — and that’s not a good thing when you’re trying to find a job.
Because you’ve elected to look for a job by using all the social media tools at your disposable, you need to arm yourself with some strategies for staying on track.
The Pomodoro Technique for time management
According to Francesco Cirillo, creator of The Pomodoro Technique, the optimum chunk of time to work within is 25 minutes, the same time it takes to cook pomodoro sauce (a classic Italian tomato sauce). This observation led to Cirillo developing the Pomodoro Technique, an approach to time management that encourages you to work in 25-minute increments, taking short breaks after each 25-minute productivity session.
Here are the essential principles of the Pomodoro Technique:
A Pomodoro (a 25-minute chunk of uninterrupted time) is indivisible.
A task that takes more than five to seven Pomodoros is too big. Break it down.
If a task takes less than one Pomodoro, add it together with other tasks.
Time your Pomodoros with some kind of timer, being sure it rings at the end. You can buy software Pomodoro timers as well as kitchen timers that have been repurposed for this technique.
Don’t allow interruptions after you start the timer. If you do get interrupted, make a note of it.
Once a Pomodoro is finished, you must stand up and take a three- to five-minute break. This break is important.
The Pomodoro Technique shouldn’t be used in your free time — enjoy your free time!
Looking at a big list of to-do’s can be overwhelming. Because each Pomodoro is for focusing your energy, writing a daily list of to-do’s can help reduce anxiety.
You can apply the Pomodoro Technique to your job search by following these steps for each of your job-searching tasks:
Choose the topmost task from your daily task list to work on.
Set the timer to 25 minutes (one Pomodoro) and begin working.
Work on that task until the timer rings.
If the task is finished, cross it off; if not, put an X next to it.
Take a break, stand up, walk around, or do something else for five minutes.
Return to the task if necessary.
After four Pomodoros, take a longer break (about 30 to 60 minutes).
The egg timer method for time management
If you find yourself online navigating from page to page, following this link and that link, or cruising around Facebook and before you know it two hours have gone by and you’ve accomplished nothing, then the next time you go online, practice the egg timer method. In other words, give yourself a time limit.
If you know that you have only one hour a day to spend on the Internet and you have a long list of tasks you need to accomplish for your job search, you’ll be far more focused on using that time well. Of course, you’ll need a count-down timer with a loud ring to make this one work.
You’ll have to be the best judge of how much time to take. So list out your tasks and estimate how much time you need to complete them, and then set yourself a time limit.
The shopping list method for time management
If you’re the type of person who typically enters a store with a list of items you want to buy, buys only those items, and leaves, the shopping list method may be for you. Just treat your time online the way you do when you’re out shopping.
Have a task you need to complete, stay online until that task is done, and then sign off. Be sure you don’t put too much on your list. No one likes to spend two hours at the grocery store.