There aren't enough hours in the day. When looking for work, it's imperative to have a solid job search plan. You can think of the job search as a job in itself. Without jeopardizing your health and sleep, you must make clear task lists based on your available time. This requires tapping into your prioritizing skills.
Be honest with yourself about how many hours you have in a day. You're most likely juggling school, a family, exercise, and even a current job. Realize the timeslots in the day that allow you to have full focus on the task.
Realistically, a 30-minute timeslot in your day will not be enough to tap into your job search plan properly. If you find you can't make your current schedule work, rearrange it. This may also mean you need to sacrifice some things.
If you know the house is quiet at 7 a.m., don't hit that extra snooze. Get up and utilize that time before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. Does your brain focus better in the evening when the world slows down? Assign an hour or two every day after traditional work hours. There is no rule as to how your schedule should look, as long as it works in your best interest.
Ranking your tasks by importance and urgency is key. You can only really do this once you've accepted your schedule. As mentioned, don't make up hours in the day that you don't have. Categorize your tasks based on the time required, then rank them by urgency.
After that, just choose one and get on with it. Reassure yourself that completing any task, no matter how small, is still a task checked off. The job search can often be disheartening, so staying focused is an achievement as is.
Knowing which tasks are urgent will stop you from wasting time. Applying for a job within the first week of it being listed, for example, is a top priority. Prioritize responding to requests made by recruiters promptly.
As you can tell, your priority list in your job search will need to be adjusted as opportunities arise. The most important thing is to complete one task at a time. Though multitasking can often be a good thing, when it comes to the job search, one task at a time is best practice.
When approaching your job search plan, Tim Ferriss put it well - focus on being productive instead of busy. Rather than applying for every job under the sun, apply with intention. Spend time researching what you want to do, who you want to work for, and where you want your career to go. Once you know what you want to apply for, you need the materials to do so effectively.
Spend time customizing cover letters and resumes. Though it may be an initial time consumer, this will ultimately be one of your biggest time savers. Make sure your application shows interest in what you're applying for, not general desperation for employment.
Having a job search plan but nobody to keep you accountable can lead to laziness. You will need to learn to say no sometimes to stay focused on a task. It is your own responsibility to find what works. Set up job alerts, use reminders on your phone, and have to-do lists within your active journal. It isn't always easy to hold yourself responsible and asking for help is the solution.
A buddy outside of your immediate circle is a great source of support. This could be an existing colleague, an online connection, or someone who is also looking for honest back-and-forth feedback. Set goals, share concerns, and keep each other in check. You can schedule weekly buddy check-ins to have a shared supportive experience.
Your job search does not need to run on limited motivation that comes and goes. By recognizing your available time and accepting a manageable schedule, you can set clear tasks to get through in a structured manner. Beyond the job search, effective prioritizing is a transferable skill that all employers value, so get to work!