It’s August, which means not only back-to-school time for students, but also back-to-finding-work time for some job-seekers!
It can be hard to stay on task when sunny days, swimming pools, ice cream sundaes, beach vacations and other summer distractions commandeer the time and attention you’d normally focus on finding your next career opportunity.
To help get your job search back on track for fall, we asked Cathia Friou, one of our volunteer coaches, to share some of her favorite tips.
Assess your tools: Nothing says back to school/work like the office supply store. Consider a visit to Staples or the like and purchase a favorite pen, a colorful binder or something else that makes the work of job-hunting fun. Even just a spin down the aisle can get you back into work mode. (Do it virtually!)
Clear your workspace: Whether a small desk or a room of your own, make sure you have a designated workspace that is clutter-free. A designated workspace signals the brain that the goal is work, so keep visual distractions to a minimum. If you’re sharing space with another person or with another function (the kitchen table comes to mind), make sure the space is solely yours while you have it.
Quiet your mind: Start your workday with a few minutes of “time-in.” This can take any number of forms: watching the birds out your window, listening to soothing music, writing a gratitude list, or a few deep breaths with your eyes closed. The point is to turn off the “monkey mind” and clear the deck for a productive day. Check out the “healthy mind platter” for additional tips.
Parcel your energy: Neuroscience teaches us that the brain can only focus for 90 minutes max, so be sure to take short breaks at least that often. Know your internal clock and choose the most brain-intensive work when you are sharp. And don’t waste a sharp mind on sorting your inbox; save that task for when you’re in a dip.
Prepare your agenda: One of the best ways to get things done is to make a list the day before. Aim to accomplish three or four high-value tasks toward your job search each day and bask in the accomplishment glow that follows. Knocking something big off your personal to-do list can be equally energizing and get your overall productivity mojo flowing.
Cathia Friou is a certified professional coach, trainer, group facilitator, communications consultant and Charlotte Works volunteer. She is a DISC specialist with Target Training International and a certified coach and consultant with Working Simply, a productivity management company. Cathia is an awareness raiser, thinking partner and catalyst for change. Learn more at www.cathiafriou.com.