Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.
When is the last time you did the same thing repeatedly for days and didn’t get bored? Probably never. That’s not how most of us are wired.
This is why we generally seek jobs that can keep us engaged and offer new challenges.
The same can be said of job searching. Like any other activity, job searching can become monotonous if you don’t mix things up.
And when job searching gets boring, it’s easy to lose focus and motivation. If you’re starting to feel burnt out from your job search, it’s time to take action.
Maintaining Your Job Search Focus
If you start to lose focus, it’s essential to take immediate action.
The first step is acknowledging that it’s normal to feel this way and that it doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. It can be helpful to talk to someone who is also job searching and compare notes.
You might find that you’re not alone in feeling this way.
It can also be helpful to use the following tips to create healthy routines for your job search to regain your focus.
1. Create a Daily Plan
The best way to regain focus and get back on track is to get organized. That way, you’re relying on habits rather than willpower. Organizing your job search will not only make it more efficient, but it will also make it more enjoyable.
Having a system for tracking your progress and keeping track of all the moving parts will help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed in your job search.
For example, suppose you’re currently unemployed. In that case, you might lay out a schedule for yourself that involves checking emails and researching jobs in the morning, followed by a goal of applying to five positions in the afternoon and networking or socializing in the evening.
By structuring your days this way, you can help ensure that you’re making the most of your time and reaching your goals without burning out. Knowing that you only have dedicated time to focus on each task can help you fully apply your energy to it.
You can also utilize something as simple as a spreadsheet or calendar that tracks your submissions and organizes when to follow up with recruiters in a timely manner, ensuring none of your submissions fall through the cracks.
2. Become an Avid List-Maker
Tying into the previous tip, get into the habit of creating task lists — even if they’re routine.
When you’re only focusing on the significant goal of getting a new job, it can be defeating to end every day without being able to check that as complete.
Instead, create a list of your daily tasks, and then you’ll have a visual representation of all the work you’ve accomplished today. Even something as simple as responding to a question from your online network can help you see that you’ve made forward momentum for the day.
Celebrate completing the little tasks, not just the big wins.
3. Set Goals
It’s essential to set specific goals that you can revisit throughout your job search. Otherwise, you’ll likely find yourself feeling lost and unmotivated.
However, it can be challenging to know where to start when it comes to setting job search goals. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- First, consider your larger career objectives and what kind of job would help you achieve those objectives. For example, if your goal is to become a marketing director eventually, you might want to look for jobs in marketing or sales.
- Next, make sure that your goals are specific and attainable. Rather than simply saying that you want to find a job in your field, set a more specific purpose, such as “find a job as a marketing coordinator within the next six months.” That gives you something concrete to work toward and helps keep you motivated.
- Finally, ensure that your goals are relevant to your skills and interests. There’s no point in setting a plan that’s entirely out of reach or doesn’t align with your values. If you’re only applying to jobs because they pay well, but you’re not passionate about them, you will not be fully pouring yourself into the process.
4. Include Movement and Time Outside
Job hunting can be an intense process, with numerous moving parts that can be hard to keep track of. It’s crucial to stay on top of communication with recruiters, research jobs and companies, participate in interviews, and handle salary research and negotiations.
All of those priorities can pile up and overwhelm your mental energy.
Getting up from your desk and going for a walk is a great way to clear your head and regain momentum in your job search. You might be surprised at how much more productive you are after taking a break.
If possible, try to get outside for a bit of fresh air — it can significantly impact your productivity levels.
5. Connect With Others
In today’s competitive job market, it’s more important than ever to have someone in your corner who can offer guidance and feedback.
Whether it’s an official mentor or a seasoned professional within your network, they can help you navigate the job search process, offer advice on networking and interviewing, and provide an outside perspective on your career goals.
If you’re feeling stuck in your job search, ask those in your network for help. You may be surprised by how much a fresh perspective can help.
If you don’t have a mentor yet and you’re still growing your professional network, consider seeking a professional career coach. It can be a crucial step in jump-starting your success and motivation.
6. Practice Mindfulness
Is your anxiety paralyzing at times? Does it prevent you from moving forward productively in your job search? Consider including routine mindfulness practice.
You might be pleasantly surprised at how much activities, such as journaling and meditation, can help you manage stress. Journaling can help you process your thoughts and feelings, while creative visualization can help you see yourself succeeding in your job search.
These mindfulness practices can help you keep your job search in perspective and, hopefully, lower the anxiety that you may feel.
7. Schedule Downtime
If you’ve tried the tips above yet still have trouble finding enthusiasm in your job search, it may be time to pause it. You want your attitude and energy level during the search process to reflect passion and commitment for your career and industry — anything less is just not going to cut it with recruiters and hiring managers.
Routinely take breaks throughout the day and ensure you have days of the week where you’re not active in your job search. Don’t forget to include vacations if your job search is a lengthy process.
Do things you enjoy during this time. Set boundaries and don’t allow yourself to research positions or schedule interviews.
Taking a break from the intensity and demands of looking for work can help you return to your job search with renewed commitment to reach your career goals.
Refocus Your Job Search
Remember, a job search can be a long and challenging process. But by staying focused and taking care of yourself, you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream job.