We all know the feeling. You have been working hard on perfecting your resume. You have been diligently tweaking the cover letters you send out to suit the requirements of each individual job description, but then suddenly…. splat! You crash out and hit a wall.
Let’s take a look at some ways of overcoming your brain information overload level so you can get back to becoming more productive once again.
1. Schedule proper break times
You have to treat your job searching activities just the same as if you were working a real job. Every employee is entitled to regular breaks, so make sure you work some into your day too. Your brain needs time to process, rest and repeat. Pushing yourself for hours on end will quickly result in burnout and in the end, a less productive day! Your brain will not be able to function effectively unless you give it regular breaks to rest and recharge.
2. Make a list of jobs
Sometimes it can help you to increase your productivity by having a highly visual list of jobs to do. You can write these out on a notepad in thick black writing, then as you complete each task on your list, draw a line through it in thick red ink. Crossing off each task will give you a great sense of accomplishment, but by seeing all the jobs being crossed off one-by-one you will be more motivated to work through the list to get the jobs done.
3. Walk it off
Getting yourself away from computer screens and paperwork for a 30 minute walk each day can be very beneficial. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Birmingham, as well as other notable universities, using their own sedentary office staff as subjects, those who took a 30 minute walk during their lunch break felt “more enthusiastic, less tense, and generally more relaxed and able to cope than on afternoons when they hadn’t walked.”
4. Clear the clutter
Breaking your focus and giving your brain something else to do is the main reason for all of these tips. Getting up from your desk for a quick 5-minute tidy up may seem like a pointless exercise, but in fact by removing unnecessary clutter from your surrounding work area can be very therapeutic!
Have you got coffee mugs sitting around that need washing up? A dirty dish or plate sitting on the edge of your desk that needs removing? Pens and sticky notes that could be tidied away? A layer of dust or cobwebs behind your computer screen? By cleaning all these things away you will be giving your brain a break away from whatever you are trying to focus on, but it will also stop you from subconsciously fretting about the mess around you.
5. Step away from the TV
While taking a short coffee break or while eating lunch, it is very tempting to flick on the TV for a while. Maybe you want to catch up on the latest news or sports results, but this can prove to be a very risky move while your brain has gone into overload. It is very easy to slip into comfort-watching so what may start out as a ten-minute catch up can turn into an innocent 30 minutes of watching a TV soap then to a whole afternoon of trash TV, comedy shows and infomercials.
6. Listen to a positive talk online
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, plug in and tune out to an inspiring podcast talk. There are plenty of motivational speakers who have produced some wonderful short and motivational talks that can really help to calm your mind and re-focus your energy. You can fit these in during a coffee break or at the end of your lunch before you start back to work afresh. Try a TED talk or use an app such as Happify or something similar to help give your brain a much needed break.
7. Take time to chat
Make a point of seeking out some human interaction. Chatting with a friend or two about what you are doing can help you to re-focus on your goals for the day. Telling them what you plan to do will also make you feel accountable for your work. “I must finish this today because I told Jenny that I would”. Quite often having someone to talk to can also help you if you are stuck on something. Maybe they can suggest a better way to phrase a sentence or explain your work experience in more detail.
8. Try a brain-training game
We all know how tempting it is to pick up our smartphone and go onto social media when our concentration levels hit a wall. Rather than getting lost in the pages of Facebook, why not try one of the thousands of free learning games you can get for Android or iPhone and challenge yourself to a short brain-training game.
So there you go. A list of helpful ways to re-charge your brain and become more productive with your job searching efforts.