7 ways to eliminate job seeking distractions!

August 7th, 2012 | Articles, Job Search | 2 Comments »

Distractions can ruin your chances at doing your job search justice, so follow these simple tips and get on the right track to a new job.

We’ve all done it before: interrupted our work flow with trivial distractions. We’ve rechecked Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the 400th time to ensure, without a doubt, that the internet remains and a moment in history hasn’t elapsed without our awareness. We have allowed our minds to wander like a child down the candy aisle, sacrificing productivity for the sweetness of instant gratification, socialization, and the pursuit of Cat videos (even as I typed the words “cat videos,” I was instantly tempted to hunt them down).

When writing resumes, researching for upcoming job interviews, or performing any task that require the full facets of your agile mind, you need to be on track. Wipe the clutter out the clutter and see the difference.

1. Remove yourself from comfortable settings. If you feel too relaxed, the space is probably not right. I’ve always found my home to be the worst place for any ounce of productivity. Television, music, video games, or people eager to draw me into conversation are ever looming in the back of my mind. Quiet & removed is your best bet. Opt for a local coffee shop, a public library, or, if you have a room that can keep you honest, a designated workspace within your home. If you have a broadband card, I might even recommend a quiet public park. Just make sure to hightail it out of there the moment any chattering summer camp kids, fireworks displays, or traveling, psychedelic noise bands start up on the scene; you don’t want to trade the distractions of your home for the weirder distractions of the outside world.

2. Eat something nutritional. The nutrients you feed your body & brain have a direct effect on everything you do. Antioxidant rich fruits like cranberries & blueberries can increase your cognitive performance, problem-solving, & memory. Omega-3 rich fatty fish like salmon & tuna can optimize your brain & keep up your spirits. Green tea can even keep you focused, allowing your brain to run smoothly on steady levels of glucose. When looking for a snack, make sure to avoid high sugar, high fructose foods. They cause momentary, seismic spikes in your brain activity that settle into globs of mental malaise. So don’t grab for sugary candy or energy bars when you are preparing to work; grab a natural alternative instead.

3. Pre-work aerobic exercise. Nothing gets the flow of blood to your brain like aerobic exercise. By getting your body moving with as little as a 15 minute jog, you can promote your own health and accelerate the flow of oxygen to your brain. It’s a perfect way to prepare yourself for nimble problem-solving.

4. Log out of all social networking accounts. If your social networking accounts are open in another tab, they will remain a constant temptation. Log out of every one of your accounts first and foremost. If your login remains active, you may be sucked into the decaying orbit of sites like Facebook or Twitter until you burn up your productivity upon entering their social atmospheres. If you cannot resist temptation, there are programs you can download to eliminate these distracting time-wasters. Programs like Invisibility Cloak or Kiwi Cloak create impediments to accessing these sites by locking you out of them for a set time frame. That way, you can’t stray even if you try!

5. Clear your mind. Entering any project, you bring the mental baggage from the rest of your day. To remove some of your other thoughts & preoccupations, there are a few things you can do. One is to take some deep, calming breaths before starting work; it moves more oxygen to your brain and allows you to focus in more comprehensive ways. Another approach is to unload your errant thoughts on a sheet of paper, transferring them from your brain to the page. It’s a good way to sever your connection with those distractions & gain some perspective.

6. Create a game plan. When you finally do begin to research companies or customize your resume, I always recommend establishing a game plan. Start by determining your overall objective: what you want out of this work session. From there, layout the stepping stone goals that will forward you, bit by bit, to your ultimate goal. By dissecting the big picture into smaller, digestible tasks, you will be able to focus without being overwhelmed.

7. Ignore that little voice inside. That voice you are hearing is the id and it probably wouldn’t mind if you just slacked off the whole day. It may try to sooth you into a sense of false security, suggesting that you’ve earned a break or that you are strong enough to tweet a quick thought or to google Yul Brynner, but don’t listen. There will always be moments where you want to stray from the work at hand but you’ll be better off putting your nose to the grindstone.

So when you prepare for the job search, remove yourself from distractions, give your brain what it needs, and make a game plan to accomplish your goals. Finally, when you finish up, take a break. You can then do whatever you want, having earned all the cat videos your brain can handle.

James Walsh

2 Responses to “7 ways to eliminate job seeking distractions!”

  1. Rachel French, Certified Professional Coach says:

    This is great advice whether you are looking for a job, need to hunker down and pay bills, write a paper, look for clients…any task that overwhelms us, bores us, or pokes at our insecurities is a task that will ALWAYS invite distractions. I have found as a business owner that having an accountability partner is invaluable. She and I check in with each other on a weekly basis and report on our to-do lists. We keep notes about what the other person has committed to, and we genuinely hold each other accountable. You can do this in your own life! I am a professional coach, so I hold the role of accountability partner for my clients, but even if you don’t have a coach, you can benefit from getting a partner. There is something magical about knowing you’ll have to report to someone that keeps us on track. Don’t choose a spouse, a best friend or a family member though–you need there to be just enough emotional distance that you can be tough with each other AND provide support from an objective place.

  2. silver price says:

    You probably already know what distracts you the most – phone calls, emails, instant messages, Internet browsing, interrupting co-workers, and so on. Strategies like scheduling email checks, turning off your phone, and leaving the office for a quieter environment may eliminate distractions so that you get more done.