If at this time of the summer you find it hard to stick to your goal to keep looking for work when all those around you seem to be taking time off, take the two-hour challenge. Ask yourself, “What would you do if your work day was only two hours long?”
Chances are you wouldn’t waste it on Facebook. Instead, you’d race the clock to accomplish your top priority for the day.
Time management experts say the best way to motivate yourself to do work is to set a tight deadline. As American mystery writer Rita Mae Brown once famously said, “A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it’s better than no inspiration at all.”
As we noted in a past blog, whether you’re seeking a full-time position, contract work, or temporary placement in the GTA, the end of the summer is as good a time as any to be job hunting. Contrary to popular belief, The Bagg Group recruiters confirm businesses hire year-round. We know our recruiters are continuing to successfully place people in the best companies in the GTA, even in the weeks before Labour Day.
That’s why The Bagg Group recruiters advise candidates who have trouble staying on task during these last weeks of August to start their day with two dedicated hours of job search activities. In those two hours, focus on the task that could potentially have the greatest impact. Reading news about your industry is important as you must stay up-to-date, but writing a covering letter and sending out a resume has a greater chance of making a difference to your life.
One reason the short two-hour deadline works better than a full-day deadline is because it provides the sense of urgency we often need to focus and work efficiently. Productivity experts note that more time you give yourself to do a task, the more time you will likely take to do it.
Recruiters at The Bagg Group offer these tips for those willing to take the two-hour challenge:
Make a list of everything you want to accomplish within the two hours. As soon as you finish one task, draw a line through it. The satisfaction of accomplishing one item on your list spurs you on to tackle another.
Schedule an activity for the two-hour mark, such as a lunch or even a coffee break. This gives you a real reason to work to the clock.
Work within your two hour deadline to write your first draft of a resume, covering letter, inquiry letter, etc. Facing a blank screen is daunting, so if you tell yourself that it has to be done by a certain time no matter what, you’ll force the worrier and perfectionist in you to get out of the way so you can get the job done. Once you get something on paper, you’ll find it easier to rewrite, edit, change, and improve.
Those who have taken the challenge know that it comes with a bonus. When you see how much you can accomplish in two hours of dedicated work, you’re inspired to put in another two. That’s because you launched yourself into a productive state-of-mind. So this summer, rather than kick back before Labour Day, fire up every morning. And if some days you don’t do more than two hours, you can still take comfort in the fact that you will still have taken a proactive step forward toward finding the job you want.