Friday, January 28, 2011

Get a Handle on Procrastination

Procrastination—putting off a timely activity until later—is something many of us are guilty of. Procrastination is often a common response to being overwhelmed, unsure of where to start, and afraid of failing—feelings many job seekers experience. It is no surprise that procrastination is one of the biggest obstacles in the job-search process, during which, prolonged procrastination can be both financially and emotionally detrimental. Following are just a few of the many tips available for overcoming procrastination. So, don’t procrastinate; put these tips into action now.

Build a Support Structure

First, recognize and acknowledge you have an issue with procrastination. Consider asking a friend to help you stay accountable for moving forward in your job search. Make a plan to regularly report job search progress, ask for advice, and brainstorm ideas. Also consider joining a job-seeker support group for forming mutually supportive relationships that foster the job search process.

Plan and Organize

A job search requires planning and organization. Create a list of tasks, prioritize them, and schedule them. Break larger tasks down into several smaller, manageable action steps. Your task list may be long and job searches take time, so don’t get overwhelmed. Instead, focus on the progress you make each week. Find ways to be satisfied with small wins, like making a new professional contact, receiving positive resume feedback, or having a useful conversation with someone in the industry.

Minimize Distractions

Identify distractions that become excuses for procrastination. Try to minimize or eliminate these distractions when you’re busy with job-search tasks. For example, if job searching from home has you finding a dozen other chores to do, take your job search offsite. Try the library or some other quiet spot. If you regularly surf the Internet aimlessly for hours, vow that you won’t use the Internet except to access websites that aide your job search. Then, hold yourself accountable.

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