Try this technique to stay motivated throughout your job search

Feeling frustrated and exhausted by endless job searches? Give yourself a break! Finding the motivation, focus (and time) to seek out a new job, isn’t always an easy thing to do.

Now this may not apply to you, you might have the willpower to go out and find yourself that killer new job, but if you find yourself reading this, it’s probably safe to assume you may be victim to this so-called slump — jobless or not.

The procrastination station is very real, and if this sounds like you, we’ve got a simple, yet efficient solution. It’s called the “Pomodoro Technique.”

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

For starters: “Pomodoro” is the Italian word for “tomato”. What do tomatoes have to do with lack of motivation, you may ask? Well, they don’t. But the esteemed Italian entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo named this time-management concept after those tiny, tomato-shaped timers (typically found in kitchens) after struggling to keep himself focused during his post-secondary studies back in the 1980s.

It’s a simple technique that, surprisingly enough, will help boost your productivity in, not just things like finding a job, but anything you put your mind to. The best part? It’s easy. All you need is a timer or perhaps an app. Whether it’s on your phone or tomato-shaped is entirely up to you. If you’re not quite sure about it yet, it might be encouraging to know that millions of people swear by it.

So how do I master the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is simple and goes as below:

  1. Determine what your task is (i.e., creating a new resume, applying for a job)

  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes

  3. Work on said task, without distractions, until the timer buzzes

  4. Take a quick, five-minute break and repeat four times

  5. After the fourth cycle, take a longer break (15-30 minutes)

That’s it! Easy, right? With quick breaks in a relatively short time span, you’re able to sustain your concentration, get work done, maintain mental stimulation and not overwork yourself all at once. Between every five-minute break, you might realize you’re actually churning out better results than ever before, whether that’s your brand new resume or the perfect cover letter to help you land that new gig. Overall, it’s a very rewarding way to tackle your work.

“(With the Pomodoro Technique) I discovered that you could learn how to improve your effectiveness and be better able to estimate how long a task will take to complete by recording how you utilize your time,” the inventor explained to Forbes.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to associate job-seeking with words like “tedious” and “time-sucking.” Depending on your situation, profession, or even career path, it can be a lengthy and monotonous process too. Collecting reference checks, crafting cover letter after cover letter, and resume alterations galore; there’s a lot to it — especially if you’re already juggling a 9-5 job, children, extra-curricular activities, or the inevitable chaos of life. Even thinking about it might be overwhelming to you, however, if you change your approach to the job search (e.g., by utilizing the Pomodoro Technique), you’ll soon realize it isn’t quite as taxing as it seemed beforehand. In fact, you might even feel rewarded with your work and furthermore, your accomplishments.

How do I utilize this technique in my job search then?

In terms of applying the Pomodoro Technique to your job search, it’s recommended that your first priority is finding out the steps you need to take and how long each of them might take. For example, you might already have a resume prepared and the perfect cover letter for a specific job you’d like to apply for, however, you might need to gather references and create a portfolio tailored to that position. Our best advice? Utilize those short breaks and take each part step-by-step.

While the concept may seem a little silly, or archaic, it’s effective. If you’re someone who has struggled with procrastination and/or getting motivated to do and complete things throughout your life, you really ought to utilize it. It’s a simple way to improve your work and/or study habits. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it, right? You can knock this seemingly unbreakable habit one tomato at a time.

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