For most people, there simply aren't enough hours in the day. Especially when you have children and other family obligations, those hours that you used to spend at work are quickly filled with running errands, taking care of the kids and a hundred other things that have to be done right away.
Looking for a job is stressful and, for unemployed parents, paying for childcare during a job search simply doesn't make sense. More often than not, the out-of-work parent ends up trying to fit his or her job search in between taking care of children. It's not ideal, but it's a reality.
So, how can you find the time to really focus on your job search? For many people, the answer is in their morning routine. By changing the way you cope with the morning, you can create a space of uninterrupted time to focus on getting inspired, tweaking your resume or creating a strategic job search plan. I know, I know – to the people who love to sleep in, myself included, doing anything in the morning other than drinking coffee seems a little crazy, but there are several benefits for getting an early start. Here's a few:
You have the mental space for enthusiasm in the morning. By the middle of the day, it's harder to find clear head space. Even though you can send out resumes between soccer practice and picking up the dry cleaning, it's more difficult to think about how to reorganize your resume or work on your elevator pitch. These things require a more creative mindset and time to think.
You're less likely to be interrupted. If you wake up before your children, you can actually have time to focus on larger tasks without being interrupted or distracted, which is a definite plus. It might take a little work, but once you get in the habit of waking up a little earlier in order to have some productive time, here are a few ideas from Fast Company on how to spend your morning time.
Plan out your day or week. The mornings are a great time to think about what you have to get done today and even the rest of the week. Instead of playing things by ear, create a schedule that includes time for your job search. If you make your plans in the morning, it's more likely that you'll be able to stick to them.
Focus on your job search plans. If you aren't able to be very productive in the morning without a few cups of coffee, why not use that time to think about your job search goals? This quiet, reflective time is great for considering your career goals and how to reach them. Any new idea or course of action that you can write down is something new to work with – and something is better than nothing.
Read professional articles. While drinking your coffee, you can read professional articles to keep your skills and knowledge sharp. I know that it's tempting to spend this on Facebook, but try to resist the urge. There will be plenty of time for that later in the day, but devote your mornings to your career.
Take a class online. If you need more education to reach your career goals, the morning is the perfect time to get it done. You can use the uninterrupted time to do your homework, read lessons and work on projects.
Waking up early is a habit that doesn't always come easy. If you're struggling with it, try waking up 10 minutes early and once that becomes easy, move it to 20 minutes. Pretty soon, you'll be able to carve out at least 30 minutes for yourself.
What do you do in the morning? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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