Focus is the key to reaching your goal of landing the perfect Product Manager job. As humans, we all struggle to stay focused from time to time. For some, it can be particularly difficult to stay focused during the Product Manager job hunt because there is no boss or professor giving you tasks and enforcing deadlines. These 18 tips to stay focused will help you remain on the task so that you can reach your goals.
1. Plan Your Day the Night Before
Make some easy decisions the night before, such as what you will have for breakfast and lunch, what you will wear, and where you will work for the day. Getting these simple decisions out of the way will use less of your mental energy tomorrow so that you are more focused on your job searching.
2. Set up a Clean Work Space
When setting up your work space, remove any distractions from the area. You are sitting at this spot to find the perfect product management position for you! Remove any mail, unnecessary paperwork, TV remotes, and anything else that is not serving a purpose on your job hunt.
3. Write down Your Goals
Even if it is as simple as “land a job as a Product Manager”, writing down your goals is an essential tip to stay focused. Putting your goals on paper brings them into reality. It will be easier to focus on your goals when they are standing right in front of you.
If your goals are so big that they become daunting, breaking them down into smaller goals can be much more helpful.
At Product Gym, our members go through a rigorous schedule, broken down on a weekly basis, with key goals and modules to work on each week. Following this tried-and-tested methodology, our members achieve stellar results — 3-5 Product Manager job offers in as little as 45 days!
What previously would have been too daunting can be made much easier with these smaller and more tangible goals.
4. Create a Mission Statement
Just as each company has a mission statement to keep them focused on why they do the work they do, you need a personal mission statement to focus on why you are putting in this work to get the Product Manager job of your dreams. Think about your values, what you are working towards and why you want to achieve it. Write this down as well so that you can re-read it whenever you need to refocus on the ultimate reason for your hard work.
5. Set Boundaries
Your friends and family may not realize that the job hunt is your full-time job right now. Don’t let them distract you by barging in the room for a chat or asking you to hangout when you have plans to stay home and apply for jobs. As you continually turn down these invites, they will soon realize that you are serious about finding a Product Manager position and start supporting you instead of distracting you.
6. Create a To-Do List
A classic among tips to stay focused, having a very specific to-do list will help you focus on the task in front of you. Break down each task to be as specific as possible and cross off things as you go. When you start to veer off track you can turn back to your todo list to refocus on your job search.
If to-do lists are your thing, Product Gym is a good fit for you. In every one of our modules, we have specific topics covered that will bring you one step closer to the Product Manager job of your dreams. By the end of all the action items, you could see the same results that most of our members have.
7. Time Block
A proactive way to stay focused and overcome procrastination is to time block your days. There are a few different ways of doing this so try them all out and choose what works best for you. One of the most well-known ways to time block is by the Pomodoro method. This is when you work for 25 minutes at a time, taking five minute breaks in between each interval. After four of these intervals, you can take a longer 15-30 minute break. For example, you could spend 25 minutes writing or revising your resume, take a quick break, then come back and spend the next 25 minutes researching companies that you are interested in working for.
8. Work to Your Strengths
At what point of the day are you the most focused? This is the time to tackle the parts of the job hunt that are toughest for you to accomplish. That’s the glory of being in charge of your schedule. If you are not a strong writer, plan to write your cover letter at this time of day.
That said, resumes and cover letters are the most important, yet sometimes the most difficult, parts of the job hunting process.
At Product Gym, we show you exactly what to write in your resume and cover letter. With our expert-led skills courses and our interviews with Product Leads at top companies, we’ve distilled the exact skills recruiters look out for. Combined with our tried-and-tested methodology, our members leave lasting impressions with their resumes and cover letters.
9. Don’t Multitask
If you have a lot of your plate, you may be tempted to try and juggle your tasks to finish them faster. But we genuinely can’t reccommend it in our tips to stay focused. It is better to focus your energy on one task at a time, and getting that one task done right, then trying to accomplish multiple things at once. You will have better results that way.
10. Recruit an Accountability Partner
Tell someone about your goal of landing a new Product Manager position. You can rely on your Product Gym community to help! An accountability partner can help you stay focused during the job hunt and celebrate all of the victories with you along the way, from your first interview through your final job offer.
Your accountability partner could be someone who is looking to make the transition to product management, just like you, or they could be someone who has already gotten a Product Manager role. Holding yourself accountable to your goals with an accountability partner will keep you on track to achieving them.
11. Set Deadlines
Some of us need the structure and pressure of a deadline to get our work across the finish line. Just because there is no one pressuring you to apply for a certain job by a certain day, doesn’t mean you can’t create that deadline for yourself.
12. Take Regular Breaks
When you are planning your day, be sure to schedule breaks. Acknowledge when your energy is beginning to fade and don’t feel ashamed when walking away from your work space. In the long run, you need to take breaks to better focus on the tedious task of finding a Product Manager job.
One of the best things to do on your break from job hunting is meditation. Of all the tips to stay focused in this list, medidation is perhaps the most universally helpful. Use this time to relax your mind and visualize your goals. Ater a good meditation you will come back to your to-do list more focused and moving toward your goal of landing the perfect position.
Another way to spend your short breaks is moving your body! Get the blood flowing to your brain to help you stay focused on your product management job hunt. Maintaining an active lifestyle during both the job hunt and as a full-time Product Manager is one of the main keys to success.
15. Learn to Self-Motivate
It can be tricky to stay motivated during the Product Manager job hunt, and without that motivation it is even harder to stay focused. Knowing how to self-motivate is important when you are working toward any personal goal, like finding a new job.
16. Stick to Your Routine
Now that you have discovered your strongest points of the day and a time blocking system that works for you, don’t stray from that routine. Once you stick to it long enough, it will become a habit that you don’t want to break.
17. Conduct a Daily Review
At the end of each day, review your to-do list and see what you have accomplished and what is left to be done. Reviewing your progress and keeping track of how many jobs you have applied to and how many interviews you’ve scheduled and completed will help you measure how close you are to reaching your goal of landing that dream job.
18. Keep a Thought Journal
If you are the type of person who has many thoughts running through your mind at one time, this may be the best tip you’ve heard today! Instead of shooing away thoughts and ideas that don’t relate to your job hunt, write them down in a journal so that you can come back to them later. Writing them down gets them out of your mind so they are less distracting and you won’t be stressed about forgetting that very important idea you had while writing your resume.
Pick Some Tips to Stay Focused and Get Going!
Buckling down and staying focused on your Product Manager job hunt is harder for some than for others. If these tips to stay focused simply don’t work for you, don’t be discouraged. Everyone’s brain is wired in its own unique way, so some of these tips may work for you and some may not. Talk to your doctor and ask for their advice on how to work with your brain instead of fighting it for focus.
Keep what you need and discard what you don’t. If you are still struggling to know where to start on your Product Manager job hunt, schedule a free career coaching session with our in-house team of coaches. We’d loev to answer any questions you may still have and get you set up for success!