How to Find a Job Fast in 8 Painless Steps

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Set up job-search alerts

One of the most time-consuming aspects of job searching is, well, searching. It’s easy to spend hours and hours … and hours … scrolling through job boards. After a while, the postings start to look the same. Heck, many of them are the same.

If you want to simplify this part of the process and save some time, find two to three job boards you like and trust, and sign up for daily job alerts. Then, you’ll receive a dispatch of new postings directly to your inbox each day. This will save time and prevent you from scrolling through the same listings each day.

If you don’t want to limit your search to just two or three job boards, but also don’t want to spend hours on end signing up and posting your resume to the different job boards out there, there are other options to help. Resume-posting services like ResumeRabbit will post your resume to the job boards of your choosing, creating different logins for each and giving you a centralized place to track your posting progress.

Why Time Feels Slow

  • Excessive focus on time. “A watched pot never boils.” It’s a simple aphorism, but it captures the spirit here. If you’re focused too much on something, you’ll be all too aware of its slow development. If you’re watching the clock, you’ll be aware of every second. That makes time feel slow. Then acknowledging the slowness of time makes time feel even slower! It’s a vicious cycle.
  • Lack of engagement. Most of us feel like time goes quickly, or at least normally, when we’re engaged with something. Let’s say you’re watching your favorite TV show. You’re doing a hard crossword puzzle. You’re laughing with your friends. You’re driving carefully in the snow and ice. In all these situations, you’re actively engaged—which means you’re not thinking about time, so time passes quickly. If you’re not engaged, time will seem to crawl.
  • Lack of familiarity. Do you always remember your daily commute? Probably not. The routine is so familiar to you, it doesn’t even register. You don’t pay attention, and you don’t log it as a memory, so time feels like it flies. The opposite situation, where you’re doing something for the first time, usually is associated with slower subjective feelings of time passage. Arguably, this can be a good thing; it’s why we’re more likely to remember and appreciate novel experiences. However, if you’re stuck doing something completely new that you don’t like, it can make time drag on and on.
  • Boredom, discomfort, and other unpleasantness. Vacations go quickly. Trips to the dentist’s office go slowly. Great movies are over in a flash. Witnessing a boring slideshow presentation lasts forever. You get the idea, right? Boredom, discomfort, and other feelings of unpleasantness will invariably make you feel like time is passing slower.
  • Drugs and sensory deprivation. It’s also worth noting that some physical effects can make you feel like time is going slower. On mescaline, DMT, and other hallucinogenic substances, some users report feelings of distorted time. And if you ever find yourself locked in a room with no light and no sound, time will probably play some weird tricks on you. But I’m guessing you’re not looking to speed up time for these reasons.

1. Stop looking at the clock.

Experts of all varieties seem to agree that one of the best ways to make time seem faster is to simply stop looking at the clock. A piece in The Atlantic cited time enthusiast Alan Burdick and psychologist William James as agreeing on that fundamental notion. James wrote, “A day full of excitement, with no pause, is said to pass ’ere we know it.’ On the contrary, a day full of waiting, of unsatisfied desire for change, will seem a small eternity.”

Now, obviously, it’s going to be hard to stop looking at clocks. They’re all around us. Your phone, your watch (if you wear one), your computer, and your office wall are all probably screaming the time at you. Yikes. But if you want to know how to make time go faster, this is the absolute most important thing you can do.

I recommend blocking whatever time indications you can, whenever you can. You could put a small sticky note over the corner of your screen, where the time is displayed, for example. In any case, try to do something other than constantly looking at the clock or thinking about how much time has passed.

2. Create a predictable routine.

When you have a set routine, you can kind of turn your brain off and just run through the motions. I know that’s weird advice; it’s not the best for increasing productivity, improving engagement, or finding fulfillment. But I can practically guarantee it will make time go faster.

Depending on what you’re facing, this may be anything from easy to impossible. Some tasks will be so unpredictable, you can’t turn them into a routine. Others can be almost automated. Do whatever you can to keep things consistent, and your workday will fly.

3. Achieve flow.

In case you aren’t familiar, in psychology, a “flow state” is a psychological state in which a person is fully immersed in a task. They feel energy and focus, and tend to be completely absorbed in what they’re doing. You can also call this “being in the zone.”

When you’re in a flow state, you won’t even be tempted to look at the clock. You’ll be so immersed in what you’re doing that time will become a secondary consideration. Hours may pass without your notice.

There are a few different theories, but the general consensus is that flow requires you to find the perfect balance of interest and challenge. You should be actively interested and engaged with what you’re doing. You should also be challenged enough that you aren’t bored, but not so challenged that you can’t relax.

Accomplishing this is trivially easy if you have full choice of activities. Some people achieve flow when playing basketball. Others feel it when washing windows, or playing video games, or folding origami. If you’re stuck at work or at school, your only real option here is to try and change the responsibilities you have.

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