There are no two ways about it – whether it had something to do with your performance or nothing at all – losing your job is hard. During the first few days, it’s completely normal for you to experience feelings of hopelessness and self-doubt, so take that time to relax and process the situation. But after that, keeping a schedule is one of the best ways to stay productive and focused while you hunt for a new job. You might even gain a renewed sense of purpose or pick up a new skill!
If you’re struggling through unemployment and unsure about what to do, we’ve devised a schedule aimed at helping you be as efficient as possible. It might not be suitable for everyone, but do take it as a jumping-off point to structuring your day the right way.
How to schedule your day for maximum productivity
7am: Wake up and take a shower
It might seem tempting to sleep in and lounge about in your pajamas but try to avoid hitting the snooze button – set an alarm so you can get up early, get showered and set yourself up for the day. Establishing a good morning routine of preparing for the day like you were going into the office helps you feel more mentally prepared for a productive day of work.
While you’re in the shower, why not take the time to think about what you want to achieve that day, or just let loose and belt out a few tunes. Singing in the shower has shown to release stress so go ahead and serenade your neighbours with your favourite shower songs.
7:45am: Plan your day
Without the urgency of a project deadline, you may find yourself wasting hours or even days on a single task when you should be paying attention to others. Make a list of assignments you need to complete each day with a reminder of the most urgent to the least and the expected amount of time you’d spend on each task.
Continue to review that list throughout the day and tick off items as you complete them. It might also be useful to evaluate your progress at the end of the day and keep track of what needs to be on the following day’s to-do list.
8am: Eat a healthy breakfast
We hear it all the time – but experts say that eating a nutritious breakfast every morning really does make you more productive. So, take some time to cook something that will start your day on the right foot! If you prefer savoury breakfasts, make yourself a quick omelette with some whole wheat toast. If you need something sweet in the mornings, ditch the sugary cereal for some fruit and yoghurt.
8:30am: Organize your workspace
If you want to have a structured day, you need the right place to work. If you decide to work from home, designate a certain spot in your home as your work area. Make sure it’s free of clutter, is comfortable for you to sit in for long periods of time and has all of the equipment you will need as you go about your work. Here are some extra tips to create a better working environment.
For any reason you find it difficult to stay focused at home, consider booking a desk at a coworking space. The BOOQED app offers the option of instantly booking a hot desk at a host of coworking spaces in Singapore and Hong Kong. Spaces can be booked by the hour, day, or month, whatever you need. It’s a budget-friendly option if you need a place to avoid any distractions and concentrate on applying for work. It’s also a great way to meet new people and get some face-time with companies who might be hiring.
9:00am: Research and apply to jobs
It’s a tedious task, but it has to be done! Before you start applying to jobs, you’ll need to make sure your résumé is up to date. You should also tweak it further to match industry norms and write individualized cover letters before applying for a specific job. If you’re worried about income, consider applying to both full-time and part-time jobs so you have the option of earning for the time being while you search for jobs that are more suitable in the long run.
12:00pm: Have a lunch break
No matter how busy you might feel, don’t skip your lunch break! If you’re at home, why don’t you take a walk around the block, play with your dog, watch a little TV while you eat, just be sure to get out of your workspace for at least 20 minutes. If you decided to spend the day at a coworking space, spend some time networking or have a bite to eat in the common areas, some coworking spaces even have an outdoor terrace where you can enjoy the sunlight and fresh air.
1:00pm: Get through your to-do list
Spend an extra hour or two after lunch going through your to-do list, whether it be finishing off a few job applications or revamping your LinkedIn profile.
3:00pm: Work your network
If it’s not part of your to-do list already, you should set aside an hour every day to do some networking. Research relevant networking events to attend, reach out to contacts and set up coffee meetings – don’t forget to follow up afterwards!
4:00pm: Learn a new skill or pursue a new hobby
Remember all those things you wish you had time for while you were busy working overtime?Now’s the chance to make them a part of your life! Read a book, volunteer,learn a new language, it really doesn’t matter too much what hobbies you decide to take on, just make sure you do something you enjoy and will (physically or mentally) stimulate you.
Nowadays,there are also countless online resources to teach you a new skill so have a look through platforms like Coursera or edX to see if there are any courses that might be of interest or potentially help in your career.
We get it. Exercise might be the last thing on your mind during these times but try to make a habit of it. You won’t regret it! Just thirty minutes of exercise a day can get your blood pumping and releases endorphins that make you feel happier. If you’retrying to stick to a budget, get creative with your workouts! Going on long walks, practicing yoga, jump rope or following a workout routine on Youtube are all fun, economical options to help you work up a sweat and release stress.
6:00pm: Practice self-care
After a long day of hard work, practicing self-care is important, especially when you’re going through a potentially difficult time. Self-care doesn’t have to include massages or retail therapy (although that would be nice too), it can be the simple act of spending time with loved ones, having a long bath with a face mask on or just taking the time to shut off and relax.
BOOQED is here to help
Unemployment can be challenging, but it can also be a relatively enjoyable and fruitful time if you don’t let it go to waste. Whatever your situation, we hope our suggestions can help you be more productive in your daily life.
And if you need a quiet, dedicated space to concentrate on your job search, or a reliable place to have a coffee meeting, the BOOQED app (available on Android and iOS) lets you book on-demand hot desks, meeting rooms, and cafe tables in Hong Kong. You can also get 50% off your first booking when you use the code HK50. Best of luck and we're sure better times are coming your way.