Unemployment brings obstacles, distractions, frustrations, stressors. And, it can certainly be a challenge to remain productive while you’re unemployed. With the application of good habits, though, it’s possible.

Below, you’ll find 5 of these good habits, for your consideration. They’ll help you make the most of your time daily—despite your ups and downs.

(Photo by Sonja Langford on Unsplash)

1. Encourage Yourself Onward with Truths.

Chances are you’ve had (or you still have) some variation of the following thoughts:

I’ll never get another job. I’ve become unemployable.

How will I get a shot to prove myself when there’s lots of competition in the hiring process?

Though my skills are current, I have a big resume gap. There’s no way I can get the attention of a hiring manager.

You become frustrated when you’re embarked on a lengthy job search filled with rejection.

I know. Believe me.

But, please don’t waste your time by allowing these thoughts to go continually, without speaking truth to them.

Remind yourself:

Things are working out. I’ll land my next position at the right time.

There’s competition in this job market. But, the door of the right opportunity will open when I approach and knock on it.

I have a resume gap. But, I also have valuable knowledge, skills, and experience to bring to an organization.

It takes some time to believe and accept these things, but they’re truths. And, you must speak them (and other truths) to those destructive thoughts, so they don’t affect your productivity.

2. Plan Your Daily Job Search Objectives—And Build Structure.

In the job search, the ultimate goal is: to land a job offer as soon as possible. But, you can break down this goal into manageable, everyday tasks.

Today, for example, your objectives might be: preparing your resume and cover letter for an open position and identifying and researching 3 more companies of interest.

After planning your objectives for the day, though, you must also take action. To ensure you do, setting a schedule helps.

(Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels)

Determine which part of your day you’ll dedicate to looking for jobs and how long. You’ll determine this based on your life and situation. Example: Every morning from 8 am – 1 pm (or afternoon from 2 pm – 7 pm), I’ll engage in job search activities.

Allow Room for flexibility. Interruptions happen in life, so we must accept and prepare for them—even while job searching.

3. Beware Lurking Procrastination.

You face several fears in an extended job search: fear of rejection, fear of failure, and fear of long-term unemployability.


These fears, no doubt, can affect your ability to do what you need to do. Though you want to complete those important tasks, you’re tempted to put them off.

It takes work, but when you reach this point, you can overcome this type of unemployment procrastination by:

1. Recognizing Your Fears.

2. Scheduling a Planning and Organizing Period.

3. Taking Action.

4. Engage in Skill-Building Through An Activity of Interest.

Building (and improving) your skill(s) through a project of interest is another good habit for productivity. When you learn new skill(s), you grow professionally—and personally.

And, there are benefits: learning a new skill makes you smarter and happier. It also energizes you.

Take time to figure out what you’re interested in and want to learn.

Make a commitment to learn.

From there, you learn—via blogs, videos, podcasts, (free) courses, journals, books.

(Photo by Erik Lindstrom on Pixabay)

Then, you must put these skills into practice daily to see progression in your learning.

5. Prioritize Rest and Relaxation.

Prioritizing rest and relaxation is a part of taking care of yourself. And, though it’s harder to do when you’re actively seeking employment, it’s important.

Searching for your next position is a priority. But, please don’t let the job search overstress you to the point you don’t unwind and relax. You’ll only add an additional layer of stress to an already stressful situation.

Make time to do things you find interesting: reading uplifting and inspirational material, listening to music, exercising or working out, preparing your favorite meal, writing in your journal, watching a movie, getting a wholesome laugh, spending time with family.

Whatever you enjoy. Whatever you need.

Additionally, consider the importance of rest and sleep.

Sleep “promotes physical health and mental well-being. It also boosts performance and reduces safety risks,” according to the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project.

So, I encourage you to rest from everything. Make it your mission to go to bed every night and get 7-8 hours of sleep, if you can.

Will You Remain Productive Throughout Unemployment with These Habits?

You’ve gotten to the end of this article, and you now have 5 good habits here, for starters, to help you stay productive. Find them helpful? Practice them daily and effectively do the important things in your life right now!