You’ve got 10 minutes before your next meeting—or class, or episode of Westworld. You could blast out a few sets of crunches so your abs will be ripped by bikini season; scroll aimlessly through Snapchat; Facebook-stalk your ex; or watch puppy videos on YouTube... Or, you could do something quick and painless to improve your career.
Believe it or not, there’s a lot you can accomplish in 10 minutes. Monster spoke with experts to find their top ways to boost your career and job search success in less time than it takes to make a bowl of pasta.
Read industry news
“Too often, professionals do their jobs in a vacuum and fail to regularly see how they fit into the big picture,” says Lori Scherwin founder of the New York-based career coaching company Strategize That.
“You'll be better informed and geared up if you have an understanding of the factors driving your industry or what challenges may be on your bosses’ (or their bosses’) minds,” she says.
She recommends reading trade publications, industry-specific articles and articles relevant to your role. To make it super-easy, set Google alerts for the ones you think are most useful, or create a Twitter list so you can quickly scan the most relevant headlines in a flash.
Email someone in your network
If you only reach out to people when you need something from them, the relationship could start to feel transactional and forced. Try to build better professional relationships by staying in regular contact with those contacts so you’re not just reaching out when you need a favor.
“It takes less than five minutes to send an email saying hello and ask how they are doing,” says Scherwin. “This way, you'll be more connected and more comfortable reaching out again in the future if you do need something—it'll feel more natural,” she says.
Take a break
Rihanna is right: You have to work, work, work, work, work, work. But you also need to press pause sometimes. Studies have shown that allowing for some downtime can actually improve productivity.
When your workload seems overwhelming or if you’re faced with a block, don’t try to power through. Take a minute (or 10) to relax. “If you are getting frustrated, stopping for even a moment can help put the situation in perspective,” says Scherwin. “You'll feel better directed and will work more effectively as a result thereafter.”