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By Erica Lamberg – Ladders

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives, and it’s easy to overlook how quickly every little moment adds up.

Karla Starr, author of “Can You Learn to Be Lucky? Why Some People Seem to Win More Often than Others.” says our brain can be “trained” to have a more positive outlook. Our brain is designed to think in patterns and can be taught to think and act with a positive perspective, she says.

Here are some her suggestions about how to improve your outlook to enhance a job search.

Be truly ready for a change

She says people should be ready for new opportunities, and embrace life’s teachable moments. “Every setback or failure is when you grow and get stronger,” Starr asserts. “Make better decisions by choosing your own criteria of importance.”

In addition, she suggests being less critical and more mindful in your daily life. “Take time to be present, and not worry about what’s next. Be in the moment, schedule less,” Starr adds.

Make organization a priority

Being organized keeps a person focused on a job search. “If we don’t keep things organized, life has a way of shuffling them around for us, and the result is typically an imbalance that takes us away from our long-term goals,” says Starr.

Organization also helps us catch problems as upstream as possible, she says.

“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives, and it’s easy to overlook how quickly every little moment adds up,” Starr continues. “Time is definitely the biggest struggle for organization and order — we get so distracted by small minutiae that doesn’t help us reach our goals.”

Staying organized and focused during a job search can lead to better prospecting.

Keep an old-school to-do list

Starr suggests keeping a running list of deadlines and tasks on one master calendar.

“At the beginning of each day, I schedule what I do in two parts: first, I look at the tasks I need to complete that day. Then, I look at the projects and deadlines ahead, and think about the best steps I can take that day to make progress on what’s coming up,” she explains.

Creating an old-school list of tasks can help break a technology overload.

“People use so many gadgets, apps, and methods of communication, I always recommend simplifying and using as few lists as possible, because otherwise, it’s too easy for things to fall through the cracks,” Starr says.

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