Digital fatigue? Here’s 5 ways to break the digital cycle whilst boosting your career planning

A banner with the words 'Digital fatigue? Here’s 5 ways to break the digital cycle whilst boosting your career planning' and then the words 'Navigate Series' underneath.

Emily Packer, Careers Adviser here at the CS, shares some insights into being productive away from our screens as part of the new navigate series

It’s important to take breaks away from our screens, but it can be hard to feel productive during them. Our new navigate series brings you 5 ways you can boost your career planning away from the screen.

We hope these tips help to restore some balance, though you will need to read this blog online first!

The navigate series is here for Lent 2021 to help you to recognise useful resources and sessions and navigate your career planning into the Spring.

     1. Reflection

Reflection is vitally important for our development and resilience. Understanding your skills, strengths, and taking learning from experiences, whether difficult or successful, is key to a range of career planning and interview successes.

Thinking of an experience you would like to reflect on, ask yourself the following:

  • What happened?
  • What did I do?
  • What did others do?
  • What did I learn?
  • What will I stop, change or continue doing as a result?

Tip: be creative – draw or illustrate your answers rather than write them. Mind-maps and vision boards offline spark creativity, help you to reflect, and allow you to take your time.

       2. Create flashcards

If you are preparing for an interview or a presentation and want to remember key facts and figures, flashcards are a great way to test your memory without using a screen. If you don’t want to invest in some new card, then simply cut out some old card or paper (cereal boxes, wrapping paper, birthday cards etc – just ensure you can use both sides) to create your flashcards.

On one side you can write a question about the organisation you are applying to (e.g who are their key client demographic? What are the three key projects they are running right now? What are their key values?) and then write the answer on the other side.

Keep these handy around your space and go over them when taking a screen break. Remember to recycle them when you’re finished!

       3. Whiteboards

Mini whiteboards are economical, save paper, and can be loads of fun. They can also provide focus and are easily editable. If you are tired of writing a virtual ‘to-do’ list for your applications, interviews, or career research then having a whiteboard that you can change each day helps you to set goals and keep focused.

Each morning or evening read your whiteboard and set new goals – even very tiny ones. You can keep those yet to be completed and add a new target. The key to the task is that you are actively making a decision about what needs to be kept, added or erased.

Tip: If you have a long list of organisations you are going to apply to stored online then add those that need to be completed in the next week to the board. It’s much less overwhelming and oh so satisfying to rub off when completed!

Podcasts from industry insiders, recruitment experts, and those from the organisation you want to work for can lighten the load of internet research and help you contextualise your motivations for applying to a role.

       4. Listen and learn

Podcasts have never been so popular and there are a range of sensible, factual, and helpful podcasts out there to support your career planning.

The beauty of a podcast is that you can rest your eyes for a moment and put in your headphones. If you want to take a more active approach you can listen with a pen and paper and keep a list of things to remember or follow-up on. If you want to combine your podcast with your daily exercise (C19 restrictions allowing) then take your podcast on your next outing.

Podcasts from industry insiders, recruitment experts, and those from the organisation you want to work for can lighten the load of internet research and help you contextualise your motivations for applying to a role.

Tip: podcasts are also an excellent small-talk tool if you are meeting someone for the first time, perhaps at a networking event online or a recruitment ice breaker task.

       5. It’s good to talk

Yes, seeing someone on screen brings life and familiarity to a conversation, but there is also nothing wrong with suggesting a telephone call if the conversation is going to be informal (i.e it is not part of a formal recruitment process).

If you are looking to speak to an Alumni from GradLink or a connection you made at a networking event, why not suggest a phone call? The pressure is off in regards to how you present yourself and it can break up a day of online lectures and supervisions.

Tip: if you are asking someone for their time and they would prefer a video call, then do go with their preference, but if they ask you for your preference then that’s a chance to recommend a phone call. If you would prefer to meet professional contacts on video then perhaps suggest to family and friends that you have any social calls over the phone, just to break things up.

Here’s few more things you can try too:
  • Print your job applications and proofread them, making corrections with a pen. Read any letters and personal statements aloud.
  • Record practice interview answers as voice notes on your phone and play them back – note anything you did well, the time it took you to answer and anything you could have done better.
  • If you can, pick up an industry newspaper or industry magazine and take some time to read the news, views and opinion pieces. As with podcasts, this not only provides industry information but noting interesting articles acts as a good ice breaker at interviews and networking.

We hope you find this useful, do let us know if you have any queries by emailing, and check out the Navigate YouTube playlist for more curated content.

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