by Jazmin Idakaar
previously published 10/11/13
The Pepperoni & Cheese Method: Getting Things Done a Little at a Time
When I was a little kid, I hated cleaning my room. I would start out and the longer it went on, the more overwhelmed I got, the more overwhelmed I got the slower I got, until finally I would just give up. My grandma noticed how I felt (and my lumpy bedroom floor) and gave me some good advice. She called it the pepperoni and cheese method.
She said, instead of trying to do everything all at once, think of it like pepperoni and cheese. You can’t eat a whole pepperoni or a whole block of cheese at once, you slice off a piece at a time. Think of tasks the same way. Instead of trying to clean your room in one go, break it into pieces. Work on it for 15 minutes, take a break. Work on something else for 30 minutes, take another break.
This method can be applied to your job hunt process too! The job application process can be exhausting. Customizing your resume, writing a strong cover letter, and lining up references are time-consuming. And if your job hunt is taking a while, it can be hard to keep up that momentum. By breaking your tasks into smaller parts and taking short breaks, you can keep your energy and enthusiasm from running out.
For example, if you have a library job application you want to send out, review your resume, then take a break. Next, get your cover letter started, making sure you have the right position, library, and name in place. Take another break. Stretch your legs, read a chapter of something fun, eat a spoonful of Nutella, and then go back to your cover letter. If you have a good friend or two with some free time, ask them to check over your resume and cover letter and see if they have any feedback for you. Rather than a marathon application session for each job, If you have the luxury of time, stretch the application process out over a day or three so you have plenty of time to take breaks and treat yourself well.
By reducing the stress of the application process, you will be better able to focus that energy into making your resume and cover letter the best they can possibly be.