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Surviving Unemployment: Time on your hands.

August 5, 2011

Think of all the things you wanted to do when you had time.  Well the good news is you now have the time.  The bad news is it’s called unemployment.  There are so many projects we put off because they aren’t the most fun, yet, deep down inside we know they have to get done.  It isn’t that they are distasteful; they are time-consuming and finishing them in the time we have available doesn’t always allow us to start and complete the project in one sitting.  So they hang over our heads like the crown on the queen.   Well maybe not like the queen’s crown, but you get the idea.

The best way to start is to make a list of all the things you want to do.  Then each day pick one from the list and continue until you have completed the list.  If it takes a few days, that’s okay.  When that project is done , check it off your list and find another one.  Keep doing this until your list is all checked off.  However, you might find you or others keep adding to your list.  Some of the items below are on my list, however, your list will look different, I’m sure.

  • Clean out:  Closets, the refrigerator, the garage, the cellar, or any place that ends up being the catchall.  It is amazing the things you can find.  You can give some things, sell them at a garage sale or put them on eBay.
  • Read: The books you have bought but never read.  Or the classics, books you have always enjoyed, inspirational, or self-improvement.  A good book to read in your current situation is Fired Up, by Harvey Mackay.  Fired Up consists of stories of famous people who /laid off and have gone to become very successful along with job search tips from Harvey Mackay.
  • Paint a room: Or two.  If you have to be home all day, you can enjoy clean fresh surroundings.
  • Put pictures in albums:  I love taking pictures, but never get around to putting them in photo albums.  I have the pictures still in the envelope from the developer and some photo albums, but never seem to find the time to combine the two.
  • Finish projects:  Many people have good intentions when starting a project.  They buy all the supplies and materials only to find one thing after another gets in the way of finishing.  Now you have the time to finish them.  Make a list of what you want to finish and tackle each one to completion before going on to the next.  What a sense of satisfaction you feel when you complete it.
  • Family tree:  You have heard the stories of your ancestors but now you have the time to record the stories.  Using your local library and online resources, trace your family tree as far back as you can and keep track of the people you find.   See if you can find pictures of family members.  Visit elderly relatives to learn about whom you are looking for and any information they have.
  • Make it yourself:  Cook and bake instead of purchasing pre-meals.  Chop, knead, mix, and stir your way to satisfaction and inexpensive home cooked meals.  Freeze some for later enjoyment.   Homemade bread tastes delicious and while it rises you have time to work on finding a job.

Hopefully by the time you find a job your list will be complete or at the very least much of it will be checked off.  Going back to work after finishing much of your list will allow you to feel that at least your unemployment wasn’t a waste of time.

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach providing stuck job searchers with the tools they need to find the job of their dreams.

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