If I asked you to rate your satisfaction with your productivity while experiencing unemployment, how would you respond? Satisfied or Dissatisfied?
If you’ll respond with dissatisfied, you shouldn’t feel bad.
Why? Because you can change this by adding structure to your unstructured day.
First, make the choice to remain effective by learning and growing throughout this transitional phase.
Then, you can use this time while unemployed to be productive in various ways. I’ll provide a few for your consideration. See if they’ll work for you. If so, try them out!
6 ways to increase or maintain productivity while unemployed follows below.
1. Don’t Stay in Panic Mode
Upon facing the reality of unemployment, you might find yourself panicking a little. You’re human.
But don’t stay in panic mode. If you stay there, you won’t have the ability to move forward—as you should.
Instead, look forward to something new in your career.
Take time to ponder jobs you’re interested in. Consider a targeted job search strategy when submitting applications and resumes. Put forth your best effort and don’t worry about outcomes in your job search.
Don’t forget to: consider all alternatives available to you during this time.
2. Don’t Neglect Your Well-Being
Finding a job is a priority, but it shouldn’t come before your well-being—every dimension of your life.
This includes your mental and emotional health as well.
In the beginning of my job search, I was the type of job seeker who spent too many additional hours searching for work daily. I didn’t want to miss out on any opportunities and felt the need to constantly be on the lookout.
Then, I realized the importance of taking care of myself.
I realized there’s more to my life than unemployment and job searching. I realized it’s fine to live life and do other things—even while unemployed.
And . . . this required disconnection from the job search.
So my suggestion is: Don’t engage in a 24/7 job search. Release this pressure.
You need your energy to get through this marathon, so take care of yourself.
Get the sleep you need nightly. Every morning arise early, freshen up, and get ready for the day.
Don’t forget to: avoid negative self-talk. Recognize it, reject this negativity, and replace it with truth immediately. Otherwise, you’ll be zapped of the precious energy you need.
3. Consider a Daily Routine
You’ll benefit from a structured day (via a daily routine) while unemployed. I don’t suggest a minute to minute routine as you need room for flexibility.
Consider something like a morning schedule and evening schedule, though.
Prior to creating a routine, figure out your priorities. Then, organize your plans for the day (using a written or mental to-do list), according to the activities you want to complete.
Don’t forget to: identify and get rid of distractions. As stated above, at one point, I spent a lot of additional time job searching.
This also means I wasted a lot of time checking my e-mail multiple times a day. I didn’t want to miss an opportunity and was always in my inbox. Please don’t do this.
If you find yourself unable to accomplish your plans for the day, you’re probably distracted by something. Identify and get rid of it—at least until you’ve done what needs to be done.
4. Commit to a Project(s) of Interest
Now you know I advocate against an all day job search. You’ll experience burnout.
Still, when the job hunt activities stop for the day, there are other ways to use your time productively—on projects of interest to you. Consider projects you’ve put off previously.
You can also consider committing to a new project idea. Have you considered any of the following?
- Starting A Blog
- Teaching A Class
- Opening An Etsy Shop for Your Arts and Crafts
- Providing A Service To Others Using Your Skill(s)
These are just a few examples of ventures you can engage in. Upon committing to a new project, your focus will not only be one of looking for work but creating work as well.
You’ll boost your skills, learn new skills, and make good use of your time. And, you never know where these projects will lead you.
Don’t forget to: do something you enjoy—regardless of your circumstances now.
5. Designate Time to Stop and Breathe Daily—Even if Only For a Few Minutes
You need a healthy balance in your life, while you’re dealing with unemployment. So, designate break times.
Remember to stop and breathe.
Remember to inhale and exhale.
Remember to refresh and reboot.
Remember to live.
Don’t forget to: do this daily.
6. Continue Your Quest for Education
Never stop learning and enriching your mind on things you know and want to know.
This is a great investment, and you have many ways to do this.
Browse trade journals associated with your chosen field or new field.
Read books, blogs, and other resources on different subjects.
What’s the benefit? You’ll grow personally and professionally.
Let’s consider the following career topic, job searching, for example. I wanted to learn as much as I could about it.
So, over time, I found and read many books on job searching. Still do.
I found free online resources, such as eBooks and websites, about job searching—and read them. Still do.
I found YouTube videos on this subject—and watched them. Still do.
I applied this knowledge to my job search. And, I discuss some of this knowledge here on the blog.
What’s my point? With all of the information available, you can learn about anything!
Don’t forget to: Incorporate reading, studying, and learning into your daily routine.
Be Productive While You’re Unemployed
Though unemployment brings uncertainty to your life, it also brings an opportunity to learn and grow in ways you might’ve never considered.
Will you make the choice to be productive throughout your unemployment period? If so, these are just a few of the many ways you can take care of yourself and keep busy while looking for a job.