Being employed generally means working on a schedule. But when you’re unemployed, looking for a job and living with an unpredictable chronic illness, time has a way of getting turned upside down.
OK. So, now you’re past the relief of hauling your tired body out of bed each morning to be at work by 8:00am. And you don’t miss those “to do” stickies that keep piling up.
But are you finding yourself staring at Craig’s List (or Twitter) on the computer screen for 8 hours a day? Or watching a continuous replay of American Idol?
It’s hard enough to face looking for a job in the current job market. It’s even harder when stuff comes up like the pain or fatigue from migraines, ulcerative colitis attacks, a flare of multiple sclerosis or any chronic illness. It knocks you flat.
But didn’t you manage to get things done at work when you were employed? (At least, mostly you did.) So you know that you can manage a schedule that gives you time to look for that job – or learn a new skill.
What you need is a semblance of structure and you can do that by creating a daily schedule. Kristen Beireis, at Coaches’ Marketing Source , says you’re either a Streamer or a Planner.
- The streamer “…goes with the flow, doesn’t easily get distracted and can’t stand scheduling their day.”
- The planner “…needs structure and is easily taken away from your work by bright, shiny objects.”
I’ve found that most people who are unemployed and looking for work act like streamers but need to behave like planners. Even if you’re a streamer at heart, it’s easy to get frustrated and distracted by the difficulties. That’s where planning is crucial.
My clients who’ve played with this have done all sorts of things to make it work for them. Some like to include every detail while others like broad categories.
Here are 3 tips that I’ve seen make a big difference regarding the design and success of your self- imposed work schedule:
- Write it the night before. Now, when you start your day, you’re already ahead of the game with a plan in mind.
- Email it to someone, at least to get started. Clients email it to me and I just respond I got it. But you can send it to your sister, your friend or even your spouse. It makes you feel more accountable for doing it –until it becomes part of your daily routine.
- Remember it’s your schedule. You won’t accomplish everything every day. Maybe you planned too much or something took longer than you thought. Or illness symptoms crop up. The rest of the world can give you a hard time but try your best to be a “flexible boss” to yourself.
Schedules don’t have to be a grind. They can be fun. See it as something you can play with and design to fit who you are.
Do you think this will work for you? I’d love to hear if you’re doing it and how it’s going — or if you’re going to take the plunge.