When one is unemployed you notice and maybe not even right away that you have all of the sudden a lot of free time on your hands. After all we spend our working lives doing just that “working.” And we schedule other events in our lives around it. We make appointments either before or after work, and we sometimes go to these appointments during our lunch break if one is lucky to get one. And in those rare cases we might just even take a day off from work to take care of personal items.

But once we lose our job the eight or ten hours one works during the day now becomes “free time.” Time that we once had little of now becomes the bulk of a person’s day. At first we are in shock of losing our job and do wonder what to do next. But once we do the things that are needed to be done file for unemployment and so on. We still have more time than we can even imagine and often wonder what to do next.

We try to focus our time trying to send out are resume and maybe go out on an interview if we are lucky to get one. But let’s face it… there is only so much time and effort that one can put into their day when it comes to looking for work. And actually when you think about it looking for work becomes a person’s new job. It just does not pay that well (weekly unemployment checks) but it’s better than nothing at all money wise.

But once you get into the routine of taking the time to search for work and we may just spend all or most of the day doing so. You then realize that there is only so much a person can do in a day. So you try to focus and work on things that you have put off for some time such as going back to school or even pick up a new hobby. We also try to adjust our budgets, pay bills in advance, our personal expenses and things that we treat ourselves to are reviewed closely and in some cases are eliminated.

And some of the things we eliminate does pain us, almost like it’s a death in the family or a very close friend that we have lost. But we adjust and go on with the hopes that we can continue once we are back on track. Even the start of our day’s changes, we go from waking up at the crack of dawn to late morning or afternoon. We all make adjustments one way or another, and in some cased we don’t even realize this until we start to think about it. With all this new free time on ones hands we suddenly become time management experts.

And then of course there are those days when you have done everything that you need to do, and you have no other plans for the current day which leads to boredom. And we try to do things or go to events and or see friends and family to break that boredom. With the sudden abundance of time given to us we constantly think of ways to keep busy. It’s like as if it’s our last day on earth and we have to rush through our bucket list (if you keep one…) before the world ends.

But the world will not end all of a sudden and or life does go on. We all I feel just have to use our free time to the best of our ability and try to maximize the time that we have. Or we can just take the free time to relax and carefully plan what to do next with no rush or pressure at all. The choice on what to do is up to us. But using time to carefully plan does eliminate errors down the line. And once one realizes that the free time they have can be used to the best of their advantage things go a lot easier I feel.



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April 2010
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