Are you putting too much pressure on yourself?  

In The Big Chill, after attending a college friend’s funeral, seven friends are reunited and spend the weekend chilln’. What’s interesting when you have an ensemble cast of characters, is seeing how they all react to down time. There’s always a Type-A character who I relate to.

One of the issues with the lifestyle of an independent contractor, is when you’re working, you know what to do and what’s expected. When you’re out of work and “looking for a job,” is when it gets fuzzy for most. Many people put pressure on themselves to be busy all of the time and create busy work that ends up stressing them out.

Here are 3 tips to help take the pressure off:

1.   Write out your tactical goal plan: Only 20% of the work you do to get work is productive. The other 80% makes you feel like you’re doing something to get a job, yet it’s totally ineffective. Evaluate what you do to get work and determine what your 20% action tasks are. Once you have 3-10 action tasks that effectively get you work, evaluate how long each task takes. Schedule in your calendar when you are going to do each task throughout the week. Don’t fill up the free time with busy work! Leave the time blank so you can use it for #3.

2.   Prioritize using the rule of 3: Each day, choose your top 3 action task priorities. Write them on a piece of paper. Once all 3 are done, throw the paper out and use the rest of your time for #3.  

3.   Chill out: There has to be some faith that you will work again, and therefore, chill out and enjoy some of your time off. If you’ve done #1 & #2, you can feel good about your job search, and in your down time, make the most of your life! The alternative is stressing out for two months, then getting a job, and looking back thinking, “Boy, I wish I would have enjoyed my time off!”   

Most people worry that if they don’t spend all of their down time looking for work they won’t find a job. But, many people discover that when they take 3 actions a day for work generating and then spend the rest of their time doing things that make them happy, they get work faster. Why? Because they are more attractive than the burnt out, bitter people who are putting too much pressure on themselves.

And Action!

1.   Do the step 1 evaluation.

2.   Choose 2 things to do in the next 14 days that will make you happy and give you something to talk about or share on social media.

3.   Make time to chill.

It took a funeral to reunite this group of friends. Don’t wait for life to happen to you! Release some pressure by doing things that make you feel good.