Being More Productive While Unemployed

Don't waste time watching Oprah just because you have no job!

Unemployment puts a lot of time in your hands, but you can't afford to waste it. You have to be more productive when out of a job than when you have one.

Here's how I stay busy:

  • Read. I'm not talking about reading your horoscope or the latest dish from your favorite celebrity blog. Read something that will help you in some way or at least engage your brain.
  • Write. If nothing else, you should be tweaking your resume and writing cover letters. Some people hate to write, but you need to do it when you're jobless. Keeping a blog is a great way to get things off your chest, gain visibility, and maybe even make a few bucks.
  • Take classes. If you're collecting unemployment benefits, you may be able to take free classes at state colleges. Check it out! Even if you aren't eligible for grants or free classes, there are a lot of ways to study something that interests you. This is a very productive use of time.
  • Exercise. I can't stress the importance of this. You will feel better, and it's free to walk or ride a bike. If you're not getting at least 30 minutes of brisk walking in every day, you're cheating yourself. You don't have the "too busy" excuse that you might have used when you were employed!
  • Make phone calls. This is difficult for me personally because I'm a phone-a-phobe. It's critical, though, because ultimately this is how you make things happen in the real world. I force myself to call three people every day.
  • Hobbies can become jobs. Play that piano! Work up that comedy routine! Grow those flowers!
  • Clean out your closets. You might even find something in there that you can sell or give away as a gift.
  • Start a business. Seriously, give it some thought.

I'm sure I'll be adding more to this list later. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments.

Whatever you do, don't sit around on your rump all day watching TV or surfing the Internet (highly useful sites like this one included)! Time is money. Don't waste it!

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My best workout ever - volunteer dogwalking

Many animal shelters offer volunteers opportunities to give shelter dogs a break from kennel life. This is a commitment you can't blow off - your exercise partners are always thrilled to see you and 2 hrs / wk of walking good dogs is excellent medicine for body, mind, and spirit. You can also meet terrific people - check out both county facilities and nonprofits.

chuck's picture


That's a good one! I should try that.

When life hands you sh*t, make fertilizer.

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