To Stay at Your Electrifying Best…Pull the Plug
No matter if it’s voice mail, email, your Blackberry, a text, your next meeting or perhaps even an letter delivered the old fashioned way – in an envelope with a stamp, every once in a while you have to pull the plug and scream an obscenity ridden with – ENOUGH!
What a concept…… becoming unattainable for some degree of time.
I was looking around a website belonging to Harrison Barnes, the Job Guru, and caught his article “The Importance of Disconnecting from Your Work.” That’s exactly what he’s promoting and I can only say, “He’s right on.”
Check out the opening lines of his post:
Some of the happiest, most well adjusted, and most effective people I know are also people who have a profound ability to disconnect from their work. They can disconnect rapidly and put themselves in another state of mind which does not involve work.
It’s interesting how he uses the word “profound” to describe this skill. I know what he’s talking about. I’m driven. Those that know me understand I run a million miles a minute, answer emails late at night / early in the morning. I’m at it all hours of the day and it does take a “profound ability” or more like an act of God to get me disconnected.
Now you job hunting executives are no exception to this “disease,” but you’ve got it worse. You don’t have a defined work schedule. Even a crazy, highly-driven work schedule has on and off time built into it. I could be the off time are hard to find, but you know when you’re on work and off.
When you’re looking for work, it becomes your full time job working out of the house. You run into the same problems typical of small business owners encounter working out of home. If you can fall out of bed and start hitting the computer the minute you open your eyes. If you research, fine tune the resume and scan the Internet well past Late Night with David Letterman (or Jay Leno for those fans), when do you disconnect from work?
Let me tell you. You have to be at your creative best during your job hunt. You actually have to be pleasant when interacting with possible contacts that can lead you to your next employer. You have to be open to subtle opportunities that might pop out at you during your day. You cannot do that well and be at your very best if you work 24/7 and never get any mental rest.
Here’s a word of advice. Get yourself on a schedule. Pretend you have a work day and schedule your time accordingly. Set the times when you’re laptop will be open for emails and when you’ll accept Blackberry (it really is a Crackberry) phone calls and text. You’ve got the time. Schedule working out into your schedule. If it’s getting up to run before or after you drop the kids off at school (hey you can do that now that you’re off work), going to the gym at a set time or attending Yoga or spinning classes at a set time, commit to doing it.
You owe it to yourself and more importantly, it will:
- Relieve stress
- Keep you more centered (meaning you won’t freak out at everyone as often)
- Improve your effectiveness and efficiency (You really will get more work done.)
To keep yourself honest, share whatever commitment you make with your spouse, friend or coach (that’s where folks like me come in) and do what you say you’ll do.
This should be a help now when you’re looking for work and later when you land your next position which just might be around the corner.