Day 35: Creating Structure

Today’s application is headed to New Jersey.  It was a rather lengthy application, which I’m hoping will deter other people from applying.  Fewer applicants = better odds, right?

My new book, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein is good so far.  One of the ideas in the book is that we make many decisions mindlessly.  So, if there is a large bowl of potato chips in front of you, you’ll eat more chips than if there is a small bowl or an unopened bag.  We like to think that our decisions about how much and when to eat are more intentional than that, but they aren’t.  A lot of the time we are just mindlessly responding to the cues in our environment.

That insight may not have a lot to do with finding a job, but it is relevant to the topic of surviving unemployment.  Unemployment is unstructured, so it is possible to use one’s time very poorly.  You can sleep in.  You can procrastinate.  You can eat an early lunch of too many potato chips.

Creating structure is important, whether you are structuring the way you serve food or the way you spend time.  One of the ways I create structure is by using the Pomodoro App.  This thing is seriously helpful when you are trying to stay focused on a task.  It is basically a timer that you can set for any amount of time.  When it goes off, you’ve completed one “pomodoro” and you get to take a break.  It’s surprisingly useful, and everyone I know who has tried it found it at least somewhat helpful.

Of course, that’s not to say that I always use it.  Some days it is hard to be completely productive, and that’s okay too.



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