The other day I had a small task in front of me. I needed to sort through what had been piling up on the kitchen table and clean it off.
No big deal. There wasn’t that much there. Just a few small piles of paperwork. Should have only taken me a few minutes to assess the items, and either file them where they belonged or throw them in the garbage.
I took a look at the table and, for the life of me, couldn’t figure out how to do it. You should know that I’m a very organized person. This was a task I would normally whip through in no time.
But for the previous few weeks I had been under a lot of stress, dealing with a trying family matter that demanded I juggle lots of critical details and make important decisions affecting a family member.
I was so overloaded with details, my mind couldn’t handle one more thing. I had to walk away and come back to it later.
Those of you mired in job search can probably relate. Your stress level can be elevated. You may find it hard to concentrate on even the littlest (but still important) things, let alone the big issues impacting your ability to land a job.
Or maybe you just had a great interview, it’s been several days or more, and you haven’t heard anything. You find yourself fretting about it. You can’t stop ruminating about your performance. “Did they like me enough?” “Oh boy, I really blew that important question!”
How good are you at decompressing and dealing with job search stress? Do you have some good tried and true tactics to distract yourself to regain focus?
My remedy that day was to take a few deep breaths, realize the task could wait a bit, and sit myself down and work on a crossword puzzle. It did the trick. Pretty soon my head was clear enough to deal with the table pile-up.
I’m reminded of an excellent post at Work Coach Cafe by Ronnie Ann, I Got the Post-Interview Temporary OCD Blues.
She offered a dozen great suggestions, including:
- Rent LOTS of movies and re-direct your obsessive behavior in that direction.
- Go to the library or local bookstore and find a bunch of books you’ve been meaning to read. Learn something new.
- Volunteer somewhere. Turn your energy into something that helps others.
- Exercise. Even if it’s only walking 10-20 minutes a day.
- If all else fails, use bad TV to get lost in.
photo by karindalziel