Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Insidious Nature of Unemployment

I'm going to start this post off with a link, bad idea I know but it's a great post and a good set up to what I'm writing about. If you're looking for a good read on why some people are sticklers for having limited andf exact inventory in their RPGs (or any game really) then read Rob Donoghue's post about fitting square pegs into round holes (not as kinky as it sounds, really).

He ends the post with a reinforcement of an excellent saying, "constraints breed creativity".

I couldn't agree more with this statement, and then something clicked for me and I realized that this philosophy applies in so many more ways than I'd previously realized. A lot of people know that being unemployed means you have a lot more free time than when you're working. Most people think that you should be spending the majority of that time searching for a new job. In a perfect world this would be true, but in reality there are so many factors at work it is very tough to accomplish that.

For starters, at least to me, it seems like there was really only so much time you could spend searching for a job. I'd read an article about being unemployed a year or two before I was laid off, and it very wisely suggested that instead of drowning in job applications that you instead dedicate yourself to doing what you really love. It very cleverly professed that if you dedicated all of your efforts to doing what you love, you would eventually catch people's attention and hopefully be able to get a job doing exactly what you love (and getting paid for it more importantly). This is especially true when it comes to artists and other non-office job professions, if you can dive in at full steam then you're much more likely to make a living at it than someone who approaches it casually.

The problem for me was that I had a lot of free time, so procrastinating became even easier because I knew I'd have time to do anything later in the day/week/month. Worse than this is the looming thought that no matter what you're doing, you should probably be looking for a job instead. Thoughts like these led to an incredibly unproductive Danny during most of the time that I was unemployed.

What I'm finding now, however, is that with the more restricted free time I have now that I am working I have become a lot more creative and productive with my free time. This is a different angle to view the "constraints breed creativity" thought, but I find it equally as relevant for myself at the moment. There are a lot of other factors, of course, because this is real life and very high up on that list is the ability to relax a hell of a lot more and (hopefully) not worry about losing our house/pets/sanity/independence anymore.

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