Dealing with Interruptions
What do you do when you’re interrupted from your flow? I focus on three key things to make sure interruptions don’t completely shatter what I’m working on.

First, if it’s just a stray thought, I jot it down. I put that jotting in a place that I know I’ll look at later, then I return to the task at hand as quickly as possible. Usually, I don’t break my concentration.

Second, if it’s a minor interruption (like a phone call), I delay. I tell the person calling that it’s a bad time at the moment and that I’ll call them back in an hour. I then jot down a note about this and get back to my work.

Finally, if it’s a major interruption, I tell the interrupter to hold for a moment while I record as much of my train of thought as I can. I’ll finish a rough outline of the post I was working on, or save an email draft with notes on the additional things I wish to say. This way, it’s easier to pick up right where I left off.

there are two ways to handle defeat:  (1) diminish confidence, (2) learn from your mistakes.

I am sick and tired of hearing about people being offended, or that is someone else’s job to fix your discomfort.

When you are unemployed, and trying to do your job search it is easy to become distracted.  Having a flexible schedule is too much for some people to handle responsibly.  Perhaps holding yourself accountable to someone might help you stay on track.

When I was in outplacement services, I belonged to a Job Search Work Team.  There are also networking groups out there that may be offer similar work teams to join.  Another option is perhaps a good friend that will both encourage and not judge.

When planning your week, you should keep track of the number of hours you actually performed on your job search.  Add up the hours you spent on Networking, applying for jobs, time spent with recruiters, your interviewing time(including phone interviews), and your time spent on education.  If this number exceeds what you originally planned for the week, please reward yourself!!  You did an awesome job this week.  If the number is very close to what you planned, then give yourself a pat on the back, and keep up the good work.

For those who fall short, or very far short, take a step back and try to figure out what that hurdle was, and try to remove that hurdle.  Some hurdles, such as death, hospital injury, natural disaster, are very understandable, and easily corrected.  Procrastination, discomfort with networking, and depression require special intervention to get you back on the right path.

With job offerings picking up, this means interviewing of candidates will also increase.

In addition to being honest, positive, and trying to answer questions in a way that make you look more attractive, you also must remember to answer the question.  While we are all told to answer that infamous “what’s your weakness” question with a very minor positive, that might not cut it today.  It is an employer’s market, which means we do not want to give any reason to not be hired.

The new suggestion I’ve been told to use is to give a real weakness, maybe something minor from a previous performance review for example, and show demonstrate what you are doing to improve this weakness.  A good example someone might have is “not comfortable speaking in front of large groups; however, I have joined Toastmasters to help me become more comfortable”.  This is perfect for our behavioral interviews:  Identified the weakness and the corrective action.

Now in everyday life, when we give an answer, people don’t have to like it.  While that is true in interviewing, the person who is conducting the interview is looking for something real, so make sure you help yourself out by giving an answer to the question.

I just saw a news article, and this is what they said.  Since I believe in custom solutions, not blanket statements being a one size fits all, I decided to look into this statement and the facts they presented.

Here are the things to consider if you are considering paying your taxes with your credit card:

  1. Processing Fee: This is the big one.  If you pay your taxes with a credit card, the agency taking the payment is accessing you a processing fee.  This primarily passes along the fees the agency gets accessed in accepting your credit card payment.  This is the single deciding factor.
  2. 0% Interest card: While these are rarer these days, they still exist.   Unless your 0% card lets you carry a balance, you still must pay that processing fee for using this card.  You would need to float this tax charge on your credit card several months to break even on that convenience fee you just paid.
  3. Carrying a balance: If you are not paying your balance in full each month, you are incurring interest charges for that tax payment… from the moment you charged it in most cases.  The IRS offers much more reasonable payment and interest rates than your credit card does.  CALL THEM.
  4. You pay your cards in full each month: Good for you!!  But if you are already doing that, it doesn’t make sense to pay a fee to pay your taxes.  Plan to have the money available, and write the IRS a check (or send directly from your bill pay feature in your checking account).
  5. Program Points : This is probably the only reason I would accept, if: 1) you have a 0% card, 2) you can pay your taxes to your credit card whenever you wanted, 3) the processing fee costs less than what it would cost you to buy the points directly.  This scenario is possible, but not likely in most cases.

So, the news got this one right, and in a big way.  That nasty processing fee, which isn’t cheap, is why not to charge your taxes.  You’ve got 2 months before the taxes are due to be paid.  If you haven’t already planned, start now.  Save yourself some money.


Not everyone are structured planners.  These non-structured people, when forced to plan, become quite disgruntled, and even lost.   Today, I have an example of the opposite:  A structured planner, who has let stopped or reduced their structured planning.  Enjoy.

by Jmore from Scribbles n Scrawls

A friend of mine said to me a couple days ago, “You always have a plan… something I’ve always admired.” Of course, it made me think. If it didn’t, then there’d be no blog discussion of it, duh!!

I’ve always been a planner. It’s my Virgo nature (I hold firmly to the fact that I am a Virgo, not a Leo as the “new” astrology theory dictates) to be neurotically meticulous and organized. I plan my days, I plan my meals, I plan my workouts, I plan my vacation, I plan my finances, and I managed to learn how to build in some ‘wiggle room’ for spontaneity. At least I used to. And endured a lot less stress because plans allow me to set goals. Goals allow me to get things done that I need to get done, and they allow me to obtain things I want to have. I do well with structure that I create for myself. Plans allow me to relax and enjoy my life.

Somewhere over the past couple years I let people convince me I was too rigid, too strict, needed to ‘loosen up’ and learn to ‘play it by ear’, ‘live one day at a time’ and the one I hear the most is ‘you need to learn to live in the moment’.

Talk about a recipe for disaster. At least for someone like me. Following these cliches, while again trying to convince myself that my need for structure was a character flaw, went totally against my personal nature.

When I don’t know what’s in my bank accounts day to day, when I don’t know my credit limits, what I’m going to have for lunch, what my options are for dinner, when my workout is going to be, what I’m up to for my post-work entertainment, I feel out of control, I feel like I’m at the mercy of someone else’s whims and typically, that’s what happens and I end up resentful.

What else happens when I don’t plan? Blogs that once had a nice following fade away and never get written. Comic strips that were mostly daily and had a following get pushed back and pushed back and eventually stop and fans get bored and move on, probably never to return. Who follows a flaky writer? That may have worked okay for writers who bang out a novel every 1-2 years, there’s room for flakeage, but now… yea, not so much.

My bigger dreams get left in the dust, too. Like finishing the story that First Insight introduces. Like continuing with Convergence, a story that brought in readers and fans I never thought I would appeal to. Getting those things completed and published. Things I love to do, know I will succeed at, all fall to the wayside because I’ve been trying to ‘live in the moment’ and instead of scheduling writing time and keeping up my productive, creative habits, I ‘play it by ear’ and get nothing done.

I won’t even talk about what this has done with my workouts. Or my diet. Or (for now) what the weight regain and lack of motivation has done for my sense of self-worth. I’m sure that will come up when it needs to and a blog will be there about it. My plans and goals motivate me. Without them, I’m a listless piece of couch potato poo.

A few weeks ago I decided enough is enough. I can’t live that ‘in the moment’ mindset. I started with my debts and finances. Now, in less than a month, though things aren’t ideal for my liking or comfort, huge strides have been made to take care of things. My comic book is going to be released soon as a downloadable ebook (by end of Februrary) and I want to have a bound and print version of it on Amazon etc by the end of March. I also want to get my comic strip up and running again and there are discussions of musical collaborations and podcasts with other creators. None of that gets done without plans, goals, and time management.