Getting past the stress ...


Wow.  As regular readers of this blog are probably all too aware, I've been struggling to get a brief interview out of an author for a book that I finished a few weeks back.  I'm still hoping that will eventually come through (as I really liked the book), but it had somewhat soured me on doing these review/interview features.  Well, this week I had the opposite experience.  I finished reading Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.'s book CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Coping in a World Gone ADD on Saturday, wrote a review of it last night, and sent out a note to the author this morning asking if he'd do an e-mail interview.  And what was in my mailbox this evening?  Yep ... an author interview to bring to you today!

This was a serendipitous situation all the way around, as I'd found a hardcover copy of Dr. Hallowell's book at the dollar store some time back, and had sort of randomly picked it up last week, hoping that it would be useful to me in the rather stressed state I've been in.  As I detail in my review, the book surprised me on several levels, and was much more than I had imagined it was going to be.

While not specifically having anything to do with the job search, Crazy Busy can be very helpful, as it has certainly been my experience that being unemployed and enduring a long, frustrating battle to find that next job is one of the most stressful events that one can experience, and what Dr. Hallowell offers in the book (and on his web site is a game plan for developing new habits and abilities that will let you more efficiently operate in that environment, and be more effective when you do land in a new position.

His answers to my interview questions are on the other side of the cut ...

Q:  Briefly, what's your background?

A:  I am a child and adult psychiatrist, Harvard trained and on the Harvard Medical School faculty for 20 years, currently in private practice in the Boston area and in New York City.  I am also married to my wife Sue, and we have 3 children, ages 20, 17, and 14.  Sue and I just wrote a book that will come out March 16 called Married To Distraction: Restoring Intimacy and Strengthening Your Marriage in an Age of Interruption.

Q:  Have you had notable job-transition experiences?

A:  Being self-employed, I am always in transition in a sense.  Freedom is great, but it brings no security!

Q:  Why did you decide to write Crazy Busy?

A:  I saw many people driving themselves nuts by overcommitting their time and by wasting time on electronic devices.  I wanted to help them get their sanity back.  And their happiness as well.

Q:  How do you see Crazy Busy best aiding an individual "in-between jobs"?

A:  It is a book that teaches a person how to prioritize, do what matters most, and not waste gobs of time.  People in between jobs can get easily lost or sidetracked.  My book shows you how not to let that happen.

Q:  If you had just ONE piece of advice for today's job searcher, what would that be?

A:  Decide what you most want to do, then pursue that.  Don't go off in 10 different directions all at once.  Focus!

Q:  What do you feel makes your book unique?

A:  It combines my medical knowledge and my knowledge of brain science with my experience in consulting to businesses and individuals.  There is no book I know of written by a practicing psychiatrist on this topic.  The book is also entertaining and blessedly brief!

Q:  Aside from your book, what resources do you recommend?

A:  Distracted by Maggie Jackson and Spark by John Ratey.

Q:  Any additional words of wisdom?

A:  Above all else, don't wait until you're about to die to do what you love.  Do it now!

Again, I highly recommend this for a way to get beyond the stressors of the modern world, which are certainly only magnified by the difficulties of the job hunt.  More details, of course, await over in my review!



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  • Hi Brendan, While I agree there is no security in working for yourself, I must add there is no security in a job being employed by someone else, either. At least when you work for yourself you are entirely responsible for the amount of work that comes your way. Personally I don't believe in the whole idea of security - who made up that concept anyway? I read this great book recently called, "Wake Up! Your Life is Calling" by Andy Feld. The author is also an entrepreneur and gives great advice on how to live in a world seemingly spiraling out of control. It's a 'wake-up call' but really an opportunity to find what things of this world make us really happy. Going in this direction is where we find real security.
    thanks for listening,

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