COVID-19 has been tough on all of us. We fear for the health of ourselves and our loved ones, unemployment has soared to historical numbers, and many of us have been stuck at home for almost a year now.
Amid the struggles, one nice component of a pandemic world has been the gift of time. Overnight, many of us received hours back into our days.
Time spent commuting to work — gone. Parties on the weekends — no more. Long weekend trips to visit extended family — a thing of the past.
Time has been given back to us. What have you done with this added time? Maybe you have been reading more. Perhaps you started journaling or writing (as I have). Maybe you developed a daily exercise routine. Or you have been spending more time with your loved ones.
If you took advantage of the added time provided by the pandemic, that’s great news. And want to hear some more great news? The global health pandemic will eventually end, and apparently sooner rather than later.
That’s great and all, but what does this mean for your newly developed hobbies/habits?
What to keep, what to give up?
Since the pandemic began, I’ve started reading and writing. Before coronavirus invaded my surrounding area, I was neither reading many books nor blogging. The gift of time allowed me to pursue both activities for hours on end.
But this can’t last forever.
At some point, the world will open back up. One day I’ll wake up, and the ample time I took for granted will disappear.
With less time, decisions must be made. Do I continue reading and stop writing? Do I stop reading and only write? Do I continue both and give up my steady exercise routine? Or I could continue all three (read, write, exercise) and ditch all future social engagements.
What a lonely life that would be.
In a post-pandemic world, difficult decisions must be made. What are you willing to keep in your life, and what are you ready to give up?
It comes down to prioritization. With less free time in a post-pandemic world, you must decide what’s worth keeping.
Do you value daily exercise over your newly developed cooking routine? If so, you may need to kiss your gourmet cooking goodbye. Do you value your social life over your reading routine? If so, you may need to decrease your aggressive book goal for the year.
These are the conundrums we will face. Better to think about these things now. If not, you will be in for a rude awaking.
Make a List
Create a list of all the things you’ve started pursuing since the pandemic. See my list below:
Watching lots of movies
Sleeping at least 7 hours
Once I’ve listed out my added life activities since the pandemic, I then order each activity from highest priority to lowest priority:
1. Sleeping at least 7 hours
6. Watching lots of movies
If the pandemic magically ended tomorrow, I’d commit to continue sleeping 7 hours and writing. Reading and meditating become secondary, while cooking and watching a ridiculous amount of movies become afterthoughts.
I recommend you do this exercise to put your added activities into perspective. By identifying your highest priority pandemic activity, you’ll increase the odds of continuing that particular activity well after the pandemic has ended.
Twenty years from now, you can look back at the pandemic and proudly say you developed a newly found passion, began a healthy habit, or nurtured a budding relationship.
Recognize the best pandemic additions to your life through prioritization. Then commit to your prioritized pandemic habits long after the pandemic has passed. If not, the pandemic — just like your positive habit — could dissipate.
Whatever positive component you’ve started during the pandemic, make a plan to have it last.
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