The ongoing health crisis has taught us a thing or two about the meaning of life. Crises tend to do that and indeed have, since the early days of humankind.
For starters, life doesn’t revolve around our jobs. Sadly, many people seem to have learned it only now. The argument that we need more money to afford a quality life has all but dissipated into thin air in the face of stunningly high COVID-19 health bills.
Does that mean we should give up job productivity and search for alternatives? I don’t think so. The point is in adjusting all aspects of our life so that we actually get to enjoy a quality life without compromising our leisure time in the name of “business as usual.” We should be more PRODUCTIVE, but retain the freedom to enjoy life to the fullest on our own terms.
How do we do that?
Quality Over Quantity
Firstly, the common denominator for all people with a job wherever they are is that we all seem to be overwhelmed with a multitude of tasks. Every day, we’re struggling with unreasonable deadlines. In turn, that means that the quality of the tasks in question has to suffer. Quality and quantity simply don’t mix.
The first tip to employ would, hence, be – prioritization. Some tasks are always more important than others. If there are more important tasks a day than there are business hours, then sort them by urgency and leave the rest for the next day.
The pressure we create is groundless, anyway. If we do more tasks than reasonably possible, we don’t give each of them our best. That means that we actually spend more time redoing them than we would have spent if we prioritized it.
Draft a schedule at the beginning of each working day. Sort tasks by priority, calculate how much time you will approximately need for each and leave the rest for the next day. Allow for breaks in between as to ensure that you always do your best.
Breaks Should Have Meaning
Another common occurrence is for people to spend their breaks – procrastinating. “Just unwinding” has become synonymous with doing nothing or (worse still) wasting time on meaningless browsing. How many times have you told yourself to stop scrolling through your Facebook feedback and clicking on links that don’t interest you just to kill some time until the next task?
This is an oxymoron. The time you should have spent actually unwinding has been lost on activities that will ultimately annoy you, and you will go back straight to the next task in that state of mind.
Breaks are no less important than working hours. Use a schedule for them, too, if you’re struggling with lack of time. I.e., on top of the usual breaks for coffee and lunch, designate time slots for leisure activities as well. Thus, workouts, reading, watching TV, and all the other activities you enjoy should get their place.
There Is Always Enough Time for Everything
Yes, there is. If you plan well and do it every day, no activity will have to suffer, ever. Okay, we should always allow for unexpected situations, but let’s face it – they occur occasionally, not regularly. We deal with them as they come; we don’t premeditate them every day.
If you used a schedule for all daily activities during the pandemic, you would have an established routine for hobbies and workout as well. Simply put, once things have gone back to “normal,” you will have allocated a time slot for everything. Just keep doing it in the same way, adjusting the slots slightly to allow for commuting.
Communication Keeps Us Sane
If there’s one thing that got driven home during these crazy times, it’s that people are social animals. Being cooped up at home is not necessarily bad, especially if you happen to be an introvert, but being a loner doesn’t equal being alone. Even introverts need company, just in a different way extroverts prefer.
Now that we’ve all learned about a myriad of apps that make communication as easy as it gets, we may well adopt some new habits. For example, some social meetings can be held online. Personally, I find business meetings to be way more relaxed when hosted online. As regards socializing for fun, both options are okay. The only difference is – you now know that you can still “see” your friends even when you’re too tired to drag yourself to the meeting place. Simply hop in online.
Efficient Finance Management
There’s always something we need more money for… or is there?
Another lesson learned during the pandemic is that we actually have enough money for everyday life; it’s the things we don’t need that we’re hooked up on buying that make us think we need more.
In the light on “unexpected expenses” (read: health bills), the unfortunate among us has to pay, the whole money spending spree thing gets a whole new meaning.
For one thing, some expenses have changed for the better. Even if the change is temporary, it can help us learn to manage finances more efficiently.
We go back to lists again. They are especially helpful for people who like spending money on a whim regularly. Once in awhile, whims are just fine. It is when they become a habit that they become a huge problem.
Make a list of things (other than necessities) you are planning to buy in the ongoing month. In this way, you will learn just how much you are spending on unnecessary things. This will also help you allocate more money for the things that make you happy, with the only difference being that you will be aware that you are spending it.
Things change; it’s only normal that they do. People change; that’s how it should be. Every day we learn something new and implement the new findings to make our lives better (whatever “better” may mean for each individual). However, we rarely get a chance to witness a change so huge that it is obviously life-changing for so many people around the globe. The bottom line is – use the lessons learned during this once-in-a-lifetime situation to live your life to the fullest. We have all learned now with palpable certainty that there are things we cannot affect in any way. That’s why the biggest lesson from this crisis is – change the things you can affect for the better.
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