“A well lived life is crafted each day in how we think, how we act and who we invest our time with.” Nathan Marsala
How we invest our time, and how we think, couldn’t be more important than during this unique period in 2020. Time is a precious resource and many of us will view the COVID-19 situation as an impediment to our lives. For many, COVID-19 has become an impediment. With what I am about to say I do not want to minimize, or generalize this situation for all people. But, I do want to focus on how we can choose to see this time as an opportunity, as something that can be a positive and not just an impediment. Seeing this pandemic as an impediment for many of us is a choice. Has life as “usual” changed? Yes. Does that mean the change is bad or road block? No.
I am speaking from the position as someone who was laid off and lost their job. As someone who has family living with them that is on immunosuppressants and has been considered higher risk. I also understand the challenges of trying to get my first grader to complete their schoolwork from home. We are all touched in some way, shape or form by the current circumstances.
So how does one see this as an opportunity? How have I chosen to see this situation where time was awkwardly and unexpeditly handed back to me?
To start, here are a few quick questions to ask yourself, and please be brutally honest with yourself as you answer them out loud.
1 – How many hours a day do you spend watching a streaming service with content that is “non-educational” material, think “Tiger King” and other types of shows.
2 – How much time do you spend each day scrolling and posting on social media?
3 – What was the last investment you made in yourself? Was it a book you read that expanded your mind, a course you took to learn a new skill, meditation, or exercise?
4 – Do you still manage proper self-care: sleep, movement, morning and evening routines?
Let’s take a moment and look at the added time many of us have been afforded to invest in ourselves, and to grow. Let’s use just one example of where many of us had time handed back to us. Our commute. If you had a commute and are now working from home, you have now saved that commute time. Let’s assume that commute was 30 minutes to and fro. So, you were given one additional hour per day in “our example,” to spend however you choose.
So, how can you spend that time? How do you spend that time right now? A few things we could do would be to invest that time back in learning a new skill, maybe it’s coding, or learning to cook. A new language, a new certification in our chosen field. Or maybe it’s adding a new healthy habit to our lives that we can carry with us as we return to “normal life” again,. Maybe it’s connecting with people that we were too busy to connect with before.
The thoughts we hold will determine in large part how we spend this added time that has been given back to us. By choosing to see this time as an opportunity and adopting a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset (for more on this, invest a few bucks and a few hours and read “Mindset” by Carol S. Dwek PhD.) we will be more apt to come out of this situation better than when we went into it. Investing in yourself is like investing in the markets. Small growth compounds over time and leads to better opportunities. The cost for most of this investment, is time. There are a dozens and dozens of free resources right now that people can access if they will invest their time to become better.
We have been gifted time, a precious resource that is finite. Use it wisely, and take this opportunity to become a better version of yourself. Instill a habit of thinking better, and using your time become a the new you.
By Nathan Marsala