“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”
-Stephen R. Covey
I have been in so many conversations lately, some with friends and family, and some with small business owners. Inevitably due to social distancing, thanks to Covid-19; I have noticed an increase of curiosity popping into the conversation. “So, what are you guys up to? What do the days look like for you?” This line of questioning requires a bit more in return than the typical “How are you?” I think there is a real desire to compare to see.. hmm are they doing better then we are? Is there something I should be doing instead? Did they bake bread from scratch? Maybe I should see if I can buy some yeast and flour?
Now once everyone shares their report of what the new norm looks like, there seem to be two types of camps we each fall into. Camp one seems to feels like there is just “so much more time” to fill in the day. While camp two is feeling quite the opposite, they feel like time is flying by as if to say “so much for time” They tend to feel like the days never end. Weekdays roll into weekends and the hamster wheel keeps spinning.
So how can this be? Last time I checked we are all working with the same 24-hour window. So how is it that some feel like a boat in slow drift and others feel like they are franticly splashing and need a buoy. While I can’t know for sure, I do know that I have been in both camps at different points in my life. I know the high of fast-paced, multiple to-do lists crossed off kind of day. I have also learned to embrace slow and steady with no particular place to go. I don’t feel that the solution is simply to add something to fill or remove something to create a break. I also don’t particularly like to be told I can’t have or do something, so clearly, I want to have my cake and eat it too. ( Just being honest with you) I want productive and present, so that is what I strive for!
So I want to provide some of my personal JOY HACKS, as I call them that might be helpful if you find yourself in either Camp 1 or Camp 2. Our time is a gift and however we choose to spend it or invest it, it’s important to know the choice is yours! You get to decide how your day is going to take shape regardless of what is going on in the world.
- Time Block– Start the day with a plan. Carve out your hours to be sure they are being invested in the activities that are going to bring you the most return and not just bleeding from one request to the next. Making time and planning for a craft with your kid or making time building a new revenue stream for your business is both incredibly valuable.
- Protect Your Saturday- Change it up! Weekends are built-in buffers to allow us to recharge and reset. Try to come up with some ideas that make Saturday and Sunday feel special and a bit different than Tuesday. ( We order from local restaurants on the weekends and encourage slumber parties for the girls in any room of the house)
- Check-in with Mother Nature– Try building in 15-20 minutes outside 3x a day, perhaps before or after a meal. You remember your grandparents telling you. ” The fresh air will do ya good!” I think they were onto something.
- Meal Plan– This hack helps out in two ways for me. It’s not only a way to bring peace to my day because that “What’s for dinner” decision has already been made and shopped for. It also acts as a clear opportunity to shift gears. My purpose at that moment is to create a meal for my family and nothing else. I am not responding to emails or trying to help with 6th-grade math. Instead, I am cooking, setting the table, and getting ready to enjoy an evening with my favorite people.
So, give it a shot! Try something new or maybe try something old that you haven’t done in a while. Just remember you are the boss and you get to decide what your days look like! – Megan