As we continue to move through what seems like the fourth quarter of this challenging pandemic, we must answer to the year that has asked so much from us.
What did I learn about myself? The quarantine at home allowed me to evaluate how I used my time on a daily basis. My answers really blew me away!
- I had a very long commute each day. The approximation was nearly 3 – 4 hours per day, 20 hours per week, 80 hours per month, and more than 800 hours per year. This entailed roundtrip travel to Catherine’s wonderful school and to work. Keep in mind that the average person works 2000 hours per year. I was spending nearly half of a work year driving.
- I operated on autopilot. Everything was programmed. Lunches were sufficiently prepared on the weekend and clothes for the entire week were perfectly lined in the closet. Catherine’s breakfast was made the night before and a tea cup of water for my morning tea was placed in the microwave before going to bed so I had one less thing to think about the next morning. I rose at 5:00 am to secure a morning workout, prepare for work (sometimes take a morning meeting with a colleague in Europe), wake Catherine and prepare her for the day ahead to leave home at precisely 7:00 am. All of this was done to support a crowded 2 hour morning schedule.
- I over committed my time. A few months before the start of the pandemic, I committed to additional professional development that claimed 3 hours of group study sessions and 10 hours of personal study time each week. At the same time, I volunteered on two industry wide committees that supported personal and career development, but also consumed an additional 10 hours per week. The time obligation was over the top.
- I used language that spoke to my limitations on how I used my time. A dear friend joked about a tag line I seemed to say quite frequently “I don’t have the bandwidth to do that.” She would also reminded me that I was so focused on getting to the end of a task, day or week, I would not entertain anything that “interrupted” my prescribed schedule. There was very little space to discover the best use of my time.
Over the last several months, I’ve assessed the use of my personal time and I realize that I have to make adjustments. It occurred to me that the volume of so many commitments, crowded mornings, and congested weeks demonstrates how I use my personal energy and how I show up for my family, friends and for myself.
Please share with us what you learned about yourself while quarantined from the pandemic!