Your Gift of Time during COVID-19: 3 Ways to Make It Count

What are you doing with your gift of time?

We have all been forced to stop – whether you are still working, or teaching your kids at home, or working overtime, there are still probably going to be gaps in your time. With no church, restaurants, clubs, sports, parties, etc…you’re bound to have a little extra free time, even if you are balancing life in other areas.

When COVID-19 passes, which it will, there will be 2 types of people: the person who comes out better than they were before, and the person who doesn’t. Which one will you be? With all of the sacrifices that we are having to make right now, it would be a real shame if myself and my family came out of this the same (or worse) than we were before the world seemed to shut down.

So I want to submit to you 3 ways to use your gift of time right now.

  1. Take care of yourself physically
  2. Skill up
  3. Set specific goals

Take care of yourself physically.  This may seem obvious and apparent, but judging from some of my tendencies, and from what I’m hearing from my friends, I think we need to be really intentional about this.  Here are some things to think about.

  1. Get rest. Real rest.  Not “lay on the couch and look through social media” rest. But real rest.  Stay on a schedule.  Have a bedtime routine and get 8 hours of sleep.
  2. Take care of your skin. Use this time when you have time to treat yourself right! Have a spa day. Use that skin care product has been sitting under your counter for while!
  3. Exercise. Cliché, I know. But your mental state depends on it.  Force yourself to take a walk, go for a jog, do yoga (even if it’s not something you do regularly), or move around.  You need the endorphin rush.  Your body, mind and emotions will thank you!
  4. Drink water. I had this here because obviously we need water, and because I notice for myself that when I’m home, I don’t always drink enough water. I don’t even think about it. So be intentional and always have some water with you.

Skill Up.  This is a phrase that has been floating around a lot lately, and I.LOVE.IT!  I love this idea of growth during this time.  In a world that moves so quickly sometimes it’s all we can do to keep up with our own lives, we now have the opportunity to SKILL UP! Skill up in the careers we have! Skill up in being a better wife, husband, or friend. Skill up by learning a new skill or pursuing a passion. There are so many ways to skill up, but friend, please don’t waste this time and stay stagnant, because there are a lot of people around you skilling up.

I was blessed to be on an event with an amazing group of people, and Coach Kelly ?? talked about being aware of your blind spot. Calling it a “blind spot” really makes sense to me, because sometimes we don’t know what we need to fill the blind spot until we stop and really self-reflect.

So how do we do that?

  1. READ!
  2. Listen to podcasts.
  3. Find a mentor or coach.
  4. Conduct your own research.

This is where my focus is right now.  There are so many things that we don’t have control over – in fact, I think if we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t have control over much right now.  But we DO have control over how we respond, and how we come out of this time.  I want to come out of this time BETTER than I went in to it.

Set specific goals.  So I’ll be transparent.  I’ve had a few wasted days.  The days that end and you think, “I feel like I just ran in circles all day. The house was clean at one time and now it isn’t. I folded laundry, and there’s still laundry to fold.  I got a little bit of work done, but can’t cross anything major off my list.” Have you had those days?  I had to refocus.

Research shows that how we start our day sets the course for if we will be reactive or proactive the rest of the day.  So if we start our day putting out fires within our family or responding to others on social media, there’s a good chance we’ll feel like we’re playing catch up all day.  I had gotten in the habit during the second week of staying at home where I was sleeping until about 7 or even a little after.  The problem with this was that my family was all getting up at the same time, and I immediately jumped into “mom” mode without having the time to start my own day first. I was finding myself very frustrated and unproductive, and had to adjust my schedule to getting up early enough to start my routine and my day, and even have some creative time before I started solving everyone’s problems around here. J

Here are some things to think about:

  1. What is something you want to finish?
  2. What is something you want to start?
  3. What is something you want to research?
  4. What is something you want to accomplish.

Set aside uninterrupted time to do this. It may be 6:45 – 8:45 in the morning. It may be after everyone goes to bed if you’re a night owl. It may be that you aren’t working around other people, you just have to shut out the distractions (possibly Netflix and social media) and let your brain do it’s thing! You’ll be amazed at how powerful and fulfilled you feel after you meet some of those goals you set!

Don’t waste this time!  It was given to us for a reason!  Are you using it wisely?

Educators: To help with this time for both you and your students (that you serve or have at home), we are offering you a FREE bonus of the online resource “60 Activities for Thinking and Learning at Home!” with the purchase of Building a Bridge from “I Can’t” to “I DID!”: Creating Independent Learners through Culturally Responsive Teaching.  Your students will come back, needing you more than ever…will you be ready?

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