Remember the Lessons

Written By: Samantha Lane

Samantha Lane | Founder of Origami Day

The pandemic may be behind us, but the lessons learned during that almost unreal time should stay with us. Many people learned to work from home, prioritize mental and physical health, embrace the perks of a remote or hybrid workspace, and generally spend more time participating in their lives.

Yet, with the pandemic in our rearview mirror, there has been a snap back to an old mentality of work and life. We have regressed to an imbalanced, too-busy life.

This doesn’t have to be the case.

Long before the pandemic, I lived the too-busy life. I was a workaholic. Much of my time was squandered due to overextending myself and a flimsy-at-best weekly plan. Then I underwent a major surgery, which brought me face-to-face with my own mortality and left me out of commission for quite some time. After my surgery, my focus shifted. I was no longer worried about the commute and emails. All the little things that used to add up to a stressful day for me were instantly made small. There was an immediate re-shuffling of priorities and my primary focus for each day was to hold on to the life I previously took for granted.

During my recovery, I began a journey to find balance in my life. I ferociously studied time management techniques and consumed everything I could find about the pursuit of happiness. Most importantly, I overhauled my way of thinking and learned how to be truly present in my days.

“There was an immediate re-shuffling of priorities and my primary focus for each day was to hold on to the life I previously took for granted.”

So, what did I learn?

We have to know what is important. Let Covid be your surgery. Although they are very different, the surgery and virus both had the same power to pull back the curtain and clear the calendar. In the hardest moments of my recovery, I had the most clarity. It was the eye-opening epiphany I never asked for, but desperately needed. For many of us, the life-altering global pandemic did the same thing. It forced us to look at everything differently, and see things in ways we never have before.

Once your view of life is different, your days must also be different. I learned the art of planning for balance. Not your traditional, fill a calendar with dozens of tasks every day, but a well-thought-out, concise, written plan that includes the important parts of work and life. Miraculously, planning has created a sense of freedom I never thought attainable.

Lastly, and this is the most timely lesson, we have to be willing to protect what we know is a good use of our time. There will always be an email to send, a chore to complete, and an event to attend. I’ll take this time to remind you that during the days of lockdown, many people welcomed the opportunity to rest. Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we have to. It’s ok to say no sometimes. We don’t have to go back to the too-busy life just because we can.

We may be collectively allowing the pandemic to fade into the background of our minds, which is a great thing in a lot of ways, but I urge you to hold on to the good sentiments you felt during that difficult time. Don’t lose the lessons that came with the calendar clearing. Let them shape you and your future.

About the author » Samantha Lane

Samantha Lane is the creator of Origami Day and a sought-after time management coach and speaker. She helps others make the most of their lives through the power of planning.

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