Like many in the world, I’m locked down. Can’t go to work. Can’t hang out with friends and family.
And over the last couple of weeks, I have been working longer hours than usual. I get up, work out, and start working on projects around the house or at my parent’s house. I’m getting things done and really trying to stay busy. But there are draw backs, and I’ve noticed something else over the last couple of weeks.
When I punch the clock, I have more discipline. I know I have a limited amount of free time and so I try to squeeze in as much as I can. But now I am not punching a clock. As a result, my intensity has fallen off. I am not squeezing as hard. The creative work I try to do and the self-development that I try to pursue has fallen off. I have been busy. Things are getting done, but the things I feel that I am called to pursue in life have taken a back seat. I am moving but not forward in the way that I should.
Beware of the braveness of a busy life. -Socrates
Discipline is easy when it is forced upon you. As a soldier, I had no choice but to be disciplined. If I wanted to succeed, I had to have it. Same way when it comes to my professional life. To progress and become better, I have to have discipline whether I am on or off of the clock.
But now there is no clock, and I find my discipline is starting to waver. The sense of urgency is starting to diminish. I am reminded of the times in my past when everything was dark, a time when there was no drive and definitely no discipline. It is in recalling those times that I have to get back to the basics. I have to force the structure and routine back into my daily schedule. I have to punch my own internal clock and regain a sense of urgency.
Just moving in and of itself is not going to work. I have move with a purpose. I have to move with intention towards the direction I want to go. Even in these times when the world seems to be standing still, I can still move forward.
When I retired, I found that I, too, needed structure, but without the rigidity of work. The structure helped with the lack of a defined “time clock” and the lack of rigidity allowed freedom to pause a moment and share time with friends, breathe in the beauty of the day and ease into this new phase of freedom.
I hope these thoughts help in your finding the balance you need in this time of uncertainty.
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Thank you Linda. I have always imagined what it would be like if I wasn’t working. I imagined all the things I could get done. The reality is much different. And, if I am always looking at life from a productivity aspect, I do miss many of the important aspects, such as the beauty and the time spent with loved ones. You are right. I am in need of balance. It is something I am trying to work on.