If there is one thing the corona virus taught me so far, it is that time is an extremely precious asset. Unlike money, you cannot make more time. Wasting time simultaneously means wasting life. And the corona virus pandemic taught me greatly how much life time we are carelessly wasting.
About Wasting Time
The recent months of remote work and remote meetings showed me painfully how much time we do waste commuting to work, traveling to in-person meetings, and how much time we waste chitchatting with peers.
“It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. … The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.”Lucius Annaeus Seneca, On the Shortness of Life
I was lucky that my office was located only 15 minutes by car from my apartment, but that’s still 30 minutes in total per work day. During corona, I used these 30 minutes to run. Every morning, I used the freed up time to run through nature. Before 8AM I returned dripping in sweat, I enjoyed a cold shower, and I started to work.
As a result, my productivity increased immensely. I was able to finish an 8-hour work load in 3 hours. How? No chitchats, no coffee breaks, no lunch breaks, no commutes, no in-person meetings, and for the most part no multi tasking. Effectively, a switch from the busy office life to my split off home office (that’s our German-English expression for WFH) saved me 5 hours of time by increasing my productivity.
As a result of working from home and cancelling all in-person appointments, organizations and people started to use technologies they haven’t been comfortable with before. The major and most notable one being video calls and video meetings. Before corona, a meeting was usually in-person – especially when it was your first encounter. Today – when scheduling a meeting – the first question is ridiculously often: “Are you sending the meeting invite?” or “Is MS teams working for you or do you prefer Zoom?”.
Surprisingly, 80% of my video-meetings were super productive. Instead of wasting time traveling or chitchatting most meetings were on-point. This resulted again in saved time and an increase in overall productivity.
About Skipping Breakfast and Eating Cleaner
Corona also taught me, that when I have to leave home, I tend to force myself to have breakfast. During my working from home period, I listened to my body and I skipped breakfast nearly every day. I had my first meal not earlier than 2PM. This introduced me to the concept of intermittent fasting. So I started to study the benefits of intermittent fasting. Today, on most days, I don’t eat anything before 4PM. I feel better, more energized, and I am more focussed as a result.
Working from home as well as knowing that a virus is around, also made me more conscious of my food choices. For example, while in the office, every now and then I had some fast-food for lunch. This never happened at home. I always made the choice for a healthy green smoothie or salad instead.
About Sleeping Better
Saving time, eating cleaner, and fasting improved my sleep significantly. Pre-covid I used an alarm clock every single day. But during the past weeks, I learned to sleep without an alarm. Cleaner eating habits, less caffeine, and intermittent fasting reduced my sleep quote. Today, I wake up at ±5AM without an alarm clock. I feel well rested and healthy.
As bad the economic impact of Covid-19 is, I believe that we can learn a lot from our experiences working from home. While I can always save or earn more money, I cannot get back the time I wasted. This pandemic taught me to set my priorities straight, waste less time, eat more healthy, and sleep better. These are all habits I will continue to practice, for sure.
Let’s become a more conscious, healthy, and productive human species!