Is It A Lack of Time, Or Discipline?

Life through the Coronavirus Pandemic has been interesting, that’s for sure. Do you remember ever thinking, “I wish there was a day in between Saturday and Sunday to get more stuff done”? Or “I just don’t have the time to do…. X”, for which you could be talking about cooking, working out, reading a book, putting away the laundry, or anything else on your to-do list.

Before I go further, I want to preface with stating I currently have a 6 year old and 2.5 year old at home with me, so I write this with complete empathy of life with kids.

What this pandemic has showed me is that it wasn’t a lack of time, it was a lack of discipline, that prevented me from achieving my to do list. That, and perhaps a little bit of time management. Now, with more time than ever and nowhere to be, I am still struggling to get everything done. More than the fear of the pandemic, this has caused my emotions to go on a rollercoaster.

Yes, yes, I know there is a mental toll to consider from being in a pandemic. People will say you’re being too hard on yourself, everything is different now. Or, maybe I am not being hard enough on myself. I know I am now trying to entertain and occupy my children while still maintaining my business, but wasn’t I doing all these things pre-pandemic already? Where is my time actually going? With all this extra time I have in the day (no commute time, no activities to run to), what exactly am I doing with it?

It took a long time for me to realize that I am really good at making excuses to not take care of myself. Pre-kids it was the hectic corporate life that prevented me from working out. With kids, they became my excuse. I have always prioritized my job and relaxation over working out and eating healthy. I saw friends around me making the time to workout and I internalized the excuse that they weren’t dealing with the things that I was. But aren’t we all dealing with something? Aren’t we all making choices on how to spend our daily 24 hours?

For some people working out and being healthy makes them feel good. For me, working out is still hard work. I have a home gym, but I still don’t use it. I get tired easily and sometimes that one workout can actually incapacitate me if I push too hard; however if I don’t push hard, what’s even the point? I have a lot of mental blocks around working out and what it’s supposed to look like. Or, as I now call them, more excuses. If I only have 10 minutes before the next thing? Well, that’s not enough time to do anything “properly”; I might as well sit and relax for those 10 minutes right? Or go on social media and engage for my business. If I can’t do it exactly the way I want, I’ll just choose to not do it altogether.

Some people suggest time blocking your day and planning it out in advance. This, with a 6 and 2.5 year old around all the time, now doesn’t work for me. Their lack of ability to read means they don’t care that right now is mommy’s working time, or cooking time, or even the fact that I am in the middle of a workout – they want what they want when they want it. What has been working, somewhat well, is “eating the frog” so to speak and just putting in a little bit of effort wherever possible. What is the one thing you always put off doing because other things are more important? Do that first. Get it over with.

So now, I am trying — and there are still days I fail — to work out in the morning, and I am trying to mentally change how I work out. A 20 minute walk is better than nothing. I will let the kids stay up an extra 20 minutes to clean up the kitchen, or let them watch more tv while I cook dinner. It’s definitely getting easier as they are getting older because they can play fairly well together. Though it’s hard with kids to feel in control of your days and implement a routine/discipline; harder than I ever expected it to be.

The one thing this pandemic has definitely taught me is, even with all the time in the day, I lack discipline to make my health a priority.

Shalini Dharna of Dharna CPA - tax accountant in Mississauga Ontario
This article was written by Shalini Dharna, a RevolutionHER™ Member based out of Mississauga, Ontario. Her company Dharna CPA is  a one-stop shop for all accounting, finance and tax needs.