Pre-pandemic, I would be on a plane every other week. I also spent hours driving. I felt guilty if I did not visit my locations in Findlay, Foxboro, Saraland, Tolleson etc. And I felt I needed to go to customer meetings and trade shows. I felt I needed to meet suppliers in person.
Pre-pandemic, I would accept most invitations for lunch, dinner, entertainment etc if they fit my schedule. Those added to my driving since many were in Toronto so could add another 2-3 hours of drive time. Even those that were in Guelph, they would take an extra 30-60 minutes.
My pre-pandemic diet was much worse because of the unhealthy food choices available at restaurants. Eating at home has been healthy.
Pre-pandemic I worked out in a gym. Not a big deal but that added 10-20 minutes driving for each workout depending on which gym I was working out at. I have developed good work out habits at home (but I always could stand to lift weights more often)
Pre-pandemic I spent 25 minutes daily driving too and from work.
Pre-pandemic, a speaking engagement could take me 4-5 hours by the time I travelled, spoke and stayed for an event. These were replaced by podcasts which take only 30-60 minutes.
Pre-pandemic, I estimate I wasted 20-35 hours per week that I do not waste now.
The time savings in pandemic have been huge...but somehow I managed to fill this time and am as busy as I have ever been.
I have always been a "yes man". I accept meetings and calls with almost anyone who asks. I know that is partly what fills/clogs my calendar.
Pre-pandemic I thought I had to do all these things to be successful. I now realize often they were not as necessary. There were many efficiencies that were forced on me by the pandemic.
As we come out of lockdown, I now can choose the life I want post-pandemic. I can choose some of the efficiencies I learned from the pandemic.
I will say no more. I will travel much less - likely 1/3 of what I used to do. I will continue doing video calls since now everyone is good at them.
I am listening to a great audio book "The Happiest Man on Earth" by Eddie Jaku, a 100+ year old auschwitz survivor. He had a life of untold tragedy. The line that struck me though was "we choose happiness".
I will also choose happiness. In pandemic...and after.