Time was when we were swamped to our necks. If you stayed in any of the crazy cities of the world; the Lagos’ and Newyork’s and the Tokyo’s and the London’s, attributing every shortcoming to the lack of time was a genuine excuse. In Lagos where I live, it’s the norm to leave home as early as four in the morning and return as late as eleven at night, so yes, saying you didn’t have enough time on your hands to meet yet another deadline or take a look at your child’s homework was acceptable.
Enter COVID-19, the game-changer.
With the sudden incursion of the rampaging respiratory disease into our lives, we were about to witness one of the most drastic changes in the way we lived.
Before we knew it, we were holed at home. For many, a home they weren’t used to seeing during the day, let alone have to spend the entire hours of the day in.
The abandoned personal projects, family bonding time, and just good old latitude to breathe and do nothing that we griped about not having sufficient time for became possible prospects all of a sudden.
Travel became an impossibility for perennial flight hoppers and businessmen, and workaholics who had swapped the office for the home were thrust into unfamiliar territory in what should have been their natural habitat.
If you asked why a colleague failed to turn work in, they would blame it on endless meetings and even more pressing assignments.
When our spiritual mentors asked why some of us struggled to pray or read our Bibles, we would throw our arms up in despair and rue the complexities of a life plagued by horrendous traffic, work and other distractions.
Family and relaxation time was a myth for many.
Time was a scarce commodity. And even for the indolent, “there’s no time” was the go-to retort to any queries relating to getting things done.
Then COVID-19 showed up.
Then we were forced to stay at home.
Then we had all the time in the world to “play” around with.
I have tried to explore the rare availability of time that the Coronavirus created and my findings have been interesting.
In some aspects, I have made progress. I was able to finish my ebook, I wrote more and took more courses. I can say my productivity increased.
However, in other areas, I have been found wanting. I do not think I have prayed more or taken the time to deepen my friendships. A couple of the stuff I complained about not having the leeway to do before the virus era has remained undone.
I am not losing sight of the fact that we are living in uncertain times, and anxiety over what the future holds can be a barrier to productivity, especially for creatives like me who tend to do their best work when the conditions are close to ideal.
Nevertheless, the world doesn’t offer such illusional promises.
Most of the time, the conditions will not be perfect, but somehow, we must find it within ourselves to stretch to accomplish our goals.
Look, the issue isn’t time.
That’s what COVID-19 has taught me.
The challenge could be anything from the lack of proper planning to a mental roadblock to plain laziness, but it is not the lack of time.
It’s like people who claim they are incapable of giving anything because they do not have themselves when they are accused of being stingy.
It’s a false notion.
Over time, we have seen that people who are inclined to give always to do so, and many times, they aren’t the wealthiest in the room.
At the risk of putting you under pressure, if you have been indoors for a couple of weeks, yet haven’t been able to execute those tasks you once swore were undone because you were always busy, then you have to admit you were wrong.
The lack of time isn’t the problem, folks!
For the majority, it’s discipline—the self-control—the physical and mental fortitude to what we should do.
It’s staying power.
Many years ago, a friend told me there’ll never come a time in my active years when I would have more time on my hands.
I believed them then. I believe them even more now.
It never gets easier; as we grow older, the responsibilities we shoulder only get bigger, and so to assume that the future will be less busy is wishful thinking.
Get off your behind and do what you have to do. Time isn’t your problem.