Pandemic residue

What will be left when it’s all over.

A few months ago I ventured out of my house and out of my local area. Everything felt normal until I found myself veering to the edge of the pavement as I saw 2 old ladies sat on a bench in front of me. On another occasion, as I waited for the bus I put on my mask in preparation.

Right now the pandemic isn’t over but ‘normal life’ has started up again (even if there are still 101 restrictions in place). Most of us are leaving our houses much more than we were 7 months ago.

But once the pandemic is declared over, social distancing and wearing masks will stay with us even without the rules in place, even if just for a little while.

Breaks and streaks

Taking breaks will always be necessary. However, when you commit to doing something every single day, suddenly taking a break becomes a little more difficult.

As much as you can try and make up for it the day before or the day after, it’s not quite the same as maintaining consistency.

Once you’ve stuck with something as a daily habit for a couple of months or even a few weeks, the thought of missing a day and losing that streak isn’t particularly tempting.

And so it becomes easier to not take breaks.

But as great as it is to be consistent and build daily habits, you never want to apply so much pressure that you won’t let yourself take a break even when you feel like you need it.

The falsehood of rushing

We’re tricked into believing that the quicker we go the more we are able to get done.

Upon reflection this is often false. The more you rush the more you end up overwhelmed and in a flurry.

You’re more likely to make mistakes that set you back, to the point where it may have just been better in the long run to go at your usual pace.

Could Instagram Guides replace blogging?

From November 17th, you may have noticed a new feature on Instagram, Guides.

Guides allow users to ‘find, curate and share the products, places and posts you love’. They can feature your own content or the content of others. Tech Crunch have a good article that explains things in more detail.

Aside from captions this feature is the first that allows users to create longer form content similar to a blog post.

It could be considered as an easier way to create blog posts that are based around shopping, pictures and recommendations. In fact, it’s likely to become what many creators will turn to and what many brands will start paying creators for.

On the other hand, for a blog that is focused on the words, where the images aren’t the main focus, guides won’t work as an alternative.

It will be interesting to see who uses this new feature and how. It will also be interesting to see the blogs this feature may end up replacing.

The misalignment of us

Most people that you choose to have in your life are chosen because your lives or you as people align in some way.

It could be a similar taste in music, studying (or have studied) the same subjects, enjoying the same leisure activities, similar mindsets and worldviews or maybe you share the same aspirations.

Whatever it may be, when the base of your connection shifts it is likely that you may change your mind about having the person in your life.

Granted you will have built up a connection based on other things over time but when the core bits of you and a person no longer align, the relationship may no longer make sense.

This sort of thing quite commonly occurs once you begin to really figure out who you are and what you want in life. Perhaps the people you used to party with don’t really fit with the life you’re creating. Maybe your corporate aspirations clash with the aspirations of people around you to the point of causing disagreements.

Despite how it may feel, it’s a natural thing for relationships to change. It’s much better to allow things to be than to restrict your development or the development of someone else because you’d rather hold on to something that was never meant to last.

The best thing I’ve ever written

When you’re sharing your words online everyday there is very little pressure for what you post to be the best thing you’ve ever written.

If todays words aren’t particularly good, I know that I can always write something better tomorrow or the day after.

Sometimes what I consider to be my some of my best work doesn’t gain the numbers that I think it will or should. Other times, the stuff I’m pretty indifferent about ends up becoming the most popular.

I’ve written posts that I thought were my best at the time only to look back months later and realise it could have been so much better.

And so the idea of my best work is pretty flexible. If in 20 months of daily blogging, this post was the best thing I’d ever written, I have no doubt that I’d change my mind a few months later.

Reminding myself of all this makes blogging every day so much easier.

Simple pleasures

When what you can do becomes limited you start finding pleasure in the smaller things. It’s not necessarily that these things meant nothing to you before but when you get caught up in the flurry of life it can be easy to over look the little things.

However, sometimes the case is that you’re so focused on spending time doing something considered big that you don’t even make time for things like a stroll at sunset.

But right now, when we aren’t able to do the big things, the little things will have to do. The thing is though, when all you can do is the little things, you’re likely to find that they’re actually pretty great.

The little things are overlooked because they’re simple and easy to do and so we tell ourselves that we need more. But we don’t, at least not as much as we think we so.

The problem with jumping on the bandwagon

If you won’t care in a few months time then maybe you shouldn’t care at all.

It’s easy to get swept up what everyone else is doing or whatever the popular thing is at that point in time.

It might even be a great cause, helping people or bringing light to something that matters.

However, I think it’s important to ask yourself why you’re joining in. Is it something you care about or do you just want to be a part of something? Maybe you want to be perceived as someone who cares?

You don’t have to care about everything and you don’t have anything to prove.

You don’t have to jump on the bandwagon.

Spending time on the things you care about

Something we can consider to be true is that, you don’t really know how hard you can work or how much effort you can put into something until you find what you care about.

You can spend a large chunck of your life thinking that you’ve given your full effort or gone above and beyond. However, when you find something that really matters to you, somehow you’ll find a surplus of energy to do more than you have ever done before.

That might come at a time in your life when you transition from working a traditional 9 to 5, to working for yourself.

Perhaps you find a new hobby that you’re really passionate about. Then all of sudden you’re spending your evenings doing extra research, learning new information and dedicating time you used to spend on less fulfilling past times

No longer worth doing

When you have any sort of habit or action in your life, it will be helpful to regularly assess whether it is worth carrying on with.

The thing you started doing 2 years or even 6 months ago may no longer be worth doing.

On the flipside, it may be more necessary than ever before.

Understanding whether it is worth it is based on various factors. This includes: whether the pro’s outweigh the cons, if the cost outweighs the inconvenience, if there is a shorter or better way and if your quality of life would be less without it.

The purpose of all this is to ensure that you don’t just keep on doing things that you don’t need to do.