By Melissa Tosetti
What haven’t you done with all your free time?
As I type this, we’re on day 14 of our shelter-in-place order here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ve been hanging out on social media relating to hilarious memes about all the things we’ve previously said we don’t have the time to do, that we now realize we just don’t want to do.
While the memes are comical, they represent an opportunity. This historical bookmark in time is a chance to help us understand what to begin editing in our lives.
If you’re not getting around to a particular task when you’re stuck at home for weeks, then it’s highly likely you never will.
Are there odd ingredients in your pantry that you haven’t had the desire to cook? How about your freezer? Now you know not to buy those items again. This process can also give us a push for a new grocery shopping habit. I’ll give you a confessional example.
I have a dusty can of coconut milk that’s been in my pantry for over six months. I’ve promised myself to actually do something with it this coming weekend, but I’ve learned the lesson to stop purchasing random ingredients with the intention to use it at some point. Next time, if an ingredient catches my attention at the store, I’ll wait to buy it until I’ve found a recipe that calls for it.
Remember the materials for that project you picked up at the craft store and swore you’d do when you had a free weekend. Have you done it yet? Are you resisting doing it? Either pick a deadline to get started on it or, when we’re allowed to get within 6 feet of each other again, give it to a friend who will appreciate it or donate the materials.
Moving forward, wait to buy your crafting materials until you know you’ll be able to do the project the same or next day. I understand how challenging this can be for crafters because part of the fun is in the anticipation that goes along with purchasing the materials. If nothing else, decide that you’re not going to have more than three projects lined up at any given time.
How about those books? Over the weekend I dusted and organized the two bookcases in my home office. Instead of a pile of “to-read” books, I realized I had an entire shelf. Tired of feeling guilty about them, I decided to take action starting with sorting the to-reads by type:
Once they were grouped and organized, I looked at each title and asked myself if I was really going to read it. Of the 24 titles, I let go of 3 (sorry Mark Twain). I’ve also made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t buy any more books until I made it through at least half of the books on my shelf. Reading material choice is inspired by mood, so I’ll cut myself some slack when I hit that dozen mark.
Being surrounded by undone projects or having them peak out at us from cabinets and closets weighs us down. It makes us feel guilty. Let go of the guilt by using this time to do some editing of those items.
This is not just a one-and-done process. We have such an opportunity to learn from this experience by adding the following question to our Gatekeeper Habit:
If I’m stuck at home during a pandemic for two months,
am I really going to Cook, Do or Read this?
Melissa Tosetti is the founder of The Savvy Life and author of the international bestseller Living The Savvy Life. For the past eight years, she’s worked with over 600 individuals and families to create Spending Plans. Melissa also works with financial advisors and their clients doing cash flow planning as well as giving over 200 Savvy Living presentations via webinar and in-person to audiences across the U.S.
If you’d like to learn more about how Melissa works with clients visit The Savvy Life’s Services page.
If you’d like to learn more about how Melissa works with financial advisors and their clients visit: The Savvy Life Advisor’s Page