The CoVID-19 Great Pause is an opportunity to assess what’s important

The CoVID-19 pandemic has put a halt on a lot of activities. Understandably, many of us are feeling shut in and frustrated that many of the things we take for granted are no longer allowable. But some advice from my accountant has resonated and I think it has broader application than financial matters. We have a unique opportunity in front of us.

My accountant sent a newsletter to their customers recently and some of the pieces of advice have really stuck with me.

Now, the advice is very much focussed on money. With times already tight or likely to become tight for many businesses and individuals, it makes sense to think carefully about whether to spend a dollar or to hold on to it.
But we can apply a similar principle to lots of other parts of our lives.

What are the things we can’t do today that we don’t really need to keep doing once lockdowns and travel restrictions are gone?

For some of us, it might be a reduction on how much domestic and international travel we do? Suddenly, we are starting to learn that perhaps all those trips aren’t quite as necessary as we thought.

What about time in the office? With the kids at home because schools are closed, parents are able to spend more time with their kids, getting to know them in a new way. Perhaps all those extra hours aren’t worth it.

Meetings… need I say more?

Some of my family in Europe are calling this period of lockdown and quarantine The Great Pause. And I think that’s a good name for this time. We have an opportunity for the first time in a generation to stop, take a breath and really think about what is important.

It’s an opportunity to declutter our lives. KonMari tells people to discard objects that don’t spark joy. That’s dumb to me – there are many things in my life that I need that don’t spark joy. But the principle holds up – get rid of stuff you don’t need.

That includes activities, social media accounts – even relationships that are toxic.

There’s a lot to be worried about. But perhaps this is a good time to assess what really matters and to cull the flotsam and jetsam we’ve accumulated over the years.