Community//

Putting first things first

COVID-19 has helped me to squarely face my procrastination habit.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

When faced with an unpleasant task, I used to hold off doing it until the last possible moment then burn the midnight oil toiling on that presentation or report, with the tiredness to show for it the next day as I went to work.

But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Singapore, I got a rude awakening. With many of my favourite pursuits such as meeting friends and relatives, and watching movies, out of reach, there was little to do to pass the time and maintain my sanity save for doing the tasks that needed doing.

It was not long before those tasks were done too. With reduced advertising revenue, my media industry job was at reduced productivity.

Mind over matter

I had never been a fan of exercise but two years ago, with growing concerns about hypertension and diabetes, I signed up to join a gym and went for regular workouts.

I wondered how I was going to make my subscription worth my while until I read about beginning with the end in mind.

That reminded me of maxims where I was exhorted to do the hardest or most unpopular item on the to-do list, as I would be able to devote my prime energy to it and therefore complete it effortlessly.

Beginning with the end in mind meant that I should visualise the successful result of a task to help fuel my resolve to complete it with little or no interruption.

I applied both the maxims to my exercise routine. As the gym I attended was open 24 hours daily. I began my workouts early in the morning before work, or in the early morning hours of each weekend, when the air was cool and crisp.

Visualising the better me

It was tortuous getting out of bed at 5am or 5.30am each day, but then I applied the beginning with the end in mind – I pictured the slim and lithe body that I would get at the end with no health problems and slimmer waistlines accompanying the changes too.

I would be lying if I said that it was smooth sailing all the time but the bad days soon became fewer and fewer. The workouts under the watchful eye of the personal trainer were tortuous at first but I later grew to love them and the accompanying treadmill sessions too.

Soon, I began to crave each day as my workout session day and felt withdrawal pangs if I could not do a workout due to inclement weather or other reasons.

When COVID-19 hit Singapore and the gyms had to close, I turned to daily morning walks and those did the trick perfectly! After each walk, I would post a Facebook video with an encouraging message. I soon had a small but steady following.

Everyday. someone would ask “Ready for your morning walk?” and I knew it was time to make my move. Sometimes I was not in the mood, but all that changed as soon as I hit the track. At the end of an hour, I had worked up a healthy sweat and treated myself to some black coffee sans milk and sugar.

Pain turns to gain

It was not long before I was soon less afraid of unpleasant tasks. Where I used to avoid them until the last minute, I now began to tackle them early and saw the benefits of beginning such work early, when I was able to iron out potential problems earlier and thus get better results than before. Soon, these ‘unpleasant’ tasks became less onerous.

It took a universal scourge like COVID-19 to change my attitude for the better. Frustration was the initial feeling but now, I feel more positive and am more confident that we will get through all this much better.

How ironic that I have a virus to thank for my change in outlook and perspective! All’s well that has ended well!

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    how an evening ritual helped me regain control of my life
    Community//

    How I Regained Control of My Evenings By Pressing a Single Button

    by Vishal Kataria
    Community//

    How I have Adjusted my Daily Life to deal with the COVID-19 Crisis

    by Tessa Gordon
    Community//

    Fauzia Lala: “Women learn best in the comfort of their homes”

    by Karina Michel Feld

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.