It was the last week of January when I heard about COVID-19. I knew this is much more than an epidemic.
On 25th March 2020, India went into a complete lockdown to curb the spread.
No travel, no roaming outside (not even in your society), no meeting my friends.
It was like a Time-Travel to 2018 where I use to work from home for 10-12 hours straight. This pandemic was going to take 6 months so I decided to learn a few things and come out of this with new learnings.
Here are 7 Things I learned in this complete lock-down.
1. Importance of Health + Nutrition
The first thing that came into my mind when this pandemic happened is taking care of my health, and also family’s health.
So, we started eating healthier food items.
I Googled up about everything I ate – how much proteins does this food have, are there any long term side effects of this and what not..
Normally, eating at McDonald’s and Dominos was a guilty pleasure but after watching a few documentaries,
Here is one of the best:
Our body plays a vital role when it comes to overall productivity (I knew it but never acted like it).
It’s less about when you eat than what you eat.
The time matters when your schedule (wake up time, sleep time) is sh*t.
If you have your breakfast before 8:00 am, you are doing great.
It’s okay to eat after 10 am depending on when you wake up, but now, what you have for breakfast matters a lot!
Breakfast helps kick-start your metabolism
Let’s suppose, you are waking up early and having some not-so-healthy breakfast. This will not hurt you much in short term.
Having unhealthy sleeping patterns + eating non-healthy diet, will cost you in short as well as long term.
Real Case that happened:
In this pandemic, one of my friend suffered from a gastrointestinal infection and the doctor said on his face – You have lost 2-3 years of life!
- Unhealthy sleeping patterns
- Consuming spices late night
He was literally admitted in this pandemic times where going to the hospital is one’s last thought.
Have enough sleep + healthy diet. It’s okay to eat junk (SOMETIMES!)
2. Importance of Skill over Money
I will give you an example of my friends who got into big MNCs like Infosys & Accenture, and then they come out of that after a year and they have learned nothing.
They have learned managerial skills. They have learned to write a small piece of code because, at every stage, MNCs have a lot of people working on the same project.
You have just done the donkey work of passing the code here and there then follow-ups then report.
What my mentor said is you should at least Focus 80% of the time on your skills.
If you work for 10 hours, 80% of that should go to skill-building + learning about the skill.
I did cross-question him about how to retain the skill if you are learning so much on a day to day basis.
So he said it’s about implementing new things. The first thing you need to do is implement what you have learned.
If you can’t implement, writing in the form of notes and I’m talking about physically writing them down on paper.
Writing physically is much more retainable than just typing it on your mobile and keeping it in the ideas notes app.
If you don’t have any financial responsibility for the family (at least in the initial stage), you should always go for skills and skills is what will make you a better worthy person in the market.
And again as I talked about specialization, you will be valued more for your skills.
So let’s consider in my case if I get good at FB Ads. Clients who need top Facebook marketers around the world will reach out to me instead of me begging for a job.
The Company would be ready to pay me whatever amount I demand as I am a specialist.
So if you are someone from the online marketing industry, I am repeating here – FOCUS ON YOUR SKILLS.
3. Importance of buying Health Insurance
To many Indians who don’t know,
Health Insurance – money that you get from the insurance company when you get hospitalized
Life Insurance – money that you get from the insurance company when you/someone DIES!
I don’t have a mediclaim or Health insurance right now as of writing this but I have now researched and got in touch with 3-4 people who are into the Health industry.
They have recommended me a few health insurance products that are really good in India.
When I started earning, I thought it was okay to not have one. This pandemic changed my attitude.
If you do the math and if you put aside your emotions, yes emotionally as well it’s a good option to have a mediclaim but if you put aside the emotional part and do the math,
Take a simple normal mediclaim of 10 lakh Rupees, it is going to cost you around Rs. 25,000 yearly if considering you have 4 members.
Even if you pay Rs. 25,000 for the next five years i.e Rs. 1,25,000.
And if you meet with an accident, or undergo any serious surgery in the next five years, you are well secured with the mediclaim. It is beneficial financial wise as well because we are spending our Rs. 1-2 Lakhs and if any major medical expense is costing you around 6 to 8 lakhs for 10 lakhs Again, everything is covered up and you have saved money in the long run.
Still, I strongly feel taking good care of yourself is important.
So I’m going to get a mediclaim soon, and I’m not just going to keep for this pandemic. I’m going to extend this mediclaim for years because having life insurance is fine, but medi-clam will help you cut down on your medical expenses alot.
I strongly suggest you get one for you and your family.
Recommendation – icicilombard.com
4. Importance of Specialization vs Generalization
My Mentor told me this about when I was asking him for passive income options and ideas.
He asked me a question:
When you are having a heart problem. Which doctor will you go to?
I said, a heart surgeon.
He said – looking at the current market, only specialization will help you become irreplaceable in this economy.
Yes, you need to know general stuff, but you can’t survive on generalization only. You need to take that one step and specialize in something which will people pay you money for.
In the above example, you will always go for Specialists who will treat your heart right?
I applied the same formula in my industry.
If eCommerce stores that do millions in sales online need someone good at Facebook ads, they won’t be hiring people who are Digital marketers.
I’m now working on the specialization part and avoiding generalization as much as I can.
I got many projects that were willing to pay me for social media and website creation. And yes, I could have taken the money. But in the long run, as my mentor said you need to focus on skills rather than money.
5. Importance of Traveling
On my travel list next:
- Bali (would be my first international trip)
To be honest, I’m not a very Avid traveler however I have been to places locally and a few major attractions in India.
But this pandemic got me locked inside a house for weeks, which I didn’t even remotely consider.
Traveling for me is the change that I need for my mind. Whenever I have traveled, my mind has opened up a lot of new thoughts.
I’m not talking about going on a day-trip. I’m talking about three to four days at a minimum where you get to experience a lot of things and have memories.
So I am planning to travel a lot after this COVID. I know everyone is but I didn’t know the importance of travel for a mindset change before this pandemic.
I have already started setting aside a budget for travel.
6. Importance of Working Out
In this pandemic, I decided to work out religiously for two months without a break, and thus results were literally astonishing for me.
I got a subscription from RalFitness for 2 months and did home workouts.
Though I was not following a PROPER diet, just eating home food, I was able to see the muscles building up.
One thing I learned- Decide on your body type/shape you want to achieve and then work towards it.
If you need a lean body and do workouts like calisthenics or home workouts or even gym workout if necessary.
If you need a big bulky body, you need to eat more. You need to go to the gym more frequently.
To be honest, for those who don’t work out and even for me who gives an excuse of workload, you must always find time for your body because the body is what will drive you in terms of stamina throughout the day.
So it’s the combination of the body as well as the mind that drives you forward.
The mind gives you the power to learn new things, adapt, and implement new things. And body supports the mind with the energy you need to fuel your reasoning ability.
7. Importance of Saving Money
I usually save AT LEAST 30% of my monthly income. Mostly goes into investments.
Save at least 6 months of your monthly expense!
If your monthly expense is Rs. 15000, save at least Rs. 90,000 and do not touch the amount.
I can literally talk about money for hours and hours. I don’t need any motivation to talk about money.
I’m going to write a separate blog on this about “how I manage my own money”.
But in this pandemic again, the importance of money came up and I’m very lucky to have a lot of savings that would at least cover this pandemic.
This gave me the confidence of not worrying about money and financial things when such a pandemic comes up or even if the next pandemic comes up.
Don’t forget to SAVE at least 10% of your Income!
This brings me to the end of my lessons in this pandemic.
Other Miscannellous things I tried:
The two significant points that I have learned:
- Skills over money and
- Getting health insurance aka mediclaim
I hope you stay safe and everything goes back to normal ASAP.
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If you have any thoughts on this, let’s chat in the comment section below.