You’re at home, or in quarantine, and need to keep yourself active and productive. Here are 21 activities that you’ll be glad you did when it all gets back to normal.
For many, this lockdown period has given us more time on our hands than we’ve ever had. Time which we never thought we would have.
This free time presents us with opportunities to do things which we’ve always wanted to do or like to do more of depending on our individual circumstances. I think it makes sense for us to be productive with this time and do things that are meaningful to us.
1. READ THAT BOOK (SERIES) YOU’VE BEEN PUTTING OFF
Books exercise the brain, build our vocabularies, lowers stress and also enhances the imagination. Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, buy yourself some books and start reading more this week.
2. WATCH A DOCUMENTARY SERIES ON NETFLIX
This activity is a potential trap. Whilst watching a stimulating TV series on Netflix passes time, it can do so in an unproductive manner and you might find yourself binge-watching programmes that won’t really help you in any way, other than waste the free time you have. I’d suggest that, alongside your normal TV watching habits, invest time in watching documentaries and learn about your favourite subjects. You may choose to watch a documentary series on Netflix which you have never taken an interest in before, which is great.
3. KEEP A BLOG/JOURNAL
Keeping track of your thoughts, activities and learnings is always a good idea – and a highly productive one at that. You might look back at this time and process your memories or even process your thoughts for the day or the week that has passed. You can do this privately on your computer, mobile or even better in a notebook. Consider going a step further and set up a personal blog that takes those daily experiences and turns them into weekly or monthly posts for others to read and learn from. Either way, putting pen to paper once a day could be 15 minutes well spent.
4. ENROL ON A FREE COURSE
Enrolling on a course and successfully passing tests and assignments will help build up your knowledge-base as well as your CV. A free profile on the OpenLearn website gives you access to your personal learning profile and record of achievements that you earn while you study. There are also a range of other courses you can learn from. Take a look at FutureLearn or Edx for other providers.
5. LEARN A NEW SKILL
You can learn other useful skills such as learning more about graphic design programs, learning more about management skills, marketing… or maybe learning the rules of a game (Chess etc.) or how to play an instrument… or anything that takes time to grasp.
6. SET UP A WORKOUT ROUTINE
How long have we all been looking to begin this activity? If you work out regularly, you will know that the key to a successful and consistent workout regime is routine. And I don’t need to tell you about the benefits of working out and keeping fit. You can buy some basic gym accessories such as resistance bands, TRX bands … or you can follow bodyweight, cardio exercises without using the equipment.
You can follow Upfit’s Youtube channel to watch instructional videos of workout at home.
Upfit Youtube Channel : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC56CO26IfaAFWbI4aYJVj_Q
It’s important to be mindful of your surroundings as well as your wellbeing whilst in quarantine, and meditation might help you get a bit of peace of mind in times of uncertainty. Find a quiet space, light some candles and clear your mind with some therapeutic meditation music – more info here. Meditation is one of the best things you can do right now to relieve stress and improve your wellbeing. Aura and Headspace both offer help if you are new to meditation and mindfulness.
8. KEEP IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY, FRIENDS AND PAST COLLEAGUES
We’re isolated from the people we usually spend time with but we can be connected with them via more means more than ever before. Make time to catch-up and have a virtual drink with your friends and family. Use the time to speak to relatives that you might not have spoken to in a while – maybe look to find out via those family members about great-great-grandparents who lived through wars as well as pandemics.
I also feel that reconnecting with past colleagues is a great idea. You would have spent a lot of time with these people in previous roles and might have grown apart as you move on in your career. But make that effort to find those who you’d love to catch up with – they’re in the same position as you so a virtual beer is likely an appealing idea for both.
9. EXPERIMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Sure, you use Facebook to connect with your friends and family and use LinkedIn for your professional profile to keep track of your professional network. You also might use Twitter and Instagram occasionally. But you can do so much more and experiment with the platforms available to you as well as connect with like-minded people on those platforms.
Why not sign up to Pinterest (active monthly users 322 million) which is a sharing platform with some of the most popular content including fashion, food, decor, wedding, workout and DIY-related pins. On the other hand, Reddit (430 active monthly users) might be better suited for you, which consists of discussion communities for you to discover and discuss new content. Or you might want something a little more fun and feel Snapchat (360 active monthly users) is worthy of experimenting on and accessing user-generated content, behind-the-scenes videos, exclusive offers and influencer takeovers, as well as connecting to other friends on the platform.
10. REVIEW OR CREATE YOUR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Much of the above focus on non-professional and work-related activities that you can do, and still be productive. However, from a long-term perspective, it makes sense to also work on your professional capabilities and skills that you can offer your employer and future employers. We don’t know how long the lockdown period, or even the pandemic, will last in its current state. Working environments might look very different when this does happen, therefore, it is important that your skills and abilities fit the market and role you operate within. Always keep your personal development plan near and work to improve your personal and professional situation. Reading books and enrolling on a course might be enough… either way, always keep this in mind in case there are surprises later on.