Depending on where you are located, you may have already been locked up at home for more than a month or two already. With no definite routine to follow as the COVID-19 pandemic persists, it’s easy to get lost in a book, a game, or a series on Netflix, and not get anything done at all. It’s okay to sit and laze around at home, considering the situation we are in at the moment. But if you have reached a point when you just want to do something productive instead of just binge watching all day and night, then here are eight things that you can do to make the most of your lockdown days.
1. Learn a new skill online.
The internet is a large library of information. You can learn just about anything just by finding the right resources. Whether you want to learn how to start your own indoor garden, paint on canvas or do a digital drawing, bake bread, organize your home, woodwork, crochet or others, keeping your mind occupied by learning a new skill during this lockdown can help you stay mentally healthy. Plus, you can also consider it a simple achievement, having learned a new skill that you can hone or even earn a living from in the future.
2. Start a blog.
If you are the type of person who enjoy sharing your experiences or knowledge with others, then why not start your own blog during the lockdown? Starting your own blog can be approached in two different ways:
- The traditional way, wherein you start your own website hosted through your choice of platform. In my case, I have my blog made and hosted via WordPress. You can also try other web design or blogging platforms, such as Blogger, Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly and more.
- Creating your own video blog via YouTube, Facebook video or Instagram.
No matter how you approach blogging, it is something that will need a lot of your commitment, especially if you want it to do well. Whatever your ultimate goal is, whether it’s just to keep you busy, to become a great source of information, to entertain or just to start your own professional portfolio, you will need to invest a lot of time and effort to create quality content that people will want to read or watch. To help you start off, here are a few things that you will need to take into account:
- Niche. What will be your primary topic for the blog you are creating? You will need to determine the main concept of your blog as this will determine that content that you will be preparing in the future.
- Platform. Where do you want to create your blog? Do you plan to use a free web hosting platform such as WordPress or YouTube for your video blogs? Do you want to self-host and create your own domain?
- Domain name. How do you want people to know and remember your blog? Some bloggers use catchy and unique one-liners that kind of gives the gist of what their blog is all about. Here are some domain name ideas: ContentMarketingHacks, TheMovieBuff, TheFitnessDude, YogiMommy, FirstTimeParent, and more.
- Audience. Who are your target audience? Who will read/watch your blogs and find them interesting? This is also something that you will have to consider when choosing your niche and your domain name. Depending on who your target audience is, you will have to cater to their taste and their preferences for content.
- Content Creation. Can you create content on a regular basis? If not, how often can you commit to creating new content for your audience? As I have mentioned earlier, maintaining your own blog will need your commitment. And if you have gathered a considerable amount of followers and subscribers, you will want to make sure that you provide them with something to read or watch.
- Content Promotion. To help you gain more audience, you will want to look into promoting your blog. There are many ways of doing this: by working on your website’s keywords, backlinking, by creating a social media page for your website, and by sharing your content on various social media platforms.
3. Grow a small garden.
If you have a free space in your house or even just a small section for growing some plants, then why not grow your own garden? Apart from having something to occupy your time with, plants are also a great addition to any home. You can choose from growing some succulents or flowering plants which can be nice decorations for your home or you can also grow some herbs or vegetables and have an additional source of food at home. If you don’t have an outdoor space, that’s not a problem because indoor gardening is also another trend that you can look into.
If you don’t feel like going out to buy your materials, you can always order your garden starters from online sellers. You can look up local sellers who may be looking for ways to sell their products and earn some money amidst the lockdown. This way, you also get to help them make a living during these difficult times and be able to start your own gardening hobby at the same time.
And if you are unsure of how to start a simple garden at home, there is a host of content online about gardening, all of which are made by various gardening experts and some DIY bloggers and Youtubers, all of which can serve as your guide on how to proceed with growing your own garden at home.
4. Organize your wardrobe.
Got lots of clothes and haven’t had time to organize them all? Then this lockdown is definitely a great time for you to start putting your wardrobe in order. Here’s a simple guide on how you can start organizing your wardrobe:
- Take out all of your clothes from your closet, checking each piece to determine if you are still using them or not. From this, you should build three piles of clothes to identify which ones are to keep, to throw or to donate/give.
- From the pile that you are planning to keep, categorize the items to make it easy for you to store and access them later. Group together your seasonal clothes (thick jackets for winter or swimsuits for summer), as well as your pajamas, regular clothes, clothes for parties or events, your workout clothes, office clothes and others. You should also take into account the pieces that you use more frequently as you will want to make them more accessible in the future.
- Once your closets are empty, make sure that you disinfect and wipe down all surfaces first, to get rid of any dust or dirt.
- Once all surfaces are clean, you should now fold up your clothes taking into account the categories you have prepared earlier.
- Pile together the clothes per category, putting your most frequently used pieces at eye level for easy access.
- Use coordinating hangers to easily store delicate or fancy clothes. Using the same types of hangers for your closet will help give it a more organized look, plus they will be easier to pile and hang together.
- Use storage boxes to help you maximize your storage space and properly organize your clothes.
5. Learn to play an instrument.
Who doesn’t love music? And if like me, you have always wanted to learn how to play at least one music instrument properly, this is the time for you to start doing so. If you happen to have an instrument just lying around your home (maybe a piano, a ukulele, a recorder or a guitar) then you might want to take this opportunity to learn how to play a musical instrument.
I have recently learned how to play a ukulele, which actually was very easy once you find the right learning references to use. On my case, watching a Youtube video definitely worked for me. I personally recommend this free beginner ukulele course on Youtube offered by Andy Guitar. Youtube also offers a huge library of content about learning various musical instruments, so you might want to start your musical lessons there.
6. Clean up your house.
Now if you feel like your house needs a total reorganization, then you might want to start getting busy on cleaning up your house and putting everything in proper order. Now mind you, this can be a huge undertaking, especially if you are doing a general cleaning for the first time after a long while.
Yes, you might be sweeping and mopping your floors or wiping down easy to reach surfaces regularly, but when it comes to cleaning up the whole house and organizing all of your items across all the different rooms in your home, then that is a different story. But considering the pandemic we are going through at the moment, sanitizing your home is definitely an important undertaking and definitely is a productive thing to do during the lockdown. Not sure how to start? Then here are some basic steps that you should follow:
- Depending on the size of your house, you might need your housemates to help you out. Talk to everyone at home to plan how you will be cleaning the whole house. You might need to delegate some tasks to be able to clean everything faster. Be sure to discuss how you want the cleaning to be done and how clean you expect the house to be once everything is done.
- Gather all your cleaning tools in a small basket. This includes your sanitizing sprays, brushes, cleaning rags, and others. Having everything you need in one place will minimize the need for you to go back and forth. Other things that you will also need to prepare are your mops, brooms or vacuum cleaner, trash bags and trash bins.
- Start cleaning from top to bottom. If your house has multiple floors, you might want to start by cleaning your upper floors first. This is to avoid cleaning up the surfaces on your ground floor again once all the dirt and dust from your upper floors have reached the lower level. Same goes with a one level home. You should start by cleaning the top surfaces of your cabinets first, along with your ceiling fans, wall decors, and others.
- If your closets and cabinets need organization, you might want to consider doing this at a different time. Organizing your wardrobe or your kitchen cabinets will eat up a lot of time, too. And it’s better to focus on these tasks separately so that you won’t feel pressed on time and just do them halfheartedly.
- Replace your curtains, bed linens, seat covers and other decorative fabrics at home. Over time, these fabrics will accumulate lots of dirts, dusts and germs, so ideally, they should be replaced and washed regularly. For bed linens, wash them at least every two weeks, while for curtains, every month.
- Wipe down all top surfaces including your cabinets’ inner and outer surfaces. Be sure to sanitize high contact surfaces such as light switches, door knobs, kitchen counters, sink faucets, toys and other items at home that are frequently touched by your whole household.
- Once all high surfaces have been cleaned and wiped down, make sure that all of your household items have also been cleaned and organized.
Once you have accomplished everything on your cleaning list, be sure to wash up, rest and reward yourself and everyone in your household.
7. Start a fitness routine.
Being stuck at home doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to go sedentary. In fact, this can be a great opportunity for you to jumpstart a more active lifestyle, especially if you feel like your body needs some exercise. If you are thinking about starting a fitness routine, you are free to choose the type of exercises you will be practicing. Depending on what your main goal is, be it physical transformation, health reasons or just a hobby, you just need to choose the right approach that you think you can easily commit to, even if you are just stuck at home.
If you already have some fitness equipment at home, a mini gym, some weights or even just a treadmill, you can make use of these tools to begin a new fitness regimen. But not having any fitness tools should not stop you from getting fit. By simply browsing the internet, you will find a large selection of videos and fitness guides that you can access anytime you want.
And if you want to follow a more personalized or professional fitness program, there are also a variety of fitness experts and groups online that offer support either for free or for a fee.
8. Update your professional credentials.
Another very productive thing to do while you are on lockdown is taking some time to boost your expertise and update your professional portfolio. This is especially helpful for people who are on the lookout for a job or for opportunities to earn better. Whether you are currently employed or not, whether you are a freelancer or not, there is never a wrong time to make sure that you have all of your professional records in proper order. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Update your resume and your professional profiles online. If you are signed up in job marketplaces, make sure to check your records and update them if necessary. Update your resume so that if you ever found a job that you might want to apply for, you will have your resume ready to print or send out anytime.
- Build a portfolio or a website to collate your professional accomplishments. If you are a freelance writer like me, you might want to take this opportunity to build your own website or blog to showcase your skills as a writer. In fact, my blog and content writing portfolio has served that very purpose of promoting my writing skills and landing me more clients than ever. I also have a number of graphic and web designer friends who have built their own websites to give their clients and idea of what they are capable of.
- Build connections with professionals within your field. The great thing about the internet is it makes it easy for us to connect with like minded people. If you enjoy using social media, you can use this as a tool to connect with professionals in your industry. Be it Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, these social media platforms can be great avenues to help you build a network of people who you can work with or build professional relations with.
- Sign up for online trainings. This can also be a golden opportunity for you to sign up for some of the free trainings offered online by many generous companies and experts. No matter what industry you belong to as a professional, you will surely find a wide range of free lessons to hone your skills, improve your knowledge and even to learn new things that you have always wanted to learn and add to your professional credentials. One training that I would recommend, especially to content marketers and SEO writers like me who have always wanted to improve their knowledge about SEO, is this free ongoing SEO course by Neil Patel.
- Check out various job marketplaces and earning opportunities online. Considering the current situation, many companies are resorting to hiring professionals virtually. If you are considering working from home while the pandemic is still on, then this can be a good time for you to do that. There are so many ways for you to earn money online. There’s online selling, content writing, web or graphic design, Youtube content creation, voice recording, accounting, business consulting, and so much more! In fact, check out this compilation of freelance job websites.
So no matter what part of the world you are in, if you are still safe from the pandemic and you still get to live a semi-normal life, consider yourself lucky. And if you are bored to death and would like to start being more productive for a change, then I hope that you’d give any of these eight things a try!
Do you have more ideas about other productive things to do during the lockdown? Feel free to share them in the comments section below. Stay safe, everyone!