Many people around the world are suddenly finding themselves stuck at home for a while. Some of us have children at home with us, some of us have to work from home, while others are simply there because their job is on a break.
The temptation to just watch a lot of Netflix and seriously chill out or be lazy for a while is really tempting, but if you’re anything like me, that’s going to get old super fast. I’m just not wired like that, and neither are a lot of people.
Here are some things you can do during an extended period at home that will provide significant financial, professional, and personal benefits without much, if any, additional cost.
Make a dedicated working area inside your home, if you are able to work from home.
If you have to work from home right now, designate an area in your home that is for work and only use it for work. The reason is simple: you want a spot in your home that you begin to mentally identify as the place where you work as opposed to the place where you do anything else.
Make a working space somewhere and keep it as a working space.
What skill could you use in your career to help you earn a promotion or a better paying job or help you get to the next rung in your career? What’s the hot new technology or idea in your field that you kind of understand but not really? Spend some of your time right now digging deep into a new professional skill and really mastering it.
Set up a smart to-do system and start getting used to it.
One of the most useful things I’ve ever done as an adult was to get a robust to-do system up and running to manage all of the things I’m doing. The goal is to just make sure I don’t forget things, I have a system that tells me what needs to be done, and that the system isn’t distracting me when I need to focus (meaning I’m not trying to remember something when I’m trying to complete a task). It’s huge.
Start a simple body-weight exercise routine.
You can do body-weight exercises almost anywhere you’re at, and they’re a great way to gently start bumping up your personal fitness level. Just commit to doing them for 10 minutes a day and try to get yourself a little sweaty and out of breath — don’t kill yourself.
Get caught up on sleep, and get yourself on a healthy sleep schedule.
A period at home without as many demands on your schedule is the perfect time to not only get caught up on sleep, but to begin establishing a healthy sleep schedule going forward. Getting adequate sleep — around seven to eight hours per night for most adults — sets the stage for better health, focus, engagement and less stress in life. You’ll get more done in 16 hours after being well rested than you do in 18 hours without adequate rest!
Read a book you’ve always wanted to read, or that a friend has frequently recommended.
It can be really tempting to fall into the most mindless of entertainment when you’re just sitting around the house. Rather than simply gobbling up whatever’s featured on Netflix or whatever you find while channel surfing, instead choose to read a book.
Watch a movie or series you’ve been thinking about watching.
Similarly, this is a great time to watch some movies or binge-watch a series that you’ve been putting off because you’ve been so busy lately.
Make your phone less distracting.
Many of us have a smartphone in our pocket, and we’ve all learned over the years that a smartphone is simultaneously a powerful tool and a powerful distraction. One of the best things you can do for your time and focus going forward is to lean into what makes your phone a powerful tool and lean away from what makes it a distraction.
Go through all of your bills carefully.
This is a great time to go through every single regular and irregular bill you have. You can start by looking at your bank statements, credit card statements and online payment accounts to identify each and every bill and recurring payment that occurs.
There’s no better time than right now to dive deep into a topic that has always intrigued you. Not only does such a deep dive scratch natural curiosity, but it also helps you get better at focusing and learning and also may potentially help lead you in a new professional direction, too.
Build up your cooking skills.
This is a great time to get more used to preparing your own foods from scratch rather than relying on delivery or takeout, a skill that will save you a lot of money going forward.
Make a bunch of meals in advance and freeze them.
Along with learning to cook more efficiently, now’s a great time to make some meals in advance and store them in the freezer.
If you have children, lean into activities they want to do.
There is no better time than a period where you and your child are both at home to spend some genuine quality time together, and one great way to do that is to simply lean into an activity that your child is excited about.
It’s activities that build a deep relationship with your child.
Do a deep, thorough cleaning of your home and go through the closets.
This is a great opportunity to clean your home thoroughly and take stock of your possessions.
Go through all of your possessions and decide which ones you can sell off or give away and put those downsized items in one area of your home to deal with later.
Don’t just let the hours pass by.
It might be frustrating to just be at home all the time right now, but if you lean into some of the things on this list, you’ll find that the time passes in a meaningful way, leaving you feeling as though this period wasn’t just a few lost weeks.
Written by Trent Hamm
Image: J.K. Daylight / Shutterstock
Publication date: Mar 16, 2020
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