Be Creative and Productive: Read, Write, Compose, Produce, CREATE
The year 2020 has experienced quite a shaky start, and going through a pandemic is no easy feat. With COVID-19 sweeping the globe, many countries have been forced to impose quarantine on its people. In an effort to stop the spreading of this disease and to flatten the curve, a lot of businesses have shut down and many people have been asked to stay home as a precautionary measure. Other countries, on the other hand, were forced to go under complete lockdown, with its people working from home, or managing to find other means of entertainment and earning their salaries by working online.
As the entire world has been put on hold, one is left with too much time, too much anxiety, and a feeling of hopelessness. Luckily, there are many things you can do during quarantine to stay sane. Many have recommended that the only way we can utilize this time is to be productive. After all, we now have all the time in the world to get things done. This blog will help you to become inspired and productive during this quarantine and to help learners make the most of it.
Catch Up on Reading
Everyone claims they have no time for reading; you know the saying ‘too many books, too little time?’ Well, now is your chance! Staying quarantined at home means you’ve actually had time to catch up on all the reading you’ve been missing out on. Check your home library for the books you currently own and create a reading checklist. You can even check reviews to find out which one you should start first. Whatever will get you through the neglected stack of books left behind on your nightstand, do it.
You can dip your toes in the reading pond by starting off with a book of short stories first, or you can also start reading a short novella. When you finish reading these short stories quickly, you’ll feel much more accomplished and energized. And this way, you’ll be motivated enough to continue reading and move onto bigger books. Consider signing up for a reviewing website like Goodreads. It’s considered to be one of the world’s largest social catalog platforms that cater to book lovers everywhere. There, you can meet other likeminded individuals, share reading lists, follow others, and join virtual book discussions. It’s one thing to read a book, it’s a whole new experience when you discuss it with other people who have read it. You can also consider creating your own virtual book club with your friends, neighbors, or family members. You can meet weekly to discuss your progress through any of the available video call apps. You’re socializing with your friends and expanding your mind at the same time – who wouldn’t love that?
Consider also tapping into the world of audiobooks. There are many websites like Scribd that own a large collection of audiobooks. Similar platforms have created free subscriptions for a month so you can enjoy endless books during your lockdown. Audiobooks give you the chance to listen to books if you’re not a big fan of reading or if you’re a slow reader. You can also listen to books while you’re catching up on chores, or enjoying a lazy afternoon on your couch with your favorite drink.
Get Some Writing Done
One of the fields that have boomed during this lockdown is writing. Whether it’s online magazines or personal blogs, the written content is in high demand. You can get into this online writing game yourself, and you might even make income on the side. Writing is a vast and untapped territory that you can explore; it’s an opportunity to express your mind during these times of distress.
Writing will give you an opportunity to express yourself, whether you publish it online or not. You can join a collective writer’s blog regarding your field of interest, or you can join an online magazine. Many of them are currently looking for freelance writers that can expand their written material. You can also create your own personal blog on any of your interests and expand it by sharing your ideas, experiences, or opinions. You’ll connect with other writers or people who share your interest, and you will expand your virtual social circle.
If writing for the public masses isn’t your thing, you can always write privately. Keeping a journal is possibly the simplest and easiest form of writing you can do. Create your own ‘lockdown journal’ by writing about your experiences during the lockdown, or any thoughts you have that you’d like to remember later on. Create your own writing setting at home by creating your own desk, workstation, or just sit outside in the yard with a good cup of coffee.
If you have a knack for writing fiction, this is the time that you can truly flourish. Many writers with a hidden talent tend to have an idea of a story but never the time to actually get around to writing it. Start working on your next big novel, short story, or even poetry. Set up a workstation with a storyboard or an outline board so you can easily see your ideas set up and work on them right away. Who knows, maybe when the dust settles, you can send your manuscript to a publishing house and become a published author!
Compose Music or Learn to Play an Instrument
Many people have always wanted to become musicians, but their life has gotten in the way. Now is your chance to dust off that instrument you used to play and start actually producing or composing your own music. Learning a new instrument will definitely enhance your cognitive skills, and it’s a fun hobby as well.
But before you do, consider brushing up on the basics because composing is quite a challenging task. Without the needed background knowledge, it might prove to be overwhelming. So start small. Consider starting off by giving some of your favorite music tracks or scores a different take; you can remix them into something else, turn them acoustic, or even speed up the tempo. This will allow you to practice ‘playing with music’ first before creating your own.
You can also set goals to create a piece of music. Get staff paper, a pencil, and start sketching and planning. Find a way to be inspired because no music is created without inspiration. Become consumed with music so you can create your own ideas on how to compose a song. Whether you’ll create the next greatest masterpiece or not, at least you’ve tapped into your inner musician and have allowed yourself to become inspired.
Learn a New Skill
We often wish to learn a new skill or two that can help make us be a hirable employee or we have a personal interest in something we have always longed to do. Consider any of these skills below:
- Language Skills
Learning languages is something that many pursue. Who wouldn’t enjoy becoming cultured and eloquent in another language? It can even help make your job prospects higher later on, or it can just help you during your travels. You can easily learn a new language you were interested in whether it was French, German, Dutch, or Spanish. You can also pursue difficult languages like Mandarin or Korean. Whichever you choose, you can take this opportunity to become fluent in a language. Many smartphone apps and websites like Duolingo or Babbel can help enhance your language learning skills. They’re free to use, accessible, and their courses are easy to follow. Consider allocating one hour a day or even less to practice; the more you practice daily, the faster you’ll learn the language.
- Productivity, Organization, and Time Management Skills
If anything, we have more time on our hands right now to commit to a ton of things. However, not a lot of people know how to arrange their day. Luckily, you can also use this time to learn how to manage your time and organize your schedule more efficiently. This skill will not only enhance your time during quarantine, but it will also improve your time management skills later on when you return to your normal life. You’ll become much more efficient and productive when you’ve learned the necessary steps to manage your day better. Consider taking online courses that give you tips and tricks to organize your day. Or read any of the several books written by the experts on how to manage your own time. These books are not only written from the expert’s perspective, but it’s also based on the lives of successful people and entrepreneurs.
Engage in a New and Crafty Hobby
Hobbies are more than just an activity you take up to pass the time. Having a hobby is a chance to truly tap into your creative side. You nurture your soul, mind, and body as well. Hobbies help add value to you as a person, and it makes you much more interesting because you have stories and knowledge when it comes to specializing in a certain skill. Hobbies, now more than ever, are sorely needed because they’re a major stress-reliever. When you’re sitting around panicking about the state of the world, you can actually switch off the news and sit back and unwind with any hobby of your choice. It’s also a chance to keep busy. You can go back to an old favorite hobby, but it’s also recommended that you start a new one to help you become more confident and experienced in something new.
Consider any of the following hobbies:
- Photography: You can take this opportunity to learn the basic quips when it comes to taking great photos. Whether you purchase a new camera, use your old one, or even take up smartphone photography, there are many free online classes that cater to the amateur photographer. Photography allows you to take moments that will last a lifetime, all from your own perspective. You can even consider creating a new photography online account and sharing your photos with the world.
- Gardening: Many people have associated gardening with old people. On the contrary, many young home cooks or ordinary people have taken up gardening as a stress-relieving skill. You can learn to grow beautiful plants that will help enhance your home’s exterior, or you can also learn to grow vegetables or herbs that will be a great addition to your cooking skills.
- Cooking or Baking: If anything, this quarantined has released the inner baker and cook amongst many people. Consider taking it up a notch, and learn cooking/baking skills to enhance your kitchen experience. Cooking, generally, is quite economical. And at a time when the world is on lockdown, cooking at home is a much-needed skill. Use it to eat healthier or become an expert at home cooking and baking that will please everyone in your household.
- Woodworking and Carpentry: This has got to be the handiest hobby yet, and one of the oldest in the world. Many people associate woodworking with decorative household items, but it has actually become popular over the years as a profession as well. It can be extremely fulfilling to engage in woodworking as it can take hours off your hands; you’ll be kept busy as well as engaged in something meaningful and relaxing. You can look up online guides on what you need to get started. You can create your own workstation and learn to make small or large items, like bookcases or shelves for your home.
We often wish for time to become more productive and tap into our creative side. Well, now we have more time than ever. And while it’s a little forced, sudden, and something no one certainly has signed up for, consider it as an opportunity to become productive, creative, and achieve something you’ve put off for a long time. The online world has dramatically flourished during this lockdown. Without any pressure to your own being, you can easily make use of the fact that any information on the planet is quite accessible. Now is your time to shine, to expand your horizons, and truly add value to yourself and to the world around you.