Although there are signs that quarantine/self-isolation is easing in many countries, we still might not be back up and running for a little while yet, so in the meantime a lot of us are wondering ‘what next?’. Whilst it is important to get rest and not put pressure on ourselves during these bizarre times, some people may struggle without routine or something to feel productive as we near almost 12 weeks at home. If you’re in that latter category (and there’s nothing wrong with being either or half and half – I know I am), then here’s a list of five ways to stay growing/productive, whilst at home.
YouTube is one of the best free platforms we have been given. Whilst there’s a wealth of videos on there purely for entertainment there’s also a great deal of free videos and playlists for those who want to learn something. From how to use Photoshop to courses on introductory psychology, if you want my favourite site during isolation it’s this.
Whether it’s to build a skill to add to your CV or just purely to fill an interest you’ve had, YouTube has it all.
I’ve recently fallen head over heels for the ‘CrashCourse’ YouTube channel, that some of you may remember from the distant days of A levels, and have started a playlist of lessons on sociology and film production… just because.
2. Personal development books/podcasts
With isolation came the boom in reading, offering the perfect opportunity to finally catch up on your reading list and some much needed escapism, however this could be applied to personal growth/development. There’s a wealth of knowledge available in books to tackle a number of personal development goals like money management and habit making. These are a great way to take up time and once this knowledge has been learnt can be used to learn and grow both now and for the future. I have personally started reading the acclaimed ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne which I would recommend. Other recommendations include: ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen R Covey and ‘You are a Bad*ss’ by Jen Sincero.
You can also find a wealth of personal development podcasts and YouTube videos.
3. Learn a language
Language learning is one of those goals I put on my resolutions every year. Not only is it great for someone with an interest in people, cultures and travelling but it also is great on a CV (provided you can get it to a certain level of proficiency). Taking some of this time to learn a language you’ve always been interested in or for somewhere you want to travel – once we can- is a fun way to grow and learn for free at home. Sites I’ve tired include Duolingo and Memrise, but podcasts and books are also great. This video by The Bliss Bean shows a great system to language learn from home.
4. Online courses
If you want some more skills based learning or learning towards a tangible achievement of some kind, then maybe formal online courses and programmes are the ones for you.
Futurelearn, Skillshare and Masterclass are some of those that come to mind. Futurelearn offers a range of courses from Universities and Organisations worldwide from programming to Innovation in the fashion industry. Upon completion you can obtain a certificate (for no extra charge on some course) that can be put on your CV or LinkedIn. I studied Film Distribution from the Film Distributors Association which shows extracurricular studies as I try and pursue a career in film marketing.
Skillshare and Masterclass, offer specialists courses that are great for building interest and skills. Masterclass is especially interesting as it is taught by industry ‘masters’ such as Natalie Portman and Marc Jacobs. These are pricier alternatives to YouTube and Futurelearn but a great option for those with keen interests hoping to go further.
5. Practice hobbies
Lastly, arguably, the most obvious is just practising a hobby or skill you want to get better at. Whether it’s working towards a goal, something to add to your CV or to help advance your career, or something you enjoy doing practising hobbies is a great way to take up some of your time. If, for example, you want to go into journalism/copywriting or any similar role start up a blog during this time and practice writing whilst also building a portfolio. You can also practice painting and illustration, musical instruments, running whatever it is you’ve wanted to do.
These are not the ideal situations or anything like what we had planned for this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still grow during this time. 2020 is not cancelled, and you don’t have to forget all your dreams and goals for the year, just modify slightly to suit our new circumstances.