With more time at home than any of us were planning for, the hours of free time we have available are abundant. Youth on Course alumnus and scholarship recipient My’Rese Jackson has a few suggestions for how you can come out from the other side of quarantine with some new skills, and a fresh perspective.
The coronavirus pandemic is a global tragedy, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to be productive. You don’t have to start a business or learn a new language. I mean… Those are cool, but so is catching up on sleep or reading a few books. There are many different ways to be productive.
If you are unsure how to transform this situation into an opportunity, here are five ways you can be productive during the quarantine:
Oftentimes, other responsibilities are prioritized over health. Take some time to focus on your mental and physical health. There are a variety of free apps and online videos that can be useful tools for managing stress, depression, and anxiety. In addition, journaling is a great way to release and reframe emotions and thoughts. There are also apps and videos that can help you find ways to exercise in your home even if you don’t have a yard. Contrary to popular belief, relaxing is actually a very productive way to spend your time. Relaxing looks different for everyone, but what better time to relax than now?
Who said productivity has to be all work and no play? This is a great time to start or finish that passion project you haven’t had time for. Gardening, craft making, podcasting, painting, redecorating your room, writing a book, starting a YouTube channel, and growing your social media platform are only a few. If you aren’t sure what type of project to begin, start by brainstorming a list of activities you enjoy or would like to try.
Use this time to think about what you want to accomplish now or in the future. Making a dream board and setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) goals can be self-motivating and stress relieving. Think about ways you can implement any desired changes into your life after the quarantine is over. You can also do some spring cleaning. That counts too.
Let’s be honest… Sometimes learning is boring, but it doesn’t have to be! Read some books! If you have any neglected books on your shelf, now’s the perfect time to open them up. Audiobooks are also an option. You don’t have to spend money on new books. If you know your library card number and PIN, you have access to free ebooks and audiobooks on the Libby app. If you don’t have a library card, all you have to do is sign up on your local library’s website. Depending on how your library operates, you may have to send an email to receive your card number and PIN. Reading isn’t the only way to learn new things though. Watch some documentaries or check out video based educational sites and apps. You can learn a new skill or even a new language! Lastly, but definitely not least, try going down the Google rabbit hole and indulging yourself in the unlimited knowledge on the internet. Pick a topic you’re curious about and dive in!
Freelance work is definitely worth it if you have the time. Fiverr is a great site for profiting off of skills you already have, and it’s absolutely free to become a seller. Can you draw? Are you good at graphic designing? Can you translate audio? Or maybe you’re good at editing papers. There’s a category for every skill on Fiverr. As a freelancer, you set your own schedule and your own prices for your own services. If you’ve ever dreamed of starting a small business in the future, now is a great time to hone some of those skills! Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t a simple task, but imagine how much you could get a jump on developing your own small business while quarantined. Who knows? You might be more successful than you think.
Written by YOC Alumnus and Scholarship Recipient, My’Rese Jackson
My’Rese is currently a third year at UCLA majoring in African American studies and minoring in LGBTQIA+ studies although she was accepted to the university as a Biophysics major. She’s also the author of a sci-fi/fantasy book called SiO4. She has learned a lot about how to make the best of challenging situations from her own personal experiences. Youth on Course has taught her essential life skills like collaboration, communication, and how to assess an obstacle. She’s an open-minded National Geographic connoisseur that is equally left brained and right brained. In addition to golf, her interests vary from astronomy to poetry. Aside from writing, she’s passionate about helping other people overcome their own challenges and inspiring them to do the same.