For most of us, being home all day long, working at the same place we sleep is not something we’re accustomed to. Before you spiral into a mid-life crisis, or become unmotivated to do anything, here are some things you can achieve during this lockdown period.
1. Update Your Resume and Professional Profiles
This is probably right on the top of our “things i procrastinate to do” list. For most people, resumes are only updated right when we are looking to find a new job. I can understand why this is the case, since there’s no other use for a resume apart from that very reason. But if you were planning to explore other opportunities and were procrastinating before this COVID-19 outbreak, perhaps now is the time to do up your resume.
Don’t underestimate the value of professional profiles such as linkedIn during your job search. While you are updating your resume, take the chance to update your online professional profiles too. These profiles can showcase your achievements while providing people with a glimpse of your personality and style.
For the rest of us who are planning to stay in our current jobs, don’t think you’re off the hook and can leave your professional profile dead from 5 years ago. Often, other work related engagements and opportunities are initiated from others finding you on these sites.
With a current profile, you may be exposed to opportunities to speak, or represent yourself in the industry-related platforms, elevating yourself. It’s also no harm having your profile open to job opportunities that may interest you, even before you think about leaving your current job.
2. Relook At Your Expenses and Start Budgeting
If you are not living from paycheck to paycheck, you may not have been too concerned with budgeting. Everyone has different styles when it comes to managing money, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Even if you don’t have the need to stick within a tight budget, there’s no harm in identifying where your dollars are going to. By taking a look at your expenses, you could even end up optimising your cash flow.
Start by knowing exactly how much you earn, and spend each month and on an annual basis (some expenses are irregular, such as holidays and taxes).
We recommend that you set aside money before you spend. If you are not saving yet, start with 10% of your savings and work your way up to 40%. If you have little liabilities and no dependents to support, read more about cash flow management here.
Consider using a simple excel sheet to input the values, or an automated income and expense tracking app like Planner Bee. Identify the percentage of money going into each category of expenditure – food, utilities, taxis, travels and decide if you should cut down on certain expenses.
3. Start Investing
The markets are in the reds now. It looks like holidays won’t be possible this year, so you might perhaps want to allocate your holiday fund to an investment. If you don’t know where to start, we suggest you read this post. If you are absolutely unsure and lost, be sure to seek professional advice before you start any investment.
4. Clear Your Life and Home of Things You Don’t Need
What’s a better time to spring clean your home than when you are actually stuck in it? If we are only spending time at home, we should make the best out of the space we have. I love Marie Kondo’s philosophy in tidying up and decluttering. We could also donate items to the needy at the same time.
5. Read a Book
Allocate some time to read. If you don’t want to spend on getting a physical book, there are many e-libraries that you can use for free. If you are reading a book from a device such as a computer, tablet or phone, I’d suggest you download the book and switch off your internet connectivity so that you don’t get distracted by your incoming email and instagram notifications.
We actually read a lot of things online in bite-sizes like blogs and social media posts and this might have eroded our patience for books. Now’s a great time to train our patience for more long form valuable writings that can allow our minds to be engaged in a different and meaningful way.
Books encourage deeper thought and offer us new perspectives that have strong roots and detailed explanations that could even change the trajectories of our lives. It’s time to get cracking!
6. Learn Something New
Check out Youtube for lessons on just about anything. Figure out what you want to learn and set a goal for yourself to achieve something in a month or a timeline that works for you. It can be anything from arts and crafts to cooking.
I’ve also started making my own drip coffee with a $2 coffee dripper from Daiso and coffee beans from a local roaster for $19 a bag. The average cost of my daily brew is $1.40, versus $4 at the same cafe. In a year this saves me $949 and I even enjoy making it myself! Set a goal and focus on achieving this new skill.
Instead of giving in to the restlessness building up from being at home, try these new activities and enhance your life in the process!