Before we get into the nitty-gritty of all the productive things to do at home, I feel like I should make a disclaimer first – boredom is fine. Boredom is good, even! Allow yourself to enjoy not doing anything – Lord knows you need it just as much as I do.
But as current world events (read: coronavirus) have been keeping us behind closed doors more than usual, I’ve had to find new ways of spicing up the free time I would normally have spent outside with at-home productive activities.
Some have been more successful than others – I won’t be giving knitting another try, that’s for sure – but I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed trying out new things that have been on my to-do list since forever, such as updating my budget calendar and categorizing expenses.
I know that there are only so many hours in a day, so I’m only going to focus on the productive things to do at home that you can actually work into your present schedule and still feel like you’re making progress, developing new skills, or just having fun.
1. Home Workout Routine
Don’t freak out right away – I’m not going to tell you to start preparing for a marathon – but I would like for us to talk about the importance of working out in your downtime.
My whole life, I was the studious type and sports were never exactly my thing. But getting older has pushed me to put working out on my list of productive things to do.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the time or the means for a gym membership because there are plenty of free smartphone apps that allow you to work out anytime you want, for as long as you want.
It’s totally okay if you aren’t in the mood for high-intensity exercises right now (I know I’m not) but I definitely recommend finding time in the mornings or evenings to work in a gentle stretching routine or yoga flow.
Trust me, your back needs it – especially if you’ve been spending a lot of time lately hunched over your laptop for Zoom meetings.
You can start out small with 10-minute workouts and slowly work your way up over a period of weeks, and you will not only see physical benefits but also improvements to your mental health!
2. Personal Development
With the rush of everyday life, it’s hard to put personal development at the top of your priorities and find time to work on a new skill.
But finding that time is incredibly important, even if it’s just an hour every day. You can enroll on an online course to add some extra credentials to your resume, restart your Italian lessons on Duolingo, or begin learning a new language – anything that will give you the opportunity to work on yourself.
Luckily, you can do most of these things with your iPhone or tablet so it’s just a matter of carving out space in your schedule that’s going to be just for you.
3. Tackle That Junk Drawer
Or your closet. Or the garage. Or any other space in your home that’s basically a junkyard for all the things you might need one day but end up completely forgetting about.
For me, it was my closet that still housed clothes I hadn’t worn since 2011. So, I spent a full day sorting and reorganizing, and I ended up with a much tidier closet and a pile of clothes that I donated.
When you decide to declutter your living space, be prepared to throw out most of the things you come across – don’t just rearrange them around the house if you know very well that you will never use them.
With clothing, for example, my rule is that if I haven’t worn an item for a year (unless it’s an outfit for special occasions) then it has to go, no matter how cute it looks.
4. Give Your LinkedIn Profile a Makeover
I know most of us update our Instagram or Facebook profiles at least once a month, but when was the last time you took a look at your LinkedIn profile?
When you have extra time on your hands, do some research on what a good LinkedIn profile looks like, take an hour or two to write a fresh resume, and get connected to old coworkers or people you know from college.
Who knows, you might even come across an exciting new job opportunity!
5. Get the Board Games Out
I’m pretty sure every family has at least one dusty board game on the top of a shelf somewhere that hasn’t been touched in years.
For us, it was “Rummikub”, which my husband pulled out on one particularly boring evening and managed to convince his very reluctant wife that it was worth giving a go.
We ended up having so much fun that it has become a weekly tradition with our close group of friends, so we’re making fantastic memories, too.
Not only is the game fun but it gives your brain a great workout. But just getting together and socializing without technology is pretty priceless, if you ask me.
While most of us had diaries as kids, we seem to have forgotten all about this hobby as grown-ups. But journaling does wonders for your mental health, helps you unwind at the end of a long day, and lets you process your emotions in a coherent manner that allows you to let go of negativity much faster.
Even though I absolutely love beautifully designed journals, they always end up forgotten in a pile of things on my desk, so I prefer using online journals or diaries that also have smartphone apps, meaning I can write whenever I feel like releasing some pent up thoughts.
7. Create a Photo Album
Remember those days when you actually had to develop film to see how those vacation photos turned out? Now I just have hundreds of photos on my phone and many more stored away on a cloud service that I haven’t even looked at.
Physical photo albums seem to be a thing of the past, even though they are the best way to hold onto precious memories with your loved ones.
One of my favorite things to do is to tackle all my online photos, organizing them into separate albums (I prefer to sort them by year), and selecting a few dozen to print and paste in a photo album. As simple as that!
No matter how you decide to be productive today, remember to have fun with it! Even chores can be fun if you know how to take them to a higher level. Some comfy clothes, good music, and an empty house. I’m sure you’ll enjoy every second of it!
About the Author:
After working in corporate finance for 8 years, Christine Carter knows all the money hacks and tips and she is willing to share them with everyone! You can find all her advice on how to earn, make and save more money and enter the world of financial freedom on Find your Mom Tribe blog. You can also stay in the loop and follow Find Your Mom Tribe on Facebook and Pinterest.