We all have a huge to-do list of tasks we never get round to completing, those items that have been on the list for years but we never have the time for. But many of us have been given a golden opportunity to finally tackle them, so where do you start? I’ve listed some of the best productive tasks you can take on over the next couple of months. I’d also recommend using a project management tool like Trello to help build out a to do list and keep yourself on track.
1) Create A Blog
The hardest part about setting up a blog is writing the content, you should ideally have 3-6 months worth of content before even launching, so you can focus on the other tasks such as designing the site, building your social channels or gaining links from newspapers. Now is the best time to get started on that giant content project.
2) Check Those Old Emails
According to one survey, 64% of us leave emails we haven’t sorted yet as unread or mark them to come back to some point in the future. You should read through those unanswered emails, sort out your spam folder and clean up shop.
3) Clean Up The House
I’m not talking about the basic level of cleaning that is done regularly, I’m talking about the deeper cleaning. Dusting the shelves, mopping the kitchen and cleaning the toilet, all the stuff we hate doing.
4) Learn A Musical Instrument
Whether it’s the piano, saxophone or guitar, you’ve got plenty of time to put in those hard hours and come out of lockdown with a new found skill. Learning a musical instrument is on a huge number of people’s bucket list, yet is commonly left due to time constraints. You can also utilise YouTube videos for training with the lack of availability of musical coaches.
5) Learn A New Language
No longer will you be desperately trying to remember the basic words while sifting through a menu and awkwardly looking up at the waiter, you can spend this time learning the language of the country you plan on visiting when normality returns.
6) Get In Touch With Old Friends
Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp have given us amazing opportunities to have video calls with friends and family. But maybe now is a good time to catch up with those old friends you simply fell out of communication with. You could even arrange group calls with old school friends or work mates.
7) Exercise Galore
With the gyms shut, you’d think people would give up exercising, however there seems to be an incredible amount of people riding bikes and jogging along the seafront, while most people I know have bought themselves some weights to train at home. With plenty of YouTube workout tutorials available to train along with, there are no excuses.
8) Read A Book
For many of us, reading a book is largely limited to when we go on holiday, relaxing on a deckchair next to a pool, however I’ve now put in a task for myself to read a single chapter of a book every day during lockdown and I’ve so far successfully been keeping to it.
9) Research You Dream Career Path
While some might already be in their dream job, for others they’re still stuck in a job they hate. The biggest factor holding them back is the gap in skills they have compared to what is listed on the job ad. So now is a great time to look at the skills required, order some books on the subject and get practising. There are a huge number of training options available for every subject online for free.
10) Plan Your Week Ahead
One of the most productive things we can do is plan ahead on all the tasks we need to complete. When we have nothing on the list, it can be easy to watch Netflix or play on the phone, so if you plan out each task in order that you need to complete during the week, you’re more likely to stick to it. I love Trello for planning my weekly tasks, where you can prioritise, delegate or set deadlines.
There are a number of virtual networking meetups taking place at the moment within each industry. This is a great way to meet others in your industry and learn new skills, or simply take your mind off the boredom. You never know which connection might make the difference after lockdown, whether that’s getting you a new job or simply a new friend to meet up with.
12) Learn Some New Recipes
With the additional time in the evening without any commuting, there is more time to try out some new recipes. Whether you’ve always wanted to learn to make a lamb Rogan Josh or a Green Thai Curry, now is the time to put your culinary skills to the test.
13) Learn First Aid
The St John’s Ambulance website was offering free first aid online training, which might come into use whether that’s in the short or long term. This is a critical skill to learn which could help to save someone’s life further down the line.
14) Try Yoga
I was slow to come round to yoga, but it was very relaxing and massively improved my flexibility. It also can help to ease any pains and aches you might have.
15) Build Out Your Spotify Playlist
I tend to listen to the same songs almost every day as I only have one playlist and I haven’t updated it in probably around a year. Now is a great time to not just built out your list of great songs, but also to have several different playlists based on what you’re doing, such as exercising, work or drinking.
16) Update Your CV
Whether you plan on looking for a new job in the next year or you’re still feeling comfortable, it could be worth having a quick look over your CV and updating it to highlight your job information and new skills and experiences.
17) Organise Your Computer
I don’t know about you, but when I go to My Documents, it is a mish mash of 1,000 different pieces of work, whether that’s excel sheets, articles or images. Now is a great time to create some folders and start sorting out the different files into the relevant locations.
18) Change A Lightbulb
This won’t count for everyone, but one of our lightbulb’s has been dead in our living room for around 3 months and I know I’m not the only one that leaves those ones that we don’t desperately need to change.
19) Local Ticklist
When we go on holiday we try to tick off ever possible attraction and activity, however we’re often guilty of not completing them all in our own hometown. You should make a tick list of things you should complete in your own hometown once lockdown is over.
20) Go Through Your Apps
You will undoubtedly have some apps on your phone that you barely ever use. At the same time, you might find there are some apps you need to add to your phone, whether it’s an app to a site you use regularly or something to help you keep up with your exercising.
21) Do Some DIY
The wall needs a new lick of paint, a tap keeps leaking, wallpaper needs to be put up, a sink is blocked or you’ve got a mirror that needs to be hanged on the wall, whatever DIY task you’ve delayed, you can now tick it off in one intensive DIY day.
22) Make Your Shopping List
You don’t have to wait until the last minute to make it up as you go, as this tends to lead to impulse purchases such as doughnuts (mmmmm). You can either make a list in advance, or if you’re shopping online you can set a saved shopping list which you can return to each week.
23) Do Some Voluntary Work
I don’t just mean helping out all the people in need during Coronavirus, of which you should definitely do, but many charities will be struggling over the next few months and they could do with help, even if it doesn’t involve leaving the house. Think about what skills you have to offer, can you write content or help schedule Facebook posts? Whatever the skill, there are plenty of small charities that don’t have the big budgets of some of their competitors and could do with any help they can get.