As COVID-19 Started to affect several countries and hundreds of people were being reported COVID-19 positive and then WHO declared it as a pandemic and immediately several countries closed their borders and put several restrictions like weeks-long lockdown to protect their citizens from coronavirus.
The same thing also happened in my country India, which is in lockdown since March 25 all business activities are now stopped social gathering is Not allowed and many working professionals like me and others working part-time from home.
Staying at home made me started to feel bored because all I was browsing watching movie web series and playing games.
Then while crawling my Instagram feed my saw an image urging people not to waste time casually and try to do something else.
“Lost time is never found again.”Benjamin Franklin
It made me think about how to use this free time to my advantage?
I did a quick Google search to find some inspirational ideas on how to utilize my time during this quarantine.
The things that came to my mind to do in this lockdown are:
- Read books
- Learn new skill
- Complaint pending courses that you started and left and finished
- Work on your side projects
- Meditation / yoga
So I decided not to waste this opportunity and do the following.
I chalked up a plan wrote all the tasks/things that I am going to perform. I’m using Microsoft’s to-do app and management software like Basecamp and Trello. Sorted the task by priority and allotted time for task-based on priority.
Divided my time between doing things that will help my career and things that I should do in my leisure.
Reading books: Books that are crying for some attention.
I am one of those people who are fond of buying books but does not show that much enthusiasm while reading them. I have 10 sealed packed books on different topics like marketing time management to biographies, which I’m yet to read. I took a hard decision to stop procrastination and start reading those books and at least finished three books this quarantine.
It was very lazy of me at first but I finished reading free books that I plan to do. For the first time in my life, I have finished reading three books in a given time. I know some of you must be laughing but believe me it takes me months to finish reading a book lol. Time dedicated to doing this task is 2-3 hrs in the morning.
Books that I have finished reading this quarantine are Eat that frog, Hundred questions, and Influence of psychology. By the way, these books are a must-read for marketers as they provide insightful knowledge that’ll help marketers to better understand customer’s motives.
Learning new skills: Also upgrading the existing ones
Well, this part is tricky, learning a new skill, first, you need to figure out what are the skills that you can learn in order to do your job/task with more productivity.
Although I had figured it out previously, I again sat down and noted some of the skills that can have a huge effect on my professional life.
Next step, I searched the skills online, listed down some names of people who are experts in those skills, and started to follow their articles, listen to podcasts & youtube videos. I consumed 10 hours of podcasts in just five days. Never been a fan of listing to podcast but I did that, they were are interview type and you’d just hook to them.
And now at present, I’ve started trying to implement the things that I currently learned from them in practical life.
Some of you may be wondering why didn’t buy any courses or participated in any personal coaching program. Well, that not always necessary, I have basic ideas of those skills, and the materials available online are great.
Also at this time investing money rather than saving for the future in this current scenario is not that feasible for me.
I’m also learning Spanish on Duolingo though it has no significate in my professional life I am fond of that language so trying to learn a few new words daily. It also helps to beat stress.
Completing the pending courses: Udemy courses
This was listed as a top priority in my to-do app. This is again very careless of me sometimes I leave courses midway, due to time factor, enrolling in multiple courses at the same time or I just forgot about them. I find them when I return to the courses platform and see the progress I was making.
So I made up a plan that I will do the courses that have a direct impact on my career. And rest will be of little priority.
Reserve a whole 6 hours per day dedicated to complete these online courses and also implement the things that I am learning on the go. This has helped me a lot in learning new things in marketing, programming, and importantly time management.
Never have I ever thought that I will utilize and make the best possible outcome of this quarantine lockdown.
Yes, I do procrastination a lot the way I am writing this article many readers will think it is a fantasy story but behold yourself the road was not at all easy writing about my lazy habits here people will have a bad impression about me :p.
Tip: Wear blue light protected eyeglasses if you are going to sit in front of your computer screen for a longer period of time.
Working on my side projects: Passive income sites
The side projects that I have are my YouTube channel, my Affiliate marketing websites, and my personal blog.
I started working on the blogs that I was neglecting for some time. Create an SEO strategy to recover the lost traffic to my websites. I wrote nearly 30,000 words in the last 30 days and still writing an article every day.
I rewrote some of my website content did some on-page Optimisation and started a link building campaign to increase the ranking which was stuck on page 2,3 for the main keywords.
After dedicating a significant amount of time to my affiliate marketing site ranking as well as total loss traffic came back very fast which I did not anticipate at all.
Before April 2020 the traffic to my niche website was around 100-200 visitors per day and now it has increased to an all-time high of 400 / visits per day. That’s an almost 200% increase in traffic. This one of the best things that I have achieved so far in this quarantine period.
And for my youtube channel, I create 10 videos tried all sorts of youtube SEO optimization but to my dismay all efforts gone in vain. The highest view that was achieved by one of those videos is around 500-550 views.
Still working on the videos.
Next is to put up with the stress that I’m taking :p, time to relieve some.
Meditation: Time to relax
Okay, everything is all rough but meditation? Where to start? What to do and how to perform?
I looked for beginners’ guide to meditation and the search came back with dozens of the same type of result, not very motivated. Scrapped the results and instead, I searched the google play store for some cool meditation apps and luckily 2 apps caught my attention. Those apps are Calm & Headspace.
I’m currently using headspace. This app guides you to self-meditation, all you have to do is take out 10 minutes of your time form your busy schedule and use this app. Try this believe me you’ll be thanking me later.
Now, What’s next from here?
I don’t know how long this lockdown is going to stay before things get back to normal. I’m sticking to my plan and try to maximize my productivity & performing the tasks that I have assigned to myself.
A word of advice: Please Don’t waste this valuable time just by playing games or watching Netflix or spending time on social media sites.
Do something that will make your life more painful or something that you’ve been longing to do but couldn’t due to time. This is your golden opportunity.
In case you’re searching for motivation remember,” Tiger ha tu Tiger, Roar”. In case you’re wondering about the last sentence, it a famous dialog from a Bollywood movie, Sanju!