It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light

— Aristotle

Pandemic Productivity

bongoogle

It’s almost Corona’s first birthday! That’s probably one of the most depressing anniversaries ever – one that no one is looking forward to. Last year in the dreaded 2020, March brought in a guest that has long overstayed its unwelcome. COVID-19 as the disease was named took the world in its grasp and still refuses to let go even after almost twelve months later, tightening and loosening its hold. Although vaccines have been developed and are being distributed to the general public, it is undeniable that this pandemic has stripped away so much precious time and productivity from our lives. People have lost jobs, people have lost loved ones, even lost places to stay. but during this stay-at-home period, so many of us have taken up hobbies, created new goals, made new plans. I’ve seen so many people find solace in trying out baking different kinds of bread. i mean i never got the sudden fixation with dough and yeast but sure whatever takes your mind off things.
Aside from the pandemic there’s been a lot of other things that have shaped 2020 as an almost apocalyptic year. but i’m not writing this article to remind everyone of why 2020 was the year they had decided the world was ending(sorry if it seemed so thus far). This article is actually to talk on the positives that came out of quarantine(and more that still can because it hasn’t ended yet!). So without delay(i mean without further delay) let’s jump right into it!

Quarantine is the best time to start self-teaching! Think of that instrument you might have wanted to start playing or that song you wanted to learn. But wait, what about a new language you wanted to get started on? All these tasks but there was no time! Or maybe you couldn’t find the right teacher or it was too expensive. Well now we’re all stuck home or only have limited access. We can’t go to any instructors. This is when you should start taking things in your own hand. Here are some skills you can start developing on your own at home if you only have a working internet connection and patience(you’ll need a device that supports internetworking too, of course!).

Start an instrument: Mastering any instrument takes years and years of practice and proper music lessons. You can pick one up and start playing at any time though. A guitar, ukulele, keyboard, flute, harmonica, drums – pick anyone you’ve always wanted to start but never had time. Go to youtube and search up beginner lessons. I need to be honest here though. Youtube lessons won’t tell you how to be a pro. You need proper paid lessons for that. What you can get started with using youtube is proper posture, correct ways of holding your instrument, beginner musical terms and some other novice steps. For guitar i would suggest you download the free app Yousician which i have used personally and it’s quite helpful. You may think it’s not much but hey now you can call yourself a “beginner in _ instrument” – this has already added to your list of skills, my friend.
Take up writing: So many thoughts go around your head daily don’t they? Well write them(or type them)down! You can incorporate all your thoughts and creativity into a new character and a fictional world or simply keep a daily journal. Now if you’re thinking what use can a diary of daily life and thoughts be – let me remind you that one of the most famous pieces of writings out there is a Diary of a Young Girl. Of course her entries fall under history and are crucial to understand the situation during the holocaust. And even if your entries of daily life may not spark up anything in the world of history, you live in the age of social media. Post about your daily life on any blogging site! Be it twitter, instagram, facebook or tumblr you’re sure to find an audience. Someone will read up your day and go “Ah that happened to me too!” people may find comfort in reading this incident they share in common with you. Even some years later you can dig up an old diary and post about it to give people online a good laugh.
Take a free online course: so many things to learn and so little time! But hey now you’ve got time right? So start a free course on so many websites that have a wide range of skills for you to learn. It doesn’t even have to be something that needs to benefit you in later life. It can just be something you’ve always wanted to know more about but time wasn’t on your side. Sites like edX, panoly, pirple, coursera etc. have countless topics you can choose from. They’re also short and don’t take up that much of your day. So what are you waiting for? Start learning today!
Connect with old friends: You’ve probably heard this one since quarantine began but reaching out to an old friend you’ve lost touch with can be so rewarding. Reach out to relatives too. Get to know what they’re up to, what skills they’ve honed, how many goals they set etc. You never know, they might inspire you to try something new too.

Aside from these here’s some other simpler and shorter term things you can try out to get your brain in the right setting to get more work done:
Redecorate your room
Make recycling a habit
Make an exercising routine
Fix your sleep schedule
Try giving yourself a haircut(if you hate it, remember that it’ll grow back till quarantine ends
Make a “after quarantine” wishlist.
Listen to new music from lesser known artist (check out these artists – DAY6, arctic monkeys, marsmango, Ben&Ben)
Read. make a reading list and go all out on the books you’ve always wanted to start but never had time for.

There are more things that can be added to this list of course. But i’ve spoken so much already. Let us know what(relevant) skills you’ve developed during quarantine and what hobbies you’ve taken up to keep yourself busy!

Writer: Maheka Mahmud

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