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How to stay productive at home in quarantine

How to stay productive at home in quarantine

If, like most people, you’re spending more time than normal at home, you’re probably already worried about how you can avoid going stir-crazy! Here are some ideas on making your home time more productive and rewarding.

  1. Have a plan. Whether you stay at home while working, minding the kids or just wiling away the hours til dinner, it’s all too easy to get distracted or resort to couch potato status. You’ll be more effective if you set yourself a plan for how to spend the day – list the tasks you need to complete or set up a schedule for how you will devote the hours in each day. Make sure you allow for plenty of breaks to stretch your muscles, breathe in some fresh air and check in with neighbours and loved ones.
  2. Autumn clean! What a great time to apply a seasonal shift and bring your Spring clean forward. Rid your home of not just dust, but unnecessary paraphernalia too. Aim to attack one project each day depending on those areas most in need. Today could be the kitchen cupboards, tomorrow under rugs and behind furniture, then move onto kids toys, bathroom cabinets and even the garage! Make sure you open doors and windows as fresh air and sunshine are your best indoor sanitisers.
  3. Get connected. Work out a way you can still be in touch with loved ones and friends, be it via phone, video conferencing apps, desktop sharing and social media. Have you heard about the new virtual parties? Apps like Zoom and FaceTime are keeping groups together (but at a distance) and you can also sync your Netflix now to watch movies with those in other locations. Keeping in contact with friends and family could well mean the difference between staying sane or not!
  4. Spruce up the garden. Tackle two birds with one stone here by getting some exercise and taking advantage of breathing in fresh outdoor air. The options are endless - prune those hedges, fertiliser that lawn prior to Winter, clean the gutters or create a vegie patch. And with the downgrading of water restrictions, you can even hose down those pathways or wash the car.
  5. Get creative. It’s finally time to start that creative project or new hobby you’ve been putting off. Grab your knitting needles, paint set, scrapbooking materials, timber, plaster, clay, cardboard, glue…. and get to it. And it doesn’t just have to mean art and craft, perhaps you can photograph your catalogue of clothes to sell on ebay, build that aviary for the backyard, wallpaper your hallway, fix your broken washing line, reupholster those dining chairs? Stores are open so you can still get supplies directly or by ordering online.
  6. New forms of entertainment. Try the latest in virtual tours for your favourite museum or gallery – now you can travel to the Guggeheim in New York, Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the British Museum in London to name but a few. There’s plenty of music artists now live streaming, check out the online quarantine parties you can join and then there’s always movies and television series to fall back on. Netflix has brought forward the release of new content in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
  7. Have a laugh. Sometimes the only way through a crisis is humour and thankfully there’s plenty of funny memes and absurd anecdotes to go around. If you didn’t laugh you’d probably cry so try to keep up your spirits with comedy in these uncertain times.

At this stage, it’s hard to say whether we’ll all be hibernating for a matter of weeks or months. In either case, having a range of potential home-based endeavours means you can turn idle time into something productive. When we all finally emerge from our cocoons, you’ll have something positive to show for it.