With your newfound free time, it is very tempting just to lie on the couch and watch Netflix or download and play games on your phone. After all, you deserve a break after working too hard the past years, barely taking a vacation. OK, so enjoy it for a day or two. Maybe even three. But don’t let it take over your life while everything is at a standstill.

This is the best time to also work on those skills and interests you’ve always wanted to know more about but was to busy to do. Many educational institutions have also been considerate of the people’s situations, so they opened up online courses for free.

If you haven’t decided on what you can do with your time productively, we have here a shortlist of suggestions.

Foreign language

Prepare for when you could travel again. To learn the basics of a language had probably been enough before, what with being constantly on the move. You just needed to know how to look for a bank, a restaurant, know some directions, and call for help. But given this long break from your jet-setting, you have no excuse not to master the language of your next destination.

Learning a language is also fun as it comes with learning a culture. Notice that in language modules, the topics in a German course would not be the same as that in a Spanish course.

If you don’t want to do the free modules offered by the universities, you can download apps and play. Replace your never-ending games with one that teaches you something.

If you have a modest business, learning the language of the clients you wish to expand to would be a good pastime. It is no secret that partnerships and trust are easier established when you could freely communicate with each other.

Simple Fix-Its

With safety the priority of many people, there might be fewer hands who could help you around your home. At least know how to fix your fence when it’s been damaged or replace a broken windowpane.

Two of the common home repairs you should know are water heater repair and water pipe repair. It had been convenient to call on a maintenance person to do it before. But if you couldn’t get one easily and you don’t know how to do it yourself, it is not just inconvenient, but the leaks could also add to your water bills. Worse, some water heater problems might even get you electrocuted if not addressed immediately.

Practical Financial Knowledge

Maybe before you had not thought about it. You didn’t bother learning about interest rates because you weren’t affected by their fluctuations. You probably never needed to get a loan. Or you did but put it off because you had no time to prepare what you needed.

Now is the time to take a look into these. They would surely be useful in the future.
What would be your best bet for your retirement? Should you invest in stocks or bonds? How can you get a loan if ever you get into a financial emergency? What can a mortgage lender do for you? How can you get a decent interest rate, what determines your creditworthiness? You can easily familiarize yourself with these things by simply looking them up online.

woman studying

A Specialized Skill or Knowledge

Have you always wanted to learn about stock trading? Or want to make Causal Diagrams that would make your work a lot easier to illustrate and explain?

EdX, which is an educational platform offering both paid and free courses, had existed even before the pandemic. You can go through their courses and see if you find anything interesting.

Doodle Art

Many people associate doodles with bored drawings on a student’s notebook. But nowadays, doodle art has been leveled up with graphic recording and live illustrations done during meetings and conferences.

While they are appreciated for their aesthetics, their importance is in the immediate presentation of concepts and ideas in a synthesized illustration. Those who have mastered this art can immediately show the participants the interconnectedness of the topics and points bandied about during the meeting.

Cooking

Cooking is a basic survival skill. If you don’t learn it, you won’t survive the apocalypse. Seriously, doomsday anxieties aside, it would be great to come out of this situation with a great dish you can impress your friends with.

YouTube offers many cooking tutorials for beginners. If you want more specialized cuisine, there are also cooking schools that are now holding online classes. Procuring the ingredients is not that difficult either, as many suppliers are now doing business online.

Even if you are not physically mobile, remember that you would be wasting a valuable resource if you don’t use it properly—your time. You claimed you didn’t have enough of it before, and now you do. Use it wisely.

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