Kenya recently hit the 2000 mark of persons infected with the coronavirus. This coupled with a falling economy and starving communities may feel like the worst time to try out new productive activities.
You are dealing with issues of anxiety. When will you get back to your classes?
What will the future hold out for you?
Is this pandemic near over or are things getting worse? This will not only fill you with apprehension but also frustration and fear of the unknown.
To combat this, a new activity that will enhance your productivity while helping you learn an essential skill is called for.
Today, we discuss in detail some of the best productive activities you can try out in lockdown. Apart from the numerous lessons that these activities will teach you. You will also get to stabilize your thinking and escape anxiety.
You know how it goes with an idle mind.
Let’s jump in.
Personal Productive activities for lockdown.
1) Initiate a ‘ME’ Project.
If you are wondering what this is, it’s simply a short project that you take to learn more about yourself. I promise, it’s not selfish. On the contrary, it will help you analyze your strong and weak areas, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
This makes you better equipped to cope with other people, challenges, and yourself.
To start on your ‘ME’ project. You will need.
- A piece of paper and pen or a word document
- Complete honesty.
Then, start outlining the things you know about you, those you don’t, and the ones that people have said about you. As a surgeon does, dissect all these thoughts and ideas, cropping out the ones you want to rid and embracing the ones you want or should keep.
At the end of it all, you will know:
- Strengths and weaknesses.
- Your skills and capabilities.
- Your true friends.
- The kind of hobbies and activities you are inclined to and most of all,
- Who are you?
I’d recommend taking this personality test for free from 16personalities.com. You only have to answer a bunch of researched questions honestly and receive your results.
Try it out if you’ve never taken such a test. You’ll be amazed at how much you don’t know yourself. I’ll share my personality type in the comments. I’d love to know yours too.
2) Take a fitness challenge.
When you want freedom of the mind, you will need to exercise and free your body of extra calories. Now, you’ve probably set fitness goals before but you did not achieve them. A fitness challenge will cure this.
3o day fitness app has the thing just for you. This app is free to download on Google play store. It has great work out videos for beginners, intermediary, and pros. It lets you record your training and it’ll send you notifications to remind you of training time.
The fitness challenge app videos have been created by a professional fitness coach, so yeah, you are getting the best. The 10 million downloads and excellent reviews on Google play store, shows how awesome this fitness app is.
Nothing is stopping you, download the app for free, and start your very own 30 day fitness challenge.
3) Get a new interesting hobby.
Maybe you read books or cycle but how about taking it a notch higher and trying out new hobbies that you have not thought of before. Here are some productive hobbies you can start with.
Yes, the name is hard, but the art itself is not complicated. This hobby involves making stuffed characters from your favorite movie, animation, or TV show by crocheting or knitting.
You can make Minion characters, Star Wars characters, the Ugly duckling, or any character from a movie you love.
Interested? Check out Amigurumi.today. They have cool patterns that are beginner-friendly.
Originating from Japan, this papercraft lets you make beautiful creations without needing any scissors or glue. And the good news is, you can use any type of paper at your disposal to start. Origami crafts will improve your memory and concentration as well as stimulate your brain.
Origami.me has awesome fold tutorials to make it a breeze for your first paper craft.
Besides calming your body and mind, pottery will also boost your creativity and even make you money once you are an expert.
For advanced pottery, a setup and a few tools are needed, but if you are just starting and testing the waters, you can start with the pinch pot which will not take much of your time.
Check out this extra hobbies that you can make money from.
4) Become a Board Game Pro.
Board games have been played from ancient times, not only because they are entertaining but also because of their numerous benefits to your mind and memory. Since you may be miles away from your family and friends, playing physically with them may prove impossible.
Fuss not. Here are three places you can partner up and play board games for free.
Board Game Arena
5) Read a book.
Aside from taking your mind on a voyage, a new world, or running circles in a thick forest, fictional books will ease your mind from today’s trouble, improve your creativity and help you see the world in a different lens.
Out of all the productive activities we discuss here, Reading is my favorite. But I’m biased. Go ahead and choose any that satisfies your craving.
These are the top websites you can download books for free.
Manybooks.net– 50000 e-books for free in different languages. (Best for fiction)
Free eBooks.– Download 5 books a month for free. (Best for Non-fiction.)
Alternatively, you can go the non-fiction way and learn more about your current course. Book boon has 1000+ free textbooks across multi-discipline studies for students.
6) Consider learning a new language (Free)
Oh yes. If you are anything like curious, you’ll want to start learning a new language. With much time on your hands, you can study a new language in both the oral and written word.
Duolingo has a free plan that lets you learn a new language, from Spanish to French among many more.
People who get fluent in foreign languages can work as translators online. Plus, when you are aiming to work in an international company, a foreign language will look superb on your resume.
7) Work on what you have been postponing.
Let’s be honest. There’s always that one dreaded task you can’t seem to find the energy for. The task can range from your class notes to an area in life that you never found inspiration for.
In case you are dealing with multiple postponed projects, create short mini-goals that are workable. Set definite times and detailed descriptions of what you should be doing. Short goals help you to focus, avert procrastination, and actually get down to the very task you dreaded for the longest time.
So yeah, start working and check off your postponed task.
8) Make an impossible list.
I learned of this list from Thomas Frank. Instead of the normal bucket list, an impossible list enables you to create lists that challenge you and help overcome your fears. (Put simply. It gets you into action.)
Here is how his list looks like for inspiration.
9) Catch up with old friends and family.
Chances are, there’s that one friend or family member you’ve not seen since forever. And now is the perfect time to catch up, see how they are doing and how life is treating them. I know that we live in a society that doesn’t care much of the people or things of the past, but you never know.. You might end up being someone’s saving grace.
10) Learn how to cook.
If you’ve never stood before a pot stirring stew, you seriously need to consider it. Cooking is an art, an essential that can help show off your creativity and even save your life. Literally.
Plus, cooking is fun, creative, and easy to use.
These Instagram chefs have cool Kenyan recipes you should be trying.
11) Record a daily journal.
How many times in a month do you look at inner you? Trying to explore your thought process, your emotions, and your dreams. A journal is different from a ME project in that, you journal every day while a ME project may be done in intervals of every few months.
For the Pen and paper kind, you could go with a good lock diary. Or you could opt for a diary app. I normally write my journals on Diary with lock. It looks a bit girly, but that should not stop you from journaling.
Most people believe that journaling is for the female gender only. But no, it works for the male gender and the benefits of journaling span across both genders.
12) Go Marie Kondo Method on your space.
Cluttered work and living spaces decrease your productivity and increase frustration. You may think it’s hard but you do need to let go of the stuff that you don’t need anymore. Just take a few hours from your day and start clearing and decluttering all the stuff (Stationery, old notebooks, clothing, and kitchen items) that you don’t need use.
A free from clutter space. More empowered you that gets things done.
Productive educational activities.
13) Catch up on your studies.
For many Kenya university students, online learning is only a faraway dream because their universities have not set up the needed systems to do so. None the less, this does not mean that we bid goodbye to our studies, close those books and stuff them somewhere far and in the dark.
You can be productive during lockdown by updating your notes with the latest research, work on mock test samples, improve your knowledge in certain subjects, or create swipe files for your notes on an online tool.
Check out Khan Academy and Open Culture for in-depth lessons of a subject of your choice.
14) Ace your resume writing capabilities.
Whether you admit it or not, at one point in life, you will need to submit some type of resume. And woe to those who don’t know how to craft a great detail-oriented resume.
Every recruiter will need some form of paper or digital format that shows your skills, experience, and values if they are to work with you. This is the time to perfect your resume writing skills, learn the essentials to include, and how to format it right.
Creatives can opt to create a portfolio instead.
15) Learn the trends and latest software in your industry.
Every industry is changing in one way or the other. The statistics alter and the latest technology will affect your work. The people that remain relevant in any career are the ones who adapt to the right changes and become experts with the right skill-sets.
For example, I’m a project Management Student currently in 3rd year. So one of my main goals should be looking out for the trends in project management and learning the emerging software and technology applied in PM.
How to learn about the latest industry trends in your niche.
- Connect with influencers and thought leaders in your specific niche.
- Follow and subscribe to top websites in your industry.
- Join relevant groups that discuss the latest technologies and trends in your career.
- Use Google trends to discover something new and relevant.
16) Find and learn from a mentor.
This one is not easy. Today, everyone is busy getting to their goals and achieving their dreams. However, there are still people out there who are willing to mentor and take you under their wing. (As long as you take the right approach.)
The best way to connect with a mentor is through social media. (LinkedIn particularly.) You could also try using a cold outreach email.
Jeff Goins has a cool post on how to connect and reach out to a mentor.
17) Take an online course related to your career.
An online course will boost your credibility to future employers and equip you with the right skills for your dream job. Websites like Coursera, Codecademy, Edx, and Khan Academy have both free and paid courses you can take online.
This is our list of top online learning platforms for 2020 that allow you to focus on productive activities and lessons.
Productive career activities that will prove fruitful in the future.
18) Join a virtual career-related conference.
What’s better than sitting and learning or participating in discussions with industry thought leaders? A virtual web-conference lets you do just that. While most are paid, you can find free web-conferences that are free and highly beneficial.
Here are two free web-conferences you can join for free and learn lots of relevant information.
Data science enthusiasts.– June 20th at 7.30 pm to June 22nd at 4.30 PM EAT
For ambitious African students. – July 23rd at 10.00 AM to July 25th at 10.00 PM EAT.
Remember to save the dates on your Google calendar and set up a custom reminder.
19) Apply to online volunteer positions.
Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, most non-profit organizations in Kenya are looking for volunteers to fulfill one task or the other. You will help people in your community and chances are, you will receive a good recommendation the next time you apply for a job.
UN has lots of volunteer opportunities on their website that you could try out.(Talk of productive activities that allow you to serve humanity)
20) Submit your CV to interview applications.
What’s the worst that could happen?
You are rejected.
You learn how not to submit an application or what more to include.
You are accepted for the job.
Nothing more, nothing less.
21) Start your own side hustle.
The list of side-hustle ideas you can try out is endless. What you need most is a well-researched business plan to identify a profitable market, an enthusiastic and determined spirit, and most of all, courage to form new beneficial connections that’ll propel your business forward.
Among the discussed productive activities, starting your own side-hustle is the one that’ll help you generate an income.
Alternatively, you can start with an online side-hustle and move from there.
22) Form an online group.
Technology has made forming your online groups much easier. Using forums like Quora and Reddit, you can form an online group of your choice in relation to your career or hobby. You’ll meet new interesting people that may share the same passions as you while learning and gaining new skills.
It’s free to form groups on both platforms. Plus, it’s a good exercise for shy introverts who are not social.
Lockdown does not necessarily mean staying idle all through and leaving your mind to waste. It’s an opportunity to learn something new and make the most of these productive activities we just discussed. If you’ve read this far, I hope you found something that tunes to your taste.
As promised. My personality type is in the comments below. I hope that you’ll take the personality test and let us know, where you fall under.