The past year has been pretty tough for the majority of us. The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has wrought all sorts of changes in our day-to-day lives that many of us are still getting used to. Some of us are struggling financially. Some of us are experiencing loneliness. Some of us are seeing our health impacted. Now, spending most days inside our homes, only leaving to get food or medicine, can be wearing. So, you may be looking for some ways to stay positive and productive right now. Here are a few that could help you along the way!
Generating Some Money
One way to be productive right now is to help yourself out financially. The pandemic has resulted in a lot of people losing their jobs. Social distancing and social isolation measures have rendered many businesses and even industries unable to operate, resulting in mass company collapse. On top of this, many companies have had to make staff redundant, or offer reduced working hours or lower salaries.
If you have found yourself in any of these positions, one of the most productive things you can do right now is to ensure that you keep financially afloat and avoid sinking into debt. Here are some steps that you could consider taking to achieve this!
Sell Old or Unwanted Belongings
If you just need a little money to tide yourself over until payday, you may want to consider selling old or unwanted belongings. Most of us have a lot of items that we don’t use or that we don’t even particularly want anymore. If any of these are of value, why not consider advertising them online. Popular sites include eBay, Etsy, Depop, and Shpock. This could help to get money together quickly.
If you have lost your work entirely, or if you are experiencing reduced working hours and have some extra time available, freelancing could be a good option for you in regards to getting some money in until you find another job or your hours are increased again. Now, most of us have only ever worked in employed jobs due to the benefits that come hand in hand with employed positions.
You get annual leave, sick pay, parental leave, compassionate leave, and other perks. But for now, freelancing could be a good bridge to ensure that you keep enough money coming in. Of course, with most of us only having employed experience, the majority are relatively unfamiliar with freelancing and don’t know how to get started in the field. Let’s start out by understanding what freelancing actually is.
When you are a freelancer, you work for yourself. You are your own boss and you offer your services to others who require temporary work or one-off projects. You will advertise your services (likely online) and when potential clients get in touch with you, you can create an agreement with them that will conclude what services you will provide them with and what they will pay you for the work.
Once you have completed the work, you will then have to learn how to send an invoice to be paid for your services. The transaction will be complete and you can move on to the next client. A great thing about freelancing is that it does come hand in hand with a whole lot of freedom.
You get to choose who you work for, you get to choose what projects you accept, you have full control over your rate of pay and you can (perhaps most beneficially right now) likely work from home rather than in an office environment or other commercial premises. As a moneymaker on the side, it’s generally pretty positive and profitable. Now, if this is a path that you decide to take, you do need to follow the steps below to ensure that you comply with the law while you are freelancing:
- Register as self-employed – if you are going to be working for yourself, you do need to register as self-employed to let the government know that you are operating independently and to ensure that you can file your taxes and other essential contributions at the end of the fiscal year.
- Put your taxes and contributions aside – each time you are paid for an invoice, make sure to deduct the necessary taxes and other contributions (such as national insurance) from the pay and put this aside in a savings pot to be able to pay everything required at the end of the tax year.
Consider Key Worker Roles
If you’re out of work and want to get back into work, but the field you have experience in has no demand, you may want to consider taking on a key worker role. Sure, these roles may be hard work, but you can rest assured that you’re helping others during these hard times and you will secure yourself a guaranteed income. A large number of supermarkets are hiring staff to stack shelves and operate checkouts. Farmers are looking for people to pick their fruit. Various other essential positions are open. Just browse job boards and see what’s on offer.
Picking Up a Hobby
Besides financial concerns, another burden facing many of us is sheer boredom. We’ve run out of things to do and our main social activities and hobbies prior to the pandemic tended to be outdoors and in close proximity to other people. The good news is that there are plenty of hobbies that can be carried out indoors that you might like to try out. They can keep you occupied and can keep a smile on your face, so here are some to take into consideration.
Arts and Crafts
When we think of arts and crafts, we tend to think of children’s activities. Potato prints, finger painting, glitter and glue, and more. But arts and crafts can be whatever you want it to be. There are so many different mediums out there that there’s bound to be one that will appeal to you if you’re the creative type.
Some of the most popular options tend to include painting, knitting, embroidery, mindfulness coloring books, crochet, weaving, papercraft, woodcraft, pottery, mosaics, and much more. The list really does go on and on. Search online for what you need to carry out the crafts, order online, and then follow some tutorials. You’re bound to create something beautiful in next to no time!
Baking has been one of the most popular hobbies picked up this pandemic – sometimes to the point that bakery aisles in supermarkets and grocery stores have been void of baking essentials such as flour, baking powder, and edible decorative items. Chances are you’ve been doing a lot more cooking as it is this pandemic, as we haven’t had the option to dine out for months now. But the kitchen doesn’t have to be solely used for making your main meals. Baking can be carried out there too! The good thing about baking is that it’s a simple activity that provides you with something delicious to eat at the end. You can use premade mixes or you can try baking from scratch. Whatever you choose, just make sure that you have a good recipe and the right ingredients and equipment and you should be good to go!
Learning a Language
Many of us dream of speaking a second or third language. So why not use the free time you have on your hands now to give it a go? There’s plenty of online language learning software, as well as language learning apps, that you can try out to get to grips with the basics. Some popular options include Rosetta Stone, DuoLingo, and Babbel. If you want a more interactive and personalized experience, many language schools and language tutors are now offering online language lessons through video calls that you might like to give a try.
Getting Sufficient Exercise
It’s generally recommended that the average adult gets one hundred and fifty minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week. The pandemic has changed how we get this exercise though. The pandemic has resulted in many of our usual forms of exercise being made unavailable to us – whether that was going to the gym, attending personal training sessions, heading to fitness classes, or joining sports clubs. With many of these facilities now closed, many of us are failing to reach our recommended exercise goals.
The good news is that there are alternative options that you can try out. Walking, jogging, running, or cycling in your local area (while keeping a two-meter distance from others) is a good place to start. Alternatively, you can try out home workouts. There are plenty of tutorials online that will guide you through the steps!
As you can see, we may be confined to our houses, but there are still plenty of different ways to stay productive right now. Hopefully, some of the above information has provided you with inspiration and some guiding steps to help you along the way!