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When you have extra time, do you find it hard to find ways to be productive?
I think we all suddenly have a lot of extra time on our hands and have no idea what to do with it all. Being stuck inside doesn’t have to be boring, and there are so many great ways to fill your time and be productive while you’re at it.
I’m sharing my favorite ways to be productive for when you’re stuck at home.
This is the best way to spend some extra time, in my opinion. I noticed a HUGE difference in my mood, stress, anxiety and general health when I starting meditating regularly.
Not only is meditation good for mental health, but it can improve your mood, reduce anxiety and stress and help you sleep better! Meditation can be a great tool for anyone who can’t seem to turn their mind off and just relax.
Honestly, I think meditation is something EVERYONE should do.
Exercise is a great way to be productive and get in shape! It’s a great way to relieve stress and it will also help you sleep better and feel better.
You don’t have to do an hour long zumba class or a 45 minute spin class, either! I love to do a nice yoga routine before bed or a quick 10 minute pilates session when I just have a few minutes.
But you can do whatever exercise you love! The point is to do something you enjoy and the benefits will come.
Do Some Spring Cleaning
You know that wonderful feeling after you declutter a room? So satisfying. So, when you have extra time, a great way to spend it is to clean and declutter. You’ll be amazed at how awesome you feel when you’re done.
My goal lately has been to clean out my closet and I’ve been selling everything on Poshmark! I’m getting rid of a lot of stuff I don’t wear anymore and making money in the process. It’s a win-win!
Sometimes people find cleaning overwhelming and that’s why they don’t do it- because they don’t know where to start. I’ve been there. The best thing to do is start small. Don’t think you can tackle your whole house in a day. Or even a whole room.
Just pick one thing you want to do. Go through your pots and pans and get rid of any you don’t use. Or, clean the baseboards in the laundry room. Then after you’ve accomplished that, you’ll realize how easy it was and you can move on to the next thing on your list.
Learn Something New
One thing I miss about school is learning. It’s nerdy, I know. So, one thing that I like to do during my free time is read a lot of scientific literature. This way, I’m still learning, but at my own pace.
I think it’s important to never stop learning, and, let’s face it, I learn something new everyday!
Want to learn a new language? Duolingo is great! I’ve used it for years and it really came in handy when I was brushing up on my French before a recent trip to Paris.
Coursera is also a great way to learn. They offer a ton of online programs from different universities, plus, they have a wide range of different topics you can learn about. Coursera is especially great because you can put these certificates on your resume!
Read A Book
As you can probably tell, I am a huge book worm! Reading is one of my favorite activities to help me unwind after each day. For me, reading allows me to dive into a fantasy, so to speak, and let my mind relax and not worry about the present or what’s going on in my life.
I can get so wrapped up into a book that I spend hours reading and stay up way too late!
I tend to stick with more fiction, mystery and thriller books. But, you can read whatever you enjoy. I’ve got a Pinterest board full of great recommendations, if you need some new books to read.
Meal planning is such a great, and underrated tool! I plan out my meals for the week each Sunday and it saves me so much time and frustration.
Meal planning can be used for so many different things. On a strict budget? Meal planning it great for sticking to it. Maybe you’ve started a new diet? Making a meal plan will keep you accountable and on track each day. Are your workweek’s hectic and you end up getting takeout everyday? Use a meal plan to plan meal that work for your schedule.
You can read more about meal planning and how I use it to stay on track.
Plan Your Week
Keeping track of each little thing you need to do throughout the week can be overwhelming. It’s easy to forget things and get sidetracked if you don’t make yourself a plan.
These planners are what I used all throughout college, and are honestly the reason I sit here today as an alum. No kidding. And I still to this day use them! Planners are a LIFESAVER.
If you find that there’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done, then you need a planner. It will change your life.
You can keep track of all of your meetings, bills, appointments, errands and anything else you need to keep track of.
I prefer to do my weekly planning on Sunday’s when I do my meal planning. I will usually plan out my week and then plan my meals accordingly.
Isn’t it crazy how much stuff we accumulate in such a short amount of time? Chances are you have a lot of stuff lying around your house that you don’t use and is just sitting there collecting dust.
I’ve started decluttering my bedroom and I’m amazed at the difference already!
It seems like a very daunting task, but if you just start small, I promise it won’t seem as bad. Just start with one room at a time. Or even just a corner of a room!
Your space will feel bigger and you’ll feel so accomplished afterwards. It’s a great feeling and you’ll definitely want to keep going and declutter even more.
This is one of the best ways to be productive and you’ll get rid of so much junk in the process!
Journaling is a great way to reflect on your day and your feelings. It’s also a great way to release your stress, worries and racing thoughts.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, write down what you are worried about and what you are thinking. This will allow you to let go of those stresses and worries to help you relax.
People really need to pamper themselves more. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either! Although, if you want to splurge a little on a massage or facial, I say go for it!
Take a long, relaxing bath, give yourself an at-home facial, light your favorite candle and read a book, do a hair treatment or mask, make yourself a sugar scrub to exfoliate your skin.
There are so many more ways you can pamper yourself right at home! You can check out my self care ideas for more inspiration.
Are there things you want to update around your house? Or maybe there are some crafts you’ve been wanting to try. Don’t get my wrong, I’m definitely not very handy when it comes to DIY or home projects, but I usually stick to easier projects like transforming a piece of furniture with paint.
Now’s a great time to do that upgrading you’ve been putting off. It’s one of my favorite ways to be productive! DIY projects can be so fun and fill up a lot of your time, depending on the project.
When you finally accomplish that project, you will feel so proud of yourself and will want to try even more out!
I’ve got a great DIY Home Projects Pinterest Board for inspiration.
Make A Budget
No, this is not the most fun way to spend your time, but it’s so important! Budget’s don’t have to be complicated, either. There are SO many great personal finance apps out there to help you do this and it will only take a few minutes.
I definitely recommend doing this if you’re searching for ways to be productive during this time.
Yes, it seems overwhelming and impossible, but I promise you, it’s worth a few minutes to do. Budgeting is one of the best things you can do for your future. Once you make your budget, you’ll see how much more money you can put into savings or retirement.
Start A Side Gig
Do you have a hobby that you love and are great at? Start selling it! Maybe you’re a great painter? Start selling your artwork! Do you love to bake? Start selling cakes, pies, cookies, etc.
Whether you have computer skills, a designers eye or crafting expert, there are so many opportunities out there to make money off of something you love to do.
You can spend your time doing something you love, and a little extra money in the bank is a great bonus!
Get A Hobby
Have you always wanted to learn how to sew or crochet? I’ve always dreamed of making one of those fuzzy, chunky knit blankets.
If you’re more artistic, maybe you could start drawing or painting. Love to write? Start a book or short story, and maybe you could end up selling it!
Start a garden, or grow some vegetables and fruits this summer. The opportunities are endless here! Just find something you love to do.
Update Your Resume
Your resume should always be a working document and you never know when you might need yours updated. Making sure your resume is up to date is one of the best ways to make sure you’re ahead of the game in case you ever find yourself in a job search.
Even if you aren’t necessarily looking for a new job right now, you never know when your dream opportunity might pop up!
It’s good to updated it a few times a year with any new promotions, projects and responsibilities.
Updating your resume really just takes a few minutes. It’s very simple as long as you’ve got a great draft to begin with.
Being stuck at home is a great excuse to be lazy and binge watch Netflix all day, but it’s also a great (and rare) opportunity to find ways to be productive! You can get so much done with all that extra time and still be able to watch some Netflix.
I’ve been able to check so much off of my to-do list and it makes me feel so productive and accomplished at the end of the day.
What are your favorite ways to be productive?