We have 21 days starting today, hopefully after which we will all get our normal life back. While the world is on a standstill and we are confined within the walls of our home, contributing to the country’s fight against COVID -19, here are five things you can do to spend this time more effectively.

Agreed that almost all of us are working from home. But we really are saving a lot of time from not having to commute to office. In addition to that, we also have the weekends – 2 full days at your disposal. So let us try to utilize this extra time to do something useful and learn a thing or two as we go.

Before we start discussing these five things, there is something we must all promise ourselves to follow – to not spend these precious few hours on binge-watching TV series, lazing around or over-sleeping. Trust me, if you do not monitor the time you spend on these carefully, all your extra time and potentially even your dedicated work hours might vanish without you even realizing it.

With this in mind, let’s jump into the five things that we all can work on for the next few weeks.

  1.       Read a book.

Lockdown or not, this should be a part of your daily routine anyway. Google says on average, successful people, irrespective of their domain, read around 50 -60 books per year. So developing the habit of reading every day is just the right thing to start working on.

If you are an avid reader like me, this is the right time to skim through your TBR list and meet your next favourite book. If you are not much of a reader then it’s time to explore and find that one book which will get you hooked to reading. As J. K. Rowling once said, “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”

Owing to the lockdown, Amazon and other e-commerce sites may not be able to deliver hard copies to you. But you always have Kindle e-books that are priced must lesser than the hard copies and can be read by downloading the Kindle app on your phone for free.

For book recommendations, please visit: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/70260533

  1.       Create something beautiful

There is nothing more soothing than Art. During these tough times of isolation and fear, art has come to our rescue in unimaginable ways. Books, TV series, music, movies – all of these have made our lives a little easier.

If you loved painting or singing during your school/college days and had to stop pursuing it as you grew up, this would be a great time to restart your hobbies.

Restart your hobbies and share your creation with the world via social media. Someone out there, in another part of the world, might just draw inspiration from your work, you never know.

  1.       Workout

Gyms, Zumba and yoga classes are all closed down for the next few weeks. Most of us (believe it or not) have loaded our kitchens with food worth days. We have a lot of time to laze around. Even during work hours, we are glued to our chairs for hours together. To sum it up, if we do not start acting now, 21 days later we are all going to come out with double chins, love handles and a lot of unnecessary fat to lose.

There are tons of videos online to help you build a quick 30 minutes workout routine that you can carry out in your living room or balcony. Build a simple 30 minutes work out video for yourself and set an alarm to carry it out without a miss for the next 21 days.

  1.       Learn something new

One thing we truly need to be thankful for (other than of course the privilege of having food on our plates, a roof over our heads and the option to WFH) is the Internet. While the internet can show you a hundred ways to spend your time on inessential things, there are another hundred ways you can use it to learn something new. Remember the creative writing course you always wanted to take? Or the course on communication skill development? Time to choose a course that you want to pursue either to build your resume or just for the fun of it. Head to Udemy, Coursera and similar sites and register for your choice of course. You will be surprised how many courses are available either for a reasonable amount or completely free.

  1.       Develop a new habit or end an old one.

It is believed that for most people it takes 21 days to form a new habit or end an old one. Small lifestyle changes like drinking a glass of warm water in the morning or reading for an hour before going to sleep can improve the quality of your life greatly. Set an alarm or make a journal entry every day to monitor this.

Above all, stay safe and contribute to the country’s fight against the virus by staying at home and avoiding crowded places. Step out only for buying essentials and in case of emergencies. Maintain the advised one-metre distance from other people while in public.

Together let us work for the safety of our country and its people.

Jai Hind!