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Now Reading: 11 Things To Do In Self-Isolation (That Beat Binge-Watching Netflix)

11 Things To Do In Self-Isolation (That Beat Binge-Watching Netflix)

For most of my adult life, I’ve been cultivating a special kind of to-do list. On it are things like “learn a language”, “take an economics class” and “drive a motorbike across the country.” If I had to give this list a name, it would be “Things I Will Probably Never Do, But Derive Pleasure From Thinking I Someday Might.”

But suddenly, I’m stuck at home with plenty of time on my hands. The the to-do list of things Sam would probably never do has become the to-do list of things that Sam could very foreseeably do over the next few weeks (minus the long-distance motorbiking).

Hopefully you’ve got a similar list, and you’ve already started on “learning every Disney movie song on recorder” or “training to do a one-handed press up.”  But if not, here are 11 things you can do in self-isolation (that beat binge-watching Netflix).

1. CREATE SOMETHING

If you love to draw, or write, or interpretive ribbon dance, but you always feel like you’ve never got time, now you do. Coronavirus is not the pandemic that this blog wants, but it’s the one that it needs. All of a sudden I’m stuck indoors and I’ve run out of just about every excuse that ever stopped me from writing.

So, I’m going to be taking my own advice, and I want you to as well. I want to see the weird and wonderful things that you make. There are going to be two types of people during this pandemic. Those who consume, consume, consume – and those who create. Be one of the latter.

2. PLAY BOARDGAMES

Let me tell you, if you’re self-isolating in a house with 3 or more people, you’re one of the lucky ones. As someone who travels extensively for work, I am thrilled to be getting some quality time at home with my new wife. But two people does not a great boardgame night make.

So, if you’ve got quorum for some solid boardgame action, make the most of it. Just steer clear of Pandemic. Way too real right now.

3. CELEBRATE A WEIRD HOLIDAY

Check out daysoftheyear.com to find out what to celebrate. I can promise you there will be something  that is equal parts fun and ridiculous. World Baking Day? Make some muffins with all that flour you’ve been hoarding. Hug Your Cat Day? Reasonably straightforward.

4. LEARN A NEW SKILL

For those who have been made unemployed by this crisis, jobs are probably going to be pretty hard to come by in the next few weeks. But you can still be productive by using the time to upskill. Learn to how to code, or speed-type, or actually use Microsoft Excel.

Even for those who still have work, it’s possible that what’s going to bring value to your business right now is going to be very different to what has brought value in the past. I’ve been wanting to learn more about videography for months, and all of a sudden, video content is a lot more important for the organisation I work for. Time to start learning.

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5. DRAW A TALLY OF DAYS ON THE WALL OF YOUR HOME LIKE IT’S A PRISON CELL

Unless it’s a rental. Then maybe just stick a piece of paper to the wall and draw a tally on that.

6. CHECK IN ON PEOPLE

Especially us extroverts – we’re not ok. But seriously, I’ve made and received more social phone calls in the last week than all of last year combined – and it’s been awesome.

Everyone is struggling with something right now. And while sharing that struggle might not change anything externally, it’s crazy how much it can improve our perspective. If you haven’t today, pick up your phone and check in on a family member or friend. We all need each other right now.

7. GET BIG ON SOCIAL MEDIA

If you’ve every wanted to acquire following on social media, you’re never going to find a better opportunity. Everyone is at home, checking their devices 24/7. They’re practically chomping at the bit for your home workout, baking tutorial, or TikTok choreography.

8. READ A BOOK

Not just any book. Read a book that there’s no way you would read in your normal day-to-day life. Dive into the pages of “Ulysses”, “War and Peace” or “The Brothers Karamazov.” Post a review on social media so that everyone knows your self-isolation is way more highbrow than theirs.

9. DOWNLOAD A GAME CALLED CASTLE CRASHERS ON YOUR LAPTOP AND PLAY IT WITH YOUR WIFE UNTIL YOUR FINGERS ARE TOO SORE TO CONTINUE

10/10 would recommend.

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10. PRAY

The hermits used to journey into the desert to find solitude and silence. Suddenly we’ve got those same things right here at home (as long as put our phones on do-not-disturb). God is waiting for us.

If you’ve never really carved out time in your day for prayer before, start small. Begin and end your day with prayer, and try to find at least 10 minutes somewhere in between. Read your Bible. Put on some worship music. Just sit and talk to God about everything going on right now.

11. SET SOME GOALS

This pandemic has presented no shortage of challenges, but it’s also an opportunity. You’re probably not going to have this much uninterrupted time at home again until you retire. So what are you going to do with it?

Take the time over the next day or two to set some goals. What new skill do you want to pursue? What are you going to create? How are you going to spend this quality time with your spouse, family or housemates?

COVID-19 has given us the first pause in our busy lives that we’ve had for a long, long time. Don’t waste it.



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4 People Replies to “11 Things To Do In Self-Isolation (That Beat Binge-Watching Netflix)”

  1. What a great list! Thinking I may try conquer War and Peace… even by saying that, I feel more prestigious!

    1. Thanks Cameron! At 1225 pages, it’s definitely a book you conquer rather than just read!

  2. Nick Cardone

    Fantastic ideas! And I had many laughs at some of the cheeky references you made. Thanks for making such a helpful article so enjoyable to read, at this challenging time.

    1. Thanks Nick! Glad I could give you a laugh in the midst of what is definitely a rough time for most people


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