(Note: This post was originally published in the spring of 2020, at the start of the pandemic. But the projects and ideas listed here can benefit your life at any time!)
In last week’s blog I covered 10 possible projects or ideas for making the most of your time at home during this crisis. I continue this week with 8 more ideas for you to consider. The key thing is to start as you mean to go on. Beware of slipping into a lazy holiday mode or you may find you lose all momentum to do anything. I’m making sure I do my key work projects first, while I am fresh, then take the afternoon off to do something with the kids –helping them with school work, baking something, prepping for dinner, doing some exercise, creating a photo book, tending to the garden.
1. Play the chore game.
I am finding it particularly helpful to have clear and specific domains for each family member (so one person is in charge of laundry, another shopping, another lawn care, another the pets); no criticism is allowed until the weekly check-in. Now could be the perfect time to create a fair division of labor in the household and get the kids involved and trained too. My neighbor thought she’d train her daughter to do the laundry and the first thing her daughter asked, “Is the laundry machine under the microwave?”
I highly recommend the book Fair Play by Eve Rodsky. She turns chore division into a weekly family game of cards so everyone gets to pick their cards/tasks for the week. I wrote about our success with her method here. What I like about it is that the person who takes the card/task owns it completely, freeing up your mental space. This has worked well in our house as the girls used to argue and nag each other about who was feeding and cleaning the chickens and the cat. Now one has responsibility for the chickens and the other the cat. This has dramatically reduced the arguments about who is doing what.
2. Plant flowers and vegetables in the garden.
We thought this would be a fun family project and a way to get the kids involved in gardening. If you don’t have a garden, you could get a window planter for herbs. I thought I might add a few fruit trees to the garden as well so that in the future we’ll have our own fresh fruit. They take a few years to establish so the earlier you plant, the better.
This might be the time to tackle some bigger gardening projects. Painting the garden fence, laying down a stone patio, building a water feature. Get your supplies in place so you can refresh your outdoor living spaces. We just picked up some paint for the outdoor metal table and chairs that are getting very rusty. Apparently, the DIY stores have been busy –we aren’t the only ones thinking about catching up on projects around the home.
3. Tidy the home office.
Go through all the old files and papers and shred them. Get your tax documents ready to go. Tidy your office supplies. Create an inspiring work space that motivates you to do your best work. Tackle the backlog. Delete old emails. Empty your inboxes.
4. Take a course online and learn something new.
I’m currently enrolled in Seth Godin’s class on podcasting as this is something I’ve been wanting to do for years. Now is a great time for self-reflection and personal growth. We have four video courses for personal growth and development available online.
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5. Do something fun and creative.
Start painting, quilting, knitting, gardening, writing. Years ago I bought fabric to make a quilt. This might be the time to teach the girls how to use that sewing machine gathering dust in the closet. And, one of my personal goals for the year was to sort out the dining room curtains. I also have my book to finish so no shortage of things to do around here. We will all need some fun and creative outlets at home so we don’t go crazy!
6. Do daily exercise at home.
We have some yoga videos, kettle-bells, a jump rope and exercise ball on hand and the Just Dance videos for the girls. That said, you don’t need any kit if you use the exercises in the excellent book, You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren. He shows you how to get into the best shape of your life all using your own body weight. Get up, do your exercise, meditate, and then get going on your day’s work. If you are lax in the beginning, treating this like a holiday break, it will be harder to get started a week later.
Put good healthy routines in place and stick to them like glue. We know from the research on habits that a daily habit is easier to stick to than exercising three times a week so do some daily exercise, take your vitamins and stay as healthy as possible to keep your immune system strong.
7. Learn to meditate.
It is very easy to get flustered and slip into panic mode in the face of a pandemic. However, panic doesn’t help, it makes things worse. Make sure you are taking deep breaths. Try yoga, meditation, tapping, whatever you can to stay calm and focused. Try headspace.com for a daily 10-minute meditation you can do at home to keep calm. Write down the things that you are worrying about in a journal so that you can get them out of your head and onto paper, clearing your mind. It is easier to be cool and objective when we can see our worries on paper.
8. Take the Clean Sweep Quiz online.
If you are stuck at home, you can use this time to get a better handle on modern day survival. In fact, our members have said that thanks to working on this Clean Sweep program, they are already in good shape to weather this crisis having a six-month cash reserve in place. This 100-point checklist covers four key areas: 1) Physical Environment; 2) Health and Well-being; 3) Money; and 4) Relationships. You can take this free life assessment here to see how well you are doing.
The Clean Sweep Program will give you a clear focus to work on over the coming months. Every point you get closer to 100 will give you more energy in your life and as a side bonus, you’ll discover that you’ll start effortlessly attracting the people and opportunities you want. Life gets easier the higher your score so well worth working on. This is a challenging program so don’t be discouraged if your initial score is on the low side.