10 ways to keep busy during lockdown

Our Head of Brand is currently homes-based and she shares with us her experience of how she’s keeping busy. Check out her ‘10 top ways to keep busy’ with free, online learning from updating your professional skills to the science of beer, DIY and dog CPR!

How are you finding working from home – are you bored?

Haha, that’s what most people think isn’t it? No, I’m not bored as I have two children and a husband at home (and two step kids every other weekend) so it’s quite busy around our house! I know my mums finding it difficult as she’s 80 and has been self-isolating for a number of weeks now. It’s hard knowing you can’t even give your mum a hug to make her feel better.

When we went into lockdown and were made to stay at home, it felt a bit like being on holiday and the good weather certainly helped. Like most other people in the same boat, I started cleaning out wardrobes and cupboards and painting the shed. My hubby is also working from home so in between times, he’s been cleaning and sealing the driveway paviers (awful job). But as reality set in, it became a bit harder to stay motivated; I’m sure we can all agree that some days are better than others, but we still know that we are very fortunate compared to many others.

Volunteering

  1. volunteering@ncic.nhs.uk

As the Covid-19 virus took hold, my son and I worked with our local signage company, Grafix Signs, to produce visors on our 3D printer and this felt like we were doing something positive. I’ve also volunteered to make hospital gowns. Early on, Genesis Homes contacted the Cumberland Infirmary to offer our help in raising money / contacting restaurants etc to feed NHS workers in Carlisle. The ‘meals for the NHS’ campaign uses local eateries to supply meals at night-time for NHS staff at a cost of £5 per head, keeping the NHS fed and local food businesses in work, but for various reasons, the Trust didn’t want to take this forward. Genesis Homes produced a ‘how to build a house’ colouring book that we have given out to schools and through our social media followers to keep children entertained. I’ve also given my ‘Felix the Fast Tractor’ children’s books to Penrith Morrison’s for free and in just over a week, 1,000 copies have been taken with donations given to the NHS. It feels good to try and help.

Online learning is the new ‘go to’

  1. com/learning
  2. udemy.com/

The main area of focus for me has been undertaking online learning and working on my CPD which is something I don’t normally have time to do, or indeed make time for. I’ve covered everything from content marketing to driving conversion (ie turning your visitors into buyers) and I’ve signed up for a free month’s trial on Linkedin learning as they seem to cover every topic known to man. I’ve completed the Google Analytics course which is fairly in-depth (hard going at times) but will certainly allow us to gather much more gritty, analytical information. I’ve made a list of courses I’d like to look at and the next one is SEO (search engine optimisation). I intend to look at some simple video techniques too. There’s a lot of content out there including lots on business tools, but, like my wine where I’m an ‘ABC’ (anything but Chardonnay), in terms of learning I’m definitely an ABE (anything but Excel) – that’s just a step too far for me, I’m sticking with the creative stuff!

I’ve signed up to start my marketing ‘Chartered’ status that takes two years; again, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had the time. I’ve looked at some Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) podcasts/courses and they’ve been good in terms of focused learning for my profession. I’m constantly being served online course messages via my inbox and social media (it’s good to see that my ‘preferences’ are being scrutinised and regularly targeted). There’s so much web content for e-learning that you can’t not find something relevant to you, even if you just want to learn something that isn’t job related.

I’m sure my new-found skills/knowledge will benefit the business when we get back to ‘normal’; whatever that is.

And a couple of (mostly free) fun courses!

  1. Maintaining and servicing home appliancesalison.com
  2. Introduction to plumbing alison.com
  3. Dog CPR/first aid udemy.com
  4. Passive income – top 10 legit ways to make money online udemy.com
  5. The science of beer edx.com
  6. The science of well-being coursera.org/
  7. Intro to mixology (cocktails) www.skillshare/browse/mixology