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During this period of self-isolation and social distancing, you may or may not find yourself with more time on your hands. For me, I personally see it as an opportunity to knock off some tasks on my never-ending to-do list. I’m that person who likes to learn about digital skills, be productive and get really excited when they learn something new/figure something out. Surely, there are some of you who can relate.
Here’s what I’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks
- Binge-watching and binge listening
- Video chatting with people
- Attending online webinars/events
- Working on my social enterprise business that I co-founded
I’ll be honest, I haven’t set aside time to work through any online courses (I have a couple that are a few years old that I’m still poking away at), but I may add that to the mix in the near future.
The pandemic is affecting us all – physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. When it affects you financially, it can also potentially wreak havoc on the other three.
While many people are working from home and saving money by not commuting and buying coffee, lunches, etc the harsh reality is that many people are out of work and may not have work or a business to return to once things go back to “normal” (On the bright side though, the Canadian government has created many initiatives to help ease the financial burden).
To be honest, I think this pandemic will have created a new normal – in the way we work, do business with each other and interact with each other. It may have us re-thinking our current job situation or have us thinking about launching a new business.
I had already mentioned leveraging the power of technology to stay connected with friends and family. This article by Amber Mac lists the various options for video conferencing software, aside from Zoom. I can’t tell you how happy I was when I taught my mom over the phone how to use Facebook Messenger Video Chat.
While it is important to stay informed about what’s going on with COVID-19 because the updates are frequent, it’s equally as important to limit the amount of information you consume and that you are consuming them from reliable resources.
To help maintain some level of calm and keep the stress levels at bay, try and fill your time with things that are productive or creative.
I believe that now is a good time to learn or refine an existing skill. Many online courses are being offered for free or at a significant discount, which I suggest taking advantage of.
What You Can Learn
Start A Blog – If writing is more your thing, then why not start a blog. I started a blog back in 2012 and while I am not a full-time blogger, it has led to many connections, opportunities and accomplishments. Which is why I am a big advocate for starting that passion project or side hustle.
You will quickly learn that blogging is not just about the writing and will learn the basics of things such as
Social Media Strategy
Start A Podcast – People need content to listen to and if you’ve been putting it off (I put off my podcast for 4 years and finally launched in 2019) now is a good time to start one! There are a ridiculous amount of blog posts, ebooks, videos and courses on how to start a podcast.
Launch Your Own Online Course – Think you don’t have any skills worth teaching? Think again. You’d be surprised at the variety of courses out there. Everything ranging from calligraphy to productivity to mindfulness. There are even courses on HOW to create online courses. You’ll gain skills in planning an online course, supplementary learning material if applicable (it’s always good to have checklists, worksheets, charts, to help reinforce the subject) and how to create videos.
Launch An E-Commerce Site – To help businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak, Shopify is offering an extended 90-day free trial. This guest post shares some additional tips on using Shopify.
Simple graphic design – Canva. This tool can also be used to create your online course documents.
Or you can level up and learn how to use the software from the Adobe Creative Cloud (Illustrator, Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere, etc.).
How To Code – As more and businesses are created, there is an ever-growing demand in this field and the type of occupation where you can work from anywhere if that’s what you’re looking for. Not only that, more established companies are looking for ways to digitally transform their existing businesses to stay relevant and competitive.
Platforms to Launch Your Course:
Skillshare – (Side note: I have only one class here and it’s not because of the platform, but it’s more of me not making a priority setting aside time to work on another course)
Where Can I Find Courses or Resources on How To Learn These Things?
LinkedInLearning – The platform has made some courses available for free that have to do with staying productive, building online relationships, online meeting tools and balancing work/family life while at home.
Things That You Can Learn/Refine That Are Business Related
Creating/Updating Your Business Plan
Creating A Pitch Deck (I created one for the first time a couple of weeks ago)
Team-Building and Leadership
Here is a list of additional things to learn/do when you experience a slow period in your business.
Some Tips For Online Learning/Starting Your Passion Project:
CREATE a plan on how you want to learn/attempt your passion project
SCHEDULE it (remember what gets scheduled, usually gets done!). Set aside some time each day/on specific days to work on it
FOCUS. To actually learn, understand and apply the concept, requires focus. Cut out the distractions (cell phone, social media, the twenty or so tabs open in your browser).
Small progress each day/week adds up to a large amount of progress.
There is always something new to learn. It’s important to learn “how to learn”. Knowledge is a powerful tool. Continuing education is how we stay relevant and competitive in today’s constantly evolving work landscape. More people will join the remote workforce and/or will consider entrepreneurship. The skills mentioned in this post are only just a small sampling of what you can learn during this time.
Thank you for sharing this article. For the last month, I’ve been wasting a lot of time, cooking, sleeping, scrolling news feed on social media, and so on. I’ve wanted to start a blog for long, now I’ll be on my way.