15 Useful Things to Do When You're Stuck at Home - The Simple Dollar

Read a book

It can be very tempting to fall into mindless entertainment. Instead, find one or two books that you've been meaning to read, and finally read them.

If you don't have anything at home, check out the website of your local library or other services that allow the electronic lending of books.


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15 Useful Things to Do When You're Stuck at Home - The Simple Dollar

15 Useful Things to Do When You're Stuck at Home - The Simple Dollar


Key Ideas

Stuck at home

Many people around the world are suddenly finding themselves stuck at home for a while, during the pandemic.

The temptation to just watch a lot of Netflix and chill out is tempting. Many will get bored quickly.

Work from home

If you are able to work from home, make a dedicated working area inside your home that is only used for work. You want a spot in your home that you begin to identify as the place where you work.

It helps if the spot can be isolated a little, by closing a door or through some other means.

Learn a new skill

Spend some of your time on a new professional skill. 

  • Identify a topic you can really study. Think about a skill that will help your career or about a new field/technology you need to understand better.
  • Use one of the endless resources for online learning.
  • Set a daily schedule of learning for yourself.
  • See if you can work on an actual project at home that uses that skill.

Set up a smart to-do system

Get a robust to-do system set up to manage all of the things you're doing while being at home.

  • To start, dump everything in your life you need to do now or some other time in your to-do app. It can take hours, so work through it over the course of the next days.
  • Anything from your to-do app that is a scheduled appointment gets added to your calendar.
  • Establish a daily habit of looking at the calendar and the to-do list first. Pick some items you need to do and mark them as a high priority.
  • Write down anything that you might want to do or follow up. Go through those notes and add them to your to-do list tool and your calendar.

Start an exercise routine

Bodyweight exercises are great to gently start bumping up your fitness level.

Commit to doing them for 10 minutes a day and try to get yourself a little sweaty and out of breath. The goal is to push your body a little and feel good afterward.

Establish a healthy sleep schedule

Getting adequate sleep - around seven to eight hours per night - sets the stage for better health, focus, engagement, and less stress.

Read a book

It can be very tempting to fall into mindless entertainment. Instead, find one or two books that you've been meaning to read, and finally read them.

If you don't have anything at home, check out the website of your local library or other services that allow the electronic lending of books.

Watch a movie or series

Being stuck at home could be a great time to watch some movies you've been putting off because you've been so busy.

Don't spend your time just channel surfing. Spend your screen time watching meaningful programming.

Make your phone less distracting

A smartphone is a powerful tool as well as a powerful distraction.

Use this time to focus on using your phone as a powerful tool and move away from what makes it a distraction.

Go through your bills

Look at your bank statements, credit card statements, and online payment account to identify every bill and recurring payment.

Ask yourself whether you need this bill or recurring expense at all. If you're not getting a lot of value from it, cancel that bill. You can always restore gym memberships or cable later on.

Build up your cooking skills

Being stuck at home is a good time to get more into preparing your own foods from scratch.

It can be quick meals that you know you'll like and could see yourself making on weeknights. The more you practice, the more efficient you get with both the preparation and cleanup of those meals.

Make meals in advance

Make a bunch of meals in advance and store them in the freezer.

Meals like casseroles, soups, and stews can be made almost entirely in advance and put in the freezer for easier thawing and heating at a later date when you get back to a more normal cycle.

Spend time with your children

If you have children, spend some good quality time together. Participate in activities that your child is excited about.

If your child likes to draw or color, get out paper and crayons and draw some pictures together. Or, read stories aloud to them, play Fortnite or learn to cook together. Whatever the activity, lean into it.

Do a deep clean

Choosing to isolate at home is a great opportunity to clean your home thoroughly and take stock of your possessions.

Go through all your possessions and decide which ones you can sell or give away. While you are busy, clean your home well. Get caught up on all your laundry. Do maintenance on your appliances and clean them thoroughly.



Remote work and children

Many working parents are facing working from home with kids and without access to babysitters, playdates, and even Grandma-dates that you might generally rely on.

It won't be smooth sailing ...

Get Creative With Your Schedule

If you have another adult home with you, consider a split schedule: At the beginning of each day, decide who will be the 'on point' parent. That person will work at the dining room table, feed the kids and suggest activities, while the other parent works in a different room.

One parent can also work before the children are awake, then you can stagger work times during the day, and the other parent can work when the children are in bed.

Be Up Front With Your Boss

Before you make adjustments to your work schedule in order to watch your children, talk to your boss or HR.

Let them know that your transition to home also means being responsible for your children. Create a schedule that you can share with your boss and assure them of your commitment to maintaining the level of excellence they expect.

If you clearly communicate your needs, you will decrease the level of stress and also open the door for coworkers to follow suit.

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It refers to the thousands of chemical reactions that turn what we eat and drink into fuel in every cell of the body. These reactions change in response to our environments and behaviors, an...

How The Body Uses Calories
  • Basal metabolism is the energy our body needs to keep our cells working and accounts for 65-80% of most adults' caloric consumption.
  • The thermic effect of food is the energy our body uses to process food and accounts for 10% of most adults' caloric consumption.
  • Physical activity accounts for 10 - 30 % of most people’s caloric consumption .
Controlling Your Own Weight

Not everyone overeats and becomes overweight, and not everyone who becomes overweight or obese develops illnesses like diabetes or heart disease. 

There was never a special diet, exercise regimen, or supplement that worked universally to control weight. Through trial and error, we have to discover habits and routines we can stick with that help us eat less and move more. 

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Save On Transport Without a Car
Save On Transport Without a Car

You’ll save far more if you don’t buy a car or sell it if you already own one but can go without it.

If you can use public transportation, you can save quite a bit of money on ...

Save On Transport While Keeping a Car

Carpool to work if you can to significantly reduce wear and tear on your car, save on gas, and take advantage of carpool lanes that might make it easier to get to work.

Check at least once a month to keep the tires on your vehicle properly inflated. Doing so can improve your gas mileage.

Save On Debts

Refinance your home or automobile at a lower rate to save money over the life of the loan and lower your monthly payment.

If your student loans are locked in at a high-interest rate, figure out whether it makes sense to consolidate all or some of them.

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