How about finding some fruitful ways, to utilise the lockdown period? So much information is being passed around daily on the coronavirus pandemic. And it seems we are all caught up trying to find out the latest every second. That’s all well and good. But here are some ideas to make your sit-at-home time more productive.
Read, study the bible and memorise scriptures
I bet there are a number of bible narratives you’ve never read yourself and most likely some books of the Bible you’ve never opened. Now, you have some time to read Jonah, Ezekiel, Nahum, Esther, Nehemiah and the likes. You will surely find it worthwhile. You probably have never had time to look closely at some things in the bible that pique your interest. Now is the time to study bible characters like Joseph, David and others; as well as bible topics like forgiveness, parenting, marriage and so on. You’ll be better off. I’ll probably be right, if i say you can’t remember the last time you deliberately sat to memorise a scripture. No excuses now. You can memorise at least one a day during this sit-at-home.
Teach someone something and learn something
Is there anyone around you that you can impart some knowledge to? Please don’t hesitate. Apart from blessing someone, you’ll be retaining the knowledge more robustly. There is always something old or new to learn. And this is a good time to add to yourself. Can you use Microsoft word, excel or power point? You can learn it; or any other relevant skill you are interested in. Remember, that progress in the world we live in now, is tied more to the skills you have or know. I know people who have lost jobs because they can’t type on the computer. And I know people who are getting daily bread from Photoshop they learnt casually during a small break like this. It’s up to you, find out what you can learn that will boost your market value.
Watch inspiring movies or documentaries; read great biographies
Not all movies are good for you. Some do you more harm than you can think of. While it’s a good time to watch movies make sure they add some value to you. Personally, I like true-life story movies, Christian movies, and real historical movies because I get a lot of value for my 2 hours or so. Highly informative documentaries help you to broaden your knowledge and mental capacity. It’s one of the many simple ways to pull up your intelligence. And that, obviously makes you a better person.
One thing reading biographies helps you to do is to know that mere mortals like you and I are making meaning out of life and you can do so too regardless of your circumstances. In distressing times like this, real stories like that can have refreshing and motivating effects.
Revisit abandoned projects
For many of us, there are things we’ve set out to do that have been crawling or totally abandoned. No thanks to the insufficiency of time occasioned by the distractions and pressures of daily life. Now, you have a breathing space. Pick up those files and dust them. Get back to work on your website. Return to that business plan you stopped writing. Whatever valuable task you’ve left untouched for a while now, as long as the lockdown allows you time and space to act on it, dive back in!
Worship deeply; get Holy Spirit baptism
Yes, there are no keyboards or guitars in your house. But, who said you needed that to worship? Make out time to worship God deeply and sincerely; after all you are not hurrying anywhere. Tarry, and see how God pours Himself on you. You’ve been longing for the baptism of the Holy Spirit for a while but for one reason or the other, you haven’t gotten it. God has answered your prayer now. Lock yourself in the room and seek it. Luke 11:13 says, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” There are people I have encouraged to get the baptism this way and they have. All God needs is your eagerness. That’s all.
Pray through about an issue; observe a fast, speak in tongues freely
Is there an issue that’s been bothering you so badly, but you haven’t had time to thrash it out with God? Here’s the opportunity you’ve been looking for. Don’t let it slip.
Let me guess, all the fasts you’ve observed in your life were congregational. So, when will you have a personal fast? Now is the time to get ahead of yourself and break the record.
If you speak in tongues, boy, this is a good time to blast freely. Remember, “A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally in the Lord” (1 Cor 14:4) The benefits of speaking in tongues are unquantifiable. No wonder apostle Paul indulged in it a lot and remarked to the Corinthian Christians, “I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all” (1 Cor 14:18)
Compose a song or write an article
Are you there, beautiful singer? Musicians, where are you? Here is the chance you’ve been looking for to write a song. Have you been working on one? Or you want to hone your songwriting skills? You can trust the Holy Spirit this time, to download a tune from heaven.
Writers, over to you. You have been struggling with writer’s block for only God knows how long. Break that layoff now and put pen to paper. There’s sufficient time now to brainstorm, dump, draft and re-write.
Enjoy decent comedy, play intelligent games
Nowadays comedy has proliferated. But you must be choosy too. Some are simply vulgar, lousy and unedifying. A cheerful heart, scriptures say, is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22). So, comedy is beneficial for you to have some good laugh, but it has to be sensible.
Psychologists recommend that mind-building games like chess, puzzles and other mentally-tasking games are good for our intellect. If you are not one who is into games ordinarily, you can try your hands on some engaging ones this period.
Read a profitable book, write a book, do some research
Like movies, not all books are good for you. Personally, I like self-help, inspirational, christian-themed and enlightening books. And I think you should check one of them this period. You could get a book on a specific area of life maybe emotional intelligence, business, prayer etc and grow yourself through it.
You don’t have to be a writer to publish a book. All you need is to have good knowledge about something that will benefit others and is sufficient enough to fill a number of pages. Since you have time during this lockdown, why not brainstorm and write. It could be as simple as an e-book!
We all have questions we seek answers to even if we are not all scientists. How about taking out this time to carefully research about it? Afterwards, you’ll surely be glad you did. And that will be sheer understatement, if you strike a goldmine.
Polish your CV and do underground job hunting
If you are a job seeker, now is a good time for you to network and alert people of your need for a job. Use Facebook and Twitter well. Explore your personal network. Chat up church folks. Sign up on job sites. Submit online applications to company websites. Before you know it, your prayer will become a reality.
Maybe your CV is stale and outdated and you’ve not been able to review it. It may even be the reason no one has invited you for an interview lately in spite of your efforts. Take time out to polish it. Find samples from people you know, or from LinkedIn and the internet and write a brilliant one.
Brainstorm a business idea, re-strategise your business
Perhaps you are in between jobs, who said you must be employed before you make a living? Try to reflect on business ideas. Pray too. God may have a multi-million dollar business idea for you. And now may just be the perfect time to download it.
Perhaps, you already have a business. Why not use this time to review the progress and re-strategise or even think of diversifying. And once the compulsory holiday is over, you launch out!
Take an online course; improve on an area of your job
Let’s say you are completely free during this period. Why not boost your skills and certifications? Low on cash, right? I get you. How about free courses? I know Alison offers that. There’ll be a lot of others too on the internet. Check them out.
If you’re working from home, truth is you won’t be actually doing so much. Why not take the time to attack a deficiency you’ve noticed on your performance at your job? You’ll never know what that will mean for you. Here’s the gist: make progress an obsession.
Review your life’s goals
“Teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom” is a scripture we all know. But, to apply our hearts to wisdom, we need to learn to review our personal progress. Do not make the mistake of measuring your progress by looking at others but at your own goals. Take time to reflect and pray. If you need to quit something, decide. If you need to start something, decide too. Then, once the lockdown is over, you unleash.
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Finally, in all you do, stay safe and keep interceding.
By Ogaga Eruteya
Ogaga Eruteya is a Nigerian ordained pastor, poet, inspirational speaker and a scientist by profession. He was born and raised in Oyo – a historically significant Yoruba town – to Isoko parents. His name Ogaga Oghene means God’s power and he has been a true testament to this, having witnessed interventions that could only be divine on a number of dire occasions. He figured he needed to take writing seriously when he noticed that he had a plethora of scribbles and snippets all over his phones, notepads, and fragments of paper. He lives and serves God in Lagos. Read his amazing works here: www.faithandliving.com