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Since coronavirus has spread across the world, countries have instituted various stages of lockdown and isolation, emptying our calendars and leaving many of us with an abundance of time.
This is the moment to take advantage of having no commute and a solid excuse to stay at home. With a ton of online resources available, picking up a new skill or improving on an old hobby has never been easier. And so here are some tips on how you can learn a new skill as well as fill out your day.
Learn a new language
There is no better time than now to strive to become multilingual. Apps like Duolingo and programs like Rosetta Stone have been around for some time now and has helped many that previously didn’t time for traditional classes, to pick up a new language.
Not only will a second language be useful when you travel, but it’s an excellent additional skill to add to your resume.
To supplement your courses, log in to your favorite streaming platform and seek out some foreign television shows and movies.
Watching something in its original language with, at first English subtitles, will help you learn the cadence of the language as well as idiomatic phrases and native pronunciations.
Once you’re fairly confident, turn off the subtitles and follow along using what you’ve learned, deciphering by context.
For more tips on making the most out of your efforts, check out this TED blog written by their own translators.
Develop your professional skills
Now is as good a time as any to hone your own professional skills or, if you’ve been thinking about branching out into a new field, pick up the necessary skills you need in that next job.
The online world is a gold mine of resources for developing professional skills. LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda), offers free courses that are easily navigated and tailored to your professional interests. As a bonus, completion of a course earns you a badge that gets displayed on your LinkedIn profile. Depending on how often you use LinkedIn, this might be just what you’re looking for.
You can also find free university-level classes from top schools like Harvard, Yale and MIT from online programs like Coursera and EdX. These programs allow you to watch actual university classes from Ivy League schools right from the comfort of your own home, for free.
Don’t forget, you can never overlook the power of reading when it comes to advancing your knowledge. With devices like Kindle and apps like Audible, you can have an entire bookstore at your fingertips without ever leaving your home.
Alternatively, there’s a huge selection of podcasts out there that are not only entertaining, but downright educational and informative – from business podcasts to self-help and personal development programs, you’re bound to find something.
Pick up a new hobby
Always wanted to play that guitar you have gathering dust in the corner? Or wish you knew more about knitting? Well, with sites like YouTube, you can find and learn just about anything these days.
If you want to pick up a new hobby, do some research! Read plenty of books and watch online tutorials to pick up the basics. There are plenty of coaches, teachers and online classes you can enroll in now that offer distance learning. Takelessons, for example, will connect you with online tutors and private classes. You can also search your local listings to see if you can arrange private Skype classes with an instructor until things get back to normal.
Or alternatively, jump on the baking bandwagon and try your hand at the perfect sourdough or macaroons.
Whatever you choose to pursue remember practice is key! You have to work at any skill to become great, so go ahead and order the yarn, watercolor paints or guitar capo you need to venture out on your new hobby.
And, just remember: you have the rest of your life to sit around so keep yourself busy and make the most of this lockdown period.
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