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7 Ways to Still Feel Productive During a Stay at Home Order

Like many of you, if I had been told even last month that I would be spending the rest of my spring semester online under a stay at home order with my six roommates, I would not have believed it. But alas, here we are. While this is not how I expected to spend my spring semester, I am lucky because I am healthy, and I am allowed to work from home and my loved ones are safe. The good news is that we are all in this together, and there are plenty of activities to make staying at home feel productive and less like a punishment and more like a reward—after all, I know myself and many others have been begging for a break for years.

Start a New Hobby

I actually really enjoyed my free time over my extended spring break from college by working on a new hobby. I have started making earrings out of polymer clay. It is really simple and cheap, and for everyone who knows me, they know how much I love big earrings, so it was the perfect fit! I recommend trying something new to make this unusual and even anxiety-inducing time feel more productive and educational.

Find a New Podcast

I have always been interested in true crime, but I have never had the chance to really take a look at documentaries or listen to podcasts. Now, like many people, I have plenty of time. I have been listening to the podcast, Crime Junkies, on Spotify, and it’s been an entertaining way to pass the time. I recommend everyone check out this podcast if you’re interested in true crime, and for everyone to check out podcasts in general. There is definitely one for every passion.

Spring Clean

Ah yes. Everyone’s favorite activity: cleaning. I actually like cleaning because it is a tangible way of feeling really productive. If you’ve already vacuumed and done your dishes, it’s incredible how fast they pile up living with six other people—consider tackling projects you’ve ignored like cleaning out the basement or organizing the pantry.

Start Cooking or Baking
Spoon Csu-Mixing Bowl Whisk
Brooke Buchan / Spoon

This is the best time to try out new recipes! I tried making bread the other day, and when I succeeded in making a delicious rosemary focaccia, I was delighted and could not stop talking about it—or posting about it. Getting back to our roots, especially food-wise, right now feels good, and I recommend everyone try out a new recipe. If anything, it will be a helpful new skill.


Okay, this is not exactly revolutionary but it’s necessary. While life may feel like it’s ending as we know it, that is not the case. The world is still turning, and life marches on, and your homework is still due. Getting it done and not procrastinating will feel far more productive in the meantime.


Minimalism, maximalism, bohemian, vintage, romantic, or hipster. Whatever style floats your boat, embrace it! This is the time to decorate your space to fit your needs. Plus, this can turn into a fun, time-consuming arts and crafts activity. Besides, you’re going to be spending a lot of time indoors. Might as well make it aesthetically pleasing.

Emily Janikowski, otherwise known as Em, can be found usually lurking in the depths of the Polsky building as a writing tutor, and when she isn't there, she is curled up in bed binge watching Law & Order SVU. Her passion lies in changing the world, and she hopes to accomplish this through majoring in social work.
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