With everything going on right now, many of you will have been put on furlough, so you may be thinking, “what next?” With this being the perfect time for self-improvement, discover some ways to do that, right here…
Right now, everything is changing very suddenly and, as a society, we’re having to rapidly adapt to a new normal. This “new normal” – as people keep saying – may mean you’re spending most of your time at a loss for things to do.
That said, we are unlikely to ever get an opportunity like this again; free time to work on ourselves as much as we want. Why not use this unique opportunity to work on yourself in ways you never thought possible?
Whether you’re going through a redundancy settlement agreement, or you’ve been furloughed for the foreseeable future, your self-improvement plan starts here…
What is Furlough Leave?
Furlough is a temporary leave of absence, enforced by your employer during a time of economic crisis. The idea is that minimal damage to the business is caused, and employees slip back into employment when it’s blown over.
When on furlough, the government pays employees 80 percent of their usual wages. Their employer then has the opportunity to pay them the missing 20 percent or not.
Furloughed employees shouldn’t have anything to do with the business whilst on leave, so are not allowed to help out on the side-lines. However, they are able to seek other employment for the time being.
The Trend of Self Improvement
According to research, the self-improvement industry is predicted to grow to a whopping $13.2 billion by 2022. But what exactly is this movement?
Self-improvement is all about the idea of working on yourself. This can seem pretty destructive, and some say it fosters the idea that we’re never good enough. Naturally, this means it isn’t for everyone, and we must emphasize that there is no shame in using this time to relax and recuperate.
That said, if you’re someone who enjoys learning new things left, right, and center, then right now you have the opportunity to do just that! Fill your mind with new thoughts and ideas, and come out of this crazy time as a new you.
10 Ways to Self Improve During Furlough
Taking each day as it comes, with daily self-improvement, is a key method to wake up each morning with more of a purpose. So, for some self-improvement ideas to help you get back on the horse, read on…
First and foremost, reading is one of the best ways you can improve yourself every day. Through reading, you can enrich your mind with new points of view, fresh perspectives, new ideas, and a new language.
Non-fiction books all about inspiration and motivation could be a fantastic call. This way, you’re not just learning new grammar and vocabulary, you’re also picking up new ideas that you can take on into later life.
You could also start making a conscious effort to read up on your industry. This can be done via online blogs and articles, or even just scrolling through LinkedIn each day. Whatever it may be, soaking up knowledge is an amazing way to improve yourself.
Try Something New
This is a pretty broad point and could be anything that you wouldn’t normally have time to do. For example, why not start a blog about your furlough journey? Then, the foundations will be there to continue onwards when your furlough ends.
Some other ideas include getting the old bike out of the shed and giving it a go. Or, maybe you’ve always wanted to grow your own vegetables or start rearing chickens and ducks. You could even do something as crazy as learning a new language!
Whatever you’ve always wanted to do, but never got the chance to, is where you should begin.
Search for a New Job
Right now, there is no better time to start searching for a new job. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to branch out to something new, but never had the time to focus on applying for new roles?
Well, now you’re being paid to essentially do nothing, so why not make the most of this time and start applying! Start by refining your resume, and writing some cover letters, and make this your new day job. Who knows, you may come out of all of this with a job you truly love.
Start Your Own Business
Equally, you could use this time to start your very own business venture! One of the biggest things stopping people from doing this is money and time. If you quit your job to have the time, you end up with no income, and if you keep your job and work after hours, you end up with no time.
It’s a catch-22! So, while you’re being paid for your daily time, you could treat your new business as your 9 ‘til 5.
Boost Your Skills
The likelihood is, you’ve been furloughed because your skills aren’t as adaptable as others in the business. So, right now is the perfect time to update your skillset so you have more flexibility in the future.
Think about where you want to be in five years’ time, and which new skill may benefit your career, and work from there. Then, research some good training schemes, and get going. Who knows, if this training course will boost your abilities in the office, you may even be able to get it on expenses.
Challenge Your Brain
One of the greatest ways to improve yourself is by challenging your brain. You could do this in a number of ways, including:
- Working through a puzzle book;
- Starting that book you always wanted to write;
- Downloading some brain training apps and working through them;
- Or even getting your old books out and relearning some GCSE or A Level Mathematics.
Exercising your brain, like this, is what will keep your mind healthy for many years to come. In fact, studies show that cognitive training could even help stop the onset of brain deterioration, like Alzheimer’s or dementia. So, use this time to get your brain back to where it should be, and you can continue onwards after all this is over.
Be More Mindful
Mindfulness has almost become a trend in itself these days, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a useful method of self-improvement. Mindfulness is all about being engaged and present in your life, and some ways you could go about this include:
- Writing a gratitude list: this is a good place to start and consists of listing the small things you’re grateful for, every day. This could be something as little as the food in your fridge, or the size of your back garden. Right now, it really is the small things like this that make all the difference to our wellbeing.
- Meditating or yoga: these sorts of activities are perfect for helping you to connect with the inner workings of your body. There are loads of apps and videos online for this, so have a look around and choose the option for you.
- Focusing on food: one of the best ways to be mindful is to fully engage yourself in the process of eating. So, switch off from technology while you’re enjoying your meal, and you may even lose some weight along the way!
Try and Consume Positive Social Media
In most cases, you can turn off a lot of the negativity that comes from your social media through blocking certain people, or unfollowing negative accounts. If this means ignoring your phone altogether, then do just that!
Alternatively, you could use this time to engage more in social media. A great idea for this could be to start making useful connections within your field. Again, LinkedIn is the perfect place for this; try posting a new idea or thought, and ask people to engage with it, creating conversations along the way.
We’ve heard this one all before, but it really can help you in so many ways. Yes, exercising is a great way to get you out of the house or just off of the couch. But, it’s also a great method of boosting your energy for the day ahead.
Maintain a Routine
It can become easy to fall into a poor sleeping pattern, to eat badly, and to not get out of bed when you have nothing to get up for. So, one of the most important things to do throughout your furlough is to maintain a routine.
A great way to combat this is by writing a to-do list at the start of the day, and taking each task as it comes. This could be something as simple as cleaning the kitchen or cooking meals for the week. Whatever it may be, this will help you to get out of bed each morning, and reignite your purpose.
Ready to Self Improve?
Now you’ve been inspired by some new ways to spend your furloughed time, what are you waiting for? Now’s the time to do it!
Have you been put on furlough, and started doing things you never thought you’d get time for? Or, would you rather use this time to recuperate after years and years of hard work? Whichever you choose, you deserve it, so let us know in the comments how you’ve been spending your free time.