Anyone else struggling with vacation-mode mindset right now? I’m having to make myself be productive, especially since the transcription job that I do isn’t available right now. Since everyone’s home, people are claiming jobs as soon as they’re posted, and I don’t feel like fighting that fight. Instead, I made myself a checklist of productive projects that I would like to get done during this time.
As a family, we’re spring cleaning throughout the next few weeks and getting the garden ready to plant. Some of my projects include organizing our board and card games (we have well over a hundred!) and helping in general with the spring cleaning.
Personally, I’ve been trying to keep myself from binge-watching movies and TV series all day, every day. I’m definitely planning to do it as a treat now and then, though! You know those long period dramas that I shared in this post? Now would be a good time to watch those.
But I don’t want to just treat this time as a vacation. My pastor preached last Sunday morning about the danger of a wasted tragedy–basically he brought out that we should be using this time as an opportunity to ask God what He wants us to learn through this. It really struck home for me. What am I doing to grow in my relationship with Christ during this time? Am I using this time to grow closer to my family and friends (FaceTime is amazing right now!)? Am I being productive and honoring God with my time?
So I want to share some of the things that I’m doing (or planning on doing) that can be productive–and fun–at the same time!
Clean Out Your Closet
Okay, maybe not everyone thinks this is fun. But it’s about time to change out the winter clothes for spring clothes, at least down South. I always love doing this, and I’ve actually been gradually working on it for several weeks. I’m trying to incorporate more of a capsule wardrobe type of thing that’s realistic for my lifestyle. I’m not sure how many items I have in my closet now…
But that’s beside the point. I’m in the middle of cleaning out my closet right now. My closet also houses a bookshelf (stuffed with books) and is storage for some hobby supplies and memorabilia. I think I have one shelf left to organize.
Listen to Music
I have music playing in the background almost 24/7. At the moment, “Quando, Quando, Quando” by Michael Buble and Nelly Furtado is playing. 🙂 I have different playlists for different moods or situations (including a playlist for when I need motivation for being productive!).
Something that I do when I hear a song that I like is look up the artist on Spotify (you may also be able to do this on Apple Music or whatever music streaming service you prefer) and add all or most of their albums onto a “Go Through” playlist. Then, when I have time, I go through the playlist and add songs I like to various playlists and delete the songs I don’t like.
Of course, you can just listen to music for fun, but this is something that I have time to do now and am planning to accomplish during the next few weeks. It’s been awhile since I’ve purged my playlists and taken out the songs that I don’t love anymore.
I listen to Spotify and Pandora a lot for variety, but I also absolutely love my record player. I’m slowly adding to my collection of records, and I re-listen to the ones I have over and over. There’s just something special about an actual record playing.
Whatever craft or hobby you enjoy, now is a good time to really work on it! I crochet because I enjoy it, but also for work. My sister Jessica sells my crochet items over on her shop Par la Grace, as well as her adorable signs, mugs, pillow covers, and other items. I made one of each thing for our spring line, but now I’m working on building up our stock so we have plenty on hand to ship out as soon as we get an order!
P.S. If you have a hobby that you don’t have to keep your eyes on every minute, it’s a great way to stay productive while you’re watching a movie or listening to an audio book or podcast! Most of my crocheting is done while we’re watching a movie.
You may not be into hand lettering, but I sure am! It’s a hobby that I really enjoy. It’s relaxing and satisfying to me (and productive, if you’re into making homemade cards, bookmarks, or many other things). There are tons of free resources online, as well as books that you can purchase. Pictured is “Lettering for Planners” by Jillian Reece and Jordan Truster. They’re twin sisters who are the gals behind Loveleigh Loops. Follow them on Instagram here and visit their website here (and moms, they offer free calligraphy lessons for kids here!). They’re always super helpful and sweet, and their online courses are soo good. They’re very detail-oriented and show every single step. I’m working through their faux calligraphy course, and it has helped me with my lettering tremendously!
If you want to get into hand lettering, I highly recommend their online courses (some of them are free!), starting with the faux calligraphy course. This is not a sponsored post–I just wanted to share my favorite hand lettering ladies!
I’ll be honest, I haven’t picked up a pencil and sketchbook (other than for hand lettering) in forever. I forget about it sometimes. I started this owl with pastel pencils months ago. Maybe I can finish it in the next few weeks! The Birds and Blooms magazines that I subscribed to for several years when I was younger and into bird watching come in handy when I draw, since I can’t draw from my head.
Fun fact: birds are the only thing that I can draw that look halfway realistic. Anything else I try ends up flopping horribly. Don’t know why, but it’s true.
Fun fact #2: maybe I do know why! Birds are the only thing that someone sat down and taught me how to draw. Remember my friend who does the adorable illustrations for my calendar pages (and speaking of, March and April are now up on the free downloads page)? She’s the one that taught me how to draw birds.
But I do want to learn how to sketch out some cutesy flowers and leaves and other things to go along with my hand lettering. That’s on my “to learn” list for sure! Watercolors would also be fun. I have some friends who do an amazing job at them. Check out Hillary’s website here (her newest thing is continuous line art!).
I don’t know if what I do is “real” graphics design. I just like to play around with it. It goes along with making printables and stuff. This song challenge chart is something that I threw together the other day just for something fun to do. I hope to do it on my Instagram stories throughout May. I also enjoy making desktop wallpapers. Maybe that can be something that I can have for you to download on here one day.
Speaking of making printables, please feel free to contact me and give me any ideas you may have for things I can make! I would also love to hear your favorite inspirational quotes, Bible verses, and song lyrics. Either drop a comment at the bottom of this post, email me, or message me on Facebook or Instagram!
I picked up my journal the other day for the first time in about five or six months. :O I used to be an avid journalist, writing every night before I went to bed. As I got older, I got out of it. It’s something that I want to get back into, and right now I have time to do so! It’s a great way to get your thoughts and feelings out. I work things out by talking through them–or in this case, writing through them. It’s therapeutic and just good for you all around, and a good way to de-stress.
I was talking about regular journaling, but prayer journaling is also something that’s great to do. I write in my prayer journal almost every night. It helps me to focus on what I’m praying and not get distracted. You can keep an everyday journal and a prayer journal in the same notebook/journal, or in separate ones. Whatever you want to do.
I have had so much time to read lately, and it’s been amazing! Plus it’s better for me than watching TV or scrolling social media… *shakes finger at myself* Maybe reading doesn’t feel productive, but we’ve been amazed at how many things we’ve learned through the years from simply reading.
The books pictured are some in my TBR (to be read) stack. You can also get a free trial of Kindle Unlimited if you’ve never done so. I think I’ve read almost as many books so far this year as I did last year (I just went back and counted, and so far I have read 15 books)! I’ve really missed reading, and it’s been so nice getting back into it.
And don’t read just fiction books! There are some amazing non-fiction and inspirational books out there, too. (Please be cautious when selecting inspirational books! Just because someone claims to be a Christian doesn’t mean that their teachings are all Scriptural and good. Carefully check out what they believe and ask a trusted pastor, parent, or friend with the same beliefs as yours what they think of that author.) The picture below are three books that blessed me abundantly.
So there you have it! Those are some things that I’ve been enjoying the past couple weeks. What productive and fun things are you filling your time with? I would love to hear!