2020 was an extremely strange year for many of us. Not only did we have to learn to adapt and acclimatize to lockdown – living, working, exercising and more from home – but it also has had an adverse effect on many projects, aspirations and goals that we set, becoming side-lined as we get used to the new norm. We are now luckily out of 2020 and into a new year, with hopefully a brighter future ahead of us, but the pandemic is still around, and so we’re not out of the woods just yet!
Want to get off to a good start this year and stay productive even when inside? Eager to expand your horizons and learn a skill that you’ve always wanted to, but are unsure how when you’re stuck within the same four walls? Despite the restrictions that are still in place, by using the internet and smartphone apps productively, you might be able to get further than you thought you could this year! To help get you inspired, check out these short, quick tips on things you might want to try.
Learning a New Skill
Have you always wanted to play the guitar? Perhaps a holiday that you’ve been looking forward to has been indefinitely postponed, giving you more time to learn the native language for when you finally go there? Classes and in-person sessions might have taken a hit at the moment, but by using your smartphone or tablet to download one of the many different available smartphone apps, you can quickly start learning something new and expanding your knowledgebase, even in incremental stages.
Duolingo, for example, one of the most popular language learning apps out there at the moment, gamifies the learning process by segmenting the learning into little challenges each day, and adds in streaks and leader boards to make the process of language learning fun.
If you prefer human interaction, then it only takes a few searches to quickly find a bunch of different classes, with tutors and coaches in different professions that have taken their expertise online in order to continue teaching new skills throughout lockdown. If you have a level of knowledge or expertise in a certain area, you could even offer your own services through platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork or Skill Share, and make some additional profit in the process.
Saving and Investing Your Money
Particularly now, where a lot of people have been financially affected by the pandemic, a great way to start the new year is by kickstarting a savings plan, and getting yourself into a better mindset with regard to saving money for the future. Again, there is a vast wealth of different money-saving guides and videos online that you can look into.
If you have managed to save a sum of money or have capital stored away that you want to do something with, pursuing an investment strategy from home has also never been easier. Not only can you use your smartphone to your advantage, but companies such as RWinvest have a wide range of guides on investment strategies, tips and advice, and examples of the best areas to look into.
Their website specifically handles property investment, and the company is even offering virtual reality viewings and services for those that want to get involved with a long-term investment but are unable to currently visit different sites and cities in person.
As well as there being a range of different smartphone apps for learning new skills and hobbies, there are also a ton for saving money, such as Moneybox, which automatically rounds up purchases and invests them on your behalf, and Cleo, which acts as an AI that gives you recommendations and pieces of advice based on your spending habits. The Big Investment blog has a piece breaking down a few of the best apps available if this is something that sounds interesting to you.
A lot of us spend most of our time with smartphones scrolling through social media or playing games, but if you convert that time spent into something even slightly more productive in 2021, you can quickly start learning something you never would have before, perhaps without even noticing.