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A plan to stay busy, focused and productive from a self-employed person with no work

16th Mar 2020

Margaret Young is a trainee yoga teacher and business owner from Dublin. You can follow her on Instagram here.

I work from home for the most part and have done so since becoming self-employed nearly three years ago. I am absolutely used to it. But unfortunately for me, while the bulk of my work was done virtually, the clients that I support have in-person customers. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, their work is now suspended which means I have no clients currently.

I am four months off a yoga teacher training qualification and working on my business start-up but this does not provide an income yet. After a little pity-party and some chocolate and wine, I sat down over the weekend and made a plan of how I am going to stay busy, focused, productive and calm over the next few weeks.

If there is any way I can use this enforced free time to my longer-term advantage, then I am going to find it. I also want to enjoy myself a bit too if I can.

  1. Workout

Working out is essential to my mental and physical health, and as I’m training to be a yoga teacher, it’s mandatory for me to stay fit, so it doesn’t feel frivolous to devote one hour a day to exercise. I’m going for outside walks and runs while maintaining social distancing. As my gym is closed, I’ve dusted down my old dumbbells and kettlebell and keeping up some weight training at home. For my yoga practice, I am using online classes, YouTube and my own class plans. With all the studios I attend closed, I am still trying to support my yoga community here in Dublin. Some of my teachers are doing Instagram live classes, virtual classes on Google hangout and sharing prerecorded videos. There are plenty of free resources, but I am signing up for paid virtual classes too.

  1. Education

I had enrolled in an e-learning course to update my ECDL (European Computer Driving License) recently but hadn’t started it. The ECDL is a very popular IT qualification that many of us have but I didn’t realize it has been updated. As well as the usual MS Office packages, there are now modules on online collaboration, web editing, and online security. At least an hour a day to chip away at this course feels realistic.

  1. Yoga

While I have had to halt my 1 to 1 practice classes, and my yoga teacher training has been postponed, I can still work on my future yoga business. I can write class plans, decide exactly what services I will be offering, write my business plan, and study anatomy and philosophy. I can also make a contingency plan for times like this when in-person teaching isn’t an option and really importantly, what other yoga and wellness related income streams I can incorporate into Wild Soul that doesn’t depend on in-person teaching.

  1. Writing

This is a brilliant opportunity to get ahead of myself and write enough blog posts that I can keep my website fresh for months to come, when life is back to normal and I’m too busy or too tired to come up with new ideas. I can also have the space and time to be creative now and come up with concepts for marketing and media pieces to pitch (case in point: this very article!).

  1. Cooking

No excuses now we are home all day not to try and cook and bake dishes from all the cookbooks and recipes I’ve been accumulating over the last few years. I have plenty of ingredients in stock so it’s now or never. Will this be a new domesticated side of me?

  1. RnR

Even if I spent an hour each day on the above, there is still a lot of time left to keep in touch with family and friends, watch a lot of Netflix and YouTube, take naps, read plenty of books on my Kindle and take long baths. And maybe the odd red wine.

Read more: Why did I delete social media over the weekend? Because of the Coronavirus

Read more: Dr Doireann O’Leary explains how to reduce Coronavirus anxiety

Read more: Beating COVID-19 blues: This clip of Italians singing will cheer you up