We have all had to experience a huge change in our lives; something we have never had to go through before. Home is not just somewhere we go to sleep, but is now our office, our schools, our exercise and even for some of us, our pubs! Life has changed so much, but it does not all have to be in a negative way. Here at Blend, we have been trying to think of ways to make the best of a bad situation, perhaps by spending more time doing activities we love, or taking the time to learn a new skill.
Stuck for things to do? Well here are some of the things our team at Blend have been up to and we suggest trying.
Has there been something you have wanted to learn for years but always said you didn’t have the time? If you are now working from home, why don’t you use the time saved from not commuting to and from work to learn a skill instead? You can learn practically anything online - be it a new language, a course or a skill. Many e-learning sites have made their courses free or cheaper also throughout lockdown to make them more available.
Many e-learning courses give you an official qualification at the end of it, so it is an ideal time to learn something that you can add to your CV, which opens up possible job opportunities in the future.
There are some fantastic opportunities to learn online, with thousands of websites tailored to offer courses that can be done from the comfort of your home. In terms of e-commerce, there are lots of ways you can improve your knowledge:
At Hubspot Academy, there are a wide range of e-commerce courses, such as marketing, sales and design - https://academy.hubspot.com/courses?page=1
Alison is another one we would recommend, with courses such as Introduction to E-Commerce and Selling Online - https://alison.com/courses?query=e-commerce
It doesn’t just have to be e-commerce skills you may want to work on - why not look at courses in social media, marketing or business too? Sites such as https://www.shawacademy.com/, https://www.reed.co.uk/courses/ and https://www.open.edu/ offer a vast range of courses which are very cheap and some that are even free and can be done at your own time and pace.
With business relationships spanning across the globe, it is more important now than ever to be able to communicate with those in other countries. It is certainly impressive to wow your business partners or your customers from other places if you can have a basic understanding of their language. This is a perfect opportunity to gain an understanding of some other languages. Perhaps focus on the ones that you get the most business from - so if your store has a large customer base in Spain, for example, then make this the language to learn. You don’t need to be fluent, but just a basic knowledge can make all the difference to your business relationships.
Sites we recommend are:
You may not want to get a new qualification, so e-learning may not be for you. If you just want to learn new skills for fun, then there are lots of resources available online to teach without having to take any exams or order any certificates.
www.study.com is a perfect example of a site that gives a wealth of knowledge on different subjects of interest. We would also advise you to download apps on subjects that interest you so you can read the information at your leisure.
Even with being stuck indoors, there are still plenty of activities you can do to keep yourself busy and from climbing the walls.
Here are some examples of activities you can try:
Cooking/baking - learn to cook a new meal that you have never made before, or bake and decorate a cake - try https://www.onlinebakingacademy.com/
Catch up with friends - why not brighten up someone’s day and call a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to in a while? Chances are they will be at home too when you call them, and surprising them with a chat is bound to cheer them up, especially if you call someone that may be lonely during this time
Have a clearout - now is the perfect time to clear out the cupboard you have been planning to sort for years or to do up the garden. Clearing out unwanted junk can actually cheer you up, and can make some space. You may even want to put a box aside of things to sell or donate to a charity that you no longer need but could help others when all of this is over, like old films, books, games or clothes
Have an online group chat - there are so many ways to have a group call - zoom, googlehangouts, facebook, whatsapp, houseparty - so why not catch up with friends all at once? Do a quiz together, or play a game or even just enjoy a drink to unwind in the evenings - you deserve it after a long day of work
Reading - Download some books via kindle, or if you prefer to listen there are lots of audiobooks available online too
Life can be hard enough when you work and have children, but it has suddenly become much more difficult with juggling your own work with your child’s schoolwork. Your child’s school may have sent some work for them to do whilst off, but you still have to find other ways to keep them entertained. Here are some of our ideas:
- Create a bucket list box - make a list of everything your child would like to do once lockdown has completely finished, and life goes back to normal. Then together start planning how you are going to do these things
- Learn a new skill - why not get your child involved in one of the skills you are learning? If you are learning a language, teach them some basics or some facts about the country you are learning about, or if you are learning to bake get them to decorate some cakes for you
- Make learning fun - there are so many online games and quizzes tailored around the key stages that your child won’t feel like they are learning
- Do exercise together - get out in the garden and play, or join in on some of the online workouts for children - youtube.com has thousands of posted videos.
- TikTok has fast become one of the most popular social apps - dance around and be silly with your child and make your own videos - guaranteed to make you both laugh!
Level up on Shopify
At Blend, we have also been trying to learn more about our ever-growing industry, and also want to pass on the knowledge we already have to others. Throughout April we launched our ‘30 days of Learning’ posts on social media and youtube to give some advice on how merchants can get the best out of their Shopify Store. These are all still available to view on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSFYZVq0CKnCGHLiN1gs8HQ/videos
If you would like to learn a bit more about the wonderful world of eCommerce, then we are always happy to give some useful advice. Contact us to find out more, and most importantly, stay safe and look after yourselves.