101 Things You Can Do While Being on Lockdown
A Long List of Things to Do
The novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 which can lead to the sickness of COVID-19 brought many countries into partial or total lockdown. Many people are not used to staying inside for a long time. As an introvert, I like it inside.
To help others and make it easier to stay inside, I created this list of 101 things you can do until this crisis is over:
- Learn Sketchnotes – All you need is a pen and a notebook. A good start is The Sketchnote Handbook by Mike Rohde or the book UZMO – Thinking With Your Pen.
- Improve Your Handwriting – There are many nice handwriting styles, why not learn Spencerian Penmanship. All you need is a pen.
- Start a Journal – Uncounted famous people have written in a journal. Start small with the One Line A Day Journal or The Five-Minute Journal.
- Care About a Bonsai – You can buy a small tree and a pot, wire, and scissors. Here is How to Start With Bonsai. Bonsai need a lot of care, but it’s an incredible art form, as shown in the short film American Shokunin.
- Get House Plants – Buy houseplants and care for them. They improve the look of your rooms and create good air. You can learn a lot about houseplants on Summer Rayne Oakes YouTube channel.
- Learn to Draw – All you need is a notebook, pencil, pen, or coal and an introduction by Alphonso Dunn. His YouTube channel is fantastic, and he wrote a few books.
- Learn Urban Sketching – Similar to learning drawing is Urban Sketching. It’s less realistic and more sketchy. You can start with a ballpoint pen and a notebook and later use watercolor to make it colorful. Jens Hübner is a good start, he has a YouTube channel and wrote multiple books. Peter Sheeler has a fantastic YouTube channel about urban sketching.
- Learn to Paint – If you want to learn to paint, Bob Ross is a fantastic start. His YouTube channel has hours of free paint courses.
- Learn to Doodle – Doodling is similar to Sketchnotes, but you don’t plan your doodle, you draw what comes to your mind. Here is a nice video of what a doodle looks like.
- Do Blackout Poetry – You need an old newspaper or book and a black marker. You search for single words that build a sentence or poem when read in order. Then you paint everything except your selected words black. Here is an introduction video.
- Learn Hand Lettering – You need fancier brush pens for this. But there are techniques with double lines. This is a nice introduction.
- Learn Shodō Calligraphy – Shodō is Japanese calligraphy. You need a few bamboo brushes, black ink, and good paper. It’s possible to buy an introduction set like this. Here is a nice introduction video by a Japanese calligraphy master.
- Learn Sumi-e Painting – To learn the art of Japanese watercolor painting, you need the same tools as for Shodō. Here is a nice introduction.
- Learn Origami – All you need is paper and your hands. You can find hundreds of folding instructions on the Internet. Jo Nakashima has a Youtube channel for Origami tutorials.
- Learn Kirigami – Kirigami is similar to Origami, but you don’t fold, you cut. A knife, ruler, and scissors are tools you’ll need. Here is an introduction video.
- Learn About Typography – There is much to learn about typography. The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst, is an excellent book about the topic.
- Declutter your Home – There are countless methods to clean up your home. A good start is Marie Kondo’s book
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. She hosts the TV Show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo . You can watch NMinimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things to get more inspirations on how to declutter and simplify your home. N
- Improve your Balcony or Terrace – If you have to stay home, you can make your outside space (if you have one) prettier. Get inspiration on my Pinterest board.
- Cook Something Fantastic – Why not try the German Wedding Soup? The soup of my grandmother will be better, but you should try it nevertheless.
- Play Lego – It doesn’t need to be fancy. Buy a classic box and start being creative. Or buy the re-released Pirates of Barracuda Bay, first released in 1989.
- Learn Fancy Shoe Lacing Styles – Did you know? There is more than one way to lace your shoes.
- Learn About Japanese Design – You can read about all the different styles in
Japanese Design: Art, Aesthetics & Culture, read WA: The Essence of Japanese Design or have a look in the books of Kenya Hara.
- Urban Dictionary – Have a look into The Urban Dictionary. It’s hilarious. Every day there is a new word, you never heard of. It’s funny.
- Read or Write Haiku – Haiku are short Japanese poems. 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. They are fun to read and fun to write. You can start reading the haiku of the master: Matsuo Basho. I tried haiku myself, but they are nothing compared to his haiku.
- Read Poetry – There are many poets to pick from. Epitaph for “Poet’s Tomb” by Shuntaro Tanikawa is my favorite poem. It gets recited in the short film Hikari (1:52). Watch it!
- Learn to Code – It’s always useful to know how to code. I recommend freeCodeCamp. It’s free and leads you from the basics to becoming a professional developer. They additionally have hundreds of hours of free video courses.
- Learn to Write – Start with a few words or a short story. Or you could write a book. Learn about the 8-Point Story Arc to improve your writing.
- Build Yourself a Website – If you don’t know how to code, do not despair. You can set up a website without technical knowledge on WordPress or Squarespace.
- Start a Blog – If you have a website, you can start writing a blog. We need more blogs with interesting topics. You might know a few topics better than most people. Write about it.
- Learn Design & Illustration – You don’t need expensive software to start. Try Affinity Designer. It costs less than €50 and is powerful. I do all my designs with it: Websites, Flyer, Logos, … They have hundreds of video tutorials and multiple books.
- Improve Your Math – The Khan Academy is a free resource to learn everything about math, from preschool to university levels. The content is better than that in most schools. And they have more than math, courses on science & engineering and arts & the humanities.
- Learn a Language – You can learn on Duolingo for free. They have courses in so many languages, you can even learn High Valyrian, Klingon or Navajo. I learn Spanish and Japanese every day.
- Learn 3D Creation – Not long ago, 3D software cost thousands of dollars. But today you can learn for free with Blender. Modeling, Sculpting, Animation & Rigging, and Rendering. I’m doing the course Complete Blender Creator: Learn 3D Modelling for Beginners on Udemy.
- Learn About Stoicism – This Greek philosophy is helpful to deal with hard times and develop a good character. You can start with this book: The Daily Stoic. The author Ryan Holiday runs a website and blog and a YouTube channel. Watch The philosophy of Stoicism to learn the basics. Next, you can read the book Meditations by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. His first sentence of book two was turned into a comic by Gavin Aung Than.
- Learn About Taoism – The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu founded a philosophy similar to Stoicism. He wrote the short book Tao Te King. It’s short, dense, and not easy. The philosopher Chuang Tzu wrote another book about Taoism that is much more poetic.
- Learn Meditation – Meditation and mindfulness is not an esoteric humbug, the scientific evidence of the benefits is vast. Sitting down every day for 10-20 minutes will improve your health and psyche. I recommend learning it with Headspace. The app has a free introduction course, and the paid version has uncounted courses, short meditations, daily topics, blog posts, sleep sounds, podcasts and music, and even a movement section.
- Learn Calisthenics – You don’t need a gym to get fit. The last time I’ve been to the gym was 20 years ago. All you need is the floor. You can start with Push-ups. Later you can buy a Pull-up bar for your door or gymnastic rings. That’s all you need. I wrote a blog post about it.
- Learn About Old Culture – History is boring? Only in school. Did you know that the Mayan culture had a custom number system, and a sophisticated calendar, and created even artificial soil? And recently, archeologists found out their culture was much more advanced than we thought. With Lidar (light detection and ranging) they scanned a small amount of the Yucatán jungle and found buildings for millions of people.
- Watch South Park – It’s hilarious. And all episodes are available for free on the website of South Park Studios.
- Watch or Read George Carlin – He was the standup comedian. He became famous for the Seven Dirty Words: shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. He was a master of observation and words. He wrote three books and did more than a dozen standup specials.
- Learn About the Meaning of Movies & TV Shows – My favorite channel Like Stories of Old explores the boundary between film analysis and life lessons.
- Learn Philosophy – The School of Life, founded by Alain de Botton, explorers philosophy in uncounted videos and articles.
- Learn About The World of H.P. Lovecraft – If you’re into horror, read his books and stories. He is considered the master of Cosmic Horror. He wrote a many stories and inspired uncounted authors and filmmakers.
- Learn About Alan Watts – He was an English philosopher and interested in Zen, Buddhism, and Taoism. He wrote plenty of books and gave impressive speeches.
- Watch DUST – DUST has a huge amount of free sci-fi movies and short films. Start with R’ha or Wire Cutters. Every Sunday, they broadcast 1.5 hours of high-quality sci-fi.
- Watch TED – TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. They have thousands of interesting talks in their library. Start with This is what happens when you reply to spam email by James Veitch, Inside the mind of a master procrastinator by Tim Urban or How to speak so that people want to listen by Julian Treasure.
- Watch Jordan Peterson’s Lectures – Jordan B Peterson, the Canadian author, clinical psychologist, and scholar who is a professor at the University of Toronto has hundreds of hours of free lectures on YouTube. I recommend you start with 2017 Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. If you want to see how he disassembles an unfriendly and ideologically possessed interviewer, watch Jordan Peterson debate on the gender pay gap, campus protests, and postmodernism.
- Watch Bruce Lee’s Lost Interview – The martial artist and philosopher Bruce Lee in his only recorded interview on the Pierre Berton Show in 1971: The Lost Interview.
- Listen or Watch Joe Rogan’s Podcast – He is the most famous Podcaster in the world. For over 10 years he interviewed interesting people from around the globe: authors, artists, actors, comedians, … His show The Joe Rogan Experience gets broadcasted 5 times a week. I like in particular that he doesn’t react to any peer pressure. He talks to everybody, from scientists to conspiracy theorists. You can start with the most viewed podcasts: Elon Musk, Edward Snowden, or Neil deGrasse Tyson.
- Watch HOME – HOME is a free documentary about the earth by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. It’s one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. Stunning aerial photography and a three-part story about the earth.
- Watch HUMAN – HUMAN (Part 2, Part 3) is another fantastic documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. It’s a moving story about humanity, interviews mixed with stunning aerial photography.
- Watch “Life In A Day” – Life In A Day is a historic film captured for future generations. It was recorded in one day around the globe: 24th of July 2010. It follows people from around the world from midnight to midnight.
- Watch “Timelapse of the Future” – Timelapse of the Future is a 3D-animated movie with quotes from scientists, fantastic visuals, and music, that explores the future of our universe to the end of time.
- Watch Gary Turk’s Videos – Gary Turk, the Poet, Storyteller & Filmmaker created nice short films like Look Up, Live Rich or Introverts.
- Watch “The Longest Way” – Christoph Rehage recorded in The Longest Way his attempt to walk from Beijing to Germany and took one photo every day.
- Watch RSA Animates – This series of videos uses talks of world-changing ideas and draws them. Start with Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us.
- Watch “You Suck at Photoshop” – The funny screencasting series You Suck at Photoshop teaches you Photoshop while being a dark comedy TV Show at the same time. Hilarious.
- Watch “Abstract: The Art of Design” – Abstract: The Art of Design is a documentary about Design and shows the best designers from around the world. N
- Watch “Chef’s Table” – Even if you’re not into cooking, watch Chef’s Table , a documentary about the best chef’s of the world It’s fantastic! N
- Watch Studio Ghibli Movies – The Japanese animation film studio, founded by Hayao Miyazaki, creates unbelievably good and moving films. Some of my favorites are Castle in the Sky , NMy Neighbour Totoro , NSpirited Away or NGrave of the Fireflies. But they are all fantastic.
- Watch Wes Anderson Movies – Wes Anderson's movies are fantastic. My favorites are Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs.
- Watch Quentin Tarantino Movies – Quentin Tarantino produced movies with nonlinear storylines and aestheticization of violence. My favorite movies of him are Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Reservoir Dogs, Death Proof and Jackie Brown.
- Read and Watch “The Expanse” – 5 years in a row the best Sci-Fi book. It is currently my favorite book series. Start with the first of the eight books: Leviathan Wakes. There is the fantastic TV Show with the same name, directed by authors of the books, available on Amazon Prime Video. It’s currently the 6th most-watched and my favorite TV Show.
- Read “The Iliad & Odyssey” by Homer – The Iliad and Odyssey is the oldest book of Europe, culturally important, and the base of our civilization. Starting with the Trojan War which is ongoing for nearly ten years at the start of the book and the invasion and destruction of Troy. Following the 30 years of Odysseus’ attempts to sail home.
- Read “The Histories” by Herodotus – He is called the father of history. In his book The Histories he writes about the rise and fall of empires, traditions, and customs of tribes around Europe. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.
- Read John Seymors’ Books – He was a British farmer and author, and his books are the first books I have memories of. I liked to leaf through his artful books even before I could read. I recommend The
New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiencyand New Self-Sufficient Gardener. I even wrote a blog article about his books.
- Read Basecamp’s Books – One of my favorite companies, Basecamp (formerly 37signals), writes fantastic books about business and work. Books like Getting Real or Shape Up are even free to read. My favorite book is REWORK.
- Read Ryan Holidays’ Books – Another great author is Ryan Holiday. His books are based on the Stoic philosophy and will help to build a calm, strong character. Besides the book mentioned above, The Daily Stoic, I can recommend The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy and Stillness Is the Key.
- Read “Dune” by Frank Herbert – This Sci-Fi book Dune series spans over 10,000 years and follows the stories around a desert planet Arrakis, known as Dune. The first book of the series is the most famous and was filmed a few times: 1984 by David Lynch, a TV Show from 2000, spanning the first three books and the eagerly awaited 2020 movie. It is now a good time to read it.
- Read “Watchmen” by Alan Moore – The graphic novel Watchmen is one of Time Magazine’s best 100 novels and a New York Times bestseller. There is a good film adaption from 2009.
- Read “Daytripper” by Gabriel Ba & Fabio Moon – The acclaimed graphic novel Daytripper follows a man from Brazil during different periods in his life, each with the same ending: his death. It’s a moving story about the meaning of life.
- Read “Sin City” by Frank Miller – The seven-volume strong series Sin City painted in strong black and white (with tints of color) follows different people around a crime-ridden city. The first two volumes are available as movies with top-class actors: Sin City and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
- Read “Prince Valiant” by Hal Foster – From 1937 to 1971 Hal Foster created one page of his masterpiece Prince Valiant every week. It’s one of the most artful drawings I’ve ever seen in my life. The stories follow a young prince on his way to becoming a Knight of the Round Table in the times of King Arthur. It’s a story that follows the invasion of the Huns, the decline of the Roman Empire, and other historically accurate events around Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and even America.
- Read “Asterix” by René Goscinny & Albert Uderzo – Asterix is a funny story following the Gaul Asterix and his best friend Obelix in 50BC with their resistance against the invasion of the Roman Empire.
- Read ”Valerian et Laureline” by Pierre Christin & Jean-Claude Méziéres – The creative Sci-Fi graphic novel Valerian follows the adventures of Valerian and Laureline, time travel agents around the Galaxy in different times.
- Read “Yoko Tsuno” by Roger Leloup – Yoko Tsuno follows the adventures of Yoko Tsuno and her friends and is a creative mix of stories taking place in space, the past, and present.
- Watch “Rick & Morty” – Rick & Morty by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon is about Rick, a mad scientist who drags his grandson, Morty, on crazy Sci-Fi adventures. This adult cartoon is a masterpiece exploring the concept of multiverses. N
- Watch “Gravity Falls” – Gravity Falls is another fantastic cartoon, following two twins on a vacation during summer helping their great uncle stand in a mysterious town in Gravity Falls, Oregon. There is even a secret episode connecting Gravity Falls with Rick & Morty.
- Watch Akira Kurosawa Movies – He was one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. He directed 30 films in his 57 years spanning career. His masterpieces are Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Kagemusha, Ran, Throne of Blood and Rashomon. He influenced George Lucas in his creation of Star Wars. A few of his movies got more than one remake.
- Watch “Mad Men” – Mad Men is set in the 1960s, following the stories around a fictional advertising agency. The story, the characters, the costumes, and the sets: everything is perfect! N
- Watch “Band of Brothers” – Band of Brothers is a Mini TV Show created by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. It is drawn from interviews, journals, and letters of soldiers taking part in WW2 D-Day. The cinematography, story, and music are incredible. It’s followed by The Pacific, which takes place in the Pacific War of WW2.
- Watch “Breaking Bad” & “Better Call Saul” – Breaking Bad is a fantastic TV Show following Walter White, a New Mexico chemistry teacher, diagnosed with Stage III cancer on his way into the deadly world of drug cartels. The prequel NBetter Call Saul plays six years before the story and connects both stories and characters from the shows. N
- Watch “The Secret of Kells” & “Song of the Sea” – The two movies The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea are beautiful and heart-warming animated stories.
- Watch “Mr. Robot” – The TV Show Mr. Robot is a contemporary and culturally resonant drama about a young programmer, who suffers from a social anxiety disorder and decides that he can connect to people by hacking them. The TV Show was brilliant in its last episode! P
- Watch “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is one of the best Western movies ever produced. Sergio Leone as director, Clint Eastwood as an actor, and Ennio Morricone composed the fantastic music.
- Watch “Apocalypse Now” (Redux) – Apocalypse Now is one of the most stunning movies showing the madness of war. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, with top-class actors like Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, and Laurence Fishburne shows this movie is the journey of a Special Forces team to locate and eliminate a gone insane Green Beret Colonel in the Cambodian jungle. The Redux version added another 49 minutes of material that needed to be cut from the original version.
- Read and Watch “Fight Club” – The novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk is unique in every way. The story of an insomniac insurance clerk who meets a slippery soap salesman and anarchist ideas spiraling out of control. It’s a relevant book about consumerism and the meaning of life. The movie Fight Club is a nearly perfect adaptation of the book. P
- Watch “Memento” – Memento N is one of my favorite movies: Leonard Shelby tries to track down the killer of his wife, but he has an untreatable form of short-term memory loss since an attack on his wife and himself. The movie is unique because it’s told backward in blocks of 15 minutes, which gives the viewer the feeling of Leonard’s brain damage. P
- Watch “Bosch” – Bosch is based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling novels, stories of a relentless LAPD homicide Detective Harry Bosch who pursues justice at all costs. P
- Watch “Amélie” – The French movie Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain is an adorable and heart-warming story about a shy woman falling in love with a stranger.
- Watch “The Bridge” – Bron/Broen is a Danish/Swedish crime TV Show following the autistic inspector Saga Norén tracing the tracks of a serial killer. P
- Watch “The Killing” – The Killing is a crime drama TV Show based on the Danish TV Show Forbrydelsen. Set in Seattle, Washington, it follows detective Sarah Linden in her murder investigations. P
- Watch “Dark” – Dark is one of the few German TV Shows that got international acclaim. It’s a Mystery and Sci-Fi Drama taking place in a small German town. N
- Watch “Money Heist” – The Spanish TV Show La casa de papel is fun to watch a story about a big heist. A mysterious man called “El profesor“ recruits a band of eight criminal specialists to rob the National Coinage and Stamp Factory of Spain. N
- Watch “Love, Death & Robots” – Love, Death & Robots is a collection of animated short stories. N
- Watch “Oldboy” – The Korean movie 올드보이 is an intensive story about a man who gets imprisoned, drugged, and tortured for 15 years with no clue why. After his sudden release, he tries to find revenge on his captors.
- Play Games – I’m not a big Gamer anymore, but I can recommend games: Far Cry Primal is a nice shooter taking place in the Stone Age. Equipped with a bow, arrow, and spear, riding on animals, you have to fight against hostile tribes. Portal and Portal 2 are super cool action games where you have to escape from a Laboratory using a Portal gun. Mark of the Ninja is a cool sneaking and hiding Ninja game.
- Listen to “Schiller” – Schiller is a German electronic band, founded by Christopher von Deylen and Mirko von Schlieffen in 1998. Songs to recommend are In Between, Aurora, Leben…I Feel You, Ein schöner Tag, Ruhe or Schiller.
- Listen to “Poets of the Fall” – Poets of the Fall is a Finnish rock band from Helsinki. Their songs have poetic lyrics. Songs to recommend are Carnival of Rust, War, Lift, Locking Up the Sun and Late Goodbye.
- Listen to “Enigma” – Enigma is a German musical project founded in 1990 by Michael Cretu. Songs to recommend are Return of Innocence, Modern Crusaders, Gravity of Love, The Eyes of Truth or Push The Limits.
- Listen to “Recomposed By Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons” – Recomposed By Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons is one of my favorite classical albums. The whole album is fantastic, and I recommend listening to it when the sun sets or rises. I like in particular Spring 1, Spring 2, Spring 3, Summer 3, and Winter 1. But you should listen to it in order of the seasons.
That’s all Folks. Stay healthy and happy!