Because the overall threat posed by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) hasn’t subsided, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and other “high-risk” areas in Luzon until May 15, 2020. Hearing this news probably made a lot of us more bored of staying and working at home. After all, we have been in this quarantine for the past 6 weeks. Some have watched their favorite series in Netflix. Some have finished playing their PS4 games. What if I were to tell you that you can still be productive within the confines of your own home? You can overcome and maximize this season, gearing yourself toward self-development.

What fools call ‘wasting time’ is most often the best investment.

– Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a Lebanese-American essayist, scholar, statistician, and former option trader and risk analyst

To give context, allow me to explain the concept of investment. By its definition, Investment is the act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result. It could be in a form of people investing in the stock market or others who bought equipment for their businesses. In a general sense, we all need resources to invest – Money, Energy and Time. We don’t have the same amount of Money (income difference) and Energy (health and age difference) but we equally have Time. No person has more hour in a day than the other.

Having said that, what we do with our time matters the most. Let me share to you the five things we can L.E.A.R.N. (an acronym I formulated as laid below) during the ECQ:


There are communities online dedicated to help people in personal development.
(c) Seminar hosted from the Good Servant Community

Our society has drastically transformed from analog to digital. Today, there are various platform in the internet offering Webinars and online courses, most of which are free and accessible. You may check out the following sites below:

Let’s get Nerdy.

The online courses offered by the renowned university range from History, Architecture, Art, Music, Religion, Politics, etc. You may even avail a certificate. It is time to be academically learned!

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, serving as the Philippines’ Technical Vocational Education and Training authority, is also offering free courses online ranging from Agriculture, Entrepreneurship, Lifelong Learning Skills and etc.

If you want to learn how to better handle your finances, then check out this facebook page. They offer Webinars with Financial Literacy topics ranging from Savings, Insurance, Investment, Business, Real Estate and Personal Development.

Books I have finished so far. Real informative indeed!

Aside from accessing the internet, you can also wipe the dust from your books and start widening your knowledge. Dr Seuss who was an American Author said that reading can take you places you have never been before. A great way indeed to travel during this lockdown. As I shared from my previous blog, this is one habit that the richest people in the world have in common.

Go and unlock a new skill!


These are businesses to consider. Study and analyze first before you invest.

Surely, you have skills and surely, you have access to the internet or else, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. You can use both of these to earn. What the pandemic has taught us is that we don’t have to go to the office every day to work. We can submit our outputs via email. Now, we are more fluid with our schedules. There are opportunities for earning an extra income from sidelines.

If you are a freelancer or an independent professional like me, you may check Upwork. Upwork connects businesses of all sizes to professionals and agencies for all their hiring needs. This could help you earn an extra income.


You probably heard the word ‘Amend’ in the news when it has something to do with laws and politics. The word Amend simply means to make better, improve or to put right. I have some suggestions on what we can amend below:

  • Cleaning up the House
Cleaning and organizing with your family is surely a quality time!

We don’t have the excuse anymore not to clean as we are at our houses 24/7 because of the lockdown. Nevertheless, it is important to keep our rooms clean – disposing the unnecessary things, selling or donating our belongings. Having a well-organized room helps ease the mind and encourages a productive environment.

  • Cleaning Up Your Email

Do you have that email with a thousand unread messages? If yes, then take this time to check and assess the subscriptions you have. Having a cleaner email can help you sort the important and relevant updates.

  • Updating your Resume/Work Profile
You can land a job, expand your network and market your skills online.
Click to see Image Source

Are you planning to look for a new job, to expand your network or to market your skill? Then, you have lots of free time to update your resume and online profiles such as LinkedIn or the facebook page you have setup for your business. Doing so would help you avoid missed opportunities.

  • Create your Budget/Expenses Tracker
A sample of Expenses Tracker made by my Love – Jessica!

Whether we are in lack or in abundance, we can make use of this time to create our personalized expenses tracker to account where we spent money and properly allocate our funds.


Redundant, isn’t? We are already at our home yet we should rest and refresh. The advantage of being connected online have become a disadvantage as we developed the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) on the social media. We love our smartphones, but it may be ruining our quality of sleep as backed by research.

In a world full of distractions, insecurities and fear, we can maximize the ECQ to disconnect online and fully rest. Let our eyes rest from the brightness of our screens. This should not only be a physical rest but more importantly, a spiritual one. There may be some spiritual warfare or mental illness we need to confront. It is time to grab that hard copy of the Bible and reconnect spiritually.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

– Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

In addition, this pandemic has also paved, on a good note, an opportunity to spend and be refreshed with the most important people in the world – your Family. We now have the privilege to spend quality time with them.

My Family and I watching an online prayer meeting.
Engage and invite your Family.


Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

– Tim Notke (Quote later popularized by Kevin Durant, a Professional NBA Player)

You can maximize this season to nurture the skills you have. To nurture means to encourage growth or development. When we continually develop our skills, we open up opportunities and platforms to increase our excellence and efficiency, to earn an extra income, and all the more, to serve people with passion and purpose.

Some of the Rendered Perspectives I made during this lockdown. Let us continue developing and mastering our Craft.

All in all, we make a valuable contribution to society when we pursue self-development through our investment of time. Time is of essence and invaluable worth. How and where do we invest it matter most.

Published by Amiel Patrick A. Punzalan

Amiel Punzalan is a Registered and Licensed Professional Architect by the Professional Regulation Commission, Philippines. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and is currently working both as a Freelance Architect and a Project Assistant at RF Famorcan and Associates Inc. He also is a Victory Group Leader volunteering in the Singles and Music Ministry at Victory U-Belt.

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