How to Maximize Productivity: Five Things to do When Furloughed  

Almost all Americans are completely over the insanely unnecessary government shutdown. My heart goes out to the men and women who work to make this country run smoothly that have been furloughed for over a month. I’m hopeful that the elected leaders of this country will set aside their politics to do what’s morally right for the citizens of this country.

Despite it being a dismal time for thousands of federal employees across the country there are things you can do during a furlough to maximize your productivity. These strategies can also help you feel normal again, give you a newfound sense of self, and help you see the silver lining where there are thunderclouds.

Update your resume

Most of us get so bogged down by the monotony of our careers that we haven’t prioritized time to update our resumes. You should refresh your resume especially if you have recently received a promotion, earned an award or acquired new skills/certifications. Chances are you have so many great accomplishments and this furlough time is an opportunity to put those skills on paper. Pro tip: Canva has fun, edgy layouts you can use to give your resume the ultimate makeover for free.

Tap into your network

I can't tell you the last time I’ve engaging in any sort of professional development like attended a conference or even updated my LinkedIn page. Most of us have probably neglected our network of colleagues who can help us get to the next level through mentorship or sponsorship. People are our greatest asset and now is a great time to tap into those networks and let people know what you are working on and what opportunities you are seeking.

Create a budget, stick to it & curate a savings plan.

Hearing the horrendous stories of families impacted by the government shutdown just proves that we’re all one or two paychecks away from a traumatic lifestyle change. Use this time to create a budget for your family and strive to really stick to it. After you’ve mastered that, start saving money for emergencies. Remember—pennies add up to dollars. No amount is too small. 

Check out my past post: I Make Money Moves for easy tips on how to generate income.


If you’re thinking of shifting careers or just want to donate some of your time, find an organization in your community where you can volunteer. For me, volunteering always sparks a renewed sense of self and helps me put things back into perspective. I’ve also met new friends and stumbled upon a new career opportunity while volunteering as well as impacted another person’s life. 

Practice mindfulness

This one may be the toughest of them all but it’s the most impactful. Take a few minutes each day to show gratitude for your life and appreciation for your purpose. Realize that your job/ career doesn’t define who you are as a person—it simply pays your bills. Note that you are employable and that you have great skills and ideas that can be used to generate funds.

The best is yet to come!

Love + Light

Ar’Sheill Monsanto