• Jon Bass

25 Absurd & 25 Absurdly Smart Things to do in Quarantine

You'll have to decipher which number falls into each category - and that's the fun of it.

Ah, a long list I know. Maybe a little too much, but that's the point. Time is our most valuable resource in life and you can spend it, you can't get more of it. Each day we're still alive, we all have 24 hours in the time bank, making only withdrawals and no deposits.

Alright, here we go.

  1. File for UI, if you have time for Netflix, you have time to get paid to sit at home and watch Netflix.

  2. Finish Tax Returns for 2019 Fiscal Year, to all my procrastinating folks like myself - July 15th is coming...

  3. Maybe re-evaluate how you organize your gigs or jobs, file management, paystubs, paychecks, or online service, declutter your desktop already jeez.

  4. Finish all projects still in post-production. Yeah, even that one you forgot in 2016 and it's still needing sound & a final color pass. I'm not crying, you are.

  5. Update your website portfolio (Or start drafting one if you haven’t already). Wix & Squarespace are both great tools online and you might have the time to design one yourself, if not, considered outsourcing a website to a professional

  6. Start creating while still at home an in-home/quarantine film festival to keep creating and stretch those muscles. online and you might have the time to design one yourself, if not, considered outsourcing a website to a professional

  7. Start planning if you wanna come out of the gates swinging into production or as soon as you can manage to get that music video treatment, short film, passion project, or commercial ready for pitching.

  8. Automate Repetitive Processes - Batch exporting from photoshopping, template emails in Gmail for responses for example.

  9. Step up your cooking game - do more than just throwing ingredients at each other in the kitchen and truly try things! Get experimental to see what works and what you should keep to yourself and never tell anyone you combined what you did. Or, learn from the masters - Like Gordon Ramsey on Masterclass

  10. You guessed it, Sign up for Master Class and listen to it while you sleep if you can't make time for it - you might be the exception to osmosis not working. (also buy one get one subscription deal going on now.

  11. lynda.com / Linked Learning is offering 1 free month of courses!

  12. Be like Deakins and study light in terms of artwork - for example: here's van Goph's work:

  13. Deakins Podcast in particular - do a case study on one of the greats, his website, where he answers in numerous to your Instagram or Facebook, questions, and could keep DP’s entertained for days.

  14. Any other podcast, film-related or not - binge it, listen to it while eating your fifth bowl of cereal of the day.

  15. Plan out your weekly meal plan - never be stuck staring at your ingredients in the cabinets ever again - instead take some time on the weekend and stare at your cabinets once - and then write out B, L, D, and M-F chart and go nuts. You can save yourself time each day by making one less decision - to save your brainpower for more important decisions to make.

  16. Start a morning routine, find out what works for you - I know you’ve heard it 1.000 times already, I just wanted to be sure you heard it 1,001 times just in case you needed that extra push and never listened the first thousand articles.

  17. Fill your B&H shopping cart as if you just won an untaxed 10,000 and compare it with filmmaking friends and learn to start hoping and dreaming again.

18. De-Clutter Cloud Storage / Email Space - Delete or archive the junk, label the intake so you spend less and less time on email per week, ask yourself honestly what promotional weekly emails you actually open, utilize and gain value from - if it doesn’t bring value to your life, cut that.

19. Make lists of your gear on share grid or kit split if it’s available in your area, bringing your dusty gear out of the closets might just make you think about….

20. Actually shoot something new, just to shoot something. Create just to create, Shoot a photo a day, a photo a week, a flat lay photo, macro’s, legos. Even if it's around the house, just go for it. Creating feels good, remember?

21. Cultivate your online brand, with all those new photos you're taking in the last step, you might just need to evaluate what the heck you’ve already posted. Less is More.

22. Consider going home and re-thinking your life - that's a Starwars quote. Maybe consider spending time to watch all the films on your to-watch list you've been building for 10 years and haven't taken out a big chunk in it.

23. Better yet, create a Letterbox'd account and hone in your thoughts on movies by forcing yourself to write out your opinions on films. Stay woke.

24. Check-in with former coworkers, see how they're holding up, ask if there's anything to do, and be a good friend!

25. Check-in with former Boss's, and keep in touch, let them know you haven't died and would be ready to come back to work when we come back from this.

26. Figure out the best way to eat certain foods. (I've found the best way to cut banana slices... I won't go into details here - but check the "P.S." paragraph at the end of this post.

20. Check-in on what you're consuming, the media you watch, the news you listen to, learn to discern what you need to hear and what's just noise. We're tempted more than ever to spend more time on our phones in quarantine since it's a way to connect and escape.

28. Count your C-47's and never leave a film set again without the same number. Never leave a clothespin behind.

28. In fact, buy a label maker and label ALL of your tools. So if you see anyone snag anything, they can expect to see that fat Venmo request for theft.

29. Watch motivational videos but never apply them to your life

30. Better yet, watch films like Gladiator, Braveheart, and Rudy. The trilogy of motivation. but still not really grasp how these period films relate to your life in a pandemic in 2020.

31. Re-watch Dark Knight for the 100th time so people know just how much adore Christopher Nolan and his life's work.

32. Speaking of which - Maybe consider watching all of a director's work, or DP's work for that matter. My roommate recently watched all of the Studio Jubillee films (animation films).

33. Watch the behind the scenes on the movies you care about the most - if you don't have the behind the scenes, get googling, and try to research as much as you can. Treat this like mini film school away from film school.

34. Backup all your crap - your personal stuff, your projects, and systematize how you backup - fill up that B&H account again with hard drives and fire when ready.

35. Make a bucket list of your own things to do in quarantine, or outside of quarantine and share it with people who didn't ask for your opinion.

36. Learn how to do magic and stuff

37. Start that thing you've been thinking about starting but always lacked the motivation and self-discipline and time to start. Yep, that one (for me, it was this blog)

38. Get 1st Place in Call of Duty Warzone, then have a moment of silence for all the hours you spent to get to this very moment in time.

39. Watch every ted talk ever on youtube, Thus becoming as wise as Gandalf the White

40. Create a reference image Data Library so when you create treatments or need a reminder of

41. Create Spec projects on your own, need to be able to prove you can be an after effects wizard, nows your time to approach the starting line.

42. Get really nostalgic and re-watch The Lion King and learn how to cry again.

43. Get Thicc, so what if you've already gained the COVID 19 from snacking? Even if you likely lose all the progress you made once we get out of quarantine and return to "normalcy." Nice while it lasted, right?

44. Read those books on the shelf and learn yourself some knowledge finally

45. Watch one video about space and science and all of a sudden evolve into a philosopher and say, "Woah, dude have you ever thought about..." but never get to your point. Thus confirming your woke-ness.

46. Hit the "Woah" on Tik Tok and then go take a shower and regret it for the rest of your life.

47. Be like Thomas Edison and create the next lightbulb in isolation

48. Get 5 hours of sleep and grind at your craft every second you're awake, treat yourself like a robotic machine and just. keep. going. Never stop, never stopping.

49. Give yourself a break. A breath from the hustle and grind, a break from feeling like you have to do all 50 of my absurdly smart (or not smart) steps.

50. Do absolutely nothing. Like stop all this workaholicism and efficiency bull crap and go outside and smell the roses. We're in a pandemic. Hopefully once in a lifetime experience. How will you spend your time?


I recently heard a quote on a Nike+ Running Club Headspace Runs:

" You can't earn time but you can waste it. You can't gain time, but you can spend it."

Just some food for thought I've been chewing on this past week. I have a ton of things I'd love to work on or improve upon, but man the list is overwhelming and exceeds 50 things I could or should be doing.

At the end of the day, I have to remember I'm a human being, not a human doing. Throughout this pandemic, I've been caught in the trap of my workaholic mindset of optimization. Though it's helpful at times it can also be damaging when applied all the time to every area of my life. Ex: If I plan out every detail in a vacation, will I really be relaxed at having nothing to do? Or "making the most out of the vacation?"

Through this is a sarcastic, absurdist list, I wanted to shed light on just how caught up we can be in our American culture to be the best in an industry, to do the most, to grind ourselves into the ground. At the end of the day, what did I spend my time on?

Have a fantastic weekend!


Another human being.

P.S. The best way to cut a banana - you peel it, have it in your hand, take your utensil of choice, cut downward, and leave the bottom of the peel still attached to protect your holding banana hand. With each cut, the new cut of banana forces the previous cut upwards, thus it falls into your container/bowl of oatmeal. Win #1: No mess. Win #2: Optimization of time. A true win-win.

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