Government Shutdown: 25 FREE Things to do during the furlough


Well, it’s official, the Republicans and Democrats in the United States Congress couldn’t work out a deal and pass a continuing resolution to fund the government for the next 6 weeks. The Affordable Healthcare Act (aka Obamacare) became the sticking point and after some last minute ping pong play, finger pointing back and forth and a bevy of hyperbolic rhetoric, for the first time in 17 years the US government is shut down.

Several thousand workers, over 800,000 of therm,  not considered “essential” will not be able to go to work or get paid unless Congress comes up with some sort of resolution soon. They could easily have voted on a stop-gap measure or approved temp funding for a few days while they negotiated, but nope!

To my friends and colleagues who are federal contractors and work for the feds, chin up.  I’ve assembled a list of 25 free *(or almost) things you can do during the furlough.


Hopefully, the furloughed days aren’t too many (the last one lasted over 20 days) and you don’t get to do too many of these things on the list:

  1. Visit a harbor, like the National Harbor
  2. Re-Do your resume
  3. Read a new book
  4. Clean out your basement or attic
  5. Ponder the meaning of life
  6. Discover new recipes online and experiment
  7. Take the kids to the park or playground
  8. Work on plans to turn your side gig into a full time thing
  9. Go the the gym, a run and/or  look up a weight loss/training plan and start
  10. Have a picnic in the middle of the day with your fellow furloughed friends
  11. Call relatives you haven’t spoken to in a long while just to say hi.
  12. Organize your home bookkeeping and receipts files
  13. Window shop at the mall
  14. Go mall walking in the morning for exercise
  15. Volunteer at a local shelter
  16. Volunteer to feed the homeless
  17. Go hiking
  18. Go for a long drive through the country
  19. Organize your shoe closet
  20. Give yourself a homemade facial
  21. Fix a jigsaw puzzle by yourself or with your child
  22. Teach yourself how to play Chess
  23. Finally organize your family photos
  24. Get a head start on researching summer camps for the kids
  25. Meet up with friends for coffee

Hang in there! This too shall pass

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Author and Founder of the blog, Jeneba Jalloh (“JJ”) Ghatt is a tech and communications attorney, owner of Ghatt Media, who has founded several start up ventures and yet is still chasing “The Dream”. As a 20+ year communications industry vet, she mentors, lectures about, and advocates on behalf of small businesses, minority and women-owned companies. She considers herself a social media butterfly with her ubiquitous online presence and has been active on the web since its earliest days when she created online content for one of the first websites in history at the University of Maryland Office of Technology in 1992. She later earned a prestigious position as the senior lead articles editor at her law school’s communications scholarly journal. Since foundering her own law firm, after being a telcom regulator for the DC government, her work and firm were behind the largest fine in FCC history imposed on a broadcaster for failing to abide by the children’s television rules. She has argued on behalf of enterprising and up and coming small and minority-owned wireless companies at the US Supreme Court. She was one of the only 22 bloggers to attend the first and only White House Black Bloggers Summit attended briefly by President Barack Obama. Follow her @Jenebaspeaks on Twitter

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