Do you like being on the go?
Maybe you thrive on being stimulated but don’t want to waste your energy on social media when bored.
Just like you, I thrive on constant learning and achieving my goals.
I believe that idle moments can be enriching and invested in personal growth and productivity.
Over the years, I’ve found many ways to turn boredom into a catalyst for action, and this post is a compilation of insights with common sense suggestions included.
Whether you’re looking to broaden your knowledge, advance in your career, or simply fill your time with valuable activities, you’ve come to the right place. Here is a list of productive things you can do when you’re bored.
Jump to a section you want to explore;
- Learning-based productive activities
- Social activities to avoid feeling bored (while being productive)
- De-cluttering, organizing, cleaning up productive activities
- Career-related activities to keep boredom away
- Self-care and creative activities
73 activities to fill your time with when bored
The following suggestions are simple but to do and take very little time. They’re perfect when you have a few minutes or hours when you’re bored.
I’ve put them into different categories so you can focus on any area of your life you want to improve while dealing with boredom.
Learning-based productive activities
As the title suggests, these are productive things you can do where you learn something without it being very stressful or straining. You are certain to keep boredom away.
1. Learn a New Hobby
Hobbies are a great way to relieve stress, improve mental well-being, and gain new skills.
If you’re bored with your current hobbies or looking for something new to try, use this time to explore different activities.
You could take up painting, photography, gardening, coding, or anything else that piques your interest. With the abundance of online tutorials and resources, you can easily learn a new hobby from the comfort of your own home.
2. Learn a New Recipe
If you’re a food enthusiast or simply want to try your hand at cooking, learning a new recipe can be a great way to productively fill your time.
Start with ingredients you already have in your pantry or plan ahead by picking up the necessary ingredients during your next grocery run.
You could try mastering a family favorite, explore a dish from a different culture, or experiment with a dessert recipe.
There’s a sense of accomplishment in creating a meal from scratch. It’s also rewarding since you get a meal and can share it with friends and family.
3. Start reading a new book
Reading is a fantastic way to stimulate your mind and expand your knowledge. It’s also great practice to build your focus and vocabulary.
Find a book on a topic that interests you or try something completely new.
Set aside some quiet time and dive into the story, letting yourself get lost in the words on the page.
4. Listen to a Podcast
A great way to be productive when bored is to listen to a podcast. They can be entertaining and informative.
The next time you’re bored, look for free podcasts on your phone. You can even combine productive activities by cleaning, cooking, or commuting and listen to your podcast at the same time.
Listen to a business story, learn about digital marketing, or self-improvement, or anything that you care to grow in. You’ll passively learn something new while getting rid of boredom.
5. Learn a New Language
Learning a new language can be a productive way to spend your time when you’re bored.
Not only does it expand your knowledge and communication skills, but it also improves memory and cognitive function.
There are many apps, websites, and online courses that offer language learning programs for all levels. Alternatively, you could join a language exchange program or find a language learning partner to practice with.
6. Learn Sign Language
Sign language opens up a new avenue of communication and is a valuable skill to learn. It can help you connect with the deaf and hard-of-hearing community and is also a great cognitive exercise. Websites like Lifeprint or apps like SignSchool provide free resources to start your journey into learning sign language. The process can be challenging, but the ability to communicate in a new way is a reward worth the effort.
7. Learn to Code
Coding is a valuable skill anyone can benefit from.
It involves logical thinking and problem-solving and helps you stay tech-savvy. You can build a website, develop an app, or just understand how technology works
8. Play a New Skills Game
Online and offline games can be great for keeping your mind sharp and keeping you occupied.
The right games improve strategic thinking and foster social interaction.
Look for individual skills-based games or group games if you have company. You’ll soon turn boredom into fun and even an educational experience.
9. Listen to an Audiobook
Transform your boredom into a productive learning experience by listening to an audiobook. There are platforms like Audible and Google Play Books with thousands of books.
I’m subscribed to Audible and get monthly credit for any book. The brand also offers hundreds of free books and podcasts for listening under the subscription.
I strongly suggest listening to audiobooks in general and using Audible, in particular, to ward off boredom productively.
10. Attend Informative Online Webinars
Webinars are a great way to gain new knowledge, learn about industry trends, and connect with like-minded individuals.
Many businesses and influential people offer free webinars to educate their audience and find new customers. I’ve spent a lot of time learning brilliant new things via online webinars and you should find them useful for your personal and professional growth too.
11. Check out Google Arts and Culture
Google Arts and Culture is a free online platform that provides access to high-resolution images of artworks from museums around the world.
You can browse through collections, explore virtual galleries, and learn about different artists and art movements. It’s a great way to expand your knowledge of art and culture while staying entertained. You can even use the “Art Selfie” feature to find portraits that resemble you or your friends for a fun and unique experience.
12. Take a Virtual Museum Tour
Many world-renowned museums offer virtual tours, giving you the opportunity to explore art, history, and science exhibits from home. This can be an enjoyable and educational way to spend your time, and it’s completely free. Start by exploring The Louvre or The Smithsonian Museum’s online tours.
Social Things to Do When Bored
You don’t have to be alone when you want to do something product of when bored. Here are social activities that are highly rewarding and are sure to keep you feeling happy and occupied.
13. Join a book club
Why not join a book club if you’re looking for a social and intellectual activity?
Not only will you have the opportunity to engage in thought-provoking discussions with other members, but you’ll also be exposed to different perspectives and genres.
Plus, it’s an excellent way to make new friends who share similar interests while keeping away boredom.
14. Go for a local Meetup
Meetups are fantastic for meeting people with similar interests or trying something new.
Search online for events in your area and join one that catches your eye.
It could be a workshop, a group workout session, or a language exchange meetup – the possibilities are endless.
15. Volunteer for a Local Charity
Volunteering can be an enriching experience and a productive way to use your spare time.
Find a cause you feel passionate about, whether it’s animal welfare, environmental conservation, or supporting disadvantaged communities.
By contributing your time and skills, you can make a positive impact in your community. Volunteering can also provide networking opportunities, enhance your resume, and provide a sense of fulfillment that comes from helping others.
16. Write Letters to Loved Ones
Today, receiving a handwritten letter is becoming increasingly rare and special. Use your free time to write letters to loved ones, whether it’s a family member, friend, or partner. Express your gratitude, share an update on your life, or simply let them know you’re thinking of them. It’s a simple and meaningful way to connect with those you care about and strengthen your relationships.
17. Reconnect with Old Friends
Life can get busy, and we often lose touch with old friends. Consider using your free time to reconnect with people you haven’t spoken to in a while. You can send them a message, give them a call, or even schedule a meet-up if possible. This activity not only revives memories but also strengthens your social network.
18. Host a Virtual Trivia Night
A trivia night can challenge your knowledge and bring together friends and family for a night of fun.
Use a platform like Zoom or Google Hangouts to host your virtual event. There are many online resources, such as Sporcle or QuizUp, where you can find trivia questions on a diverse range of topics.
19. Join a Public Speaking Club or Debate Club
Joining a public speaking or debate club can be an invigorating way to spend your free time. Not only does it provide an engaging platform to express your thoughts and ideas, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity for personal growth.
You get to improve your communication skills, learn how to construct persuasive arguments and grow in self-confidence. Who knows? This skill might lead to better sales skills or leadership positions at work.
20. Join a Fantasy Sports League
Joining a fantasy sports league allows you to combine your love for sports with strategic thinking. You can manage your own virtual team, make trades, and compete against others. Websites like ESPN or Yahoo Sports offer platforms for various sports, including football, baseball, and basketball. It’s a fun way to engage with sports beyond just watching games.
Decluttering, Organizing, and Cleaning Productivity Tasks
This section is all about getting organised, planning, clearing things up and making space for new things. They are small in scope but can have a profound impact on your life.
21. Discard Things You Haven’t Used in Months
Consider decluttering your space as a productive use of your time when boredom strikes.
Start by zeroing in on items you haven’t used in a while. It could be clothes lying in the back of your wardrobe, old books gathering dust on your shelf, or kitchen utensils forgotten in a drawer.
Not only will this activity free up physical space, but it can also provide mental clarity and improved concentration.
Plus, items in good condition could be donated or sold online, helping others and potentially adding a few extra bucks to your pocket.
22. Backup important pictures and documents
When we’re busy, it’s easy to forget to back up our important pictures and documents. But taking the time to organize and backup these files can save us from potential headaches in the future. Use cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox to safely store your files and access them from any device. You can also declutter your phone or computer by deleting unnecessary files after backing them up. By doing this productive task when bored, you can have peace of mind knowing that your important files are safe and organized.
23. Digital Declutter
Clutter isn’t just physical.
Over time, we accumulate a vast amount of digital files, emails, and apps that can lead to disorganization. Spend some time decluttering your digital space by organizing files, cleaning up your email inbox, and deleting unnecessary apps or documents.
You’ll find information you’ve forgotten about and will clear up space in your life and storage for new things.
24. Sort through your wardrobe
Our wardrobes can quickly become cluttered with clothes we no longer wear or need. Use your free time productively by sorting through your wardrobe and decluttering any unnecessary items.
You can create piles to donate, sell, or discard depending on the condition of each piece. This will not only make your closet more organized but also give you a better idea of what clothes you actually own. You can also take this opportunity to organize your clothing by color or type, making it easier to find what you need.
25. Organize Your Email Inbox
Most people have multiple email accounts and soon find that their inboxes become overwhelming to deal with.
Use your boredom to tackle your emails and declutter your digital space.
Start by unsubscribing from spam emails, deleting old messages, and organizing important emails into folders.
You can also set up filters to automatically sort incoming emails and keep your inbox organized in the future.
Trust me, decluttering your email will bring a sense of relief and make it easier to find important messages later on.
26. Remove contacts from your phone
Over time, our contact lists can become cluttered with outdated or unnecessary numbers. A productive way to spend your free time is by decluttering your contacts and only keeping those that are relevant and important. You can also take this opportunity to update contact information for friends and family members. By doing so, you’ll have a more organized list of contacts that will make it easier to find who you need when you need them. You can also use this time to create categories or groups for your contacts, making it even more efficient to navigate through your list. Keep your contact list updated and organized so you’ll be ready when an important phone call comes in.
27. Unfollow social media accounts
It’s common for us to follow many social media accounts and end up with an overwhelming feed.
A productive way to spend your free time is by unfollowing accounts that no longer interest you or bring negative energy into your life. This can declutter your feed and make it more positive and relevant to your interests.
28. Leave social media groups
You may have accumulated many social media groups that no longer serve their purpose. Take some time to go through your group list and leave any that are no longer relevant or active. This will declutter your messaging platforms and save you from unnecessary notifications.
29. Create a draft of your will
Making a will is a gift to your loved ones because it ensures your final wishes are carried out. It may not be the most enjoyable task, but creating a draft of your will can give you peace of mind and potentially save your family from legal complications in the future.
You can consult an attorney or use online resources to help guide you through the process. Make sure to include details such as who will inherit your assets, who will take care of your children or pets, and any final wishes for your funeral arrangements. While it’s never pleasant to think about death, creating a will is a responsible and productive task that can bring you and your loved ones peace of mind.
30. Make a meal plan for the month
Meal planning is a productive task that can save you time and money in the long run.
Use your free time to plan meals for the entire month, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. This can help you stay organized and make grocery shopping easier.
Having a well-thought-out meal plan can reduce food waste and ensure you’re eating nutritious meals regularly.
31. Leave Reviews on Google Maps
Your feedback can be invaluable for local businesses and fellow customers. Spend some time leaving reviews on Google Maps for places you’ve visited. Share your experience, what you liked or didn’t like, and any tips for future visitors. It’s a simple way to contribute to your community and support local establishments.
I’ve found that it’s also a great way to create a record of your experiences and memories – which can be easy to forget when you visit many places over the years.
Career-related things to do when bored
Being bored is the perfect time to take small steps to boost your career. The following suggestions are powerful whether you want to go up the corporate ladder or start your own freelance operation or even a business.
32. Write a blog post
There’s no better way to use downtime than to write. And writing a blog post is powerful because it uses your mental abilities, builds your online presence, and sets you up as an expert in your field.
Start by creating posts on Medium or LinkedIn. If you have skills, you can even create a blog and publish posts on your own internet real estate.
Blogging will build your skills, keep you occupied, and share your knowledge with the world.
33. Brainstorm Business Ideas
Every business starts with an idea.
If you’re an entrepreneur or aspiring to be one, boredom can be an opportunity for brainstorming new business ideas.
Get a notebook and pen, or use your phone’s notes app and let the ideas flow. Think about problems you could solve, target markets that are underserved, or innovative services or products you could offer.
Don’t worry about perfecting your ideas in one sitting; just write down whatever comes to mind. You never know when one of those ideas could become a successful business venture.
34. Create a Vision Board
A vision board is a collage of images and words that represent your goals and aspirations in life.
It’s a powerful tool for visualizing what you want to achieve and manifesting it into reality. When you’re bored, take some time to think about your short-term and long-term goals, and create a vision board that serves as a constant reminder of what you’re working towards.
You can either create a physical board or use online tools like Canva or Pinterest to make one digitally.
35. Create a gratitude list
Practicing gratitude has been linked to numerous benefits, including increased happiness and improved mental health.
Take time to reflect on what you’re thankful for by creating a list of things that bring you joy or improve your life. It can be as simple as the sun shining through your window or having a supportive friend. We can improve our overall well-being by focusing on the positive aspects of our lives.
You can add to this list whenever you feel grateful and revisit it when you need a reminder of all the good things in your life. This small, impactful, productive task can bring more positivity into your daily routine.
36. Update your LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile is an essential tool for building your professional network and showcasing your skills and accomplishments. It’s easy to forget about it and to ignore your profile.
When you’re bored, use this time to update your profile with new experiences, skills, and achievements.
You can also connect with colleagues or reach out to potential mentors for endorsements or networking opportunities. A well-maintained LinkedIn profile can open doors to career opportunities and help you stay connected in your industry.
37. Update Your Resume
Similar to updating your LinkedIn profile, keeping your resume up-to-date is crucial for career advancement.
When you’re bored, review your resume and make any necessary updates, such as adding new skills or experiences and tailoring it to specific job opportunities.
38. Mentor someone
If you have knowledge or skills in a particular area, consider mentoring someone who may benefit from your expertise.
You could reach out to a local organization or connect with someone through online platforms like LinkedIn or social media groups. Mentoring not only helps others grow and learn, but it also allows you to give back to your community and develop your leadership skills.
39. Answer a question on Quora
If you enjoy sharing your knowledge and expertise, why not spend some time on Quora?
People ask questions in your area of knowledge every day.
Browse through questions and categories and look for specific topics that you can provide valuable insights on. You never know who you could help with your answers or what new things you’ll learn from others’ responses.
40. Start a Podcast
A podcast is your platform to share ideas, start conversations, and dive deep into subjects that interest you. It’s a medium that allows you to connect with others personally.
You can start by mapping your content, identifying your target audience, and creating content. Buying a mic and investing in audio editing classes is a good idea. I like podcasting as a way to build your body of work and compile a record of your knowledge. It’s a powerful way to showcase who you are while sharing your knowledge.
41. Create a YouTube video
If you have a creative side, use your free time to create a YouTube video.
This could be about anything that interests you, whether it’s makeup tutorials, cooking demos, or vlogs.
Just remember to have fun and be authentic. This can also be an excellent opportunity to learn new skills like video editing or photography.
42. Create a Personal Budget
Managing your finances is a crucial life skill. Create a personal budget to track your income and expenses if you haven’t already.
This practice can help you understand your spending habits, save money, and plan for the future.
43. Go over your finances
Checking your finances can be an incredibly productive use of time when you’re feeling bored. It’s not just about numbers; it’s a journey to understanding your economic behavior.
Evaluate your income and expenses, scrutinize each transaction, and identify areas where you might be overspending.
This mindful approach helps maintain financial health gives you a sense of control over your monetary resources, and transforms idle hours into constructive self-improvement time.
Self-care and Creative Things to do when bored
Productivity and self care can have a considerable overlap. The more you look after yourself, the better you will feel and the more productive you become.
44. Visit a cafe or restaurant you’ve never been to
Exploring new places can be a fun and productive way to spend your time. Check out that coffee shop or restaurant you’ve been meaning to try but never got around to.
You could also search for hidden gems in your local area or venture out to a nearby city for a change of scenery. Not only does this allow you to try new food and drinks, but it also supports small businesses and helps you discover new favorite spots.
45. Look for cheap flights online
Even if you can’t travel right now, planning your next vacation can be an enjoyable and productive activity.
Research potential destinations, create a budget, and make a list of must-see attractions. You can also look for cheap flights and start planning your itinerary. It’s a fun way to satisfy your wanderlust while staying productive and organized. And when the time comes, you’ll have everything in place to make it a smooth and stress-free trip.
Journaling can be a therapeutic way to process your thoughts and emotions, especially during times of boredom or when facing uncertainty.
Set aside some time to write in a journal or create digital entries using apps like Day One or 750 Words. You can reflect on your day, vent about any frustrations, or write down your goals and aspirations. Journaling also gives you a chance to practice your writing skills and creativity.
47. Go on a solo date
It’s important to take time for yourself and practice self-care.
Plan a solo date where you can do activities that bring you joy or help you relax.
This could be reading a book in the park, going to a movie or a museum on your own, or just wandering around.
Solo dates bring back self-connection and foster creativity.
48. Start a DIY Home Decor Project
When you’re bored, try channeling your energy into a creative do-it-yourself (DIY) home decor project.
You can repaint your room, create handmade wall art, or even upcycle old furniture. Not only will this keep you engaged, but also it can transform your living space into a more personalized and refreshed setting.
49. Take a Virtual Cooking Class
If you enjoy trying new cuisines and honing your culinary skills, consider taking a virtual cooking class. Look for people around you or any online platform that will cook with you online and in real-time.
This is a productive way for you to kill time and boost your cooking skills.
50. Start a Fitness Challenge
Being bored is the perfect time to raise your heartbeat and generate endorphins to eliminate boredom.
Start a fitness challenge such as a 30-day yoga or daily steps goal.
There are various apps and online communities where you can track your progress and find support, making this a fun, rewarding, and productive endeavor.
51. Plant a Home Garden
Gardening can be a therapeutic and rewarding activity. Whether a few potted plants on your balcony or a small patch in your backyard, tending to a garden can relieve stress and offer a sense of accomplishment. It’s also a step towards sustainability, as you can grow your own herbs, vegetables, or fruits. Resources like YouTube or local nurseries can provide the guidance you need to get started.
52. Update Your Profile Pictures
Why not update your social and online profiles to reflect your latest look? You can turn this into a personal branding task and create and upload professional pictures. This will give a fresh look to your profiles and keep them consistent and relevant.
53. Look for side gigs
Doing side gigs and projects is not just to make extra money – it’s also to learn new things and find opportunities.
Join platforms like Upwork or Fiverr to offer your services in fields like graphic design, writing, social media management, and more. These can be a stepping stone to start your own business.
You could also cold email businesses and offer your services.
54. Try Origami
Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, can be a calming and creative activity. It requires focus and precision but the end result is a beautiful piece of art created entirely by you.
Origami can range from simple designs to complex structures, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced creators. All you need is some paper, and you’re ready to start folding! You’ll learn perseverance, attention to detail, and mindfulness instead of boredom.
55. Learn Magic Tricks
Who doesn’t love a good magic trick? Learning magic can be a fun hobby promoting dexterity, logical thinking, and presentation skills.
Websites like Magic Tricks For Kids or YouTube channels like 52Kards offer free tutorials catering to various skill levels. Once you master a few tricks, you can impress your friends at your next gathering.
56. Practice Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness practices can be helpful in reducing stress, increasing focus, and improving overall well-being.
When you’re bored, take some time to practice mindfulness through techniques like deep breathing, guided meditation, or simply being present in the moment.
You can find plenty of free resources and apps to guide you through different mindfulness practices. Making this a regular habit will boost your mental health and productivity.
57. Take aesthetic pictures
Thanks to how good smartphones are, it’s possible to take almost professional-level photos with your phone.
Taking gorgeous mobile phone pictures will compel you to explore your surroundings and finding interesting subjects to photograph.
You can also experiment with techniques like composition, lighting, and editing to enhance your photos. Finally, share your pictures on platforms like Instagram or start a photography blog to showcase and improve your skills.
58. Make a new music playlist
Creating a new music playlist can be a fun and productive activity when you’re bored. You can curate songs based on your mood, genre, or theme and discover new artists along the way. Platforms like Spotify or Apple Music make it easy to create and share playlists with others. You can also challenge yourself to only include songs that you’ve never listened to before for a fresh listening experience.
59. Do research on a bad habit you want to change
We all have bad habits that we want to change, but it can be challenging to do so without understanding the root cause.
Use your free time productively by doing research on a bad habit you want to change.
This could include reading articles and books or watching videos on the topic.
Painting is more than about being creative, it’s about training your mind. You need to learn to see, to quiet your mind, focus, and be extremely patient.
Learn the fundamentals of painting, and you’ll find it challenging – a great way to stay occupied and train yourself to see, paint, and be more creative.
Other ways to spend time productively when bored
Here are a few other things you can do when you feel bored:
61. Geocaching: Use GPS coordinates to find hidden containers or “caches” in various locations.
62. Escape Room at Home: Set up a DIY escape room with puzzles and challenges for yourself or friends.
63. Urban Exploration: Explore abandoned or lesser-known places in your city (always prioritize safety).
64. Experimental Cooking: Combine unexpected ingredients to create your own unique recipes.
65. Upcycling Art: Turn old and unused items into creative pieces of art or functional objects.
66. Mind Mapping: Create visual mind maps to explore new ideas and connections.
67. Time Capsule Creation: Make a time capsule with items representing your current life and bury it for future discovery.
68. Silent Retreat: Spend a day in silence, disconnecting from technology and engaging in mindfulness activities.
69. DIY Science Experiments: Conduct simple science experiments at home using household items.
70. Language Creation: Invent your own language or script and try to use it in your daily life.
71. Random Acts of Kindness: Plan and execute unexpected acts of kindness for strangers.
72. Kite Making and Flying: Craft your own kite and spend a day flying it in an open space.
73. Documentary Marathon: Choose a unique or obscure topic and binge-watch documentaries related to it.
Transform boredom into something fun and productive
Today, a multitude of productivity tools and methods exist to help us make the most out of our time. However, sometimes we may still find ourselves feeling bored and uninterested in anything productive.
In these moments, it’s important to remember that boredom can actually be a great opportunity for creativity and personal growth. By engaging in activities that challenge us or offer new learning opportunities, we can transform boredom into something fun and productive.
So, the next time you find yourself feeling bored, try out some of these productive things to do. Keep challenging yourself and stay curious – who knows what exciting endeavors you may discover along the way!