What to do when you’re bored? In this artilce we are going to look at 10 productive things to do when you are bored, and have absolutely nothing better to do. I believe we can all attest to squandering our most precious resource: Time.
And often, we waste it on some of the most useless things you can imagine. My friend Derrick here is no exception. You see, Derrick is like you and I. He’s a millennial, he works a 9 to 5 he has a love and hate relationship with, and when he can, he finds time to hang out with his friends on the weekends. And he is a relatively cool guy to hang out with to be honest… and I think you guys would really like him.
But like most of us, Derrick suffers from the occasional lapse in judgment, as in he makes poor decisions. When my friend Derrick is bored this is what he does: He’ll binge watch a Netflix series and when he’s done with that, what does he do? Well, what else… he picks up his phone and starts scrolling through it to see whether they are any new messages on his social media accounts.
Popular guy, eh? So he browses through his phone to find a game to play, but none of them look any fun at all. So he puts the phone down and starts mindlessly staring at the ceiling. Derrick is officially bored! It’s said that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop; which is why you are likely to make some really bad decisions when you’re bored.
Why? Because the dopamine you could have gotten from being productive in one way or the other, now needs to be found by making impulsive decisions that feel good in the moment. It is, therefore, imperative that when you’re bored, you find something productive to do.
I promise you, it will feel better than staring at the ceiling, mindlessly wondering whether you should order pizza or Chinese for dinner, or whether that girl who keeps staring at you in the office has crush on you… Well, if she knew you spent all your time watching Netflix and staring at the ceiling, the answer is probably not.
In this artilce, I’ll give you a list of 10 things you should do next time you catch yourself bored and killing time. And oh here’s an interesting fact. According to time management specialist Michael Fortino, over an average lifetime, you will spend seven years eating, five years waiting in line, four years cleaning your house, three years in meetings, one year searching for things, 8 months opening junk mail, six months sitting at red lights and 120 days brushing your teeth.
Well I’m not sure if this information is relative, but it’s good to know. So if you want to increase productivity and feel much happier at the end of the day, which I believe we all do, here are 10 things you can do with your spare time:
I think exercising is a no brainer, the sheer benefits alone are just staggering and if you guys aren’t exercising already I suggest you start dusting off those old trainers and get yourself moving. Just to name a few benefits of exercise; You’ll look better, you’ll lose weight, you’ll become lean, you will gain muscle If you want to, and generally you’ll become fit as a fiddle.
And these are just the physical benefits of exercise. Others include, improved sleep, improved memory, less depression, and thanks to the endorphins released during exercise you will feel much better and happier, plus so many more benefits! Plus you get to live longer too… If you want to find out more benefits of what exercise can do for you, I highly recommend you check out my exercise artilce, which did pretty well, if I do say so myself.
2. Start a business.
We live in an age where it’s never been easier to start a business or a side hustle and start make a living from it. The internet has fundamentally changed the way people and businesses do things, and it has literally created hundreds of different ways to make money online and earn a living from it.
You can start a blog, write a book, start an Instagram page, do Shopify or do what I did and start a somewhat successful YouTube channel, nice. There is literally a ton of different ways to make money online, you just need to do a bit of research, start something, stick to it and don’t give up.
3. Read a Book.
Successful people never stop learning, and reading books is in fact a great way to get inspired and motivated, increase your knowledge and also your income. Books teleport you into a whole new world. Some books take you to the stars, and you meet a guy like Han Solo while others take you into Westeros, where seven kingdoms with the craziest people are found.
Some books will teach you how to develop a new skill, others, about our history, while others will teach you something new and interesting about our world. Reading books is a sure fire way to increase ones knowledge. Also it makes you a more interesting person to talk to.
4. Evaluate your goals and set plans.
I know all of us have some goals we would like to achieve, whether you wrote them down on a piece of paper or stored them in your minds memory box, we all have goals and aspirations we would like to achieve. So since you are bored… and supposedly have nothing better to do? why not start evaluating your goals? If you are interested, here’s a tip! Make short and long-term plans of how you intend to achieve your goals.
In that moment you are mindlessly staring at the celling and wondering whether that girl in the office likes you, begin planning in your mind how you intend to achieve your goals. A good tip I learned from the 7 Habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey is to begin with the end in mind.
See yourself already achieving the goal and work your way backwards. For example let’s say derrick, plans on buying a car this year. What he can do is, start putting aside a little cash every day or week, by cutting down on unnecessary expenses.
For example at the end of a long tiring day at work, the last thing derrick wants to do is make dinner, so what he usually does is order takeout from his favorite restaurant, which if you’re like Derrick, ends up costing you a few hundred dollars each month.
And if your favorite takeout restaurant is as good as mine, adds on a couple extra pounds come winter time. Realistically, Derrick knows he should be putting money aside for his car. So what he can do instead is, in his spare time on the weekends or when he’s not too busy with work, derrick can prepare meals for the week and freeze them in the refrigerator, so every day after work all he has to do is heat up the meal.
This should save him a considerable amount of money each month. And he’ll probably end up looking a little trimmer. But this is just one simple way derrick and you can setup a goal and save some cash. If you don’t have any goals, or instead, haven’t defined them clearly, when you are bored is the best time to come up with some! Setting goals gives you a sense of purpose and the type of focus that you need in order to achieve them.
One of the most productive things you can do in your spare time is to meditate. And I know what you are thinking, productive? meditation? Can those two even go in the same sentence? Isn’t that a self-contradicting statement!
And I know a lot of you are probably thinking this, but meditation is one of the most important and productive habits you can foster. There are literally thousands of studies which support that even meditating for only 5 minutes in a day can lead to a plethora of benefits.
My favorites being peace of mind and happiness… and I know meditation can seem like one of the most boring mundane things in the world, especially when you are bored, but the benefits are worth it! If you can’t sit still when things are totally silent, try guided meditation. If enough of you guys are interested, maybe I’ll even add one to my site some day.
6. Do some chores.
Do me a quick favor and just take a look around your house or bedroom and tell me what you see. If your house is anything like my friend= derricks, it’s probably a disaster. S o here’s what you can do… start cleaning and arranging your house.
I know doing chores can be one of the most boring tasks in the world, believe me I know! But walking back home to a clean neat house after the end of a hard day’s work is definitely worth it. To make the task more appealing, switch on some good music; something you can sing or dance along to; something that warms up your blood.
Turn up the volume and then fire up the washing machine. Who said only characters in movies get to dance when cleaning their houses? Before you know it, you will have gotten your chores out of the way, and you will probably be feeling very exhausted, but also a lot happier and hopefully you’ll have a sense of accomplishment.
7. Develop a hobby or skill.
There is a high probability that the reason you are bored is that you are uninspired to do anything, or you simply have nothing to do. You can easily deal with both issues simply by developing a new skill or a new hobby. So let’s get back to my friend Derrick, when derrick was a lot younger, he had always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. It was one of those things, that he would tell himself that he would start working on, but never actually got around to ever doing it, and he would always blame the lack of time for not ever getting started.
Unfortunately a lot of us suffer from this form of procrastination and derrick is no exception. But fortunately for him he now has some time on his hands. If you have nothing to do, and are hence, bored, you should think about developing a new skill or finding a new hobby. Hobbies include cycling, making new friends, and traveling, among others.
You can use them to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself some more. For example, bungee jumping is a pretty crazy hobby, and doing it could give you the courage to finally start that company you keep talking about. Other productive things you can do are…
8. Take a class.
Why not learn something new, a new language, try out a new cooking recipe, take an online course or just about anything… there are tons and tons of new skills you can add to your arsenal, and best of all you don’t have to pay to learn most of them.
For example I learned how to animate by watching videos here on YouTube. And in a few weeks I will be taking a personal finance course, which means I should have some great new content for you guys!
9. Plan your year and mark important dates.
Perhaps you got a couple birthdays and weddings you should probably mark on your calendar. And finally last but not least. Clear your damn web history! I mean some of the things you guys are browsing online, my word! I’m just kidding guys, I know the practical wisdom community are innocent folks. At least I hope so.
10. Try getting a job.
Perhaps try getting a job, if you don’t already have one. Thank you guys so much for reading! And if you learned something new today, remember to rate this article “What to do when you’re bored? Top 10 productive things” and share it with a friend.
Credit: Practical Wisdom