We all experience moments in time when we feel a bit bored or at a standstill. It’s a perfectly normal (and common) thing to go through in life. Long lasting boredom may annoy or even demotivate you. For this reason, you should create a list of productive things to do when you’re bored.
Think of these go-to activities as a way to get your body and mind active again. You’ll start to feel more energized and ready to take on the day!
Personally, I’ve always struggled with periods of boredom. It was probably at its worst after I graduated college. All of a sudden, I wasn’t around a lot of people on campus and I found myself feeling lonely. After a couple of months, boredom brought on anxiety and sadness. While I was searching for my first job, I felt cooped up at home.
Hobbies helped a lot during that time — I liked coloring, writing, and cooking. If I was having a hard day, I took a bus to the nearest coffee shop and journaled my thoughts. Eventually, writing as just a hobby even led me to blogging!
It’s been a few years since graduation. However, if I ever feel stuck, these go-to activities continue to motivate me!
Say bye to boredom — here are 47 productive things you can do right now! ✨
47 Productive Things to Do When You’re Bored
1. Teach yourself a new skill.
What is skill that you’d really like to learn? First, compile a list of new skills and then pick one to start. Maybe it’s photography, dancing, singing, or learning an instrument. Make some time in your day to teach yourself that skill. You can find so many helpful books and tutorials online about your topic! 📷
2. Watch a motivational Ted Talk.
Ted Talks are great for motivation. Make yourself a cup of tea and watch one that intrigues you most. There are a lot to choose from, but here are 21 life Changing TED Talks via Project Hot Mess! ☕
3. Start a blog about your passion.
Blogging can help so much with self expression. Think of something you’d really love to talk about and start a blog on WordPress. Personally, I felt pretty lost before starting my blog. It gave me such a sense of purpose and I feel like I’m discovering myself more every day. I’d totally recommend it, especially if you love writing!
Even better, you can create a blog on WordPress.com for free (that’s how I started!)
If you enjoy it and want to go self-hosted, I’d recommend SiteGround! It’s only $3.95 a month, which is awesome.
Also, if you need some inspiration for your first post, here are 100 Lifestyle Blog Post Ideas! 💛
4. Download useful and inspiring apps!
Look up apps that will motivate you or simply make your life easier! We carry our phones with us almost everywhere, so it’s nice to have some helpful tools for on the go. A fun and creative app def has the power to help with boredom! 📱
Just a few recommended apps:
5. Learn more about finance & budgeting.
During your free time, learn as much as you can about finances through books, podcasts, articles, and videos. I personally like Bustle’s Young Money series. Managing finances can be super stressful, but they feature a lot of posts that really break things down in a simple way. I also love The Clever Girls Know podcast. The host covers topics like money, paying off debt, and financial success.
Right now is a great time to really take a look at your budget. You’ll feel a lot more in control once you map everything out. I recommend using an Excel sheet to organize and create a budget!
Best Budgeting & Finance Tools
6. Take a useful online course.
There are so many classes you can take online for free! Also, check out community colleges near you and inquire if they offer any online courses. Signing up for a class is a good way to continue learning and growing as a person. Plus, it’s fun!
7. Work on a freelance project.
I’ve just tapped into freelance writing as a way to gain more experience! You can do so many things as a freelancer — art, data entry, coding, blogging, etc. It’s a fantastic tool to earn extra money and build up your portfolio!
8. Organize your “junk” drawer.
Omg, the dreaded junk drawer! We all have one (mine definitely needs some help at the moment! 😂)
When you are feeling bored, a good organizing session can help! First, clean out your drawer and throw away things you don’t need. Then, you can reorganize all of your miscellaneous items in the drawer.
9. Discover your love (and self-love) language!
In one of my most recent posts, I talked about the five love languages and how they relate to self care. There’s a helpful printable quiz at the end so that you can discover yours! 💗
10. Sort through your inbox and phone.
A very practical and productive thing to do when you’re bored! It’s so easy to get behind on emails and texts. Take some time to do a digital declutter. Reply to messages, clear your inbox, and delete apps you don’t use anymore!
11. Make a pros and cons list.
Are you feeling stuck on a decision? Maybe it’s about a career change, a personal issue, or even something as simple as your next vacation.
If so, grab a piece of paper and make a detailed pros and cons list!
12. Read an insightful self-help book.
There are many productive things you can do when you’re bored. Reading is one of the most powerful ways to gain insight and discover yourself!
13. Clean out your car.
If your car is messy, it can be super stressful. Even just picking up trash and buying a scented air freshener makes a huge difference!
14. Listen to Spotify’s new recommended songs for you.
Every week, Spotify makes playlists for you based on your favorite music. It’s the perfect way to discover new artists and songs. Also, you can download the app for free on your desktop! 🎵
15. Begin learning a new language.
Learning a new language is such a good skill! Last year, Alejandro got me Rosetta Stone for Christmas. I love making it a part of my day because I really want to relearn Italian again. There are also cool apps you can download like Mango. That is probably my favorite app as it’s easy to follow and offers the best features!
16. Start a bullet journal.
Keeping a bullet journal is a nice tool for organizing your day. You can make helpful spreads like habit trackers, mood trackers, a weekly log, and so much more. If you want to start one, Diary of a Journal Planner has an amazing guide on her site!
17. Print out or clip coupons.
A super productive thing to do when you’re bored. Browse online for coupons, clip a few from magazines, and don’t forget to download Honey!
18. Catch up on household chores.
Do chores that you’ve been putting off like dusting, washing your windows, or folding laundry. As a guide, you can even print out a cleaning checklist for your daily routine!
19. Do a puzzle or brain teaser.
Brain teasers and puzzles are always so much fun! 🎲
Brain Teaser Games
20. Keep a daily diary.
Keeping a diary is such an intimate experience. Overall, it’s a wonderful tool for self reflection. Years from now, you can read back your entries! 📔
21. Follow a calming yoga tutorial.
I love this Wind Down Yoga Tutorial by Yoga With Adriene! ☁️
It’s so important to give back to your community. You can do so in a lot of ways, including volunteering for a cause that means something to you. You can volunteer at various places like at a local shelter, nursing home, library or school.
Simply call and ask if volunteers are needed. You’ll help the people who live right in your hometown! 💛
23. Have a cup of coffee and read the newspaper.
Staying up to date on current events is crucial. You can subscribe to an online newspaper or read a physical copy. This would be a good habit to start while drinking your morning coffee!
24. Unsubscribe to services you aren’t using anymore.
Have you ever checked your bank statements and realized you’re still subscribed to a service? This happens to everyone at some point. Make sure you’re checking your account at least every week to ensure everything looks right. Also, consider downloading an app like Unroll.Me.
It instantly shows you a list of your email subscriptions, so you can unsubscribe to the ones you don’t need anymore! ✉️
25. Learn how to doodle.
Drawing is both a super creative and productive thing to do when you’re bored!
I totally recommend checking out Shihori’s blog for drawing inspo. I’m such a huge fan of her site! She recently posted a helpful blog post for beginner artists —35 Cool Easy Whimsical Drawing Ideas! 🎨
26. Decorate your desk.
Having a positive work space is a crucial part of staying productive. Also, you just need a change of scenery sometimes! Dress up your desk with cute calendar, supplies, and plants! 🌱
27. Try a new relaxing hobby.
Having a hobby outside of work is always a great idea. It’s calming and allows your mind to focus on things you truly enjoy. You can try so many awesome hobbies like gardening or baking. Here are 50 hobbies you can start today!
28. Write a positive review on Yelp!
Maybe you had a really awesome experience at a local diner, event, or shop. Let others know by sharing a positive review on Yelp! 🖊️
29. Schedule your month in an agenda.
An agenda can really keep you on track with goals, events, and appointments. Planning out your schedule is a super productive thing to do when you’re bored. It doesn’t have to take long and you’ll feel a lot more organized. There are so many cute agendas to choose from too!
30. Take yourself out on a solo-date.
31. Online shop and treat yourself to a small gift.
For example, maybe you’re a music lover and have been eyeing a sweater from your fave artist’s shop. With the holidays coming up, don’t forget to treat yourself too. You are amazing and totally deserve it! 🎁
32. Find a new recipe and make it for someone!
What’s cozier than cooking or baking during the colder seasons? Y’all, I recommend this yummy pineapple quick bread recipe — it’s so delicious! I made it the other day and it was a hit!
New Kitchen Finds
33. Research self care tips for your Myers Briggs personality type.
Jess from Confident Life wrote a blog post about the best self care for your personality type. Personally, I’m an INFP and related so much with the article!
34. Search your kitchen pantry and fridge for expired items.
Check your pantry for expired products, organize your spices, wipe down your drawers, etc!
35. Create a digital vision board on Pinterest.
Or a physical dream board to keep in your bedroom! 💫
36. Declutter your beauty products, makeup and jewelry.
Another productive thing to do when you’re bored is to organize your makeup and beauty products! You can throw away expired products, create an empties checklist, and even wash your makeup brushes. Also, this is the best time to declutter your jewelry box! 💄
37. Search a topic that interests you on Wikipedia!
Once, I spent over two hours researching space and the different characters of each planet in our solar system. Needless to say, the info online is endless! 🚀
38. Organize and color coordinate your closet.
Getting ready in the morning would be SO much easier! 👗
39. Listen to a personal growth podcast.
There are a lot of podcasts you can listen to out there. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to pick just one! But here are 15 motivational podcasts you can listen to on the bus, as you make dinner, or before bed! 🎧
40. Back up your laptop.
Confession: I’ve ignored those “back up your laptop” messages way too many times. It happens! But give your computer a chance to reboot and back up your files. It’d be the perfect excuse to unplug for a little while!
41. Improve your nighttime routine.
Before bed, do something that truly relaxes you. Enjoy a soothing cup of tea and read a few magazines. Catch up on an episode of your fave show. Write in your journal before heading to sleep. Test out a few evening routines and see what works best for you! 🌙
42. Watch an interesting documentary.
For some inspo, check out 42 of the best documentaries on Netflix, according to Wired!
43. Call up a loved one.
They’ll be so happy to hear from you! ☎️
44. Write a thank you card.
Did someone do something super nice for you recently? Write them a little note and say thank you! 💌
45. Give yourself time to unwind.
Sometimes, the most productive thing to do when you’re bored is allow your body and mind time to rest. It’s important to give yourself enough breaks and moments to relax. So, take a day to slow things down!
46. Update your LinkedIn profile.
Even if you’re not looking for a new job, it’s a good idea to keep your Linkedin up to date. I’m not the best at this, but I’m trying to get better! I thought this article from Muse gave great tips about easily improving your profile!
47. Make a bucket list of your top goals and dreams.
Since we’re about to ring in 2020, what better way to end the decade than by making a bucket list? What are some of your goals for the next 1,5, and 10 years? Be kind to yourself and remember to consider all of the things you’ve already accomplished. (Most times, it’s more than you think!)
Also, think of a few of your most cherished memories from this decade. What are you most grateful for in this present moment?
Thank you so much for reading, lovelies! Have a wonderful Friday and weekend! x
What are some productive things you do when you’re bored? Were any of your go-to activities on this list?