It’s hard to find the motivation to do anything when you’re bored.
But boredom is a sign that you could be doing something productive with your time.
If you have time to sit and do nothing, you’re likely putting off important tasks.
No matter if you’re at home or work, procrastination keeps you from accomplishing anything and makes you feel bad about yourself.
Instead of staring blankly at the screen on your phone or computer, choose from the following list of productive things to do when bored.
Productive Things to Do When Bored at Home
1. Get rid of clutter. Clearing away piles of unsorted magazines or clothes may free up space for hobbies.
2. Create a list of projects that you need to get done around the house and keep it somewhere visible.
3. Take care of some of your spring cleaning tasks even if you only complete one chore.
4. Read a book that increases your knowledge, such as a book that helps you learn a new skill or language.
5. Create a budget that you can stick to, helping you save more each month.
6. Start a garden in your backyard or kitchen. Fresh herbs or vegetables may encourage you to eat more healthily.
7. Meditate for several minutes to let go of stress or worries. Clearing away your distractions may leave you feeling more productive.
8. Spend more time with your family. If you have a busy schedule, you may not get the family bonding time that you would like.
9. Gather up and donate old clothes to streamline your closet, allowing you to save time with laundry and getting dressed.
10. De-clutter your computer and phone, removing shortcuts and apps that you never use.
11. Do something that you love. Finding a little time for yourself can boost your mood and help you stay productive afterward.
12. Write a letter or email to an old acquaintance who you haven’t talked to in a long time.
13. Create an updated inventory of your belongings for insurance purposes.
14. Cancel subscriptions to any services that you have not used in the last month, including gym memberships.
15. Go through stacks of unsorted mail and organize any bills or tax statements.
16. Review your bank statements for the past three months to see where most of your money goes.
17. Untangle and organize the pile of unknown power cords and audio cables in your basement.
18. Go through your cupboards and medicine cabinets, removing any expired products that you find.
19. Discover an interesting fact online. Try to learn one new thing about history or science.
20. Digitize important documents and store them in a secure folder on the cloud.
21. Plan your attire for the week instead of trying to decide what to wear each morning.
22. Watch a TED Talk episode to learn more about an interesting topic.
23. Clean out the junk drawers in your kitchen or study and ensure that everything has a suitable home.
24. Shred old papers and documents that you no longer need to keep for tax purposes.
25. Schedule an oil change and checkup for your vehicle if you haven’t in the past six months.
Productive Things to Do When Bored at Work
1. Email is a common distraction in the workplace. Use this time to clear out your inbox and deal with correspondence that you’ve put off.
2. Clean your computer screen, keyboard, and work area to remove any debris or dust.
3. Plan your next task or start outlining your plans for the next workday.
4. Go for a walk around the building to stretch your legs and clear your mind.
5. Request more responsibility. If you’re bored, you may need more tasks to keep you busy.
6. Set your short-term and long-term career goals and start tracking your progress.
7. Update your work contacts and remove former co-workers who are no longer employed at your company.
8. Create new labels and folders to better organize your work emails into specific categories based on priority.
9. If you work in sales, contact a client who hasn’t made a purchase recently or check up on one of your primary accounts.
10. Organize your workspace. If you work in an office, organize your files. In other settings, you may need to organize tools or equipment.
11. Create a list of the things that you need to accomplish your job responsibilities, such as additional supplies or resources.
12. Update the passwords on your phone, computer, and various web services.
13. Analyze your strengths in your current position and find ways to continually improve them.
14. Spend time researching the results of a recent project to uncover strategies for future success.
15. Study management techniques or take a management course to improve your leadership skills.
16. Read the latest articles on topics related to your industry to keep up with current trends and developments.
17. Review your upcoming schedule to start visualizing the tasks that you need to accomplish.
18. Think of a new challenge that you can tackle to help showcase your skills to your employer.
19. Eat a healthy snack, such as fresh fruit, to power your mind and help you stay focused for the rest of the workday.
20. Complete a sudoku puzzle or crossword puzzle to keep your brain sharp and improve your decision-making skills.
21. Create a list of your most frequent workplace distractions and then find ways to avoid them.
22. Start dealing with the simplest task that you need to complete to get it out of the way.
23. Read the newest updates to work policies or changes to any standard operating procedures.
24. Decide if you’re happy with your job and whether it’s time for a major career change.
25. Take the rest of the day off and take a nap. You may be bored because you need to recharge.
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Productive Things to Do When Bored and Unemployed
1. Update your resume with your latest jobs and skills to ensure you are ready for your next interview.
2. Start each day by making a list of the tasks that you need to accomplish, including searching for jobs.
3. Consider making a career change. Look into potential career paths related to your hobbies or interests.
4. Apply for at least one job per day until you start hearing back from potential employers.
5. Create a list of your strengths and weaknesses and start trying to improve your strengths.
6. Brush up on your interview skills by practicing responding to commonly asked interview questions.
7. Follow up on an application with an employer that you haven’t heard back from.
8. Look for opportunities to work from home. You may start making a small, steady income while searching for a new career.
9. Consider relocating. Think about the places that you’d like to live and then explore their job markets.
10. Explore online college courses to start learning a new skill that you can add to your resume.
11. Review your finances and budget to ensure that you can still meet your basic needs while unemployed.
12. Look for networking opportunities. Find out if any job fairs or industry trade shows are coming up in your area.
13. Think about any mistakes that you made at your last job to avoid repeating the same errors.
14. Try to find a new source for job listings, such as an online directory that you haven’t viewed before.
15. Read the news to keep up with any changes to the industry that you plan on seeking employment in.
16. Determine if there are any obstacles that may limit your employability. This could include bad habits or issues with past employers.
17. Start paying down your debts. If future job prospects require a credit check, substantial debt may hurt your chances.
18. Get in touch with old friends or former co-workers to see if they have any job leads.
19. Consider joining a temp agency to obtain immediate employment while you search for work.
20. Volunteer. If you’ve got money to hold you through until you get a job, donate your time to a local non-profit.
21. Try selling items online to make a little extra money. Get rid of old knickknacks and possessions that you no longer use.
22. Clean up your social media profiles and delete any questionable posts that may hurt your chances of obtaining employment.
23. Write multiple drafts of cover letters for your resume and then edit them as needed for each application.
24. Get a friend or family member to perform mock interviews.
25. Take a break from your job search and relax with a fun activity.
Fun and Productive Things to Do in Free Time
1. Go for a bike ride or take a walk around the block. Stretching your legs and getting your heart pumping improves your physical and mental health.
2. Rearrange your furniture to give your home a fresh look and layout.
3. Start planning your dream vacation. Plan the entire itinerary, including the sights that you want to see.
4. Learn how to prepare a new meal. Find a recipe and try something that you’ve never tasted before, such as cuisine from another country.
5. Research your family history for free with an account on an ancestry site.
6. Organize something in your house, such as a closet or a crowded bookshelf.
7. Strengthen your brain by playing a puzzle-based game on your phone or play a board game with someone in your house.
8. Video call a friend or family member that you miss. Seeing each other on the screen is more personal than a text message.
9. Go to the library and find something interesting to read. You may even find a book to learn a new skill.
10. Take a power nap. If you’re bored, a short nap may energize you and help you stay active later in the day.
11. Listen to your favorite music while taking care of a few household chores, such as the laundry.
12. Search for interesting projects on Pinterest. You can find everything from craft projects to woodworking projects.
13. Start a personal blog and document your life or share knowledgeable articles related to your favorite hobby.
14. Sort old photos while fondly remembering the people and events in the photos. You could also start scrapbooking.
15. Take care of a project that you’ve been putting off for too long, such as cleaning the windows.
16. Determine the best escape route for each room in your house in the event of a fire or emergency.
17. Color in an adult coloring book. Adult coloring books can help you relax and free your mind of any worries.
18. Take a long shower or bath. If you’re bored and have time to spare, use your available time to treat yourself.
19. Make a list of all the attractions that you haven’t seen in your city. Try to visit one of them each week.
20. Sign up for a class through your local parks and recreation department. You can find everything from Zumba classes to business courses.
21. Watch a movie or television show that you haven’t seen recently, such as an old childhood favorite.
22. Get lost on YouTube looking at videos of funny animals.
23. Go online and search for something new for your house. You may need a new rug or bathroom mirror.
24. Create a vision board with motivational images and phrases based on your life goals.
Did you find some productive things to do when bored?
The times when you feel bored are the best times to be productive. It means that you’ve likely run out of fun things that you want to do, leaving you with annoying chores or work tasks.
The next time that boredom takes over, remember this list of productive things to do. Spend a few minutes exercising, wash a few dishes, or catch up on your work emails.
If you want to stay productive, maintain a checklist of tasks that you can accomplish quickly. Taking care of small tasks when you’re bored gives you more time to focus on your most important responsibilities.