Despite the ton of activities I have planned out for the day, there will still be windows for boredom to strike; that time right after a meal, the period after finishing a task for work, the moment while waiting for a message reply, waiting for a package to be delivered, or a friend to arrive—all these are leeway for us to feel bored.
Boredom is felt when one is having little to no response to stimuli. Due to the repetitive actions like preparing breakfast, washing the dishes, going online for work, preparing food for lunch, and so on—life at home becomes monotonous. As a result, our time using our phones or computers to access our different social media accounts have increased sporadically.
Nowadays, it seems as if every beep or every notification we receive must be addressed as soon as possible. More often than not we are too quick to click the next episode on Netflix, tap right to view stories of our friends and other personalities on Instagram, skip ads on Youtube, like funny videos or memes on Facebook, and retweet on Twitter. Social media is where we turn to when we feel life is becoming mundane. However, there are many other productive activities you can do when you feel bored, other than scrolling through social media.
Productive Things to Do When Bored
This year has proven how even the most planned people can still encounter setbacks. The sudden shift to working from home can be intimidating. Many might still be finding their bearing on how working-from-home can work for them while others might have more time on their hands. If you are a newbie to working from home, you may want to check out this article about forming good work habits. If you are the latter, this list can help you spend your free time productively.
Do something productive—this is a common advice people give and get when they are bored. The problem is, it is too vague and general. Productive activities can vary person-to-person. Some of the factors that make a huge difference would be time, space, skills, and interest. You can start by categorizing the activities into the following:
- Caring for yourself
- Caring for your surroundings
- Improving your skills
- Having fun
Take care of yourself
The following activities focus on the most important person in your life, yourself. You give so much attention to others that you sometimes wear yourself thin. When bored, think of yourself first. What productive activities can you do for your own satisfaction?
The most common advice would be to do this activity first thing in the morning. However, many are not morning people. If you are one of them, try to squeeze in 10 to 15 minutes worth of exercise. Short home workouts can be easily accomplished when you don’t have anything else to do, or simply when you’re bored. You don’t just kill time, but you work on your health. It’s a win-win situation.
2. Cook a meal for yourself (your family or housemates)
When the norm was still to go out and commute to work, many either skip meals or order fast food. The usual excuse would be having little to no time to prepare food at home. With the shift to working from home, you don’t waste time on the commute anymore. Why not prepare yourself (or even your family and housemates) a meal? Channel your inner chef and recreate your favorite dish. At the end of it, you’d be thanking yourself for a delicious and well-prepared meal.
Whether you are into pen and paper, or online journaling, writing things down can increase productivity. You can write about your schedule for the next day, the week, or even the month. Writing things down can help you remember and organize things better, rather than leaving them all jumbled up in your head, which can even lead to missed appointments or forgotten tasks.
Meditating relaxes your body and mind. This activity lessens the stress you feel in your body brought by work, or other factors. It may seem that you aren’t doing anything, but it actually organizes your thoughts resulting in a more productive day.
Care for your surroundings
As many people say, a clean space clears the mind. Perhaps that’s why it is often given as advice because it works.
1. Organize your wallet
With the countless transactions you’ve had for deliveries or takeaways, your wallet might be filled with a lot of receipts by now. One productive thing to do when bored is to purge your wallet of unnecessary receipts. They may be just small pieces of paper, but accumulated they can take up a lot of space in your wallet. This is a good start to your productive cleaning streak.
2. Tidy your work desk
Cleaning can get overwhelming. It doesn’t matter how big or small your space is, cleaning can certainly take up a lot of your time. And if you are unsure about where to start, why not start on your work desk. Start small.
Dispose of old and unnecessary papers you have gathered over time, candy or snack wrappers lying around should be put in the waste bin by now; and this does not only mean the top of your desk, but it’s also high time that you open those drawers and throw away any empty or broken pens, pencils, and other items that are no longer of use. You will get more space for any new work-related items or documents, as well as a clearer mind to get back to work.
3. Organize your closet
Despite the work-from-home setup, you must still try to dress up for work. Dressing up for work lifts up your mood, which could also lead to an overall productive and good day. And to lessen those I-don’t-have-anything-to-wear kinds of days, organize your closet. Separate the work clothes from your house clothes. Put away old or too-small clothes that you can sell online or box them up for donation.
4. Clean your kitchen
The new norm makes you spend if not all, a lot of time in the comforts of your home. This means you have more time to cook. Take this time to organize your cupboards and refrigerator. Throw away any expired food, seasoning, or snacks still lying around. A clean kitchen will also entice you to cook more, so you can truly feel like a chef when preparing your meals for the day.
5. Time for a toilet cleanup
When bored at home, one productive thing to do is to clean your bathroom. A good bath or a long hot shower seems good after a long day in front of the computer; this will feel so much better when you shower in a clean bathroom; scrub the floors, walls, toilet, sink, and wipe the mirror. Seeing your bathroom shiny and clean will give so much satisfaction.
6. Take care of plants
The color green calms one’s mind and improves concentration. Keeping a plant or two or more at home will not only beautify your space; it helps clean the air you breathe, gives you a chance to practice responsibility, and improve productivity.
Improve your skills
Among the list of productive things to do when bored at home is to take classes. Aside from work, classes have shifted online as well. You can take this opportunity to better yourself and take that class you’ve been wanting to take but never had the time or the school was too far from work.
1. Learn a new language
Aside from scrolling through social media, binge-watching shows have also become our top activity when bored at home. There are a lot of very interesting shows that are shown in other languages. Take this time to learn a language, perhaps of your current favorite show; who knows in a month’s time or two, you would be able to understand the show even without turning on subtitles. You get to learn a new culture as you learn the language as well.
2. Learn a musical instrument
When bored at home, you can easily turn on music by pressing play. You can listen to your favorite bands, your well-curated playlist, or you can also try Workingden’s work-from-home song. Other than this, you can always learn how to play a musical instrument. It will surely erase boredom from your vocabulary, and in turn, you get to upgrade your set of skills.
3. Learn a dance routine
There is a never-ending list of things you can learn and do from home, among this list is to learn a dance routine. It can be a simple choreography you made yourself or from a group you’ve seen online. Dancing improves one’s memory; not only that, but it also makes you burst into a sweat so happy hormones are released. You learn something new, and you feel good about it too.
4. Learn a recipe
Cut back from cooking the same things over and over again. Learn a new recipe so you won’t feel too bored cooking meals at home and revert back to order deliveries.
Many might think that having fun won’t be on the list of productive things to do when bored, but it is, and it should. Having fun allows you to refresh your mind and helps you generate new ideas needed in solving issues in work or life in general.
1. Walk around
Constantly looking at the computer screen for work not only strains your eyes and back, but it also lowers one’s mood. Take a step back and walk around the house; if possible, take a quick stroll around your neighborhood. This can serve as your break from work, and a break from boredom. It might be too simple for some, but it is certainly beneficial. You get a bit of exercise in, you get a different view, and you get to have fun too. If you have a pet, take your pet with you for a more fun experience.
2. Practice what you’ve learned
Remember those lessons you took because you have more time now? It’s time to showcase them. Take a video of yourself, video calls some friends or family, and perform it in front of them. You get to practice what you’ve learned, and you also get free honest feedback. It’s a good start to prepare you for a much bigger audience in the future.
3. Refresh your memory
Take a trip down memory lane by browsing through old photo albums. Relive your childhood and get a laugh or two remembering the fun times you’ve had.
4. Get creative
You can start any art-related activity; may it be painting, sculpting, pottery, jewelry-making, or origami, any art activity stimulates different brain functions. You get to enjoy it, and you now have a new piece of decor to display in your home.
Being bored is inevitable. However, you can do something productive even when you’re bored. Just like the activities on this list, you can cure boredom with productive activities. Whenever you start feeling bored, go back to this list, and give the activities on this list a try. You’d certainly feel accomplished right away.