We’ve all been there. You’re bored and have nothing to do, and the only thing that seems to make sense is just sitting around and wasting time.
But there are productive things you can do when you’re bored – things that will help you pass the time without feeling like you wasted it.
Here are 25 productive things to do when bored.
Here are 25 productive things to do when bored:
1. Break Routines That Offer No Joy
Did you know that 131 days are signed off to boredom each year? Researchers studying boredom have found that we have specific ways in which we react to boredom. We are all different in our reactions. But how we respond to boredom influences how we live.
Boredom affects people’s mental health negatively. A brain that gets bored is not a space that anyone will choose to be in.
Traditionally it was thought that a lack of productivity and focus causes boredom. And now it’s argued that boredom can actually boost creativity. This is how people’s brains are wired; some react negatively, get anxious, and are depressed.
Others thrive and seek out new directions and new engagements.
When we are engaged in activities, many say, we experience joy. We are seldom bored if we are proactive, especially in finding new ways to do the simplest activities.
But the best way to break with boredom as the pattern is to keep busy.
2. Reading Books
Focused reading combined with group reading sessions is more than a social event. A book – fiction or faction – brings a world of experiences that’ll not leave you bored.
And suppose you combine reading with a group of like-minded bookworms; you can quickly dispel negative thoughts, especially those that trap you in boredom.
Head off to a local bookshop and make an inventory of the genre you are attracted to. Bookshops, like libraries, are themed and arranged, and it’s easy to find your interest.
Finding what you’re interested in can be the start of friendships.
3. Listening To Audio Books
In most activities, our focus can deter us from being bored. As much as reading a book brings pleasure and, in many cases, is a point of conversation, listening to audiobooks (more than a television series) can change thinking.
The secret of not being bored is also about being engaged.
And remember the value of magazines or online magazine programs.
4. Listening To Podcasts
If you’re stuck at home due to illness or recuperating, you don’t need to be bored. You can always access podcasts of talks on topics that are either philosophical or have historical references.
These topics can stimulate interest in further learning. And definitely, you can add information to dinner-time conversations or at book clubs.
And you won’t be the party bore either.
5. Start a Reading Group
Work on your interest and find like-minded people with similar interests in reading. Set up a small group – these can be friends or new acquaintances – and then arrange to meet regularly to talk books.
You’ll be surprised how much active conversation comes from a group meeting to discuss books. And being productive in organizing these events dispels boredom.
An outcome of group meetings often leads to other interests too. You can develop mutual interests and friendships from a book club and explore common interests like art, cooking, hiking, and golf.
At the same time, joining a community group can have the same boredom-busting effect.
6. Start A Virtual Book Club
If reading is your passion and many of your book friends have left town, you can still share this moment by going digital or online.
The book reading sessions can be done on Skype or Teams. You can even do a video presentation online for your particular group of book lovers. Getting the skills in place to do so is also a boredom buster.
Virtual book club meetings can be held outside of your home too. You can step out to a coffee shop and coordinate a virtual book meeting with friends there and engage with others in other parts of the world – all at the same time.
Digital platforms Skype and Teams are ideal for this kind of meeting.
Make journaling a habit. Good habits keep boredom in check. This great way of checking your thoughts is also more than a hobby. But as you know, journaling is about self-discovery.
You can constructively link ideas and refer back to previous thinking, too.
Regular journaling is a writing exercise that can be done on paper. Some writers find that digitally typed journals work best. You can learn to edit and offer other writers constructive writing ideas.
Again journaling can be done in groups with like-minded writers.
Remember to write up your family history. And there might even be a novel lurking in you! It’s hard to believe that we focus on our boredom as the end of the road and not as the start of something new.
Boredom must be seen as the start of a creative process and not a dead end.
8. Create A Mandala Of Your Life
Let it happen. Think about yourself, where you’ve been, and the influences that have inspired you. Make cryptic sketches to represent these places, experiences, and moods. You can do this in applique work or a pin-and-ink drawing and then express your life in a Mandala.
You can do this in various stages of your life.
Being active in your own life inspires new beginnings. For people who think they are perennially bored, graphically representing themselves cuts through boredom.
9. Tourism And Hospitality
Suppose you are keen on restaurants, meeting people, cooking, and entertaining. In that case, you’ll find tourism and hospitality attractive and definitely not dull.
The different fields in the production and maintenance of tourism and hospitality sites demand constant attention.
There is little time to be bored in areas where your attention is always in demand.
10. Start An Art Group
As you’ve seen with book clubs and finding secondary interests that can lead to even writing a book. So, being with like-minded people with the same interest, you can start an art club.
It is okay to be bored when focused on your interests. And, as a bonus, find similarly inclined people and start water-coloring or doing oil painting. You can take up sculpture in groups.
Focused attention is a must when you set out to be productive, and you will see just how easy it is to bust boredom.
So while you are talking about famous artists, their lives, and their works, your focused interest in watercoloring can evolve. And you’ll definitely surprise yourself with what you can do.
Get to know what you enjoy doing best, focus, and unleash your inner potential through regular practice.
There’s no stopping as you practice and get good at it, and in a small group, this activity even can lead to a stall at a local market. And you’ll hardly look back on those dull days.
11. Join A Local Market
Markets are a growing trend worldwide and a space for people to live their passions and develop their art and craft. And few crafters will say they are bored. The demands for goods each week keep people active and engaged.
Focus on your interests, put your character traits like procrastination aside, and set up a structured program for work. Keep your self-motivating attitude up.
Set up your day with specific hours and time-manage, and get done what you need to. You must set aside hours to focus on a hobby or art project to focus on the market.
Have the market stall as the end goal and produce the products.
Markets are mini-social hubs with a wide range of stall holders – each with many stories. You’ll hardly be bored as you focus on being productive.
12. Grow Cash Crops Vegetables
Cultivation, even on a small scale, is rewarding. If you suffer from boredom, producing cash crops is a way to keep you busy all seasons.
You can grow these for yourself or join a local market. Selling at a market is sociable.
13. Composting as routine in a garden to bust boredom
Growing vegetables in pots or in the garden can lead to making compost. Vegetable farming and composting keep you productive.
You can always stay productive by using kitchen vegetable off-cuts and garden leaves and making your own compost.
14. Dominoes, Bridge, And Chess
Getting together regularly to play a game of Chess, Dominoes, or Bridge can banish boredom. These social events attract others and demand focused attention.
Few people claim they are bored. These games have a social side suitable for friendships – sometimes even life-long ones.
15. Walks In Neighbourhoods Or The Country
Remember that a walk can lift and shift your mood if you are prone to boredom.
On walks, you can plan and think about places, meet other people, and quickly chat with neighbors and strangers. And definitely, walking is a productive way to stop boredom.
People seldom say they’re bored hiking in the forest or walking along the seashore.
16. Take An Online Language Course
Scientists have found that though boredom is challenging to define, it’s pretty apparent in all of us.
The best way to distinguish between boredom or lethargy and specific traits and tendencies towards boredom is to make a needs list.
What is it that you feel lacking in your life? And when you pinpoint this, it’s time for a change.
Learning a language online has the discipline and focus needed not to be bored. An excellent online language course is often the stimulus for a job or travel opportunity.
17. Take An Online Cooking Course
If you like cooking, there are many shows in which chefs show off their talents.
Preparing meals takes a fair deal of planning, and designing more elaborate dinner parties, ala chef-style, brings even more planning. You have to time-manage and coordinate.
18. Choose Activities That Demand Concentration
A productive regime is one in which your full attention and concentration are demanded. Interestingly, we are daily bombarded with 34 gigabytes of information, most of which is lost as we can only absorb a little.
It’s also estimated that we are daily (digitally) subjected to 100,500 words.
The bombardment of data affects our concentration, and it is easy to slip off into a bottomless pit of boredom.
And daily interruptions in offices have been estimated as happening every 11 minutes. And getting back to tasks is disrupted, which leaves a space for boredom to sneak in.
And remember that 2.8 billion people are on social media each day.
These statistics are quoted to show how easily we are distracted; it’s hard to get work done once distracted. Many people are unproductive and struggle with boredom.
19. Clean Up A Workspace
Kick boredom aside and focus on cleaning your workspace. Cleaning is a productive activity that demands attention.
And if you have done this before, you can surely attest to how your energy levels change as you start the cleaning and clearing.
Whether you’re decluttering a wardrobe space or spring cleaning your home, the proactive activity will leave little space for you to be bored.
Sorting shelving and rearranging furniture also create areas that feel different. Proactive thinking is one of the best tools to bust boredom.
21. Learning Basic Interior Design
Digital media have the advantage of YouTube videos and talks on how to redo homes.
Starting with a seasonal clean-up and rearranging interiors brings a fresh look to spaces. This productive activity doesn’t allow you to be bored, either.
22. Mindfulness living
Living consciously, whether green, vegan or vegetarian, and recycling and supporting a greener earth is a way to stay active, goal-directed, and live a chosen reality.
The routine that comes with mindfulness is also engaging. There is little space to be bored. The aim is to keep engaged and focused.
Psychologists have found that boredom is a state of mind that refers to a specific situation. That’s why we are bored in particular situations.
But boredom also has to do with our personality traits. Some people are more susceptible to boredom than others, and even anxiety and depression.
Mindfulness, in these cases, can be used to stabilize energies. And, if you feel that you lack interest and enthusiasm, even restless and flat, start a journey into mindfulness.
Yoga has been practiced by people worldwide to destress and improve their energy levels. Hatha yoga has specifically been chosen for the meditative qualities that stimulate goal-directed states of mind.
Boredom is often an expression of personality traits that can be altered and even changed through medication. Practicing yoga is an opportunity for self-reflection.
So if you are sad or tired and even irritable, a yoga routine can restore your inner balance. There is no need to despair and feel out of control when boredom hits.
24. Tai Chi
Boredom affects people’s health negatively. Not being able to center oneself on what’s essential in life also leaves space for boredom to creep in.
Martial arts like Tai Chi are a discipline with a routine that demands focus. Internalising the movements that make up the Tai Chi routine bring calm. You can even visualize the moves when you are sitting down and relaxing.
The meditative aspect of Tai Chi – often called ‘meditation in movement’ – is also an exercise to increase one’s attention span.
Standing up to boredom by practicing a routine like that of Tai Chi is also a journey to discover aspects of yourself – just like the meditative aspects of yoga.
Taking a deep breath, sitting down and watching clouds and the sunset, and listening to the wind or raindrops on a roof is not an empty moment.
And you can be sure that genuinely relaxing is a productive moment, with no hint of boredom.
No need to push the feeling of boredom aside and pretend that these don’t exist. Some say we’re always fighting off boredom. And that’s why we can actually use your boredom to be creative.
Being bored is a sign that something is amiss. And often, a change in attitude is all needed to dispel boredom. Being productive can fight off boredom. You’re ready for a difference if you’re feeling empty, frustrated, or bored.
Boredom is often a lack of interest, feelings of dreariness, and flatness. Shifting your focus brings a change of perspective and confidence and can revitalize interests you might have.