productive things to do when bored

Did you know that boredom can affect your overall happiness and well-being? It can. The Cambridge Dictionary defines being bored as “feeling tired and unhappy because something is not interesting or because you have nothing to do.” That means that boredom, if left unaddressed, can lead to other undesirable outcomes in our lives – and who wants that? The good news is that there are productive things to do when bored that can help you counteract those negative outcomes while also helping you become more productive in the process.

Don’t Be a Victim of Boredom

To help you live out a happy and productive life, we’ve provided a list of productive things to do when bored. The reality is that, from time to time, we all get bored. And instead of getting caught off-guard, we want you to have ways to be prepared.

Productive Things to Do When Bored at Home

1. Relax

Life can feel pretty overwhelming at times. Trying to balance work, family, and everything in between can leave us feeling stressed, fatigued, and burnt out. Embrace that rest is an important part of our well-being physically, mentally, and emotionally. Learn to appreciate that you don’t have anything pressing to take care of or to worry about. Use it as permission to treat yourself to a massage or a much-needed nap.

woman sitting and looking outside

Though this may not appear to be one of the productive things to do when bored, findings show a link between the priority of quality sleep and some of the most productive and successful CEO’s. Besides, your body and mind will thank you for it.

2. Reflect

person sitting by the lake

There may be times where you feel like you lack meaning and purpose in your life. Take a step back to reflect and gain some perspective. It may be helpful to reflect upon some of the bigger questions about life and work. “What do I feel called to accomplish in my life?” “Am I pursuing what I’m passionate about?” “What big changes do I need to think about making in my life?”

Without a sense of meaning and purpose, it won’t matter how much activity your life is filled with. You’ll likely remain prone to boredom and unhappiness.

3. Read a Novel

There are few things that can stir one’s imagination like reading a good novel. Whether it’s as an escape from the “every day” or an effort to better empathize with others, the benefits of reading a good story are plentiful. One of our favorite books is To Kill a Mockingbird, among others.

woman reading a book beside a window

If you’re not wanting to visit your local bookstore or library, you can even purchase an e-book instantly from the comforts of your own home.

4. Learn Something New

Believe it or not, there was once a time when YouTube, and even the internet, didn’t exist. Today, there’s a tutorial for nearly anything you can think of, from learning how to prepare a turkey to fixing a broken faucet. Why not take this time to learn something new that will aid your leisure, improve your home life, or help you excel at work?

5. Plan Your Next Vacation

two person using map and laptop on wooden surface

We all need something to look forward to from time to time. Vacations are a great way to break up the year. Figure out the next spot you or your family would like to visit and start making plans accordingly. We find that when you’re not proactive about them, they don’t happen nearly as often as you’d like them to. Vacations can also serve as a way to reward yourself after each season of work. This is definitely among one of our favorite productive things to do when bored!

6. De-clutter

More than likely, you have unnecessary items and boxes in your home that make cleanup and organization more difficult than they need to be. Take it from The Minimalists who define minimalism as “a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”

Create a system that helps you figure out what in your home can be sold, donated, or simply gotten rid of.

7. Journal Your Thoughts

Journalling can serve as an effective way to process and organize our thoughts. Many find it therapeutic to write their thoughts out on a journal. Along with your word processor, there are a number of online mediums that allow you to type and privately store your thoughts. As an added bonus, your old journals can serve as a way to pass something of value onto future generations.

8. Call an Old Friend

Few of us would deny that people and relationships are two of the most important things in all of life. And yet, we also realize just how easy it can be to neglect them. Rather than simply scrolling through your social media feed, give an old friend a call who you haven’t connected with in a while. You won’t regret the time you put into doing that.

9. Exercise

The benefits of exercise are multi-faceted. Far beyond one’s physical well-being, exercise also affects one’s mental and emotional well-being. An article by Harvard Health Publishing states that “Exercise helps memory and thinking through both direct and indirect means”.

woman running with the sun up

If you don’t consider yourself a workout buff, simply start by going for an easy walk in the neighborhood.

10. Listen to a Podcast

Podcasts are a great way to grow and learn. A lot of them are pretty entertaining as well. The great thing about podcasts is that they can be listened to while driving, exercising, or doing work around the house. For multi-taskers, podcasts are great!

Productive Things to Do When Bored at Work

1. Clean Out Your E-mail Inbox

2. Organize Your Desk

3. Retool

4. Connect with Coworkers

5. Find a Mentor

6. Personal Growth

7. Volunteer Yourself

8. Utilize Your Resources

Conclusion

How you let your boredom affect you depends on how you respond to it. You can either become a victim of it and its consequence or you can respond with one of the productive things to do when bored that we’ve listed here. Rather than letting boredom get the best of you, use it as a way to live a happier and more productive life.


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