100+ productive things to do when bored
Last updated on: July 6, 2023
Are you bored and searching for something productive to do? Well, you’re in the right place.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to be productive and busy 24/7. That’s an unhealthy mindset — all of us need to rest, relax, and recharge.
However, if you are well-rested, have nothing to do, and want to be productive, we got your back. In this article, we’ll explore 100+ different productive things to do when bored.
Table of Contents
Do some work
The beginning of our list of productive things to do when bored is quite predictable — catch up on work. (It gets more interesting, I promise.)
1. Catch up with the industry news
It’s important to have an idea of what’s happening in your industry, if there is any interesting news, and what your competition is doing.
2. Ask for feedback on your work
Feedback is the key to improvement. If your team and/or manager haven’t given it to you, don’t be afraid to ask.
3. Clean out your inbox
Getting to inbox zero is often not an easy task, but it gives you a sense of accomplishment and puts your mind at peace.
4. Write or update your CV or resume
If you don’t have a CV or a resume, now it’s time to create one. If you already have it, it may be useful to update it.
5. Make or update your LinkedIn profile
As your LinkedIn account is a form of a digital resume, it should be up to date and filled with relevant information. If you don’t have one, you should make it, as it allows you to connect with other people in your industry and follow their work.
6. Find a new location to work or study
If you work remotely, you probably get bored of working from home — at least from time to time. So, try to find a new location where you can work; a change of scenery can boost your productivity. It could be a cafe, a park, or a coworking space.
7. Research side job options
If you could use some extra money, you can find a job on the side. You can find and perform a lot of work online and even make a passive source of income — just do some research to figure out what’s the best option for you.
Being the healthiest and happiest version of yourself will boost your productivity, but even more importantly — you’ll be healthy and happy.
8. Go for a walk with your dog
Long walks are good not only for you but for your dog too, for a variety of reasons — two main ones being that you both get to 1) exercise, and 2) spend time with each other.
9. Go on a hike
You get to be in nature, get fresh air, burn some calories, and enjoy beautiful views. Time very well spent, if you ask me.
10. Try out a new sport or fitness class
Last week, my best friend and I randomly decided to try playing tennis. It was abundantly clear that neither of us is going to be the next Serena Williams, but we tried something new, laughed a lot, and had a good workout. Even if you go by yourself, it will have the same benefits.
11. Do a YouTube workout video
If you’re short on time or prefer working out in the privacy of your home, there are hundreds of workout videos on YouTube. Whether you’re a beginner or you prefer strenuous exercise, you can find something for yourself.
12. Stretch or do yoga
Being flexible comes with many benefits: fewer injuries, less pain, better posture, and increased mobility, just to name a few. Try doing some stretching or yoga whenever you can.
13. Make a healthier version of your favorite meal or dessert
I can guarantee that whatever your favorite food is, there is a recipe for its healthier version online. Try it out, you have nothing to lose — except maybe a few extra calories.
14. Grow a plant
It can be a flower, a herb for your kitchen, or even a tree if you have a backyard. Growing a plant is therapeutic and rewarding, plus they help clean the air and reduce noise levels.
Creativity releases dopamine, a natural anti-depressant, and increases brain plasticity. Unleash your creative side with some of the items from this list.
15. Go on a photo walk
Photowalking essentially means taking a walk with other photography enthusiasts and snapping photos. However, if there are no such events near you or you’re not comfortable with doing it with others, you can do it by yourself. Take a walk in your neighborhood and take pictures of things that catch your attention.
16. Try out a new recipe
Channel your inner Jamie Oliver and cook something you’ve never cooked before. Bonus points if it’s somewhat healthy and/or exotic. But, it doesn’t have to be.
17. Discover your artistic side
Try painting, drawing, pottery making, or even writing a short story. Don’t worry if you’re talented or not. You don’t have to be good at being creative to enjoy it. Besides, creativity is like a muscle — the more you exercise it, the more it grows.
18. Make a productivity playlist
It’s no secret that music affects productivity. Do you listen to classical music or nature sounds when you work? Or maybe you prefer energetic, feel-good songs? Make a perfect playlist that will get you in the mood to get things done.
19. Do a DIY project
There’s no better time to do that DIY project that has been on your Pinterest board for months than when you’re bored. You’ll get to be creative, have the satisfaction of making something with your own two hands, and (hopefully) end up with something pretty or useful.
20. Redecorate your room or your workspace
Redecoration doesn’t have to be expensive — adding a pop of color, changing the lighting, or hanging up some wall art can completely transform the atmosphere of a room.
21. Make a physical photo album of your favorite memories
I’m sure most of us have thousands of photos on our phones and computers. Going through all those pictures doesn’t have the same effect as looking at our childhood photo albums, right? Pick your favorite memories and make a physical photo album out of them.
Connect with others
No man is an island. Spend more time with your favorite people (and furry friends).
22. Catch up with a friend or a family member
Call a good friend, your mum, or your favorite cousin and have a simple chit-chat. What are they up to? And have you already told them about everything that’s happening in your life?
23. Spend time with your pet
You have other things in your life, but your pets only have you. Give them some extra cuddles and buy them a new toy.
24. Attend a networking event
Get to know people in your industry. You can get fresh ideas, new job opportunities and precious advice, as well as gain more knowledge.
25. Reconnect with an old friend
Do you have a friend you still think fondly of but lost contact with over time? Send them a message, maybe you’ll get to rekindle the friendship.
26. Plan a family or friends gathering
We all live busy lives and often days (or even months) can go by without seeing our loved ones. Plan a gathering and enjoy some quality time together.
27. Find an online community that shares your interests
It can be a reading club, a fitness community, a plant lover community, or something entirely different. You’ll get to talk about your interests, share tips, motivate each other, and improve yourself.
28. Preserve family memories
Make a family tree, collect family stories, and make a family photo album, or several albums. Have all those memories saved so the whole family can enjoy them in the future.
29. Get to know someone on a deeper level
Make a deeper connection with someone and get to know each other better, whether it’s your partner, a friend, or a family member. You can play 36 questions to get to know someone better or the We’re Not Really Strangers card game.
30. Tell someone you love and appreciate them
It may sound cheesy, but life is short, we don’t know how long we’ll be here, and one day you’ll be glad you did.
Helping others doesn’t only feel good, but also gives you a sense of purpose and belonging. Besides, it’s just the right thing to do.
31. Perform a random act of kindness
Do something good just for the sake of it, without expecting anything in return. It can be as simple as holding the doors open for someone, picking up litter from the beach, or buying coffee for the next person in the drive-through.
32. Donate blood
If you can, I would recommend donating blood. A small gesture for you may make a difference between life or death for someone. I had a positive experience every time I went to donate blood, as the staff was always super friendly.
Look up volunteering gigs in your area. Whether you choose to volunteer in an animal shelter, a food bank, or an art organization, it’s an experience you’ll remember.
34. Write a review
This may not sound noble like other items on this list, but if you’ve ever researched a product before spending your hard-earned money on it, you know how important this is.
35. Help elderly neighbors
If you have elderly neighbors, check if they need some help. You can make their life easier with some easy tasks (well, easy for you, not so easy for them), like going grocery shopping or walking their dog.
Organize your life
The most productive thing you can do when bored at home? Get organized.
36. Review, update, and organize your schedule
Is your schedule optimal, up-to-date, and as efficient as it possibly can be? If not, review it and make changes where necessary. If you track your time, this will go smoother as time tracking gives you a more accurate idea of how you spend your time and how you should schedule your tasks.
37. Declutter your space, physical or digital
Don’t keep anything that doesn’t have a purpose and/or doesn’t make you happy. When you declutter physical stuff, separate it into 3 piles: to sell, to donate, and to throw away.
38. Organize files on your computer and phone
Replace “jshakdjfl” with normal file names — this is especially important for documents — and organize them in folders (not named “hagdjahshshs” or anything similar), for an easier search.
39. Organize your camera roll
Delete blurry photos and the ones you look bad in. If you have 70 almost identical photos, leave 2 or 3 and delete the rest. It will look less messy and you’ll be able to find the photos you want much faster.
40. Organize your closet
Declutter, tidy up, and store clothes in categories so you always know where to find something you need. If you’re feeling extra productive, you can even color-coordinate your clothes.
41. Unsubscribe from newsletters you’re no longer interested in
If you haven’t opened their email in a while, unsubscribe. Let go of the unnecessary clutter in your inbox.
42. Unfollow/unfriend all the accounts that don’t add value to your life
Be conscious of the content that you consume on social media. How does it make you feel? If someone you follow triggers negative thoughts and emotions, unfollow them. The same goes if they don’t add any value to your life, whether it’s inspiration, entertainment, or useful information.
43. Create email templates
If the emails you receive require similar answers, make your life easier by creating email templates instead of typing everything out over and over again.
44. Make backups of important documents and photos
Last, but definitely not least — make backups of all the important files you have. Every single one. If you make more than one backup, even better. Most of us learned the hard way how risky it is to keep everything only in one place.
There’s no better time to do all those not particularly exciting, but necessary tasks than when you have nothing to do.
45. Clean your house
Tidying up, vacuuming, mopping the floor, washing the dishes, cleaning the windows… There’s always something to do around the house, especially if you have kids and/or pets.
46. Clean your car
On the same note, clean your car too. Clean the interior and give it a good shower in a car wash.
47. Clean your makeup brushes
If you wear makeup, your brushes and beauty blenders are likely overdue to be cleaned. I know it’s boring, but your skin will thank you.
48. Update your wardrobe to prepare for the next season
Go shopping for some clothing items for the next season, but shop mindfully! Only buy things you’ll actually wear and, if you are able to, buy from ethical brands.
49. Set up a life binder
A life binder is a binder that contains all important documents in one place. That includes various paperwork, insurances, bills, passwords, important contacts, and so on.
50. Make a list of things you need to buy
I always have a list of things, big or small, that I need to purchase when I get the chance (mostly stuff for my apartment). Making such lists is a good idea if you’re an impulsive shopper, as it makes your money go towards something you need instead of unnecessary things.
51. Rearrange your furniture according to feng shui principles
Feng shui is a system of traditional practices originating from ancient China. It has the goal of enhancing your wellbeing in a space by making a good flow of energy within that space. Look up feng shui principles and make some adjustments in your space — after all, just making a little change may be refreshing.
52. Fix something around the house
Is your faucet leaking? Do your walls need a fresh coat of paint? Is your garbage disposal clogged? You can try to repair it.
But, if you don’t know how to do it, it’s better to give a call to a professional to get it fixed.
53. Do all those small tasks you’ve been avoiding
Stop procrastinating and do all those small tasks you’ve been avoiding, such as making a doctor appointment, paying bills, sending that email, etc. You can’t play the “I don’t have time, I’m too busy” card now.
54. Have a No Spend Day
Do a challenge of not spending a single cent for a whole day. Can you really do it?
Work on yourself
In the wise words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.”
Writing down all your thoughts and concerns has a big positive impact on your mental health. It makes your head clear, boosts your memory and comprehension, reduces stress, and you become more in tune with yourself and your emotions.
56. Write a letter to your future self
I do this every 1st January, but you can do it wherever you want. Set goals for yourself, make predictions about the future, envision how your ideal future will look like (and then make it happen).
57. Start working on one of your weaknesses
We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but it takes a very determined person to actively work on the things they’re not good at. Those who can do it are often the most successful ones.
58. Make a list of bad habits you want to stop doing
This is similar to the previous point, but not quite the same. Think about all the bad habits you have and write them down. In another column, write good habits you can replace the bad habits with.
59. Write a list of things you’re grateful for
We often get too caught up in trying to get something bigger and better to pay attention to all the things we already have. Stop for a moment and think about everything you are grateful for.
60. Make a list of your achievements in the past month or year
On the same note as the last point, we often don’t appreciate how far we have come. Making a list of your past achievements, big or small, will motivate you to accomplish even more.
61. Upgrade your morning routine and make it more productive
It doesn’t have to be that typical productive morning routine you see everywhere on the Internet (waking up extra early, working out, reading, and so on). Try to make a morning routine that’s productive, but still attainable and realistic (for you).
62. Test out time management strategies or productivity hacks
63. Write a bucket list
Write down everything you want to do before you die — it can be a travel bucket list or to-learn bucket list too.
64. Do personality tests
Get to know yourself a bit better. There is a wide variety of personality tests to choose from; some of the most popular ones are the 16 personalities or MBTI personality test, the Love languages test, the Enneagram personality test, and the Big Five personality test.
65. Do something that scares you
Sometimes, the best way to overcome a fear is to face it.
66. Create a self-care routine
You need to take care of yourself — after all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Create a self-care routine that will make you feel great inside and out.
67. Revisit your New Year’s resolutions
Remember those resolutions you made at the beginning of the year? How many of them did you manage to stick to? If the answer is not that many (or none), don’t worry, you still have plenty of time — but start now.
68. Try out a new hobby
Do you have a hobby that has always seemed interesting, but you never had the time or courage to start? Try it out now. You can even revisit an old hobby you started to neglect over time, if you think you might still enjoy it.
69. Find your ikigai
Ikigai is something that you love and you’re good at, something that the world needs and you can be paid for. It’s a Japanese concept referring to something that makes life worthwhile and gives you a sense of purpose. I agree that finding your life’s purpose on a random afternoon sounds pretty ambitious, but you can at least give it a thought.
70. Give some attention to your mental health
Mental hygiene is as important as physical hygiene, especially in the anxiety-inducing world we live in. There is no shame in asking for professional help if you feel like you need it.
Learn something new
According to many, learning is the ultimate productivity. Successful people are learners.
As Charles W. Eliot said, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
72. Listen to a podcast or audiobook
If you prefer listening over reading, podcasts and audiobooks are a great option. One of their biggest benefits is that you can listen to them while doing other things like commuting or cleaning, which is impossible with a physical book.
73. Take an online course
A good thing about the Internet is that you can take courses, even the ones from prestigious universities, from the comfort of your own home. Did you know that you can, for example, take free Ivy League online courses?
74. Start learning a new skill
You can start learning almost any skill online, whether it’s coding on Github or studying a new language on Duolingo. Other than coding and languages, skills that can improve your career are data analysis, public speaking, copywriting, audio and video production, and negotiation (among many others).
75. Learn more about finances and budgeting
No matter what you do, you’ll have to manage and handle money. You should learn how to properly do it.
76. Learn something about psychology
This is another topic everyone should learn about — find out how to read body language, how to recognize an emotional manipulator, how we learn and process information, etc.
77. Watch a tutorial
Watch a video tutorial on something you can’t seem to get right, whether that’s doing your eyeliner or solving a math problem. This is particularly useful if you’re a visual learner.
78. Watch a TEDx talk on the topic that interests you
TEDx talks are a fun way to learn something and get some food for thought, as well as discover new topics that may interest you.
79. Find a new productivity podcast, app, or a YouTube channel
Find a new content creator that talks about productivity to get a fresh perspective on the topic and get some new ideas. If you don’t know where to find them, check out our list of top productivity resources on the internet.
80. Take a self-defense class
This is, unfortunately, something that is incredibly useful to know. It’s the knowledge that you’ll hopefully never get to use, but if you get in a situation where you have to, it may save your life.
Sometimes the most productive thing you can do for yourself is to have some fun and take your mind off work.
81. Watch a classic movie made in the year you were born
There are some movies everyone should watch, as they got a classic status for a reason. If you don’t know where to start, pick a movie made in the year you were born (because why not?).
82. Learn to make a cocktail
If you’re a fan of cocktails, you can learn to make your favorite one. If you are a beginner, don’t worry, there are a lot of cocktails that only have 2 or 3 ingredients and are easy to make.
83. Organize a themed party
It doesn’t matter if there’s a special event (like a birthday) coming up or you just want to make a themed party for the sake of it — pick a fun and creative theme and have a good time. Sometimes the preparations for such parties can be more fun than the party itself.
84. Buy something from a small local business
If you want to treat yourself, consider buying something from a small local business. Not only will you get something high quality and unique, but you’ll also help a real person pay their bills, instead of helping an already rich CEO buy their third yacht.
85. Do that one thing you’ve always wanted to do but had no one to do it with
You’ve always wanted to attend a soap carving course, but had no one to go with? Do it by yourself, life is too short to wait on others.
86. Be a tourist in your own city
Wander around your own city and discover it as a tourist would. It’s fun to get a different perspective on the city you live in (and often take for granted).
87. Go to a museum or an art gallery
Go to your local museum or art gallery and learn something new about history, art, and culture. You can also go on digital tours of museums all around the world, such as the Vatican museums, Guggenheim museum in New York, and Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
88. Organize a weekend getaway/road trip
Is there a place worth seeing that’s close to where you live? If yes, plan a road trip to visit it, especially if you haven’t been there yet.
89. Do sudoku or play memory games
Have fun while training your brain. The most popular options are sudoku puzzles and memory games. You can also play time management games to boost your efficiency.
Plan and prepare
The better your planning skills are, the smoother your life goes.
90. Write a to-do list
Writing a to-do list helps you prepare for the next day, makes you feel in control of your time, and gives you a sense of accomplishment and progress when your cross off a task.
91. Make a plan for the upcoming week
I usually spend Sunday evenings making plans for the upcoming week. I don’t plan every second of the week, but I like to have a general idea of how to divide my weekly workload, what I am going to do after work, and what fun things I can do on the weekend.
You can also do a weekly review.
92. Create a meal plan for the next week
Planning your meals in advance and meal prepping is a great way to eat healthier and save time. It will also make your grocery shopping much faster and easier.
93. Make a 5 or 10-year plan
Switching to a more distant future, think about what you want to accomplish in life and set some long-term goals.
94. Make a strategy to achieve your goals
Whether your goals are big or small, short or long-term, you need a plan to achieve them. Make a good strategy and divide them into smaller steps to accomplish them easier.
95. Plan a few go-to outfits
Has it ever happened to you that you need to get out of the door in 3 minutes, but you have no idea what to wear? Put together a few outfits for a couple of different occasions, so when you’re in a hurry, you already have a good outfit prepared and you don’t need to make decisions on the spot.
96. Make a vision board
Making a vision board is a creative way to figure out what you want to accomplish and direct your energy towards it. That way, you’ll have a visual representation of your goals in a place where you can see them all the time and make sure your mind stays focused on them.
97. Start planning birthday or Christmas gifts
Take some stress off the future and start planning (and buying!) gifts early. When the holiday season comes, you’ll get to enjoy it, instead of running around trying to do all shopping last minute. It will also be easier on your pocket.
98. Make a savings plan
If you don’t already have a savings plan, you should definitely make one. It’s smart to have some money on the side, whether you plan to make a big purchase or save it for a rainy day.
99. Plan a vacation
It’s never too early to plan a vacation. In fact, the earlier you start, the higher the chance to catch good deals and cheap flights.
100. Put together an emergency bag
Put together a bag with essentials you can just grab and go in the case of an emergency. Pack things like nonperishable food, water, a first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, and medication you take.
Relaxing is crucial for both your mental and physical health.
101. Take a nap
A good nap can fix a lot of things; boredom is one of them. If you have extra time, catch up on sleep. Both your body and mind will thank you for it.
102. Try color therapy
Buy an adult coloring book with a design you like and start coloring. It’s great as a stress and anxiety relief.
103. Meditate or pray
Both have many benefits, such as focusing on the present, reducing negative emotions, increasing patience and tolerance, and gaining new perspectives on stressful situations. It’s important to take a moment to be mindful and live in the present.
104. Don’t do anything and let yourself be bored
After all, being bored has some benefits too. You should let yourself be bored sometimes. In many cases, boredom can spark creativity. As Gayatri Devi, a professor at the Pennsylvania State University, said: “Boredom is the last privilege of the free mind.”
✉️ What’s your favorite productive way to let go of boredom? Will you try anything from this list, and if so, what? Would you add anything to our list? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured in this or one of the future blog posts.