17 Productive Things to do When You’re Bored

17 Productive Things to do When You’re Bored

“Time is not refundable; use it with intention.” – Unknown

Productivity and boredom — a duo that we’re all probably all too familiar with. Some mornings, you may wake up with spurts of energy. You’ll clean your entire house, scrub the kitchen and bathroom floors, meal prep for the week, and get three loads of laundry done and folded. 

But other mornings, you might let the dishes pile up in the sink. You might ignore your inbox until 2 or 3 p.m. in the afternoon. You might put off getting groceries, making a doctor’s appointment, or even doing your work. 

According to Forbes, nearly half of of the workforce is bored right now. According to the Mayo Health Clinic, about 60% of Americans report feeling bored at least once a week. Our attention spans are getting shorter. Our productivity spurts may feel more intermittent than we’d like. 

So, if you’re looking for productive things to do when you’re bored — whether it’s a Sunday morning or a Wednesday afternoon — we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of 17 things to do to help keep you productive throughout the week. 

Your body 

  • Go for a walk.

    It may sound simple, but a walk can do wonders for your productivity. Even just ten minutes outside can help clear your mind and spur innovation and creativity. Whether you take your dog (or a friend’s!) or simply stroll by yourself with a good podcast, walking can help keep your body and your mind productive.

  • Sign up for a yoga class.

    Find some peace and calm in a yoga routine, preferably one where you can reflect and relax. Try that new studio you’ve eyed on your commute home from work. Or, ask your friends for a recommendation of a yoga studio and go with a friend.

  • Go hiking with a friend.

    There are plenty of benefits to hiking, from improving your heart health and sense of balance to building stronger muscles and bones. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous or long hike, either. If you live somewhere accessible to the outdoors, see if you can get outside with a friend this weekend and commit to a hike.

  • Stretch every morning.

    On its face, stretching doesn’t sound productive. But researching the benefits of stretching, it can have an incredible impact on your long-term health. Think: increased flexibility, decreased injuries, better mobility, increased blood flow, and more. Sometimes, being productive doesn’t have to look like sweating and working as hard as you can.

  • Commit to a spin class.

    Other times, you might want to work up a sweat. There are plenty of workout classes that can help get your heart rate going, like spinning. Indoor cycling is low-impact and good on your joints.

  • Visit a new park in your city.

    Whether you live in a big city or small town, we’re willing to bet you haven’t explored every park in your area. Try to find somewhere new to take a walk this weekend. Perhaps you can make a day out of it and visit a new coffee shop on your way to the park. 

Your mind 

  • Meditate.

    In order to be productive, you need to have a clear mind. If you’re new to meditating, you can start small — even as little as one minute can have an impact. Try using an app or a YouTube video to help guide you.

  • Journal.

    Self-reflection and journaling are great for your mental well-being. Establishing a healthy journaling practice can help bring more self-awareness to your daily thoughts, habits, and actions. Try getting a fresh, new journal to help get you started.

  • Plan out your day or week.

    Another way to jumpstart your productivity is through planners. There’s plenty of research that tells us if we write something down, we’re more prone to follow through on that commitment. Use a daily planner or a weekly planner to help map out what your day or week will look like.

  • Sign up for therapy.

    If you’ve been wanting to try therapy, there’s never a bad time to get started. We recommend thoroughly researching providers and asking for referrals from your general practitioner. Finding a good therapist can make a huge difference in clearing your mind to be able to accomplish more of what you love to do. 

For others 

  • Volunteer.

    If you’re looking for ways to be productive with your free time, consider volunteering. Even if you have small margins of time in your day, there are volunteer opportunities that can work with your schedule. You can use a database like VolunteerMatch to find the right opportunity for you.

  • Do something nice for someone else.

    Small acts of kindness go a long way. For example, you can shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk or driveway after it snows. Or you can make a meal or a batch of chocolate chip cookies for a friend. It also can be as simple as sending a nice text message to a loved one.

  • Write a thank you note.

    Similarly, a note of gratitude can make someone else’s day while also making yours feel productive and good. Think of ways you can thank the people closest to you for things in your life. What are you grateful for? Where can you extend that gratitude to someone around you? Peruse thank you cards to help find the right one for the person you’re sending it to.  

Your career 

  • Sign up for an online skills course.

    Keep your skills fresh and invest in your learning and development. Nowadays, there are plenty of online courses (and many of which are free!) to help you continue to learn and grow.

    Think about a skill you’d like to learn and do some research. For example, have you wanted to get better at public speaking? Consider signing up for course online. You can also ask your manager for ideas — and see if your organization will potentially help cover any costs associated with your professional development.

  • Create a career development roadmap.

    The beginning of the year is the time for planning. But sometimes, we can get too bogged down in the nitty gritty details of planning that we forget about the big picture.

    Try reflecting on your career so far. Where do you see your career going in the next year or two? What skills do you want to learn to help you grow? Where are your strengths? What are your areas of opportunity?

  • Network.

    If you’re job searching or simply exploring other career paths, networking is critical. With some down time at work, try networking internally. Is there a colleague that you’d like to learn more about their work?

    You can also turn to LinkedIn to network with other folks outside of your company. Ask friends and colleagues to introduce you to folks who may have similar career paths and interests. You’ll never know when that networking call may turn into a life-changing opportunity in the future.

  • Catch up on admin work.

    The dreaded little things. Sometimes, the administrative and small pieces of our jobs can be the hardest to accomplish.

    Try the Pomodoro method to knock out as many little things on your to-do list as possible. You can also set a reward for when you’re finished, like going for a walk or indulging in a special treat. 

No matter where you are on your productivity journey, we hope one of these sparks some inspiration. 

Written by Madeline Miles

Share Pin it
Back to blog