woman playing guitar when bored

25 Shockingly Productive Things to Do when Bored

If you’re looking for productive things to do when bored, good job!

At least you’re thinking about positive things you can do as opposed to just sitting around, staring at the wall.

Keep in mind that being bored and taking time off aren’t the same thing, so the reason all of these things are productive is because they’re meant to be for when you know you should be being productive instead of being bored, not when you’re having leisure time just lazing around the house.

I love to be productive, and I also love to not change out of my pajamas all day. You can be both people.

Whether you’re confined to your house or able to move around a bit, here are some indoor and outdoor productive things to do when you’re bored so you can feel better about yourself.

Best tools for Productivity

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– struggle with procrastination? This book will change your life

1. Organize Your Closet

After a few weeks, my closet always returns to being a disaster filled with clothes strewn everywhere and things hung up in the wrong place and socks falling out of the drawers.

Considering you get dressed every day, you use your closet a lot, sometimes multiple times a day, and it can be easy to let it fall by the wayside.

But if you’re bored and looking for productive things to do at home, get yourself into your wardrobe and really make sure that everything is organized and hung up correctly.

Not only is this easier for you mentally when you go in there each morning, but it actually makes the process of getting ready faster because you’ll know where to find that favorite dress of yours as opposed to searching the entire house for it.

Many of us also store other items in our closets, so don’t just stop at your clothes.

Organize everything in easy to use storage containers or have a look at tons of different closet design ideas to get inspired.


2. Scan Paper Files into Your Phone

Paperwork is one of the most annoying things to have around because it’s always everywhere and you can never find the paperwork you need when you need it.

When we first got our marriage certificate, I was like, “I will treasure this forever and never lose it,” and now, cue me running around the house yelling at my husband, “WHY DO THEY NEED OUR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE?! I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE IT IS!”

In addition to some actual filing, did you know that you can scan paper filese using your phone?

There are so many things we don’t actually need to keep, but do because we don’t know what else to do with the paperwork and are slightly scared we’ll need it at some point in the future.

For the don’t-really-need-to-keep-but-want-to items, just use either a scanning app on your phone or the built-in scan feature to scan all of that excess paperwork and never have to worry about the physical copies again.

It’s one of the most productive things to do on your phone so what are you waiting for?


3. Learn a New Language

If you want something productive to do when you’re bored and are open to spending some time on Duolingo or Rosetta Stone and finding productive things to do on the internet, why not spend the time learning a new language?

You can learn basically any language you want from the comfort of your own home, and it keeps your mind active while also developing actual language skills you could use in the future if you get to travel to the language’s country of origin.

This is both enjoyable and productive to expand your horizons and make yourself more useful to a future employer who may want conversational skills in the language you’ve chosen if it’s spoken a lot in your local area.

4. Start a Money-Making Blog

Did you know that some people make thousands of dollars a month from blogs like these?

It’s so easy to start one that if you have a passion for writing and running a business, you could soon be the proud owner of a new blog and start a money-making blog.

I’ve got resources on how to make money from a blog which you should read thoroughly to understand everything that goes into it.

But if you’re bored and looking for something to do, make a website on WordPress.com to start for free and see if you like it before advancing.

5. Learn How to Code

People who know how to code are always in demand as it’s a skill that not just anybody has.

There are lots of websites and classes you can take online where you can learn to code, and it will be an incredibly worthwhile use of your time if you stick with it and get proficient at it.

It could be really helpful to run your own website, get freelance work helping other people out with their websites, or position yourself for a future job one day.

6. Make a New Recipe

When you’ve got some downtime, take the chance to get in the kitchen and try out a new recipe.

It can be one you’ve made up, or if you steer clear of cooking like I do, one that you found online.

We often don’t make new recipes when we’re busy because we’re not sure how they’ll go and don’t have the time to spend troubleshooting, but if you’re bored and looking for something to do, the kitchen is all yours!

Get a little bit extra of the ingredients at the store just in case you mess up, and then once you perfect it, you can add it to your weekly rotations.


7. Meal Plan for the Week

Speaking of weekly rotations, creating a meal plan is incredibly productive because it takes the thought out of what you’re going to make during the week, allows you to make a real shopping list that has everything you need for the week instead of having to go to the store every 10 seconds, and means you can plan to eat healthy meals instead of just relying on fast food.

You don’t need to do anything fancy.

You could simply write it down on an index card and put it on the fridge.

If you do want to go a bit further, however, you could always get a chalkboard to write it on or use a meal planning app that helps you make the grocery list.

8. Declutter Your Bedroom

Of all the rooms in the house, a clean and decluttered bedroom is the most important as it’s where you go to relax and the first room you’re in in the morning and last room you’re in at night.

Go through your entire bedroom and declutter and organize it.

To do this, I often start in one corner and go around the room, throwing anything I don’t want anymore on my bed.

Once you’re finished doing that, move all of the stuff on the bed out of the room ready to be donated or sold.

Then, it’s time to start in the same corner, but now you’re organizing instead of getting rid of things.

Depending on how big your bedroom is, this productive thing could take an hour or a whole day or more, so give yourself enough time and get to it.


9. Make a Budget

You wanted productive things to do when you’re bored, not fun things to do when you’re bored!

Budgets are incredibly productive because they can help keep on top of our finances and also make sure we’re allocating enough money to the things we need to save for.

You could do a very primitive budget using envelopes with the savings goals written on them, or you could use budgeting software like YNAB that allows you to input how much money you’re starting with and budget it out each month.

When you make new entries, it then deducts or adds that money to your total and helps you see what’s happening with it rather than burying your head in the sand.

10. Learn How to Make Household Cleaners

One thing that is becoming increasingly clear is that the chemicals in household cleaners are not great for you.

They are meant to help you disinfect and scour and bleach, but there are a lot of instances where you don’t need harsh chemicals to clean your home.

Take some time to learn how to make your own household cleaners when you’re bored so you can have your house smelling nice and not be breathing in dangerous fumes that are not great for you in the best of times, much less if you’re breathing them in in an enclosed space like a bathroom.


11. Wash and Clean Out the Car

If you’re one of those people that throw things all around your car or your kids treat it like their garbage can, it can start to make you feel stressed and not present yourself to the world the way that you want to.

If you’re bored, head out to the car and clean the entire thing out from interior to exterior.

Get rid of anything that isn’t essential to stay in the car by putting it in a big garbage bag and then making the family go through the bag.

Then, give it a good clean and scrub it down and dry it so your wheels are sparkling and you’ve got a bit of your motoring confidence back.


12. Organize Your E-mail Inbox

Whether it’s e-mail newsletters you’ve accidentally signed up for or just e-mails that you haven’t responded to, spend some time going through your e-mail inbox and clearing it out so you’ll be more productive and ready to take on the world (or at least get back to people in less than 2 weeks).

13. Learn a New Instrument

Learning a new instrument is a fantastic way to express some creativity and actually work your math and other mental skills.

Learning to read music and play an instrument can be really rewarding and harder than some people realize if you’re doing it right, so take the chance to either take some lessons or follow along with some instructional videos online.

This is also a great way to cure cabin fever by creating some new sounds.


14. Do Some Gardening

Get out in the fresh air and do some gardening or other landscaping work in your front or backyard when you’re bored.

These are tasks that, for most people, there is never really time for except for on the weekends, so if you find yourself bored, put on some gardening gloves and pull weeds or see what you can grow.

It’s actually easier than you think to grow vegetables in the backyard, and it’s a really fun way to feel like you’re doing something good for your health and overall wellbeing.


15. Read a Book

We all need to read more, and no matter what kind of reading you’re doing, reading when you’re bored is a great idea.

Read for pleasure, to get lost in a story and embrace your imagination, or read a non-fiction biography or documentary that helps teach you something.

You could read magazines, the newspaper, whatever you want to.

Reading is always better than staring blankly at a screen, and it’s always better than being bored.


16. Write Thank You or Christmas or Birthday Cards

Whether it’s your Christmas cards, birthday cards for people you love in your life or thank you cards, there’s no time like the present (get it, present) to write cards and get them sent out.

Turn it into an afternoon of writing cards while watching HGTV in the background or delegate to the family to do a couple of cards each until they’re done.

Not only will Miss Manners thank you, but you’ll feel productive and like a good person which is a win-win.


17. Paint the Doors or Walls

If you’re really bored and have some spare time, why not take on a DIY job around the house?

One of the easiest ones is painting.

Whether you have doors with scuff marks on them that need to be rectified or entire rooms that could use some love, paint the doors or walls in a brand new color to bring some life into your house or apartment and give you something to do.

Just make sure to open the windows and get proper ventilation!


18. Vacuum the House

Okay, so you have 20 minutes of boredom and don’t know what to do with yourself.

You know all of those dead skin cells that fall off of us 24/7?

And the hair, and the dirt, and the grime?

Yeah, that’s all on your floor.

Go get the vaccum and do a thorough run through of the entire house.

It will feel fresher, you’ll feel better, and bye bye dead skin cells – ew.

To get yourself motivated to clean when overwhelmed by mess and clutter, start with vaccuming as it makes you move stuff!

19. Call Someone You Haven’t Spoken to in Ages

In today’s modern world, we forget to actually speak to the people we know and love in person or over the phone.

Assuming that you aren’t able to meet-up in person when you’re bored, do the next best thing – call someone!

This is enjoyable, but it’s also productive.

It’s a really nice thing to keep in touch with and stay updated on the lives of the people around us, and it helps our mental health to grow those relationships.

20. Roll Up Your Coins

Want something for the kidsd to do when they’re bored?

Have them roll up your jar of coins into the paper rolls or separate them out into the correct bags so you can take your coins to the bank and turn it into cash.

21. Make Travel Plans for Your Next Vacation

Think about why you’re bored at home, and take steps to fix that by dreaming about your next vacation where you’ll be anything but bored.

Whether you have an actual vacation coming up that you need to make bookings for and do some research on or you’re just dreaming of the next trip you want to take, keep a list of the research you’ve done and look up things to do in that destination, the best places to stay in that destination, and more.


22. Check Your Bank Accounts for Any Suspicious Activity

You can do this task really easily and mindlessly, which is a good idea for when you’re bored but don’t have much energy.

It’s always good to go through your bank accounts yourself regularly to make sure there are no suspicious purchases.

Banks do try and alert you to fraud, but sometimes it falls through.

We’ve had multiple times where someone else has signed us up for something or put the wrong details in and a company has charged us instead of the stranger (we realized because we were paying for water with a water company we weren’t on!).

Just do a scan of all your past purchases, trying to account for each one and making a note of any that you don’t recognize so you can further check into them.

23. Check All of the Pens in the House

This is a great one for the kids to get them to do something productive.

Check all of the pens and pencils in the house (yes, the entire house) to make sure that they have ink/erasers.

If they find a pen that doesn’t work, a pencil that’s now a stub or some other problematic stationary, get it out of the house and out of your drawers!


24. Go Get Some Exercise

For our physical health, there’s nothing more productive than getting ourselves moving.

Whether you go to the gym or just for a walk around the neighborhood, get outside and get your body moving to help your heart, lungs, and muscles keep you going day after day.

This is also a great one for when you don’t want to think about anything too hard.

No thinking needed, just move it!

This can also be a calming thing to do when stressed.


25. Do Something Nice for Someone Else

If you’re so bored that you can’t think of anything to do for yourself, think of what you could do for other people.

Whether it’s leaving a nice note to your friend who has had a rough week, baking cookies for the neighbor next door or donating some of your items to a charity or to someone in need, start thinking of others more than yourself and you’ll make good use of your time.

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