Top 10(+1) Productive Things To Do When Bored

It’s just like your mother used to say, “Idle hands do the devil’s work.” OK, so it isn’t that dramatic, but it does remind us how important spare time can be.

Productive Things To Do When Bored. Photo Chris Phutully (Flickr)

How many times have found yourself bored with nothing to do? Instead of finding something productive to do, you realize you have browsed Facebook for three hours or pinned recipes that you will never make on Pinterest.

Let’s put a stop to wasting time. Use these sporadic periods of time to organize or add some efficiency to your life. Turn your boredom into a clever opportunity with these great tips on productive things to do when bored.

#1. Pick up an easy side gig

Make all of that spare time into well deserved profits. Thanks to the Internet, there are plenty of opportunities to make quick cash during your down time.

A popular choice a survey taking. There are several reputable survey sites that will pay users for completing short surveys.

Don’t forget about Craigslist and Ebay! There are also several other online money making side gigs that you can pickup. Do some freelance writing or look into microtutoring jobs.

Online resell groups are also a popular way to make a quick buck. Most communities have a local Facebook page that allows users to post items for sale.

The possibilities are endless. Make some extra spending money while sitting on your couch. you probably won’t make enough to live off of, but you can make quite a bit if you are lucky.

#2. Tackle that junk drawer

We all seem to have that one drawer that seems to accumulate random odds and ends. Take a moment to dump out that drawer and clean it up.

Buy a cheap drawer organizer to house all of those random items that you can’t live without. Throw away items that you haven’t touched in awhile.

Tackle that junk drawer
Tackle that junk drawer. Photo Cathy Calamas (Flickr)

After all, you only need so many pens and notepads.

If you notice that the drawer continuously becomes a catch all for your random items, make sure to go through the mess frequently. At least you will be able to cut down on the clutter, even if it keeps returning.

#3. Prep your snacks and meals for the week

Meal prepping is a great way to save time when it comes to eating. Use your spare time to take the hard part of cooking.

Prepare and cook large batches of your favorite meals. Portion them into individual Tupperware containers for a quick meal to-go.

You can also freeze premade foods for a quick dinner that simply needs to be reheated. A quick Google search can uncover hundreds of different recipes to try.

Helpful advice!
One of the biggest time saving kitchen hacks is slow cooker meals. These recipes are designed to be prepared ahead of time and then thrown into the slow cooker to heat.

You can also prepare snacks to last you throughout the week. Cut up and portion pieces of fruit, Cube up some cheese and pair with an individual serving of crackers.

Having premade meals and snacks will make your work week much less stressful. No more questioning of what to make for dinner!

#4. Read a book related to your profession

Reading a book when you are bored is always a great idea. Reading can be a relaxing and soothing recreational activity.

However, make your reading sessions even more efficient by the type of book you choose. Pick a title that is related to your profession to help you grow as a business professional.

Read a book related to your profession. Photo Moyan Brenn (Flickr)

No matter what you do for a living (or want to do), there are several books written by experts in that particular field.

You will feel like you are kicking back with a good book. But, in actuality, you are learning and expanding your mind.

It is also a great idea to read a self-help book to help you learn about being the best you. Perhaps you are having some confidence issues, there are several books that will enlighten you on how to boost your self-esteem.

Use those moments of silence to read a book that serves a bigger purpose than just entertainment.

#5. Organize your closet

When is the last time you cleaned out your closet? Organizing experts recommend cleaning out your closet at least every season.

Take a moment to clear out any items of clothing that haven’t worn in a while or that have gone out of style. If you don’t wear it, you don’t need it.

Try this clever closet clearing hack. Turn all of your hangers in the opposite direction. When you wear an item and return it back to the closet, turn the hanger the other direction.

At the end of the season, take a look at which hangers are still facing the opposite direction. These are the pieces of clothing that you have not worn and should get rid of. Also, take a moment to organize the other items in your closet. The cleaner your closet is, the easier it will be to find what you need.

While you are cleaning out your wardrobe, you can even take a moment to arrange full outfits together. Some even plan out their week’s wardrobe to make their morning routines more efficient.

Just think about all the extra space you will have for new clothes!

#6. Backup your electronics

We’ve heard the story one too many times. Your phone broke and you’ve lost thousands of irreplaceable photos or videos.

Unfortunately, if you haven’t backed up your phone’s storage, those precious items could be gone in an instant. However, the backing up process is relatively easy and can be done in a matter of minutes.

Backup your electronics. Photo Karen (Flickr)

All you have to do is connect your device to a computer. You can also choose to backup your device by using cloud storage, which means you can send the data from your device.

Whatever method you choose, use some of your spare time to give yourself a sense of security. Backing up your electronics can be even be done on the go, depending on your storage choice.

Don’t leave your documents, photos, videos and other data vulnerable to getting erased. Next time you find yourself twiddling your thumbs, ask yourself if your electronics have been backed up lately.

Always check your manufacturer’s booklet to make sure you properly backup the device. you can never be too sure.

#7. Become a planner

Nothing is more proven to help you stay organized and prepared than using a handheld planner. The world of planning has blown up in the recent years.

Long gone are the plain pen and paper. Now, tons of varieties of stickers, planners and washi tape have hit the market to make your planner as unique as you are.

Use your free time to plan out each week. Not only will you be reminded of important dates and appointments, but so much more.

You can also use your planner as a place to do daily journaling, make goals and track fitness activity. The possibilities are endless.

Who knows, you might find your new hobby. Take a plunge into the vibrant planning community.

#8. Pick up a lucrative hobby

Did you know you know that you could make money during those inevitable Netflix binges? Taking up a hobby that you can do while sitting on the couch could mean big profits.

For example, are you an avid knitter or crocheter? Start selling those scarves, sweaters and blankets on your local Facebook sites or to family and friends.

Pick up a lucrative hobby. Photo lorenza (Flickr)

Many people have discovered lucrative business opportunities by selling their handmade wares. In fact, there has been a recent surge of new stores opening up on, an online marketplace dedicated to handmade wares.

Ask yourself what you are good at? Candlemaking, sewing, drawing, the options are literally endless. Find your niche and make money doing what you love.

Who knows, you could find a huge moneymaking idea. Plus, how many people can say they make money while watching television?

#9. Schedule important appointments

How many times have you realized that you never scheduled that doctor checkup or dentist appointment. Despite only taking a few minutes on the phone, scheduling those important moments seem to slip our mind.

Try keeping track of when you will need yearly exams or important appointments. Then, when you find yourself with a few extra boring minutes, whip out your phone and make some calls.

It is also extremely helpful to have important phone numbers in an address book or saved in your cell phone. By having those numbers with you at all times, you can make those important phone calls anywhere.

By scheduling these appointments in one solid chunk of time, you can make sure you never forget an important event. Remember that one time you forgot your annual eye exam?

#10. Learn a new language

Thanks to the world wide web, learning a new language isn’t such a daunting task. In fact, there are several online resources that can help you learn a new tongue.

There are plenty of paid services, but there are also several free options. Take a look at your budget and find a program that works for you.

For example, offers free online courses that span out over a 12 week period. This is the perfect option for using small bits of free time for lessons.

Learn a new language. Photo U.S. Embassy New Delhi (Flickr)

Another great online resource, and probably one of the most well known, is Rosetta Stone. Available in CD or online course format, you can choose to learn any foreign language of your choosing.

How easy is it to find time to log in for a short bit of time here and there? Within a few months, you could be speaking an entirely new language.

Besides online programs, you could also pick up a book or CD set to use in your free time. ITunes even offers downloadable lessons, so you can listen on the go.

Becoming bilingual definitely has its perks. For example, several companies will pay employees with this skill more than single language speaking languages.

Being able to translate will not only make you an indispensable employee, but also open entirely new culture to explore.

#11. Make a personal budget

Nothing is more productive than financial stability. Creating a budget for your personal use may sound like a chore, but it will help you greatly in the long run.

You can choose how you would like to do your financial planning. Whether you choose old fashioned paper and pencil or a computer spreadsheet, a budget is a must have for a self-sufficient individual.

Began by figuring out how much money you make within a certain amount of time. You can do a weekly or monthly budget.

Break down your living expenses into categories. Of course, list all of your necessities first.

Helpful advice!
You can’t live without paying rent, electricity, water and other important costs. However, you can live without a daily Starbuck run (maybe).

As you add expenses, make sure you can afford your lifestyle. If you find issue, see which categories you can cut back on.

Creating a budget will not only help you plan your expenses, but also help you with other financial goals. You can use a budget to help you save for that dream vacation or new car.

What are you waiting for?

Experts say that 50 percent of people have plenty of free time that they are completely overlooking. Whether it is sitting on the subway during your morning commute or waiting for your turn at the DMV, make the most of your down time.

Be prepared for this inevitable downtime. Keep important numbers, a notebook and a book with you at all times.

Never catch yourself claiming you are bored. Get the most our your spare time with these productive things to do when bored.

Take a cue from this simple list. You will thank us in the long run!

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