productivity tips

51 Productive Things to Do When Bored

You’ve done it! You’ve conquered your entire to-do list and are looking for extra credit. Congratulations on being incredibly impressive (for real, well done).

The question is, how are you going to spend your time now? If you’re craving some productivity, I have fifty-one ways you can use your well-earned time to get ahead.

Productive things to do when bored

1. Start on your TBR list

A TBR list (or ‘To Be Read’ list) is a mainstay of any bookworm’s home. It might be an overstuffed bookshelf, a crumpled list, or a packed Kindle library.

Regardless, use this time to make a dent in the list of books you want to read. It’s excellent for the mind (and for the conscience).

2. Brush up on investment

The best time to learn how to invest was yesterday. The second best time is right now. Investment is an excellent way to set yourself up for the future, but you must also be willing to learn a little.

Luckily, plenty of online or print resources can guide you on your journey. Take a little time to get started, and see where it takes you.

3. Listen to an audiobook


Audiobooks are – in my humble opinion – one of the best inventions humans have ever come up with.

They’re the ultimate multitasking tool, helping you get through your TBR while doing something else. Get up to speed on your latest read while cranking through any other tasks on this list!

4. Try a Wikipedia deep dive

Learning something new is never a waste. Follow your curiosity down a Wikipedia rabbit hole, giving in to the childlike wonder of learning new, unnecessary knowledge.

Not only is it healthy for your mind to learn new things, but this practice will also make you a trivia master in no time.

5. Clean your windows

Cleaning the windows is one task that often gets left until the situation becomes dire.

Don’t wait until your windows are no longer apparent; plug in your favorite album or audiobook and get to work. This is a great way to work up a sweat and improve your home if the sun shines.

6. Organize your closet

Because closets sit behind closed doors, it’s easy to let them become a mess. Many of us don’t realize how bad the situation has gotten until we’ve lost at least half our clothes in the mess.

The truth is, organizing your closet is great for rejuvenating your energy. Donate the clothes you don’t need, make a pile of clothes to repair, and recycle the ones beyond saving.

7. Repair your clothes

Speaking of repairing your clothes, that’s another great way to spend your free time. This sustainable practice allows you to keep your favorite clothes close, so it’s a win-win!

Put on your favorite comfort movie and sit down with a needle and thread to learn basic repair skills. These will serve you in the long run.

8. Read that book you bought

If your mind immediately jumped to a title, this is your task. We all have that one book we bought on a whim sitting shamefully somewhere on our bookshelf.

Well, now’s the time! Crack the spine and start reading; you might have a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

9. Do your laundry

Laundry is one of those household chores people either love or hate. Most of the time, it’s the latter.

If you’ve found some extra time, try getting ahead of this unpleasant chore. Launder your bedding, wash your cushions, or knock out a load of whites to dry in the sunshine.

10. Bake your breakfast for the week

breakfast meal prep productivity

Breakfast – a.k.a. the most important meal of the day – isn’t always easy to prioritize on a busy weekday. This is for you if you’re the type to forget your first meal until your stomach is screaming.

Try baking a batch of breakfast muffins to keep you fed this week. They’re easy, convenient, and, best of all, tasty.

11. Clear out your inbox

There’s nothing worse than a cluttered inbox. It’s so easy to miss important messages in the mess of unread spam emails or irrelevant newsletters, but who has the time to clean everything out?

Well, you do! Spare a couple of free hours to clear your inbox of any emails that don’t serve you. Unsubscribe to newsletters you don’t read and set up filters to directly trash spam emails.

12. Take yourself on a date

Quality time spent with yourself is one of the most essential things in the world. For quality time, try thinking of something you’d love to do. Bowling? Ice skating? Seeing that new movie?

Take yourself out to do it! Show yourself a little love to give your next week a positive kickstart.

13. Clean out your pantry

Like a closet, a kitchen pantry can quickly become a disaster zone when left unmonitored. Unfortunately, this can also lead to insects taking up residence (a.k.a. a nightmare).

Indulge your Marie Kondo instincts with a pantry deep clean to rival the queen herself.

14. Clean out your fridge

Similarly, the fridge can quickly become a miasma of ugly sights and smells if left to its own devices for too long. Clear out anything expired and take a bleach cloth to the interior of your fridge.

Give it a quick restock, and relish in the sight of your Pinterest-worthy fridge.

15. Make a list of tasks you’ve been putting off

There’s no shame here. We’ve all got ‘em! If you’re anything like the rest of humanity, you have little jobs you’ve been putting off. They probably bother you every time you catch sight of them.

Well, no more. Make a quick list and keep it in a visible list to start ticking those little jobs off one at a time.

16. Organize your workspace

organize home office

Nothing stimulates productivity quite like a tidy workspace. If you have extra time, dedicate it to tidying up your desk or studying.

You might even want to rethink the layout or add some new décor to inject creativity into the space!

17. Review your goals

The best part about your goals is that they’re entirely your own. We tend to set goals at times of change, so it’s good to check in on them when things are a little more stable.

Review the goals you’ve set for yourself and ask if they still align with what you want. If they do, ask yourself what more you could be doing to progress to success!

18. Get ahead on your to-do list

There’s nothing better than starting your day and knowing you’re already ahead of the clock. Take that extra time and grant your future self some leeway by getting ahead on a task or two.

Whether a work-related task or a household chore, this is a super simple and productive way to spend your spare time.

19. Start learning a language

Learning a language is one of the best ways to stimulate your mind. It also gives you the unique opportunity to speak to and learn from even more people, opening up the world for you.

Is there a language you’ve always wanted to learn? With so many excellent online resources at your fingertips, a few spare hours can go a long way toward that dream.

20. Clear your drains

This is yet another one of those household chores that often goes neglected. Yes, it’s a little bit gross. Yes, it’s a little bit messy. But it’s also something your future self will thank you for.

Rather than battling a drain blockage, get ahead of the problem with quick and easy preventative drain unblocking.

21. Journal


Journaling is an excellent way to connect with your inner self. Whether you prefer pouring your thoughts out on the page or answering questions, this practice promotes healthy reflection.

While regular journalling is encouraged, even a single session can help you feel more grounded and connected to yourself. Give it a try!

22. Meditate


Similar to journaling, meditation is fantastic for self-reflection. Beyond the pursuit of inner peace, meditation is about practicing mindfulness, allowing your thoughts to pass without judgment.

The more you meditate, the more this skill will become a part of your daily life, thus helping you be more proactive and less reactive.

23. Clear out your junk space

There’s no shame in the dreaded junk space. Everyone has an area of their home where offcuts, strange items, and misplaced broken things tend to gravitate toward.

That said, a few spare hours can go toward cleaning up this dark corner of your home. Use your free time to put it in order, whether it’s a room or just a drawer.

24. Learn basic coding

In the growing digital age, knowing how to code is an excellent skill to have in your back pocket. Some of the easiest (and most useful) languages include HTML, markup, C+, and Python.

With tons of online resources dedicated to teaching basic coding for free, this is a great way to spend a few free hours.

25. Clear the cobwebs

It’s easy to let cobwebs accumulate in the corners of your ceiling where a feather duster won’t reach. Clearing them away is a quick and easy task that can help you feel productive.

Whip out the ladder and gently rehome any spiders that have taken up residence in your corners, leaving your living spaces feeling spick and span.

26. Stock a go-bag

A ‘go-bag’ is essential for anyone concerned about natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. It’s quick and easy to stock, with plenty of guidelines to follow online.

Stash your ‘go-bag’ in a hidden, easy-to-reach spot so you can easily snag it in an emergency.

27. Polish your shoes

This might feel a bit old-fashioned, but there’s something extraordinary about taking care of your possessions like this. Polishing your leather shoes is quick, easy, and a great way to extend their lives.

All you need is a canister of polish, a stiff brush, and an old rag.

28. Flip your mattress

Help your mattress live a long and happy life by occasionally flipping or rotating it. This should only be done every few months (although you can do it more if you’d like).

Flipping your mattress helps spread out the wear and tear from your sleep patterns, ensuring one section doesn’t dip more than the rest as time goes on.

29. Earn some extra money

Nothing says ‘productivity’ quite like a few extra figures in your bank account! Consider if you have any marketable skills you can use for some quick and easy online work.

Sites like Rev, Upwork, and Fiverr offer a great way to make extra cash on one-off tasks. Apps like TaskRabbit and UberEats are also fantastic for this.

30. Launder your curtains

That’s right. You can wash your curtains! This kind of task takes a little gentle handling, so it’s ideal for finding yourself with a few extra hours on your hands.

Laundering your curtains helps prevent the accumulation of mold and mildew. It keeps you and your family healthier and helps your curtains look better for longer.

31. Make wax melts

make waxing melts

This idea is for you if you’re the kind of person who loves to burn candles. Give the little dregs of wax at the bottom of the candle jar a new life by turning them into wax melts.

It’s straightforward to melt the wax out of the jars using a shallow pot of hot water.

32. Finally, outline that book idea

If you’re an avid reader or creative, chances are you have a book idea floating around in your head somewhere. Well, engage your creative abilities and try outlining the concept on paper.

You don’t have to follow through with a draft unless you want to, but it’s a great way to get your mind humming.

33. Get to know your neighborhood

No matter how long you’ve lived in a given spot, you can always know more about your neighborhood. Head outside and hunt for hidden gems, secret spots, or friendly locals.

34. Go on a walk

Not only is exercise excellent for your health, but it’s also super healthy to get out in nature every once in a while. If you’re the kind of person who works on a computer, this will help your well-being.

35. Try a new workout

Do you need to change your workout routine? Try mixing it up! You don’t always have to stick to a regimented series of activities to enjoy the benefits of exercise.

Try working out with a new online dance class, making sprints outdoors, or picking up a fun new activity you’ve never tried before. The novelty is good for the soul!

36. Plan your outfits for the week

Visionaries like Steve Jobs and Barack Obama removed the need to choose what they wear by wearing the same thing every day. Why?

Because it saves the brain power needed to make the decision, saves yourself the decision fatigue, and plans your outfits for the week ahead to achieve a similar effect.

37. Find an online course

With all the Internet offers, you can easily find an online course to fill a few spare hours. Try learning something novel or frivolous, walking the line between productivity and play.

Ever learned to juggle? How about learning your country’s sign language? Or pig latin? The options are endless!

38. Wash your car

wash your car

If the sun is shining and the outdoors is calling your name, get out there and give your vehicle a good scrubbing. Clean cars are less likely to rust, weather, and otherwise deteriorate over time.

Pop in your favorite album and treat your wheels to some tender, loving care with your free time.

39. Take care of your skin

Skincare is just as important as other aspects of your physical health because it contributes to your mental well-being! Something as simple as a face mask can contribute to feelings of self-love.

Set up a full-on facial or keep it basic with a simple face mask; either way, your skin will thank you.

40. Care for your upholstery

Your living room sees much traffic from day to day. But the sofa is also one of the things we tend to overlook when cleaning!

Take the time to give your sofa a deep clean to help it look better and last longer.

41. Add something new to your space

productive thing to do

Renew a room in your home with a new addition! This doesn’t have to be a big thing. A new piece of art you love, a new rug, or even a fake plant can add much verve to a room.

Take yourself to your favorite homeware store and spend time shopping for the perfect piece.

42. Put up your art

Do you have any art pieces languishing in cupboards or propped against your walls rather than hung as they should be? Get out the level and start putting your various art pieces up!

This is a great way to use your time, injecting a little vigor into your space without spending a dime.

43. Try a new craft

Picking up a new craft is an excellent way to keep your mind sharp. Plus, you might discover that you love it!

There are tons of beginner-friendly craft tutorials online that use materials you might already have at home. Try knitting, embroidery, woodworking, painting, or anything else you can think of.

44. Try a complex recipe

In the rush of a busy week, it can be easy to let creating delicious meals fall by the wayside. But if you’re the kind of person who loves spending time in the kitchen, why not try a complex recipe?

This is a productive, delicious, and enriching way to spend extra time. Plus, you can impress your friends or family with the results!

45. Reach out to someone you love

Speaking of friends and family, finding yourself with a spare moment is an excellent opportunity to reach out and check in on your loved ones.

This is another crucial aspect of life that can easily get lost in the shuffle of a busy week. But the truth is, there’s nothing more important than checking in on the ones you love!

46. Restock your essentials

Simple essentials like dried goods, household cleaning supplies, and toiletries often fly under the radar regarding the weekly grocery list.

Do a quick stock take of your stores, checking which supplies need to be restocked. Ordering them online can often net you some good discounts, especially if you buy in bulk!

47. Meal prep your week

meal prepping

Whether you cook your meals in advance or create a plan for your week, this is an excellent way to take some pressure off your plate in the coming week.

Take the decision-making out of your meals with a comprehensive meal plan. This also allows you to plan your grocery haul to the letter.

48. Connect with your partner

If you have a partner, use your spare moments to spend quality time doing something you love.

Strengthen the foundations of your relationship by reconnecting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Even small moments like this can make a big difference!

49. Weed your garden

Weeds are one of those things that can creep up on you. One minute your garden bed is pristine, and the next minute it’s overrun with weeds!

Get ahead of the sneaky intruders by getting out in the sun to do some weeding. This is another excellent time to enjoy music or an audiobook.

50. Review your finances

Staying on top of your finances means knowing how they look daily. Take a spare moment to review what your money is doing and how you can make it work better for you.

Are there unnecessary expenses hiding along the lines of your bank statement? Are there any sneaky subscriptions chipping away at your savings? Clean up your finances to feel that flush of productivity.

51. Finally, try that instrument

play instrument

Finally, you know that instrument you’ve been meaning to try out? Do it! Bite the bullet and jump head-first into learning this new skill.

Many positive side effects are associated with learning new skills and making music, so blending the two can only be a good thing.

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