I used to get bored all the time before I started Chill with Jill. It sucks to be bored. Boredom is the opposite of feeling productive, motivated, and energized. As someone who used to experience boredom on a very regular basis, I know that it’s not as simple as just thinking of stuff that you usually like to do - in fact, the reason why you’re bored is often that those things just don’t appeal to you right now.
The other thing I want to say about being bored is that there is virtually always a quick-fix: pulling out your phone. You could literally spend all day on your phone without getting bored. However, that’s just not the way to live a productive, balanced life.
Sooo… what do you do when you’re screen time alert comes up for the third time and you actually have to think of something to do? It’s not as easy as thinking of something, you have to think of something fun that actually appeals to you because if you’re anything like me, when you’re bored, you’re bored, and just about nothing will make you un-bored.
That’s where this list came from my boredom. I’ve realized that there are a lot of things that I can do to get rid of boredom and at least occupy myself for a little while. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re “just getting through the day.” That’s why this is a list of productive things to do when you’re bored, so you’ll feel accomplished and stop feeling bored at the same time.
1. Clean your room.
Alright, I know: after reading this one, you’re not going to want to read any of the other ones. Don’t worry though, this is the worst it gets. I wanted to put this one on the list because for some oddballs (like me), it can actually be fun. I think that it can be kind of therapeutic if you put on some music or a podcast.
2. Practice a sport.
Sports are a great de-boreder that simultaneously help you stay active. Shoot some hoops, bump a volleyball against the wall, or kick a soccerball back and forth with a friend or family member.
3. Cook a new recipe.
Sift through your cookbooks, go on cooking blogs, watch a cooking TV show - get some inspiration and then try making new recipe that you’ve never made before. You could even go a step further and design your own recipe.
4. Make a comprehensive list of everything you want to accomplish in the next week/month/year.
Often, when you’re super bored, there’s stuff that you think you should be doing. Sometimes, just thinking about all of the different things you have to do is so overwhelming that you don’t do any of it. Make the list first. Take a piece of paper, get a pencil, and then write your list. Even though it doesn’t seem like you could kill much time with this, I think that you’ll find that there is a lot of stuff that was cluttered up in your brain that you forgot about, so that list might end up being pretty long.
5. Get together with a friend.
Getting together with friends is one of the most surefire ways to bust boredom. Hopefully you have at least one friend who you can either call, FaceTime, or invite to your house on the fly. Although during the current pandemimc getting together with friends doesn’t happen quite as often as it normally would, don’t let the pandemic stop you from FaceTiming, calling, or even texting a friend - relationships are more important now than ever.
6. Read a book.
Especially now in the winter time when outdoor options that usually appeal to us sound a little too chilly, reading a book is a cozy way to enjoy your free time.
7. Make a list of books you want to read/movies you want to watch.
Do you ever get to Friday night and you want to watch a movie, but you have nothing to watch? Figure it out ahead of time by making a list of all the different movies that you’re interested in watching. If you’re more of a book reader, make a list of books to read.
8. Plan a trip.
In fourth grade we had a project where we had to plan a roadtrip. We calculated the cost and found places to stop on the way. It was actually a really fun project, and even though we didn’t actually go one the trip, it was fun. If you’re the traveling type but are stuck at home during the pandemic, planning your dream trip if a great way to pass the time when you’re bored.
9. Get something done.
If nothing’s appealing to you, sometimes you just gotta get something done. Do your homework, clean, meal prep for the next few days… do something that will make you feel accomplished.
10. Go on a walk.
I go on walks pretty much every day. Walking is so refreshing because you’re outside in the fresh air and you can be alone with your thoughts (or with a friend or a podcast or music).
11. Organize a small area of your house.
There’s this one drawer in my house that always gets full of junk that people just throw into it, and it needs to be cleaned out on a regular basis. Identify an area of your house that oculd use a little work and then get to work organizing it.
12. Listen to a podcast.
I have close to forty podcasts in my library on the Podcasts app. I’m a podcast binger, and I will listen to podcasts just about whenever I can. Doing homework? I’ll listen to a podcast. Doing the dishes? Time for a podcast. You get the idea: walk, clean, work, sit… all with a podcast.
There’s a podcast for everyone, whether you’re interested in health, fitness, humor, debate, motivation, lifestyle, or something completely different.
13. Start a long-term project.
I started a blog when I was bored (and now it takes up most of my “bored” time). Start a long-term project, whether that’s a blog, writing a book, making a photography collage, or making a collection of recipe videos. There’s so many options… get creative!
14. Do something creative.
I’m not much of a creative person in the way that people usually think of - artsy, always thinking of neat ideas (I know a few of those types). Even if you’re not much of a conventional creative person (like me), I bet you can come up with some ideas for creative things to do. Here’s some ideas to get you started:
15. Listen to music.
Listening to music, like listening to podcasts, can be an activity all on its own or an addition to other activities. Listen to music while working out or even taking a shower.
16. Learn a new skill.
Play an instrument, teach yourself photography, learn how to set up your new TV… there’s a lot of options that you can learn and skills that you can develop.
17. Work out.
Some people would never work out when they’re bored, but for some, going on a run or hitting the weights is a great way to work up a sweat, give you a burst of energy, and give you something to do.
18. Take a nap.
Sometimes I find that when I’m bored, it’s actually because I’m tired and don’t have the energy to do anything. If that’s you, take a power nap so that you’ll feel more motivated and energetic. (Sorry to all of those people like me who are practically incapable of taking naps).
19. Take a shower.
I love taking showers. Even though it seems like more of a chore, showering when you have plenty of time to relax and enjoy it can be a fantastic relaxing boredom-buster.
Write a creative story, a poem, a song, a book, a blog… writing’s a wonderful, creative way to pass the time.
Boredom sucks, but it’s easily curable. Identify something from this list that appeals to you, do it, and then hopefully you’ll feel accomplished enough that it will motivate you to do something else and get something else done.
What do you do when you’re bored? Comment below and let me know!