It is understandable if you are not feeling particularly productive at a time when social distancing has become the norm and most of us are stuck inside our homes feeling bored and overwhelmed.
As we are witnessing the worst and hoping for the best our lives have almost come to a grinding halt and world as we know it is transforming forever. Our social lives are in a quandary with world events, and social engagements being cancelled or delayed.
As humans we need social interactions and a certain schedule to survive. Even the laziest of us needs some engagement. But during such period of inactivity when you are bored out of your wits and stuck at home it is not easy to come up with creative ideas to be productive.
In these testing times, we need to be optimistic, mentally strong and rational in our outlook. We must use this time to recharge, reflect, nourish and protect ourselves.
How to be Productive when you are bored
I get it is extremely difficult and unusual to stay inside your homes and not get bored. Research has shown that large period of inactivity results in a life-slump and depression.
So here I am listing out 100+ productive and creative things you can try to prevent getting bored. These activities will engage you physically and mentally while you are stuck inside your homes. Since the list is pretty long you can easily pick and choose the things you want to do.
Mindful activities – 1-19
Here are top 20 mindful things you can do for peace of mind and mental strength to control anxiety and stress. These productive activities will fill in your boredom and help you to develop some healthy habits.
Mentally we all are exhausted to some extent. If you need to control your anxiety and panic meditation is the best way to do that. Meditation helps you gain control of your breath and flow of your thoughts. Meditation keeps you calm and gain a better understanding of your situation.
There are countless of free meditation apps to help you with guided meditation If you find yourself getting bored this is one productive activity you can start right now.
2. Start a Journal
This is perhaps the best time to start a journal it will be your written record of how this experience has been. You can reflect upon this time later and perhaps even keep it as a testimony for future generations.
The purpose of journaling is to liberate your thoughts and let it flow. It helps you in self-discovery and checks any mental blocks or little sprouts of fear and insecurity you might be experiencing unconsciously.
So if you find yourself getting bored boost you productivity by grabbing a pen and paper and start writing.
If you need help you can refer to my post on journal writing prompts for beginners.
It’s a struggle to remain healthy these days. Most of us are either under severe stress which invites lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension. It is more important than ever to boost your immunity and lead an active life. 30-45 minutes of exercise or physical activity is recommended for all adults. So when you feel like you are getting bored, some yoga or body stretches or brisk walking can be a productive use of your time.
4. Practice Mandala Art Therapy
Mandalas are meditative and mindful drawing techniques primarily involving geometric drawing patterns. This technique aims to restore your peace of mind. Personally I love making mandalas because besides the calming effect they have on you, the mandala drawing technique is addictive and gets your creativity flowing. You can check out some of my designs in my new Insta Art account.
5. Practice Colour Therapy
Colouring is not just kids activity, colour therapy is recommended for adults as well to relieve stress and anxiety. If you are bored get some adult colouring books, get some crayons and get down to colouring. You can also do this online as well, divide your page into small sections and start coloring one section at a time in gentle strokes.
6. Write some Affirmations
Uncertain times always call for some positivity and optimism. You can write your positive affirmation if you find yourself feeling helpless and anxious. To help you I have created a free affirmation e-book which you can download to practice, manifest affirmations and activate some positive energy in your life.
7. Practise Gratitude
Being grateful keeps you humble. Practice gratitude to gain inner strength and patience to sail you through difficult times. There are too many unfortunate events happening each day which adversely impact so many lives. There are people struggling each day for better livelihood Hence appreciation and acknowledgment of our humble lives and possessions becomes important.
Pampering yourself by having a ‘Me Time’ is always welcome. Self-care is necessary for your mental-health particularly when you are in isolation, and away from your family. Self-care is not self indulgent and certainly not selfish we all deserve some uninterrupted time to process things and untangle our thoughts to be level-headed. Here is a simple guide for beginners on practicing self-care.
9. Learn Yoga
The benefits of yoga are well-documented. Whether it’s weight loss, strengthening your core muscles or aiming for mental peace, yoga is holistic healthcare of your body, mind and soul. There are countless YouTube videos and apps that can guide you to get started with yoga.
10. Read Books
Reading books is a life-changing habit that helps to expand your thought horizons. Books de-stress and relax your mind. In many cases it also inspires and fuels your creativity. Here are my best recommendations for beginners.
11. Read some blogs
Read and subscribe to some helpful blogs which inspire and motivate you (cough! Oh Well Yes cough!). Okay besides the self-promotion I really think you guys should check out these two wonderful lifestyle blogs by two amazing women – Shinesheets by Amber and Afamuche by Afamefune Uchechukwu.
12. Try a digital media detox
If you are perturbed by all the digital media overload in your life perhaps now is the time to do a digital media detox.
13. Observe Nature
Observe nature from your window or balcony like the birds chirping, wind rustling the leaves, clouds flying by. All these are techniques for living mindfully.
Go for a short walk around nature or in your local park, if you are allowed to venture out of your homes.
15. Deep breathing
Practise some few minutes of deep breathing each day.
16. Sip water and stretch your body for 5 minutes every two hours.
17. Watch sunset and sunrise
18. Make a playlist of you 100 favourite songs and listen on a loop.
19. Listen to operas and musical concerts online.
20. Listen to audiobooks.
Productive Activities 21 – 51
Here are some ways you can be productive with your time when you are bored. Most of these activities will are related to your personal growth like learning a new skill online, maintaining personal hygiene and so on.
21. Make a Vision Board
Creating a vision board is a cool idea if you are getting bored and want some productive activity in your life. A vision board is a collage of images or words representing your aspirations and goals. Get some old magazines or newspapers paste them on a foam-board/corkboard. Be as creative as you want. Here is a post on how can create a vision board for your dream life.
22. Get into a routine
One of the main reasons why you get bored is due to a lack of daily routine. Develop a schedule to get tasks done in a chronological manner like making your bed, brewing your own coffee, brushing twice a day, starting the morning with a warm glass of water. When you have a fixed schedule it helps you in being productive throughout the day.
23. Make a Life Plan
We all have our bucket list of goals, ambitions and wishes. A life plan allows you to analyze on how your life has been panning out. It gives you a chance to reflect on things you should be doing, areas where you can improve. Consider making a life binder where you make your 5-year and 10-year plans as well as note down your bucket-list. Your future self will thank you for it.
24. Make a medicine box and emergency bag/kit
Always thought about arranging a medicine and emergency kit, well do it now. Put together some essential things like bandages, scissors, and over the counter meds for flu, cough and cold. For the emergency bag keep some cash, some essential clothes, copies of important documents and IDs etc.
25. Check Your Finances
In these uncertain times you need to keep a tab on your finances. Make that monthly budget, set some saving goals or make some long term financial investment plans.
Keep an eye on your spending habits because a penny saved is a penny earned. If you feel certain items on your grocery list are unnecessary just tick it off. Good financial discipline is so important these days when cost of medical care is sky-rocketing.
26. Don’t procrastinate on your due payments and income taxes.
27. Home Organisation- Clean & Declutter
Organising and clearing out the junk is always liberating mentally. When you have cleared the clutter from you home you will feel like a huge load has been lifted from you mind. This is also perhaps the most engaging and productive of all activities when you are getting bored.
28. Organize Your Closet
Organizing the closet is a painful task which most of us delay until it cannot be avoided. Instead of getting bored be productive and utilize this downtime to clear your wardrobe, your accessories and expired make-up items.
29. If your discarded clothes are in good condition consider donating them to local charities.
30. Clean your handbag and arrange it.
31. Organise, clean your kitchen cabinets and arrange your jars and bottles.
32. Clean and organize your refrigerator.
33. Digital Declutter
Most people often lament the lack of time when it comes to organising emails. “547 unread emails” is never a cool thing. You never know there might be an important message in that mail junk. Organise your mail, drives and folders, your phone, laptop and desktop. Keep softcopies of important documents, IDs and papers in multiple locations.
34. Arrange all old pics on your phone and laptop/desktop in separate folders year wise
35. Take an online course
If you are bored and guilty of wasting time be productive and learn a skill online. There are so many free courses you can take.
Skillshare is an amazing place and free for two months. It has courses on practically everything like writing, social media marketing, graphic designing, photography, self-development etc.
36. Learn a New Language
It’s always worth learning a new language; download Duolingo, amazing app that teaches you foreign languages for free you can of course upgrade later if you wish.
37. Hone your communication skills
Practise speaking in front of a mirror if you wish to improve your communication skills. I have a post especially for introverts who can be better at their speaking skills.
38 Pamper your Skin
Develop a regular skincare routine comprising cleansing, exfoliation, moisturining and toning. Try some home-made or the famous Korean face-masks. Here’s is a DIY post on natural skincare.
39. Make your own masks and gloves
There will be a huge demand for masks and gloves as predicted by market experts. Use your time productively instead of being bored and try to make some masks and gloves at home. Youtube has thousands of helpful content on this.
40. Make your own hand sanitizer
Again the demand for hand sanitizer will go up considerably after this pandemic is over, so instead of buying try to make your own hand sanitizer at home.
41. Start a part-time business
There is a growing demand for developers, graphic designers, illustrators, photographers and writers. Utilize digital market service providers like Etsy and Red Bubble.
42. Update your resume
Update your resume, because this productive activity is almost always overlooked so instead of getting bored do this now.
43. Watch some TEDx videos
Watch some TEDx videos, inspiring content like TED talks lift your mood and spirits when you feel bored.
44. Listen to some popular podcasts.
45. Start your own Youtube channel like a daily vlog
46 Start a podcast
47. Rearrange your furniture
If you bored the way you house look be productive and rearrange furniture at your home to give it a fresh vibe.
48. Fix your home
Make a list of all things around your home that need fixing and go around doing them.
49. Rest and sleep
Get quality sleep by focusing on getting 7-8 hours of sleep every day, to heal your body muscles, tissues and skin.
50. Indoor plants
Plant indoor plants like succulents to brighten up your indoorsIf you already have indoor plants, see if they need any repotting or water.
51. Clean your vehicle
Clean your vehicle and don’t forget to ignite the engine every now and then.
Creative activities to stop getting bored
52. Plan Facetime & Google Hangout parties
The coronavirus pandemic has given the world the unique concept of partying and get-togethers via Facetime and Google Hangout. Plan some hangout parties with your gang and experience the feeling.
53. Connect with long lost friends
There are so many people who you miss dearly but never bother to reach out make that effort now.
54. Play some board games.
If you are bored bring out the board games the good old Scrabbles, Monopoly and Poker.
55. Begin making Tik Tok videos
Tik Tok is the new Facebook, the app is a rage among millennials these days. Make some funny videos and explore your abilities as an actor.
56. Try Painting
Try to have some fun with water colours and acrylics if you like your creation frame it.
57. Start hand-lettering
Hand-lettering is the new cool craft that is extremely popular among creatives. There is a huge demand for hand-lettered artwork. This is certainly something worth trying.
58. Try haiku
Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry usually consisting of three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables that are unrhymed. If you are absolutely bored, wreck your brains to create a good haiku, because the process isn’t that easy. If you love poetry, try to be productive in creating some Haiku.
50. If Haiku doesn’t seem interesting try writing your own poems and motivating quotes.
59. Begin writing
Always wanted to be a writer but never got around to doing it. Now is the time to tell your story.
60. Write letters
Write letters to your past and future self, friends and family. Tell them something you wouldn’t normally say them in person.
61. Make list of your favourite memories and share them with your family, ask them to share theirs.
62. Write about all your accomplishments to motivate yourself.
63. Be innovative with your cooking style
To be productive and keep boredom at bay think creatively how you can combine your kitchen ingredients and cook-up a tasty meal.
64. Focus on having some healthy meals in between to boost your immune system.
65. Cook together with your family where everyone is involved in cooking.
66. Try to mix and make some mocktails and cocktails at home.
67. Plan a picnic, indoors of course.
68. Start baking
Baking is therapeutic for many. If you are a beginner watch some easy and interesting recipes to begin baking.
69. Mix and match your clothes.
Try and have some fun with your clothes, mix and match different styles, be innovative.
70. Try new hairstyles
Colour your hair, try a new hairstyle like fishtail and complicated braids and buns
71. Try new make-up techniques.
72. Have a soothing bath
Plan a luxurious bath for yourself with some bath-bombs, wines and candles.
73. Plan a weekly manicure and pedicure.
74. Try some aromatherapy
75. Learn a dance technique
There are so many cool dance techniques on the internet zumba, belly-dancing, salsa you name it. Dance is the best work out more than that it is the most graceful and liberating activity. So don’t get bored be productive and dances your blues away!
Crafts and things to do with family
76. Try doing some cool 5-minute craft. You know those 5-minute craft videos that are definitely more than difficult than they look. Try out some of those crafts and arts.
77. Learn Orgami to make some paper boats and planes.
78. Try knitting and embroidery.
72. Try doodling
79. Make some home-décor items for your bedroom, living room, kitchen and balcony.
80. Make a box for your jewelry items and scrunchies, because these get misplaced all the time.
81. Make a playlist of you 100 favourite songs and listen on a loop.
82.Listen to operas and musical concerts online.
83. Listen to audiobooks.
84. Read graphic novels.
85. Play an instrument, if you have one.
86. Make your own music online.
87. Fancy beatboxing, the art of playing instruments with your voice.
88. Change the look of your backyard, porch and balconies.
89. Indoor Camping
When you are bored try to spruce up things by indoor camping. Built a camp with bed sheets and light it up with some fairy lights. Take inspiration from the movie ‘The Holiday’.
90. Make a digital scrap book and ask all your friends and family to contribute.
91. Since fairy lights are so popular, give your bedroom a make-over with some fairy lights.
Movies and TV
92. Binge watch all romantic/underdog/thrillers/apocalypse and Oscar winning movies. Movies are the best escape when you are getting bored. Watch some mushy movies and cry your heart out.
93. Binge watch some note-worthy foreign language movies. Parasite anyone?
94. Binge watch your favourite childhood television shows.
95. Play some video games online or on your phone, I mean that’s obvious when you are getting bored whether it’s productive or not it’s a story for another day.
96. Play some baby and puppy videos. Aren’t these the best?
97. Let off the steam with Netflix and other streaming services.
98. Solve some jigsaw puzzles online.
99. Try playing some tongue twisters. Like ‘she sells, seashells on the sea shore.’
100. Try to use your non-dominant hand for writing.
101. Create an Instagram challenge related to fitness, readthon, movie marathon and so on.
102. Read old scrapbooks, magazines and comic books.
103. Flip through your old photos
104. Scroll Pinterest to get some inspiration on home renovations, flower arrangement, knitting, cooking and just about everything hobby.
105. Click a selfie each day to maintain a pictorial record of this time.
106. Experiment with your smartphone camera, play with light, shadows and different angles. Practice indoor photography, still life, nature photography.
103. Make your travel bucket list with all places, museums, monuments, adventure parks you wish to visit
After a very long post, the longest I have ever written. I would urge you to not lose patience. This situation is overwhelming for each of us. Keep your faith intact because we shall overcome.
Hopefully you liked this post would love to know how are you handling social distancing. Are you bored or using your time productively? Do let me know! Stay safe, stay strong. Lots of love!