What’s your first instinct when it comes to killing the boredom away? You simply pick up your phone and tap that Instagram/Facebook button and bam…. “Where did the last one hour go?” True story, right?
Productive things to do when bored at Work
Instead of wasting time, you can actually do something productive or creative when you get bored. And no, doing something productive doesn’t necessarily mean, doing something very serious or hard to pull-off. There are tons of simple, super fun, productive things to do when bored. Here’s our list of 25 productive things to do when bored, both at home and at your workplace:
1) Organize Your Desk
Now, it has been scientifically proven that your physical environment significantly influences your cognition, behavioral patterns, and emotional states. In fact, if you keep working in a cluttered space, there’s a high chance of developing anxiety-related issues as well as health issues. So, if you feel bored, just start tidying up your desk, eliminate everything that’s occupying the space unnecessarily, and arrange things in a fun, creative manner.
2) Update Apps & Softwares
If you are that someone, who never clicks on the ‘download and install updates without asking my permission’ button, utilize this time to manually update everything on your phone and laptop. Go through all the available app updates and software update notifications and educate yourself as to what exactly is being offered.
3) Familiarize Yourself with the Current Affairs
Yes, the news is depressing! But we can’t live in ignorance either. So, it’s wise to use this time to explore what’s happening around you, in your city, state, country, or in the world. If that’s too blah for you, try keeping an eye on the news and stats related to your fields of interest.
4) Learn a New Language
With the help of amazing apps like Duolingo and LingoDeer, you can actually learn a new language from the comfort of your home (or work desk). These apps work like online games with multiple levels and achievements to be unlocked so it’s easy to get hooked. Who knows a job in Paris could be waiting for you!
5) Watch Inspirational Ted Talks
Learn powerful life lessons from not just anybody, but the best, for free, in an inspirational manner, and in less than 18 minutes! This is probably the most transformational ‘what to do when bored at work’ tip for you to try. So many CEOs and directors love spending time, watching Ted Talks, learning cool new things that help them make the most productive decisions for their own businesses.
6) Read a Book
You might say, what’s fun in that? But the trick here is - try something new, a new genre, a new style of writing, a completely new way of thinking altogether. This can help you think in a more creative manner by giving you a fresh new perspective about things at work as well as in your personal life.
7) Learn Something New
You don’t have to pursue this by going for full-fledged guitar lessons or by learning how to create modern art (though if you can, why not!). You can start with something very basic and simple like how to make a DIY lamp for your work desk or how to make a sandwich with leftover chicken.
8) Discover New Music
Instead of playing those 5 tracks on repeat, why not discover something new and refreshing? After all, the stats say that more than one thousand songs are added every hour to Spotify, Dezzer, Apple Music, and other popular platforms. Yes, that’s right, every hour! So, there’s a very big ocean of new music out there for you to try. So, jump in and start having some fun!
9) Make New Playlists
Now that you’ve discovered an exciting, whole new world of music, why not spend some time organizing it? So, next time when the question arises, “what to do when bored at work”, simply start making new playlists with your current favorite tracks. You can create playlists for your traveling hours, for the workout, for the time you spend with friends, or even playlists that’ll help you sleep better or be more focused on your work.
10) Play Brain Training Games
Instead of wasting time playing violent action games or dumb simulation games, play brain training games to improve your productivity levels. Scientific studies now show that these games can significantly enhance cognitive and memory functions. Brain training games are very interesting and there are so many of them to choose from. You can play a new one every week if you want.
11) Start a Vlog
If you are someone who is comfortable being in front of the camera, why not try Vlogging? Just pick something you are really passionate about and start speaking about it. Invest some time learning skills like video editing, lighting, and basic cinematography. At least try making one and if you feel it’s good enough, put it online. Who knows you can be the next YouTube sensation! And if nothing else, this exercise will definitely make you feel more confident.
12) Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
If keyboard shortcuts are at your fingertips, your work efficiency tends to increase. One study shows that if you know enough shortcuts, you save approx 64 hours per year! So, if your work involves writing emails, blogs, or product descriptions, or you have to make presentations frequently, you know what to do, next time you start feeling bored at work.
13) Take a Nap
Sleeping at work is such a taboo! But now we know that taking a quick nap of about 15-20 minutes can actually boost your productivity levels. So, if you are getting bored, why not sleep off for a few minutes and wake up refreshed? Obviously, some people might give you a look or two but if you work from home, you can definitely try this and see the difference. This power nap will also help you stay active for a longer period without any coffee boost.
14) Do Simple Stretching Exercises
What’s more productive than doing something to make sure your joints are healthy and your muscles are well circulated? You’ll find numerous articles enlisting the benefits of stretching exercises, even on the websites of prestigious institutes like Harvard Health Education and the University of California. And you don’t have to become a full-time yogi in order to do this, even 5 minutes of simple stretching exercises can bear results.
15) Go for a Walk
Walking is another great alternative if you want to do something productive to improve your health. Studies show that walking for about 20-30 minutes daily can boost your health tremendously. It reduces the risk of developing breast cancer, fights against weight-promoting genes, and boosts your immune system as well.
The masters always say - “you can’t do meditation but you can try to become meditative.” What this means is that if you learn how to keep your mind, body, emotions, and your very life energies in a state of ease, you will naturally become meditative. And there are so many ways to achieve this. So, if you are looking for productive things to do when bored, and you feel that you have an inclination towards something like this, try exploring the amazing world of meditation.
17) Create an Itinerary for an Upcoming Vacation
The vacation doesn’t necessarily need to be real! It could be your dream vacation. Ask yourself, “what is that one place I absolutely absolutely want to visit before I die?” Explore this destination on the internet and make an itinerary of all the things you’ll do there, all the places you’ll visit, and the food you’ll try. You’ll realize within a few minutes of doing this exercise, all your boredom will simply vanish!
18) Make a List of All the Not-To-Do Things
Making a list of all the ‘not-to-do’ things is the real game-changer. In this list, include all those activities you keep doing out of habit that does not add anything of value to your personal or professional life. Invest some time doing a self-analysis or a self-audit and you’ll see that there are so many things you could eliminate or do differently in order to become more productive.
19) Self Grooming
Yes, this is the age of ‘my body, my rules’ and ‘self-love is self-acceptance’, but research clearly indicates that those who invest time grooming themselves to look presentable and sound more professional, usually have to do a lot less legwork. Plus, when you feel great about yourself, you automatically work in a more confident and productive manner. So, take an online class and learn some styling tips, makeup tricks, or learn how to communicate more effectively. These things are definitely going to help in your career in the long run.
20) Learn Trick Photography
In today’s day and age when social media rules the world and online marketing is the key to your success whether you are an individual or an organization, learning a few photography tricks can really make a huge difference. Do not underestimate the potentiality of your mobile phone’s camera. With just a few tips and tricks, you can click poster-worthy shots on your phone that can be posted on your social media accounts for better visibility and effective marketing.
21) Create a Vision Board
Also known as a dream board, a vision board is a collection or a collage of images, words, and affirmations of your short time as well as long term goals. This could become your own personal motivator that boosts your confidence levels and inspires you to do your best every single day. You could paste images of how your dream house would look, what car you’d want to drive around in, or what kind of change you’d want to see in the world because of your work.
22) Learn Basic Sign Language
Knowledge of sign language is a fantastic skill to possess. If you start learning sign language, you will be able to communicate with people with hearing difficulties, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg! It will also improve your peripheral vision and reaction time, your body language improves as well, and it helps you become a better listener.
23) Learn How to Read Other People’s Body Language
Now, this one skill can change the game completely! It will help you understand the real intentions and motivations of those around you. Whether you are in a professional sphere or personal, being able to read other people’s body language helps you communicate in a more effective manner. If you are getting bored, find a YouTube video that teaches you this skill or you can order a book and learn from it.
24) Perform an Act of Kindness
Oh, this one is our favorite! Performing an act of kindness for a complete stranger or even for a loved one, instantly brightens up your mood and makes you feel awesome! Even the most mundane of things like giving someone a simple compliment like, “you look great today!” can make them feel wonderful for the rest of the day. But you can actually do so much more than that.
25) Connect with Your Loved Ones
Next time you feel bored at work, call, text, or email someone who’s close to you. This will remind you of all those wonderful moments you’ve spent together and that’s a pro trick to boost your mood instantly and to make yourself feel re-energized with positivity and love. Also, do it, because this will make them feel great as well.
Everyone feels bored once in a while and that’s completely okay. What’s not okay is to allow yourself to get stuck in that moment and procrastinate (when you feel lost and unmotivated) and waste hours of your precious time. Develop a sense of awareness to recognize that feeling and then immediately start doing something productive or creative to get yourself out of that zone. Pick an activity from our list of activities or come up with your own crazy ideas but try to be more productive, more creative, more fun!
Kaivan Dave is an Entrepreneur. Who is passionate about eCommerce, Branding, and Leadership.