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51 Productive Things to Do When Bored at Home

If being productive is one of your resolutions this year, these productive things to do will help you spend your free time in the best way. Build good habits with these productive ways to spend your spare time.

As this year comes to a close, you may be thinking about new goals for the coming year or anything productive you can begin.

I’ve gathered a list of practical things to try your hand at and figure out what you’d like to start in 2023. Have fun with this, and don’t beat yourself up if something doesn’t work; move on.

Trying new things or reinforcing habits is fun and helps us improve our mental health. Try this list of productive things and have a great time. This is also a great opportunity to set long-term goals.

productive things to do

1. Go for a walk

go for a walk

Whether it’s to clear your head or move your body, going for a walk can be the best thing to help you.

Walking regularly can be one of the most productive things to help your mental well-being and is an easy habit to keep up with, especially if you have a companion to keep each other accountable.

2. Plan your day with a digital planner

digital planner

A new year usually means a new planner for me until I created this one! The planner offers many different views, including weekly and monthly, as well as at-a-glance capability and progress dashboard.

With this program, you can track your exercise or plan meals, important tasks and to-do lists, and it can also schedule out all of your needs in different ways in an easy interface.

It can make a great idea for an excellent present for yourself or your loved ones, like your best friend! Bonus–the content is shareable amongst family members!

3. Set new goals

Goal setting is a good idea but it can quickly become daunting, especially around the New Year, when there’s a good chance you feel obligated to change something about yourself.

This is the perfect time to try setting goals in a fun format this year, whether it’s a vision board or buying this cute goal planner, the most important thing is that your have a good time doing it.

Don’t try to set up a bunch of maybe unattainable goals upfront; work on the ability to commit to something little, like small tasks and build off of that.

Something doable: “I’ll eat no sugar one day a week, run for one minute during walks, buy coffee or lunch two times a week,” and edit the goal once you’ve accomplished the first daily tasks.

4. Listen to a productivity podcast

Try a productivity podcast if you want to educate yourself on a new topic this coming year. Most of these are great resources to give you tips and tricks to achieve goals.

With these tricks in your tool belt, learning a new thing or accomplishing a goal is more manageable now.

5. Read a book

read a book

Becoming well-read is always on my to-do list, but I’ve really found out that the only way to get that done is by actually taking the time to open a book and read.

Alternatively, reading an article in the given field of interest is also beneficial.

This e-reader helps me stay constant by having essentially any book I’d like at my fingertips.

6. Do some volunteer work

Putting others before yourself is a great way to change your perspective and help the community while you’re at it.

In any field you might be interested in serving, there are countless opportunities in communities that need our help.

Involve your friends or family members to help the community even more.

7. Learn a new language

Even though the prime time to learn languages is when we are young, it’s never too late to learn another.

There are multiple ways to study a new language, whether through an app, a video series, or a class–just make sure to continue practicing to improve.

8. Clean up your computer

clean your computer

When things get organized, life runs much smoother. One of the easiest places to clean up is your computer.

Try organizing a regular clean-out of your computer but if you don’t do it regularly, try doing it at least once a season to keep it running smoothly. Keeping up with it is the trick.

9. Clean out your email inbox

clean out email inbox

Another place to clean regularly is in your inbox, and you may not want to do this one seasonally.

Taking the time to sift through years-old emails becomes a headache and is a scary no-man’s land of old ads, bills, and the occasional birthday coupon.

I try to make it a daily practice before I start work, but maybe try one day a week where you organize wanted emails and delete any unwanted ones.

10.  Learn a new skill

Learning a new skill is invaluable to any human at any age. Testing yourself in a new process helps brain function, critical thinking, and problem-solving regardless of the task.

Have fun with it, though, and don’t take anything too seriously. Remember failing at something is a great lesson to learn from and is fixable moving forward.

11. Create a progress tracker

Tracking progress is surprisingly very satisfying and helpful while doing something productive. It shows the amount of work you’ve put into your new pastime, hobby, or even health.

Creating your own bullet point journal or buying this progress tracker can help you improve your commitment skills while doing something productive for yourself.

12. Prepare your grocery list

prepare grocery list

Grocery shopping for your meal plan can be a little bit daunting for some of us, so preparing a list can prove to be a time-saver and money-saver.

That’s okay because, with a few simple tools like my planner, we can be more intentional with what we pick up in stores.

13. Go somewhere new

Deciding to go somewhere new can be a little scary, but with a bit of planning, it can make some great memories.

Whether it’s a day trip or a full-fledged vacation traveling to new places challenges us to be better and actively think while experiencing something new.

14. Start a new morning and bedtime routine

Is it just me, or do you love looking at others’ morning and bedtime routines on social media? I’ve realized, though, that making your own successful practices stem from what works for you.

I have picked up a few simple habits from those videos, though!

15. Get a plant and keep it alive

get a plant

This idea can be a doozy, but keeping a plant living while also juggling the rest of your life can be difficult, but when it works out, I feel wildly accomplished.

Maintaining a plant is an excellent habit of staying intentional with something that can’t communicate with you but can show you how it’s feeling.

16. Start a blog

Do you have a specific topic that you love to talk about or spend time doing? If so, starting a blog may be the thing for you.

Keep it smaller at first and just make the intention to post regularly. If and when comfortable, you can try and monetize it by promoting it on social media sites and talking to different brands to expand your blog.

17. Start a bullet journal

start a bullet journal

Bullet journals are a great way to track anything from emotional feelings to movies you’d like to see or how many times you’ve exercised in a month.

As mentioned above, they track progress, keep lists, to-do lists, and anything else your heart desires.

If you’d prefer to buy one, here’s a great one, or make one entirely with your own hand; the possibilities are endless.

18. Do some financial planning

There are two camps here: people that love a financial plan and those that hate it.

Regardless of where you stand, financial planning proves very productive for anyone’s life, whether it’s monthly budgeting, retirement, or planning a vacation.

19. Make a new friend

I love making new friends, but sometimes it’s hard to find someone who feels the same way. Certain groups make it easier, like being a new mom, volunteering, or being a part of a wreck league.

I suggest finding a hobby you love and meeting people that way. You never know who may be waiting for you there!

How about throwing a party with your new friends? These best beer drinking games are sure to liven up the party.

20. Take an online course

take an online course

Interested in trying something new but not necessarily having the time to transport yourself there and back? Try finding that activity online and signing up for a course.

That way, you get to try without investing too much time if it doesn’t work out, and it’s generally more flexible because most courses get recorded.

21. Join a club

If you know you love an activity or hobby, try joining a club that meets to do that very thing. It’s a perfect opportunity to meet friends, do something you love, and have your own time during your week.

Great places to look for these opportunities are the local library rec centers, or just doing a quick Google in your area can show you the possibilities.

Looking for other ways to meet new people? Check out these fun socializing activities!

22. Organize your space

organize your space

Sometimes, to shake things up and streamline something you’ve been struggling with at home is just by organizing your space.

Whether it’s a bedroom, kitchen, laundry room, etc., this can shake your brain up and help you gain a new perspective and how to do something better.

23. Watch motivational videos

Another way to jumpstart your brain and gain some perspective from an outside source is to watch motivational videos.

You can be too close to a situation to pull yourself out of or get through that emotion–videos like this can help you move and process your feelings healthily.

24. Start a side hustle

Have a little extra time on your hands, a skill that you’d like to expand on, or need a little extra money? Start a side hustle with your chosen activity and get your creative business side flowing.

From your side hustle, the extra cash can help with groceries, travel plans, or any other expenditure you or your family may need. A side hustle is also fun and can help build your self-esteem, worth, and ability in the given craft.

25. Learn some new productivity hacks

lean new productivity hacks

As you may have guessed, I love hacks, and learning new productivity hacks is one of my favorite pastimes.

Cutting time down on tedious chores or prepping meals on a daily basis helps free up time in your life to make everyone else’s or your own life better.

Check out the rest of my blog for productivity hacks, from cleaning the bathroom to childcare and more. Some of my favorite sites to find new hacks are Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.

26. Share your knowledge

As I continue to “grow up,” I realize that sharing what I know benefits me and others.

By showing what I know, I can test myself on the knowledge I have remembered and teach others new things, and in turn, I can ask others to share what they know, making a stronger community of learners.

27. Get out of your comfort zone

I know this may be harder for some people than others, but getting out of your comfort zone is truly one of the scariest but most rewarding things a person can do.

It continues to challenge you while you are in the moment but pushes you to become more intelligent, stronger, and more empathetic.

And as always, if it all goes horribly wrong, it becomes a pretty funny story sometime. There’s always a lesson to learn when something doesn’t go as planned.

28. Start a new hobby/craft

start a new hobby

Try signing up for a class or grab a friend to try out a new hobby or craft.

Depending on the activity, you can turn it into a business or just a really great pastime, and if it’s a teachable skill, you can eventually pass it on to your children.

29. Cook a new recipe

Food is everything in our house. It’s a way to show our kids how other parts of the world live and coexist with others in their communities.

Cooking a new recipe is a great way to test the waters in a region of the world that you aren’t familiar.

Start with a simple recipe with some identifiable elements you already know how to make, and build from there if you like the cuisine.

30. Go for a swim

Great fun for children and excellent exercise for adults, swimming is something that never gets old.

Sign up at your local rec center to use the pool, go to the public pool, or swim in a lake or ocean–just be careful and don’t push yourself too much as you get used to the habit.

31. Meditate

meditate

Meditation is a healthy practice of keeping a sound mind and calm body.

Learning to sit quietly with yourself and put the world on pause to center your perspective will result in a more cherished and intentional relationship with the world.

32. Stretch or do Yoga

Meditation pairs with yoga quite well because you’re focusing on your body’s functions while doing yoga. It doesn’t matter if you have meditation down; yoga is an excellent exercise for anyone willing to try.

And Your community, you’re most likely able to find yoga classes of any kind with any comfort level. If you’re looking for a mat to try yoga, this is one of my favorites and extra cushiony.

33. Try a new Fitness class

If you have tried yoga and need something faster-paced–try a new fitness class. Try a community class, private, or popup event; take a few to see what you like best.

Not to mention this is a great place to make friends!

34. Find a new place to work or study

find a new place to work or study

If your work or study places feel stale or old, try finding a new location to work. Depending on the work, I found myself in different coffee shops, libraries, and even restaurants or bars.

Changing the location can help trigger new inspiration for study habits or work project slumps that you can’t solve.

If you have a friend in the same situation, have them come with you to test different spots–just make sure to get some work done too!

35. Make a new productivity playlist

One of my favorite ideas that have helped me stay productive!  I have a specific playlist for each day of the week with a particular theme to help trigger my brain for that day’s worth of work.

36. Plan your week

Planning your week helps save you from surprises that pop up.

Knowing what’s coming, you can manage time better and work with other people’s schedules more successfully to get more stuff done for yourself or others.

37. Clean out your junk drawer

clean out your junk drawer

Junk drawers are a scary place and a bit of a time capsule, but keeping them clean will help you find those odds and ends you always seem to need at the worst moments.

If the item isn’t an absolute “Yes, I need this and use this regularly,” then relocate it or trash it!

38. Clean out your pantry – throw out expired food

Definitely a weak spot for some of us, but doing this every season can help improve those scary overlooked canned items.

I tried to go through my pantry every winter, spring, summer, and fall and do a quick organize and a wipe down.

I keep this small dry-erase board in my kitchen to keep track of this task and other seasonal ones.

39. Make backups of important documents

Make sure to make copies before you have to learn it the hard way and you’re scrambling for an essential document at midnight. Once you get an item worth keeping, put it through your scanner and make a copy.

We like to keep the copy in an accessible folder like this and the originals with other essential documents in a secure place.

40. Update your resume

update your resume

I’ve always updated my resume as needed before looking for a new job. This habit kept my stress down while transitioning or applying to something new.

Most often, I would update right after I got a new job so I’d be ready to go the next time.

41. Clean out / Organize your phone

Organizing your phone sounds awful, but it frees up a lot of memory and makes it easier to use in the day today. See what works best for you weekly, monthly or seasonal, and go from there.

42. Make a DIY project

Finding a DIY project is pretty easy on social media and a wonderful therapeutic pastime. Decide what project you’d like to do, include family members or friends, and have fun!

These easy DIY party decorations are a good way to get creative while using your party planning skills.

43. Catch up on the news

catch up on the news

A good habit is to keep up on the news, whether it’s talking about it or just knowing what’s happening in the world.

Figure out how you like learning the information, have a preferred news source, and how often you’d like to be updated.

44. Donate blood

A productive thing for the greater good is donating your blood.

So many people in different situations can benefit from your donation, but if you aren’t someone that doesn’t like giving blood, find alternative ways to help the blood drive.

45. Go to a museum

Exposing yourself to new educational resources is a fantastic way to continue learning outside the classroom.

The museum is a fantastic way to learn about culture and history, which stems from critical thought and conversation.

I always have this notebook to recap my thoughts or jot down any artists I’d like to look up later.

46. Rearrange your furniture according to feng shui

fengshui your furniture

Some of you may believe this is a little much, but the practice of feng shui is genuinely an art. Learning the roots of the practice and creating some flow in my home has changed how my family feels.

47. Catch up with a friend or family member you haven’t called in a while

As much as we try, none of us keep perfect tabs on our loved ones.

Next time you think about catching up with someone, make the time to do it–be intentional and reach out to that person–they’ll appreciate it as much as you do.

While you are on your phone these hilarious prank call ideas are a great way to unwind and have some fun.

48. Spend some quality time with your pet

spend quality time with your pet

As simple as it sounds, whether it’s a walk, a cuddle, or playing in the backyard, you’ll both enjoy the time.

49. Go on a photo walk

This activity is a great practice and intentional awareness. Take a camera and choose photos that you believe will bring you happiness in the future, whether pretty, silly, or of someone you love.

Grab one of these disposables or fun polaroids.

50. Write a letter to your future self

Writing a letter to yourself, whether to the future or past, can provide healing or growth. Depending on your situation, looking back on the letter will provide a feeling of connection to oneself. 

51. Take a break and have some fun

take a break and have some fun

Finally, even though counterintuitive, taking a break is just as productive when you need to rest. Continuing to move throughout your life rapidly will burn you out, so take time, breathe and enjoy.

These super fun board games are a great way to unwind and have some fun.