Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects
With so many outlets for entertainment, you'd think that we'd never, ever get bored. Yet, there are still times that I find myself wandering around the house, simply looking for something to do and my usual go-to activities just aren't doing it for me. (See also: 50 Fun Things to do When You're Stuck Inside)
If you suffer from the same lack of enthusiasm, then this post is for you. Here are 34 tried and true ways to kill your boredom… or at least occupy your time until something better comes along.
1. Tackle Your To-Do List
You know you've got one — that mental list of little things that you plan to get around to someday. Well, today's that day. Call your Aunt Martha, take the comforter to the dry cleaners, and check the oil in your car and the air in your bicycle tires.
2. Clean Out the Garage
Okay, yes, I realize this is probably more than a one-day project, but imagine how great you'll feel when it's all done. Use plastic tubs to store your things and mark each tub or box prominently for easy identification. Then next time you need to dig out holiday decorations or find your old school yearbooks, you'll know exactly where to look.
3. Take a Nap
If you're already napping quite a bit, then skip this suggestion… it's time to do something else. But otherwise, feel free to snooze for a bit. The world would be a much better place if we all had a mid-afternoon nap and snack every day.
4. Cook Something New
No, I don't mean a different kind of Hamburger Helper. I mean find a recipe that requires some effort, preferably something that's authentically not in your wheelhouse and could be called "art" with the right garnish. Stretch your taste buds. You might find you like it.
5. Write a Letter to Your Congressperson
According to all the political pundits, Congress bases its actions on what they hear from the People. I don't know if that's true, but if the statistics are to be believed, some 92% of us are unhappy with their performance. That's a lot of feedback that Congress apparently hasn't heard yet. So, maybe it's time to speak your mind.
6. Take Up a Cause
Back in the 80's, before Internet and cell phones and emails, I had the privilege of working with a wonderful non-profit group devoted to fighting pound seizure. We passed out flyers, we marched at City Hall… it was liberating. If you're suffering from boredom, maybe you just need something to feel passionate about.
I've mentioned this one before, but if you find that you're frequently bored, you may need a solution that's more long-term, and volunteering is a great way to spend your free time. Check out VolunteerMatch.org to find an opportunity that's right for you.
8. Educate Yourself
Go back to school or try one of the many online or self-study options. Many are even free, so there's no excuse for not broadening your horizons. (See also: Learning Without the High cost of Higher Ed)
9. Paint a Room
Forget the neutral colors, and think blues and greens with splashes of yellow or go bold with black, white, and red. Or, if you're feeling really adventurous, try some of these fun painting ideas from Remodelaholic.
10. Change Your Hair Color
This may be more of a girl thing, but when I was in highschool, I sported every hair color that Revlon sold at least twice. And while I'm not quite as quick to do those drastic changes now, it's still fun to try something new every now and then. And it's amazing how different you feel when you change the shade of your mane.
11. Replace Your Shelf Paper
Shelf paper is one of those things that no one thinks about until they open the cabinet door and see the shabby remnants of what was installed 10 years ago. So, rip out that old stuff and get something new. It's relatively cheap, and it will definitely get you focused on something other than being bored.
12. Clean Out Your Closet
When I was a kid, my go-to move for cleaning my room was to shove anything that didn't have a designated "place" into the closet or under the bed. And I'm sad to say, not much has changed over the years. My closet is a catch-all for a variety of things, including linens, mementos from the kids, my cheerleading megaphone, and my Barbie collection. Yes, there are clothes and shoes in there as well. On the bright side however, cleaning it out almost always results in finding things I had forgotten about, so if your closet resembles mine, you might find a few forgotten treasures too!
13. Organize Your Junk Drawer
Speaking of catch-all's, we all have at least one drawer in the house that doesn't have a purpose other than to store all the little "stuff" we don't know what to do with. You don't have to get rid of the junk drawer altogether, but organizing it will at least make it easier to find the thumbtacks and the nail file the next time you need them.
14. Rearrange Your Furniture
Want a change in your decor, but can't really afford the expense right now? Switch it up. Move your couch there, the recliner over here and viola! It's like a whole new room.
15. Connect With Someone From Your Past
I'm one of those people who has all my old friends on Facebook, but beyond the friendly "Like" now and then, we rarely ever connect. And that's a shame. So, let's not be "those people." Make an effort to reconnect with old friends from the past and see if that friendship can be rekindled. Worst case scenario, you'll find you have nothing in common. But who knows? You might find someone new to help you kill your boredom.
16. Research Your Family Tree
I've mentioned before about my love affair with genealogy, but I'm going to mention it again here because it's a fantastic way to kill time. You know how you start surfing the web with one topic in mind and end up — some 20 sites later — on something completely different? Genealogy is just like that, only instead of websites, you're finding your ancestors.
17. Clean Out Your Inbox
I've had the same email address for more than 10 years now, and I'm not exaggerating when I say I get at least 100 emails a day, most of which are junk. Needless to say, it's easy for my inbox to get out of hand. If you can say the same, maybe now is a good time to regain control. Weed out the junk, and then move the rest — either into folders or the trash — until your inbox is empty. You'll be amazed at how freeing an empty inbox can be.
18. Host Your Own Movie Marathon
Pick some of your favs — the "Stars Wars" and "Star Trek" sagas are obvious choices, but you could also choose a theme, as in all chick-flicks, all sci-fi films, or all Tom Hanks movies ("Joe Versus the Volcano" anyone?). Invite your friends, buy some snacks (popcorn is a must!), and settle in.
19. Get a Massage
If you've had one, then this needs no explanation. If you haven't, then get one and you'll understand why.
I know, I know. You're just not sold on the whole "Mind-Body-Spirit" thing. But it's not like you're doing anything right now anyway, so what have you got to lose?
For the past two weeks, I've been doing yoga faithfully every morning and I have to say, I can seriously feel a difference. But if yoga isn't your thing and you're not jumping up and down at the thought of lifting weights, then try something else. Go for a walk, learn how to tango, or wash your car. As long as you're moving and your heart rate is up, it counts.
22. Have Sex
Well, we were talking about moving and elevated heart rate, so it seems only fitting that we include this suggestion here. And really, can you think of a better way to occupy your free time?
23. Plant a Garden
You'd be amazed at how much better your food tastes when it's fresh. And it's good for your wallet, too.
24. Start Your Own Blog
Are you an expert on something? Do you know how to sew or paint or fish? Maybe you're an avid reader or you homeschool your kids or you're just the #1 Fan of insert-your-favorite-celebrity-or-TV-show here. Whatever your passion, whatever your hobby, you can blog about it — and connect with like-minded others in the process.
25. Research a New Career
Have you always dreamed of being a doctor? Going to law school or becoming a master chef? Or maybe you'd just like to work in retail instead of insurance, or start your own business for that matter. Boredom means you have time to spare and you can use that time to chart a path to a rewarding new career.
26. Update Your Resume
If it's been a while since you've dusted off your resume, use this opportunity of "nothing to do" to get it updated. You'll be one step closer to applying for that great new job you're researching.
27. Revamp Your Budget
Ever wonder where all your money goes? Now's a good time to find out.
28. Update Your Financial Profile
Are you on track for retirement? Will you have enough to pay for your children's college or that vacation you want to take next year? Do you know your net worth? Getting answers to these questions makes it much easier to plan for your future.
29. Organize Your Important Papers
If something were to happen to you, would your family know how to handle everything that needs handling? Getting all your important documents organized — life insurance policies, pensions, passwords, etc — is one of the first steps to building a solid estate plan. Use this down time to start building yours.
30. Scan All Your Photos
One of the great things about the "cloud" is that you can access it anywhere. And that means you can use it to store more than documents. Scan all your pictures and back them up to the cloud for safe keeping.
31. Create a Life Plan
Businesses have a plan, why not you? Think about where you want to go, how you want to get there, and then formulate a plan for making it happen. Once you have a clear path, maybe you won't have time to feel bored.
32. Scrub Your Baseboards
Your closets are cleaned out, your garage is organized, and your cabinets have spiffy new shelf paper. But don't forget those baseboards. They can make even the cleanest house look not-so-clean. And trust me when I tell you, you'll be too tired to care about being bored when you're done.
33. Try a New Hobby
You've always wanted to sign up for co-ed softball or try your hand at painting or learn how to play tennis. There's no time like the present, especially since you have plenty of free time.
There's something therapeutic about baking something from scratch. Learn how to use fondant or make the perfect pie crust.
Now, it's your turn… how do you cure boredom?