Last updated on January 5th, 2020 at 08:54 am
When you’re bored, do you do things you’re not particularly proud of? Like, ahem, eating everything in sight? Or scrolling through social media until you feel dizzy and bad about yourself? Well, this is something I’ve struggled with on and off, and I’m well aware it’s the farthest thing from healthy…Thankfully, I’ve found distraction and being productive really helps with that! Here I’ll share some productive things you can do when you’re bored, instead of eating, watching TV shows nobody should ever see or hanging on your phone without actually doing something worthwhile.
Boredom = Stress
Boredom is a stressful thing. You’re not relaxing, you’re simply soaking in stress instead of putting all the energy you have into something that could make your life better. And this makes you do some easy things that could make it go away. Like eating something crappy (because nobody eats a salad out of boredom).
But we know, those things don’t make anything better – they only make it worse.
Believe it or not, you can sit there and think or dream and still be more productive than if you’re watching others live their lives on a small screen.
What Does It Even Mean To Be Productive?
To me, it means doing things that make life better, easier or more interesting.
It means using your time and energy to learn, to create and to truly relax. To live your life.
What it doesn’t mean is consuming things (information or food) ALL THE TIME.
How To Stop Thinking About Food? Productive Distraction.
So this blog is mostly about food, so let’s just say a few words about that. If you’re overeating and constantly thinking about food, try keeping yourself super busy with these things:
- doing things that are fun
- creating something you actually want to exist
- transforming things that you’re not happy with
- taking time to truly relax
- executing tasks that might not be fun, but need to get done and make you feel productive (like paying bills or taxes)
When you’re active and keep yourself occupied you’ll develop more courage, more confidence and you’ll become a person you really like. A person who’s proud of her choices.
On the other hand, the last thing you want to do is start overanalyzing and feeling guilty about overeating. Beating yourself up will only keep you inside that stress and will make you keep doing it, over and over again.
Productive distraction is what will keep your life interesting and fun!
This, in turn, will eliminate the need to look for a reward in other places (like food). I’ve talked a little bit about this and the science behind it in my other article about overeating, you can find it here, if you’d like to read it.
Now, before it all gets out of control here are 67 productive ideas to put your energy into today.
67 Productive Things You Can Do When You’re Bored
Things To Do At Home
1. Start a herb garden. Never make a meal without basil again.
2. Tidy up. Put on some music and clean the kitchen, living room – any room. Just get moving and by the end of it, you’ll be so happy you did it!
3. Do the laundry.
4. Learn to knit. Wouldn’t it be cool to spend some time knitting and then when you’re done, be able to hold what you made in your hands? And actually wear it at some point?
5. Learn how to play an instrument.
6. Teach someone something you’re good at. (e.g. if you know how to play an instrument – give lessons to others who want to do that)
7. Read a book and highlight some things. When you do that you’re engaging more with the content.
8. DIY a beautiful rope basket out of an ordinary cardboard box. You’ll find the tutorial at Living Well Mom.
9. Declutter your home. Get rid of stuff that doesn’t look good, doesn’t make you happy and you never use.
10. Fix things around the house that don’t really work and drive you mad. Like that broken lamp.
11. Get your home organized, so you can find things easier and faster. Saves time and sanity!
12. Print out some photos from your phone and make an actual, physical photo album.
13. Remodel your home or furniture, it’s amazing how much just some paint can do.
14. Learn how to actually paint a beautiful picture. This tutorial by Bob Ross can help.
15. Write a card and send it to someone you love. It will make both of you happy!
16. Hang some pictures in frames. Print your own pictures or find some on Unsplash for free.
17. Take a shower – that’s right we’re in the hygiene department right now.
18. Paint your nails, switch things up. When your nails look good, you somehow feel better.
19. Do your hair. You can learn some new things from Youtube tutorials.
20. Call someone you love. Tell them you love them!
21. Use old newspapers to create something cool. Like these photo frames.
22. Fix old clothes. Seriously, sewing that button takes only 5 minutes.
23. Sleep! Doesn’t seem like “the productive thing to do”, but try doing things when you’re tired and haven’t slept enough. In fact, it’s proven that lack of sleep leads to obesity and overeating. Take a nap and don’t feel guilty about it. Naps aren’t just for babies and people in Spain.
24. Load the dishwasher or unload it. We all need clean dishes at some point.
25. Try new make up, switch things up. Can’t apply eyeliner if my life depended on it, but no harm in trying.
26. Print out your favorite quotes, frame and put them on the wall to get inspired every day.
27. Dance! You can go out, but you can also do this at home. Put on some music and go!
28. Change the bed sheets. It’s about time.
29. DIY a bag dispenser. Do you also have plastic bags everywhere? I know, I’m not environmentally correct for saying this. But in case you do – get them organized! Use this tutorial to get started.
Things To Do Outside
30. Learn how to sail. I mean, if you’re feeling adventurous, wouldn’t it be cool?
31. Go out for a walk. Good for your health and for some inspiration. And go somewhere new, explore. It’s the most productive part of my morning routine.
32. Play some basketball. It’s free, burns up to 747 calories an hour and it’s so much fun! One of my favorite sports – I always become a short, but aggressive threat on the field.
33. Play any ball, really. Ball games are fun, guys! We need to play more often. Once a week at least.
34. Go on a hike. Somewhere, anywhere – just put on some clothes and get out.
35. Learn how to belly dance. I know, weird right? But it’s such an empowering dance and it can improve your posture.
Improving Health And Fitness
36. Do some yoga. Move your body and relax – there’s no jumping involved here.
37. Go to the gym. Good for the body, great for your mental health.
38. Try a free 10-minute workout video from Youtube. Here are fifteen of my favorites.
39. Create your own workout plan for the week. You know best what you like. Here’s how to do it.
40. Drink water. Might not seem productive, but try doing things dehydrated.
41. Make a face mask and apply it to your face. Choose a mask depending on your skin type and relax for a few minutes while it’s doing its magic.
42. Make a list of the things you’re grateful for. Proven to increase long-term happiness and to reduce stress, this habit will keep you in a positive state of mind. Name as many things as you can!
43. Stretch. Always, always, always a good time for a nice opening stretch. Here are seven yoga routines that can help with that!
Getting Your Life Together
44. Set some goals and make a plan how to achieve them. Join my 66-day challenge and make them happen.
45. Start a blog. Write about the things you like, the things you’ve learned and the things you’re still learning. You never know how many people might actually need that information right now. You can use my guide to get started and make your blog successful.
46. Learn a new language. There’s really no limit how many we can learn. In fact, I just found out, there were people in the world who spoke over 50 different languages. Here’s the article (I’m still kinda reading it!)
47. Start a bullet journal. If you’re not familiar, a bullet journal is basically something between a planner and a journal that can help you get organized. Here’s a good video on how to start a bullet journal.
48. Research and make a list of the places you want to travel to or live in. Dream big.
49. Pay bills. Not fun, but needed.
50. Review your goals. So you’ve set some goals, now it’s time to review them. How did you do?
51. Write. Write whatever comes to your mind as if nobody’s going to read it.
52. Use the skills you already have to start freelancing. Whatever you’re good at – you can use it to work and get paid as a freelancer. Sign up for sites like upwork.com, freelancer.com or fiverr.
53. Make the calls you’ve been putting off. Whether it’s calling your doctor, your bank or a client – face your fears and make those calls. No need to eat pizza before that.
54. Check your bank account. Keep track of your money.
55. Create your own website. Great if you’re freelancer and offer any kind of services.
56. Declutter your phone. Delete pictures, videos, music, files and apps you don’t really use.
57. Plan & book a trip to go somewhere this weekend. Make life more interesting and do something different to start refreshed the next week.
58. Start your own Etsy shop. Offer the things you’ve created to the world and make some money from it.
59. Write a book and put it up on Amazon. Wouldn’t it be cool to be an author?
60. Take a course online, in something you actually want to learn. There are so many sites for this right now – Udemy, Skillshare and I really like EDX.
61. Figure out where your genes come from. Two years ago I made this test by 23andme and I found out I had genes from Finland. Would’ve never thought it. What surprised me even more was that I can find that out from just spitting into a tube.
62. Finish things you’ve started and have been putting off. You can’t believe how much mental space this will free! And it will unblock your mind for new ideas and activities you can take. FINISH THEM!
63. Make a grocery list for the week. Knowing exactly what you’re buying at the store will save you time, money and keep you away from junk food.
64. Update your resume. Just in case.
65. Volunteer! Find things you can do in your local community and go for it!
66. Clean up your desktop. Mine’s pretty cluttered and it’s driving me insane.
67. Make a Bucket list. This is not as easy as it sounds, make a list of all the things you want to see, create and experience during your lifetime.
I hope this list gave you some new ideas on the things you can do when you’re bored or procrastinating eating chips! Take any action that is productive and you’ll get back on track.