Have you been feeling rather bored recently? Even uninspired?
Maybe you’re stuck in a rut and just can’t motivate yourself to do much after work or after school. For something to do, perhaps you go to your favorite hangout spot. Or end up on your couch, binge-watching shows on Netflix as your evening and weekend routine. In order to get unstuck, you have to shake things up a bit!
So, here’s a list of some productive things to do with your free time.
1. Do Some Cleaning.
When you feel like you have nothing to do, cleaning is a great way to be productive without having to engage in strenuous thinking. It doesn’t really matter what you clean or straighten up: your car, a room, or the kitchen.
ou will feel a real sense of accomplishment once you’ve finished. And the time you spend doing this, is actually productive.
Since cleaning and tidying requires little mental concentration, it also gives you a chance to clear your mind of anything that’s worrying you. You may even come up with some great ideas in the process!
2. Schedule Appointments.
There are always those seemingly minor things you’ve been meaning to do, but just haven’t “gotten around to doing”. Well, your downtime is the perfect time to take care of them!
Make an appointment with your hair stylist or physician, take your pet for a check-up or some much needed grooming, or get an oil change in your car.
t’s a great feeling when you can check off things as “done” on your to-do-list.
3. Spend Some Time On Personal Care.
Taking proper care of yourself is – by definition – worthwhile. What better way to use your free time!? So think about what you can do to improve your appearance or hygiene. Tame your eyebrows, shave, exfoliate, moisturize your skin, and cut your nails.
Not only will you look better, you’ll feel better too! You will also appear healthier. This will all serve to increase your self-confidence.
4. Get Your Digital Devices Organized.
Do you really need to hoard all those files or email messages? Probably not!
Go through your hard drive and emails. Delete files you no longer need, and organize the rest so that you can easily find them – if and when you need them.
Create directories and folders that make sense. Organize them in such a way that will be useful to you. You may also rediscover long forgotten treasures in the process!
5. Call Your Long-Distance Friends And Family.
You probably have some friends and family that you haven’t spoken to in ages, but you never seem to get around to calling them. Now is the perfect time!
Find a comfortable spot, grab your phone… and call them with your full attention. Your downtime is a great time to get back in contact with others, and find out what kind of interesting things they’ve been up to.
6. Visit Local Historical Sites.
Visits to famous historical attractions in your area are a productive and educational way to use your leisure time.
There are undoubtedly a number of sites that you’ve never visited or haven’t been to in a long time. You’ll come to value where you live more, and you’ll learn a lot. You may also discover some interesting things – or people – in the process.
Becoming better acquainted with your city or community will surely cause you to feel better about where you live. This can also serve to increase your overall sense of well-being.
7. Make Reservations For Future Plans And Trips.
Are you intending to go on a trip? Or do you just want to go out for a nice dinner?
Then spend some of your free time on research. You will not only be better informed about destinations and prices, you’ll also be able to make early reservations.
When you do research, you’ll at least discover some time and money-saving opportunities. Taking care of your plans and reservations will also relieve you of that “last-minute” stress.
8. Read Something Interesting.
When did you last read a really good book? Reading for pleasure is not only – well – pleasurable, but it could also be very productive.
Reading for pleasure provides an escape from your daily concerns by getting you to focus on another reality. It is also good for your vocabulary and literacy – which are valuable assets for school or work. Furthermore, since reading stimulates the brain, it can help keep illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or dementia at bay.
9. Try Something New.
Exploring various interests is another great way to productively occupy your free time. It can help you get to know yourself better. Your interests might not always correspond with your abilities, but don’t be afraid of trying new things.
You may be surprised to find that you are better at some activities than you expected. Who knows? You might just have a natural talent for baking!
10. Enjoy Educational Entertainment.
Learning can be entertaining, so find something to do that is both fun and educational. Learning something new and expanding your knowledge is always of value. It will certainly do more for you than watching some old comedy rerun… And educational material is so easy to find!
Technology – especially the Internet – offers loads of ways to learn while being entertained. Documentaries, podcasts, or educational videos like the ones we make, are easily available. Learning opportunities are just a click away – whether you are relaxing in your backyard or sitting poolside at your hotel.
11. Learn Another Language.
Being able to communicate in a second language is a great career asset and is also very useful when traveling. But those are not the only benefits of learning a new language! Learning a new language also causes your brain to create brand new pathways. This can have a positive impact on your memory and decision-making abilities.
Just as with reading, learning a language can also stave off cognitive decline. So pick a language and start studying. There are tons of videos and text tutorials to choose from, and you can learn at your own pace.
12. Take Some Pictures.
Nowadays many people on Facebook and Instagram think they are great photographers. Obviously, most of them aren’t… But don’t let that stop you from discovering the joys of photography!
Photography can be very beneficial to your mental health by reducing stress. It also gives you an outlet for your imagination and creativity, by allowing you to see the world in new ways.
13. Play Brainy Games.
A great and beneficial way to use your free time is to play games like chess, pool, or word puzzles.
These kinds of games are not only fun, they also exercise your brain by making you focus and increasing your level of concentration.
There are also numerous brain-training game apps available – and they’ve been shown to boost cognitive health by improving executive functions, working memory, and processing speed.
14. Blog About Something Interesting.
People worldwide spend free time blogging about a wide variety of topics. You can start and maintain a blog about anything you find interesting – sports, entertainment, politics, travel… just about whatever you want! It doesn’t matter how strange your blog might seem.
If you write well and have something interesting to say, people will pay attention and follow your blog. If you end up loving this pastime, it can turn into a very productive and lucrative endeavor.
15. Start A Side Hustle.
If you just can’t stop working, then start offering services you enjoy doing – that can also earn you extra money. If you love history or culture, you can become a tour guide or a tutor. Can you play the piano? Then teach others to play.
A side hustle not only offers you the chance to make some extra money, it can also increase confidence in your own abilities, and get you in contact with new and interesting people.
We usually regard “networking” as a business or career activity. But you can also build a network of people with common interests. Connecting with people this way, also gives you the opportunity to establish new and valuable friendships.
Your new relationships can help advance your career, allow you to help others with theirs, provide you with emotional support and build your own sense of confidence.
17. Create a Vision Board.
Creating a vision board can help you to achieve your goals, no matter what they are. Even if you don’t really think they are useful, they can still be fun to make! Creating a personal space where you can look at what you want in life, helps make it seem real – and in addition, can really motivate you to get it!
Set up your vision board someplace where you will see it often during the day. It will cause your brain to undergo a visualization process every time you look at it. This will keep you inspired and motivated.
18. Go For A Walk Or Hike.
If you’re still not sure if any of these productive things will do it for you, then simply go outside for a bit. Walking or hiking is not only a healthy thing to do, it also gives you the chance to explore your neighborhood or blaze new trails.
Spending some time outdoors will also get some fresh air into your lungs and give you a healthy dose of vitamin D. Even potentially more beneficial are the mental effects.
Walking and hiking help clear your mind, relieve stress, and get you thinking in productive and creative ways. When people are bored, they often get demotivated or depressed. This can lead to a destructive cycle of increasing lethargy, depression and anxiety.
The best and easiest cure for this is to engage in something that you actually enjoy doing or find interesting. Enjoying your free time also helps you enjoy your work and relationships more. This can all contribute to more happiness both in your personal and professional life.
So, what do YOU enjoy doing in your free time?
Also, can you think of anything else you would add to this list?