12 Productive Things to do When You’re Bored at Home

Productive things to do at home - Material Wonders

Looking for productive things to do at home?

You have some free time, but you don’t know what to do with it. Instead, you’re drowning in internet memes, and scrolling endlessly into the abyss.

Boredom can be such a frustrating, paradoxical feeling. Sometimes you’re stuck in an indecisive spot, but you’re doing nothing about it. It’s also possible you’re just too distracted by all the shiny things of the modern age…

Yeah. That happens a lot too.

But you’re also the kind of person that likes to create value with the precious time you have. You want to build things and learn new skills. It gives you energy and makes you feel alive in the moment. You’d love to master a craft one day.

Sometimes you have so many productive ideas, they just swirl around like a disorganised whirlwind of thoughts, pushing you to procrastinate rather than deal with them.

Let’s stop that from happening. You can start mastering new skills and being a productive citizen today with some organisation.

Whatever you pick from this list, I’ll make sure that by the end, you know exactly how to organise your productive ideas into an actionable format. Then you’ll be able to turn your thoughts into something real.

Here are 12 productive things to do when you’re bored at home…

1. Plan out your meals for the week

I always make sure to plan meals for the following week. It saves so much hassle and prevents you from roaming the supermarket aisles at the whim of temptation, like an unleashed beast.

This is a really positive, constructive habit to learn and turn into a life-long routine. It takes but a few minutes once you get into the swing of things. Then you know exactly what you need to buy.

Getting a magnetic meal planner is the perfect start. That way it’ll always be right where you need it – on the fridge. However, if you do some Googling, you can also find templates to download and print for free.

Full disclosure, that is an affiliate link. I got mine for free with an online shop years ago and I still use it to this day. It has the same layout as the one above!

Sometimes you do start getting bored if you’re repeating the same meals every week, which is why you should read the next point if you already have your meal planning game on-point.

2. Look up new cooking recipes

Tired of eating the same food all the time?

Cook something different. Rejig the menu.

It’s a great time to look up some fresh recipes for next week’s meal plan. Although there are millions of recipes online, I prefer to use recipe books for the following reasons:

  • No ads or life stories just to read a f**king recipe
  • Written by professionals, not mad scientists
  • More focused content, ie; easy budget meals
  • Much easier to read than a phone screen when cooking

So yeah, grab yourself a few recipe books or dust off your old collection and find some simple recipes to inspire you for the next week.

3. Plan something fun

Life has ups and downs. Sometimes we get carried away with one thing at the expense of another. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been on a date, on holiday, or just had a day out at the park.

The isolation from coronavirus hasn’t helped the situation, and not everything will be possible right now. But if there’s one thing that’s helped me through these past months, it’s the anticipation of future events and holidays.

Whether it’s a date night with your partner, a night out with friends, or a holiday for next year, write up some ideas and get a plan together for you to enjoy when the time is right.

The next steps here might be useful for figuring out what is and isn’t possible!

4. Assess your finances

Counting pennies into a piggybank

Counting money is a productive thing to do when you’re bored. Like sinister Mr Burns, you take great pleasure in looking at your 50 bank accounts, except they each only have a few quid in, and one’s in the overdraft.

With a bit of spare time, sometimes restructuring your finances, whatever they are, helps provide an outlook for the future. It also gives you a reality check and puts things into perspective for the future.

You can split your money into different funds, one for holidays, another for a house. One for investments if you’re lucky…

5. Make long-term plans

After assessing your finances, you might want to think about your goals, and how long it’s going to take to achieve them at the rate you’re saving money.

You might want to think about promotions, new jobs, and other ways to make money to achieve your dreams and ambitions. Aside from money, what are you passionate about? What would you love to do, and how attainable is that goal? These are questions worth asking if you’re currently plodding along.

These are all things to write-up and figure out.

6. Take an online course

Taking an online course is one of the most productive things to do online. And you can do it right where you are, at home. Many online courses are free, and some are comprehensive enough to kick-start a new venture.

During isolation, I’ve taken several courses online. Some haven’t worked out, but there’s one subject I stuck with to the end. That subject has now blossomed into a new hobby and got me back into reading books.

On Coursera, you can enroll for free on as many courses as you want. You can pay for a certificate at any time you wish to, and the course content is entirely free for most courses. I’d recommend these courses on account of completing them myself:

  • Music Production, Berkelee
  • Philosophy, University of Edinburgh (now a great hobby)
  • Firm Level Economics, University of Illinois (great intro to basic economics)
  • Consumer neuroscience and neuromarketing (fascinating if you’re in marketing)

I could probably write a whole article on productive things to do online. There are so many, and it’s the ideal place for productive activities when you’re stuck at home – if you can resist the memes.

7. Read a book

Child reading a book

In addition to courses, books are a great way to further our understanding in more detail. After I completed the short course in Philosophy, it inspired me to continue learning, and I’ve since read a few books, with many more on the to-read pile. You don’t always have to complete a course before reading, though.

Two life-changing books I’ve read are Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. The first book is a guide to stoic philosophy, written by a Roman Emperor to himself. It’s packed full of wisdom. Fun fact – stoic philosophy went on to inspire modern therapies like CBT. The Power of Now is more of a spiritual book, and perfect for learning meditation. I’d recommend the audiobook for that one.

8. Sell old junk

So, you’ve got some shit you never use. You might tell yourself it isn’t junk because you secretly have an attachment to it that defies logic. Perhaps you just haven’t considered the idea, or have previously thought you couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of selling it.

Pull yourself together, man/woman. You could be making sweet dollars, euros, pounds or pesos just by entering a bit of info, a picture, and hitting submit. Places you can sell your old dredge:

  • Facebook marketplace
  • Craigslist
  • Gumtree
  • eBay
  • Depop

9. Start a side-hustle

If you’re looking for immediate gratification, this one might not be it. You’ll have to be patient. There are so many ways to make a bit of money on the side, especially if you have a talent. You could even just write down some ideas on how you could make money from a side-hustle. I’ll get you started…

Productive ways to make money at home:

  • Matched betting (guaranteed money)
  • Freelance writing
  • Freelance design
  • Dropshipping
  • Teaching English online
  • Transcription
  • Micro tasks

10. Bleach the house

You can’t beat a good old-fashioned spring clean. There’s something therapeutic about scrubbing away the filth. It’s productive, and it’s good exercise! Throw on your favourite tunes, get your marigolds on, and get bleaching. Nothing more to it…

11. Clean your social media account

I’d argue not to bother with social media much at all, especially Twitter. But the next best thing is removing and unfollowing people who are bad for your health. It may transform your mental well-being. Although research is limited, there is a strong link between heavy social media use and an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. I think it makes many people deranged and angry too.

If people on your social media do the following, I’d consider unfollowing or removing them:

  • Constantly share provocative political things that annoy you
  • Get paid to push a specific political narrative
  • Frequently share opinions that only stress you out
  • Always share clickbait videos that suck up all your time

These are the four toxic elements of social media I see often. Certain people are continually pushing your buttons, and it can be overwhelming in this age of content overload. Especially on Twitter, where it seems the world is about to explode at any minute.

Clean out the trash and live your life content without the social snakes bidding for your attention. Even better, remove social media altogether and live without the distraction. You are trying to be productive after all…

12. Call a friend

Man shouting into a phone

Bah, who am I kidding… I’m not the kind of person to call an old friend. I barely ever make phone calls. But I bet I would be eager for a good conversation if I was bored at home. I want to say this is productive because you’re nurturing your friendships. Pick up the phone and call a friend. What’s the worst that could happen?

Found your calling? Here’s two ways to plan

Brainstorm

If racing thoughts are crippling your ability to make your mind up, it’s time for a coke-fueled brainstorming session. There’s some top-tier software that will help you organise your ideas. Combined with the coca-cola to keep your mind going, you’ll have it all figured out soon enough.

My personal favourite is XMind. This is mind-mapping software with a clean, intuitive interface, and I use it when my brain is overflowing with ideas. Mindmapping lets you organise all of your scattered thoughts into hierarchies, lists, and simple mindmaps that inspire creative brainstorming.

Alternatively, good old-fashioned pen and paper will do just fine for the odd mind map.

Create a productivity worksheet

Write your favourite ideas into a productivity worksheet and prioritise them. Think about what you most want to do, and what is achievable at the moment. For example, if you’re stuck at home, maybe taking an online course would be beneficial. However, you might have some time for a spring clean and meal plan before diving into a course. Prioritise your tasks for maximum productivity.

If you create a productivity worksheet, it’s perfect for time-tracking and planning for the future, not just today. If you want to inspire long-term self-improvement and change, you need to build productive habits into your daily routines. Then you won’t be bored at home as often!

What to include in your productivity worksheet:

  • Your long-term goals
  • Why you want to achieve those goals
  • The tasks you want to achieve today and in the future to work towards those goals
  • Space for extra notes and ideas

After all that, you won’t have to look for things to do when you’re bored at home, because you’ll have a productivity schedule for the occasion.

Conclusion

Are you feeling inspired by these 12 productive things to do at home? I hope so. If nothing else, it gave you the boost you need to kickstart a productive day.

There are many more productive things you can do when you’re bored, and you know you better than anyone else, so there’s probably ideas you can come up with yourself too.

You can also check out my list of fulfilling hobbies for more ideas!

Just remember, there’s no satisfaction in wasting the day away. Give purpose to your time.