Wondering about what to do when you’re bored? I’m assuming you have a bunch of free time on your hands and you decided to do something about it?
Why Choose Something Productive to Do When You’re Bored?
When you’re bored, you’re looking for just about anything to do. So instead of doing something random, let’s find something new to do instead.
Stop Wasting Time Doing Something Unproductive in Your Free Time
Unfortunately, we sometimes get so caught up in how fun something can be, we forget whether we should be doing that “fun” thing in the first place.
Yeah, it’s a short term solution to your boredom, but maybe it’s just a waste of time that’s better spent elsewhere.
For example: Playing Video Games is a COMPLETE waste of time.
Let’s pretend that you picked up the new latest video game. You sit down in front of your TV for 8 hours and beat the game. Good job!
- Brag to your friends? Do they even care?
- Post to some online forum with your accomplishment – only to find someone already did it quicker or better.
You’re not getting a medal for beating that video game – just self-satisfaction. You’ll say “well that was fun, now what should I do?”
Sure it’s fun and you feel accomplished for beating the game, but that feeling
probably won’t last.
Let’s be real here for a moment:
You just WASTED 8 hours of your life that you will NEVER get back. And that’s on the low side.
I’ve played hundreds of video games and 8 hours is practically nothing. Looking back at my early years, I wish devoted all of that time to something of value.
- Learn to play an instrument
- Find a different hobby
- Develop friendships and relationships
- Hone different skills that would serve me later in life (maybe a second language?)
This list could go on and on with endless possibilities of “value-added” productive opportunities that I threw aside for silly video games.
Don’t believe me? Check this screenshot out of the amount of time I spent on ONE video game:
League of Legends has been one of the most popular video games over the past 7 or 8 years. Millions of people play it. And I got sucked into it.
The snapshot above is the amount of time I spent playing this one video game.
Here’s a summary of the outcome of spending all that time (70 THOUSAND minutes, or a month and a half of continuous-time()
- I was still bad at the game (yes even after all that time!). There are 6 levels showing your level of skill and I never advanced past the 2nd level!
- Emotionally took a toll on me – I was never happy after playing this game. Just angry and frustrated.
- I argued with my partner over the amount of time I played this game.
- I’d constantly try to play and became an addiction of sorts.
Now the sad part – this is only ONE example of a video game I’ve played in my lifetime. I’ve played hundreds.
How much more time did I waste when I was bored and playing video games? I’ll never know. I don’t want to know.
Follow Along Activity: Let’s See an Example of How Much Time You’ve Wasted
Think of one of your favorite TV/Netflix shows and go to Bingeclock.com.
This interesting website calculates how much time you’ve spent watching a particular TV show or series from beginning to end.
For this example, I’m going to use the popular 90’s sitcom, “Friends”.
According to Bingeclock, if I watched EVERY episode of “Friends”, I would spend the equivalent of 5 days, 1 hour watching this T.V. Show.
That’s…121 hours spent watching “Friends”. This is without re-watching your favorite episodes.
Do you really want to spend that much time watching Ross and Rachel flirting and Joey saying “How you doin’?!”?
Take this same principle of watching a TV Show and apply it to other things you do to just waste time. How much value do you get out of things such as…
- Using social media ALL the time
- Following celebrity gossip
- Playing games
- Trying to impress others
- Treating your body poorly
P.S. I’m not saying to stop doing these things completely, but everything is best in MODERATION! 🙂
Benefits of Doing Something Productive Instead
Instead of wasting countless hours being unproductive on social media, playing video games, or chilling on Netflix, we could do something better.
Some Positive Benefits of Being Productive:
- Keeps you busy and from getting bored. (obviously!)
- Spend your time productively learning new skills or abilities. Some people say you can learn a new skill in as little as 20 hours!
- Challenges your brain to keep working. This should keep your cognitive abilities sharp for longer!
- Keeps you up and moving around. (Did you know sitting for long periods of time is almost as bad as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day!)
- Cultivates positivity and stops procrastination. Stop feeling bad because you haven’t started that important outdoor house project or cleaning that gross bathroom!
Getting Motivated to Be Productive & Stop Saying “I C
How many times were you watching a movie or TV Show and said to yourself
- “man that could be me”, or
- “that looks fun, I bet it’s interesting to try”, or
- “why haven’t I done this before?” when watching someone else do something interesting?
THEN… Thoughts pop into your head such as-
- “I should re-do my bathroom like they do in those renovation shows.”
- “I’d like to try indoor soccer during the winter, but I’m too scared to try it.”
- “How did that guy get so good at guitar! That must be awesome to be playing for a huge crowd of people”.
So how is it even remotely possible that as a people, we get SO bored when we have literally THOUSANDS of hobbies, projects, and interests we can do or explore at our
How I Got Motivated to Be Productive with My Hobby
Personally, I had many hobbies and interests that I never pursued because I thought it was silly, too hard, or I’d feel stupid.
I regret not doing most of them.
Writing as a hobby was my passion. I was bored and decided to use that hobby to be productive. So I started this website which keeps me busy and happy.
My Hobby Project Example
This website is a result of one of my hobbies! Writing.
Ever since I was a boy in 1st grade writing about the monsters in my closet, I wanted to be a writer.
I dreamed of being a big-time reporter or writing my own novel with a grand fantasy story like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter.
However, over the years, my passion for writing faded and got tossed aside for other (rather unproductive) interests like video games.
I started writing for websites online. I don’t know when, or how, or why, but on a complete whim, I submitted a guest post to the (now defunct) Yahoo! Contributor website that allowed pretty much anyone to post articles for their website.
This article I wrote was nothing special. It was about how to beat a certain game mode in the popular Madden Football game (2008 version to be exact). I got paid 8 dollars from Yahoo, and the article was viewed over 20,000 times!
It was a simple achievement, sure, but I was ECSTATIC. Thousands of people were willing to read what I had to say. How amazing was that?!
And then something stirred inside me. WHAM! Just like that, my passion for writing as a child was reignited.
But…, the website closed. I lost all of my writing. My dream slowly died, yet again
So I explored creating my OWN website.
How to Get Motivated to Be Productive
Look, I get that it’s difficult to stay motivated to be productive outside of your day-to-day activities. Chores, work/school, housework, grocery shopping, etc., it all takes up time.
Hell, you might even have issues doing THOSE productive tasks!
But that doesn’t mean we have to succumb to being unproductive when we do get free time.
Let’s say your productive project is getting into better shape. We call could do better with that, right? I know I do!
Tip #1: Set a Goal
This is probably the best way to keep yourself motivated. You want to set a realistic and achievable goal for yourself. Once you reach that goal, you can set another – harder or more complex – goal.
The goal doesn’t even need to be hard! In fact, smaller is sometimes better..
Here are a few examples of goals you could challenge yourself with to get motivated to workout:
- Do 5 push-ups a day.
- Walk for 15 minutes a day.
- Not eating snacks after 7 pm.
- Taking the stairs periodically at work, rather than the elevator.
Once you’ve reached these goals, you could start pushing your fitness workout further (which keeps you motivated!).
- Do 10 push-ups a day.
- Walk for 30 minutes a day.
- Not eating snacks after 6 pm.
- ALWAYS take the stairs at work.
Bonus Tip: Post It!
Post your goal on your computer monitor at work, fridge, bathroom mirror, or anywhere you may see it. It’ll serve as a reminder of what you’d like to accomplish.
Motivation Tip #2: Find Inspiration
Inspiration (especially when you’re bored) is important when you’re looking for motivation! Seeing the success of others is probably one reason you’re looking for a productive project to do in the first place.
You need to keep these success stories close at hand to keep you going.
Again, let’s say we’re looking to get motivated for our workout. Jump over to google and search for some stories! Check out this slideshow as an example of motivational stories and pictures of successful weight loss.
If you’re trying to get motivated to have a productive workout, how could that slideshow not get you off the couch?
Inspiration Comes in Several Forms, What Works For You?
- Images and Pictures
- Friends and Family
- Religion and Faith
Motivation Tip #3: Think About the Benefits, Not the Difficulties
My personal favorite is the subreddit “r/
Society as a whole could do with being more positive and productive with
When the going gets tough and you hit a roadblock on your journey, remember all the benefits of your project that got you excited in the beginning.
For example, instead of focusing on how hard your workout is, try to keep all the health benefits in mind that got you out of the couch that first time.
Bonus Tip: Replace Negative Thoughts
Instead of thinking, “This is too hard!”, replace it with, “I can do this!” .