Feeling bored but also… strangely motivated? Join the club!
Let’s talk about productive things to do when bored.
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Health vs Productivity
We are strong believers that health and productivity are intricately linked.
Let’s think about it like this – being productive, in any fashion, can lead to improved health (physical, mental or financial). Improved health then makes you more likely to be productive. And thus the productivity cycle is born!
Boredom is a great opportunity to enter into this productivity cycle. It’s a unique moment of recognising that you have both spare time and the incentive to do something with it. If you start a pattern of engaging in productive tasks whenever you feel bored, imagine what you will accomplish!
This article therefore considers productive things to do when bored… and may also benefit your health.
“But wait” I hear you say, “I came here for productive things that will make money when i’m bored”
Have no fear my friend, you’re in the right place!
Types Of Health:
Many people make the mistake of thinking that there’s only one type of health.
They assume that if your body is functioning and you don’t need a doctor, then you must be healthy!
While this is definitely an important type of health, there are actually three different kinds:
- Physical Health
- Financial Health
- Mental Health
Physical health is definitely important because you can’t work or function without feeling your best. However, having less than stellar financial or mental health can also quickly take a toll on your life. This can in turn effect your physical health. So they’re all connected!
As a result, if you find yourself sitting around with nothing to do one day, improving one or more aspects of your health is a very productive use of your time! Makes sense?
So, let’s take a look at a few productive things to do when you’re bored!
Productive Ways To Boost Your Physical Health
As mentioned, your physical health is a highly important part of the trio. Due to this, improving your physical health should be high on your list of productive things to do when bored.
I know, I know… why is a finance blog talking about physical health? Well, because we’re advocates of financial freedom and retiring early! You can’t pave a path to financial freedom if your physical health precludes you from working. Equally, when you get to retirement, we want you to be fit, healthy and ready to enjoy life.
What good is retiring early if you crawl over the finish line in an unhealthy heap?
Now, we realize that most people aren’t likely to pop up and run a 5k right now. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get out of the house and still get active!
Here are three ways that you can quickly give your cardiovascular system a boost.
Set a new fitness routine
We’re going to assume that most of the people reading this article work out or exercise in some capacity. However, we’re also going to assume that it’s probably time to shake up your routine. It’s safe to assume this because almost everyone could use a shakeup in their fitness routine. Shaking up your routine is great because it shocks your body and helps get you better results. Gotta keep those muscles on their game!
For example, you might run for miles every day and think you’re in great shape (which you probably are). But, jump on a rowing machine and we bet you’ll be breathing heavily after a couple of minutes.
Similarly, if you normally lift weights – try doing a HIIT class.
If you’re a huge runner then try throwing a little weight on a barbell and hitting some squats. You will not suddenly get too jacked (muscly) – trust me, i’ve been trying for years!
Being bored on a day off is also one of the best times to set a new fitness goal. This could be anything from deciding to learn a new sport to training for a marathon. The most important thing is to set a goal that wasn’t previously on your radar.
This doesn’t even necessarily mean that you have to get started today. Make a training schedule, get your plans lined up, find a training partner. But go after it proactively!
Try a new class
One of the best ways to branch out from your normal fitness routine is to try a new class of some sort. These days, they have classes for just about every branch of fitness. Here are just a few that come to mind:
- HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
Find a new hike
It’s common to get so sucked into your daily routine that you barely even venture down a different street. You might have lived in the same area for 15 years but have never been to a park that’s right down your street.
Therefore, finding a new outdoorsy spot and going on a hike is a great productive thing to do when you’re bored. It doesn’t have to be a treacherous climb to the top of Mt Everest. Just a walk through a new park will work!
This is a great idea for a few reasons. First, it gets you out of the house (which is always step one when you’re bored). Second, it gets you out into nature which most people don’t do enough. Third, it’s super easy to do with a friend!
Now, let’s take a look at a few productive ways to boost your financial health.
Productive Ways To Boost Your Financial Health
If you don’t feel like being active then improving your financial health is another highly productive thing to do when bored. Luckily, most of these can be done from the comfort of your own home. Nice.
Flip through your banking statements
We know that this sounds mega boring… but hey you’re already bored. You might as well be productive too!
This isn’t something that you need to spend hours doing. However, if you use a major bank (Bank of America, Chase, Well Fargo, etc.) then there’s a good chance that they track your spending automatically. Most apps also do a good job of categorizing your spending.
It can be super beneficial to scan back through the past few months to get a good idea of what your largest expenses are. Sometimes, you might spend a lot of money on something that you didn’t even realize. Being aware that you spend a lot of money on this category can help you second guess your spending in the future.
You don’t even have to be looking for anything in particular. Just scan through your income/expenses and ask yourself if you’re truly optimised. If you are, then that’s great! However, if you’re not then ask yourself what you think you should change. Have you been a little careless with one aspect of your spending? Have you been saving as much as you want? Do you wish your income was a little higher?
Sometimes looking at the hard data (a history of your expenses) is a good motivator to change your habits.
If you don’t feel like tracking your expenses then you can focus on your income…
Start a side hustle
Starting a side hustle is one of the most exciting things to do if you’re bored. Who doesn’t like making a little extra cash in their spare time?
The options are endless and covered in much more detail in our other articles. such as what to do when you cant get anything done.
For an idea of some of the side-hustles that we employ ourselves:
- Start A Print On Demand Store With Printify
- Retail Arbitrage Through Ebay Marketplace
- Amazon FBA
- Start A Blog Of Your Own
- Launch A Dropshipping E-commerce Store (ours is in the dog niche)
- Start Selling On Fiverr
Open An Investment Account
There’s a good chance that you probably have a 401(k) or IRA of some sort. If not, it’s definitely a good idea to consider opening one of these. However, even if you already have a retirement account, there are plenty of other exciting ways that you can invest your money.
Investing money is an incredibly productive thing to do when you’re bored because you’ll continue to reap the benefits long after you’re done being bored. Here are a few of the places that you can consider parking some of your excess cash:
- Cryptocurrency – Coinbase
- Stocks – eToro
- Real Estate – Fundrise
- Peer to Peer lending
- Small Business Investing – Nextseed
- Royalties – Royalty Exchange
If you’re not familiar with all of these types of assets, then we would definitely recommend doing a little more research before putting your money at stake.
Finally, let’s talk about a few productive ways to boost your mental health on a day without much on your schedule.
Productive Ways To Boost Your Mental Health
Mental health is getting much more attention in today’s world. And rightfully so! However, unfortunately this pillar of health definitely still gets overshadowed by the other two. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways that you can give your mental health a little boost on a boring day.
Take A Screen Break
By screen, we mainly just mean your phone. For being such a tiny screen, that device has a sneaky way of monopolizing your attention. This is especially true when you’re bored. We’re sure that there have been plenty of times that you open up social media to scroll for just a second. Inevitably, next thing you know, 45 minutes have flown by. The worst part is that you probably don’t even really remember what you looked at. We’re all guilty of this!
Instead of doomscrolling, give your phone a rest, leave it in your room. By physically leaving it in your room, you’ll avoid the temptation to answer any and every notification that pops up. We think that you’ll find this a nice change of pace with nothing at all to distract you from whatever is in front of you.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to leave your phone in your room all day. Just an hour or two is enough to separate yourself and give your brain a nice refresh. Taking a screen break is also a good thing to pair with other ideas in this article. Neat huh?
For example, you can set out to find a new hike and leave your phone at home completely. Give yourself a little challenge and see if you can find your destination without Google Maps directing you every step of the way. Or try that new restaurant down the street, without checking the yelp reviews first… live life dangerously!
Taking a phone break is an especially good idea if you’re planning on doing this next one…
Hangout with a friend
The trick to this one is to go out of your way to do something new. Maybe you decide to hang out with a friend from work who you don’t normally see outside the office. Maybe you text a relative who lives close by but that you haven’t seen in forever. Maybe you call that old friend that you constantly talk about meeting up with but never do.
If nobody new comes to mind then you can always just try something new. When it comes to trying something new, the possibilities are endless. Even something as small as going to a new restaurant, watching a new movie, or doing a new activity. This will quickly break up the monotony.
The best part is that hanging out with friends is incredibly good for your mental health. By nature, humans are incredibly social creatures and crave connection. By simply hanging out with people whose company you enjoy, you’ll naturally be boosting your mental health.
Learn a new skill
Learning something new is great for your spirit. Now, “learning a new skill” doesn’t mean that you need to be fluent in Mandarin by the end of the day. In fact, you can really go as big or as small as you want to. Let’s rattle off a few ideas really quick:
- Cooking – Look up a new recipe that you’ve never tried before. Make sure that it’s something out of your comfort zone. Maybe try cooking a meal that you don’t normally make. For example, if you always cook dinner at home then try whipping up some brunch. Or, if you spend all day making meals and don’t feel like cooking more food, then instead make a fun dessert.
- Music – Have you always dreamed of learning the intro of “Sweet Child of Mine” on guitar? Today’s the day! Head to the music store and buy a guitar. If you already play an instrument then you can also try switching up genres. If you’re a classically trained pianist then switch it up and try some blues.
- Art – Even if you think you’re awful at art, that’s totally fine. Art is fun. Plus there are so many different types of art. You can paint something, build something out of clay, or even try paper mache (is that still a thing?). Either way, if people think that your art is bad, just insist that they don’t understand it! Genius.
Get Out There And Be Productive
We hope that you enjoyed our article on productive things to do when bored.
More importantly, we hope you feel inspired to get out there and be productive!
Still not quite ready? Another productive thing you can do is to keep learning…