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20 Productive Things to Do When You're Bored

April 3, 2020 - 3:56pm
UNIBusiness Editor
woman and man bored

Is social distancing testing your boredom? You've completed your to-do list, did your homework, finished your chores, and got tired of social media. You've got seemingly endless time to kill and don't really want to browse Instagram for the next couple of hours. So, what can you do? You don't want to feel like you've just wasted away the day and do nothing productive. 

In times like these, even doing little things make a big difference. Today's fast-paced internet age makes it almost impossible to be bored, but sometimes we do need a little stimulation. 

What can you do in your extra downtime? Here are some incredible ideas you can put to the test:

  1. Learn something new: There's no end to the wonderful things you can learn on the internet. A simple Google search will help you find plenty of useful how-to guides. Plus, you can also study topics for free on LinkedIn learning with your UNI CatID. Brush up on your skills and discover something that might make a difference in your life. 
  2. Update your LinkedIn profile: A good LinkedIn profile is necessary for getting a good job these days. Take a good look over it and proofread your entries. You might find a few errors or other things that need to be touched up. Write down any job duties that you may have forgotten to add. 
  3. Work on your resume: Likewise, a good resume and cover letter are essential for landing a job. Most online job boards like Indeed encourage you to include a cover letter. You should have a list of bullet points to include in your letter to customize it for each post. For example, if the job you're applying to requires communication skills, multi-tasking, and scheduling, you should already have three paragraphs ready to go. Run your resume and cover letter through Grammarly and Hemingway App for good measure. 
  4. Apply for jobs: The best time to be looking for work is when you're already employed. Some say that you ought to turn looking for a job into a full-time job. However, research shows that the best times to apply for jobs are in the mornings, especially on Mondays and Tuesdays.  
  5. Find a side gig: Freelance work can help supplement your income. Guru, Upwork, and Fiverr are all examples of websites where you can find great jobs for some extra income. Writing, graphic design, coding, and editing are all great tasks that can be done from your home computer.  
  6. Meal prep: Let's say that the average restaurant meal costs about $10. If you're ordering in every work or school day, you're spending an extra $200 a month. That adds up to a lot of money quickly. Instead, try a new recipe that you can gobble on for days. Like soups, stews and casseroles. 
  7. Clean your drawers: You probably have that one space where you throw all your random knick-knacks. You know, those random items you've accumulated from fairs like miscellaneous freebies and other junk you never use. It's time to donate and only keep what you really need. 
  8. Backup your files: What would happen if your computer crashed or you lost your USB stick? How much trouble would you be in? Save your items to a cloud or external hard drive just in case. In a perfect world, you wouldn't ever have to worry about these things happening to you, but it never hurts to just be a little bit cautious. You'll be thanking yourself during that rare moment when your computer does crash. 
  9. Clean up your files: Go through your computers or USB drive and look at how much space is being taken up. You probably have files left and right of all sorts of things. You might have your homework from two years ago or that random meme you were going to show your friend. Purge some of these items to clean up your digital space. While you're at it, delete all those extra pictures on your phone and those songs you stopped listening to on Spotify or iTunes. 
  10. Keep a bullet journal: Life is overwhelming right now and there are times you will need to organize your thoughts. That's where a bullet journal comes in. This analog system helps you keep track of all your daily to-do lists and goals. You should take at least a few minutes each day to write down your daily tasks and mark which goals you've worked towards achieving.  
  11. Meditate: Taking five minutes out of your day to practice mindful meditation has huge benefits. Studies have shown that daily meditation increases productivity, concentration, relaxation, positive emotions, self-esteem and self-awareness. Plus, the practice helps lower blood pressure, depression, anxiety, insomnia, pain and stress. What have you got to lose? This is one daily habit to start incorporating into your life as soon as possible. A mere five minutes of meditation a day can lead to amazing benefits. 
  12. Clean your closet: Too many people simply accumulate clothes that they never wear. You probably found a few items in a bargain bin or thrift store and fell in love with how cheap it was. Ask yourself how much you really need each item. Would you even notice if it disappeared from your wardrobe? Donate those things to Salvation Army or another charity. You'll give back to the community while making your room neater. 
  13. Fix your clothes: You probably have a lot of clothes with missing buttons, holes, tears and other things. Other items might not fit anymore because you lost weight or bought the wrong size. Sew up any holes and tailor ill-fitting items.  
  14. Filter out notifications: People spend an average of 40 minutes on YouTube, 35 minutes on Facebook, 25 minutes on Snapchat, and 15 minutes on Instagram each day. This adds up to over a year's worth of time spent on YouTube and Facebook over your lifetime. Imagine what you can do with all that extra time! Reduce your time spent on these platforms by disabling certain notifications. You don't need to know about each time someone starts a live video or comments on a thread. Cut out the noise on as many apps as possible. 
  15. Unsubscribe: Our inboxes are filled with spam, newsletters, offers and other things we don't care about. It's time to unsubscribe from all those random mailing lists that you never wanted to join in the first place. 
  16. Speed up your computer: Even new laptops can be way slower than expected. Waiting for loading times feels like a nightmare. Deleting temporary files, clearing cookies and stopping automatically booted programs are all great ways to make your device faster.  
  17. Blog: You can make a living from your home computer with a blog. People read blogs all the time. Whether you want to learn about saving money or read about the latest heavy metal album reviews, there's a blog for you. Plus, you can include ads so that you'll earn money while people read your work. 
  18. Track your spending: It's undeniably helpful to see where your money goes each week. Compare your income to how much you're using on food, fuel, entertainment, and other things. Apps like Spending Tracker make this much easier. You can then use that information to budget accordingly. 
  19. Passive income apps: There are plenty of neat apps that allow you to make passive income for doing very little. SwagBucks, InboxDollars, and Ipsos all pay you to watch videos, take surveys, or do internet searches. Ibotta and Earny help give you money based on your receipts. You won't get rich off any of these methods, but every little bit helps. 
  20. Invest: The average return on stocks is 7%. Think about all the money laying in your bank account for a rainy day. If you were to invest that extra cash, you could make a lot more money. Learn as much as you can about the stock market and start making money. 

There are about a million other things you can do when bored. This list is just the tip of the iceberg. You should strive to be productive every single day and to make the most of your free time. Of course, you should still enjoy your Netflix binges and video game time, but make sure you dedicate a bit of energy to achieving your goals.



UNI Business

UNIBusiness Editor

UNIBusiness uses a team of writers to conceptualize, develop and share stories and updates with the public. If you have a story idea, an update on an alum or just want to say 'Hi', please email