In this day and age, there is absolutely no reason to be bored.  There are so many great things you can do in your spare time to improve your knowledge, wealth, creativity, fitness, or even help those around you.

Boredom and idleness can be tremendous opportunities for creative and hard-working people.

People succeed in life and love because they put their boredom to work and take advantage of their downtime. Boredom is an opportunity because it indicates you have the extra time to improve yourself or learn something.

Successful people use their boredom for self-improvement. Unsuccessful people sit around and complain about boredom.

5 Categories of Boredom Beating Activities:

  1. Enjoyable Ways to Learn & Improve Your Knowledge When Bored
  2. Fun Ways to Improve Your Wealth & Income When Bored
  3. Great Ways to Improve Your Career
  4. Fun Ways to Improve Your Fitness When Bored
  5. Great Ways to Give Back to Society
Productive Things to Do When Bored
Productive & Fun Things to Do When Bored

Our Favorite Things To Do When Bored

  1. Take a Masterclass
  2. Listen to Audiobooks
  3. Read a Book in 15 Minutes
  4. Start a Side Hustle
  5. Improve Your Home
  6. Start a New Hobby
  7. Do Random Acts of Kindness

Enjoyable Ways to Learn When Bored


Take a Masterclass

The most recent addition to my activities is to take a masterclass once per week.  I have recently been bombarded with youtube adverts for Masterclass.com online learning portal.

The adverts show various leaders in their field, providing exclusive masterclass lessons on in their field of expertise.

Eventually, I gave in to the adverts and tried it.

It is absolutely fantastic.

Who Teaches at Masterclass.com?

Simply put, some of the most famous leaders, actors, writers, filmmakers, singers on this planet. From Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, and Steve Martin to Gordon Ramsay, Martin Scorsese, and Dan Brown.

What Can You Learn at Masterclass.com?

The classes focus on the creative arts, including writing, acting, singing, cooking, and even gardening.

The quality of the courses is astounding; each course is professionally produced and polished to provide a great learning experience that comes with a workbook included.

The Benefits of Masterclass

A one-year subscription to masterclass costs only $200, and in fact, my entire family is benefiting from it.  My son has already taken the Stephen Curry Basketball Course.  My daughter took the Bobbi Brown Makeup Course, and my wife and I have completed the Gordon Ramsay Cookery Class and the Ron Finley Gangster Gardening Course.

Masterclass Video

Pursue Your Passion With MasterClass | MasterClass

Visit Masterclass

Take an Online College Course

Some of the best universities in the world offer free online and low-cost courses through websites, such as Coursera and edX.

You could be taking courses from top professors at elite universities, including Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Yale, Stamford, the University of Chicago, and Princeton, instead of being bored. If you have always wanted to study Chinese History, Macroeconomics, Existential Philosophy, Quantum Physics, or Italian Literature, now is the chance.

EdX has a huge selection of courses and lessons to choose from, while Coursera also allows you to achieve recognized certifications.

Listen to a Lecture or a Speech from a Thought Leader

If you don’t have the time to take an entire course, there are speeches, presentations, and lectures from some of the greatest thinkers in the world available free online.

Sources of such speeches include TED Talks and education sites, such as Khan Academy. With such sites, you can fight boredom by listening to big ideas from top college professors, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and other great thinkers.

Many online lectures and talks are full of valuable information. Bill Gates warned the world of the dangers of pandemics in a 2015 TED Talk, for example.

Learn New Skills from Streaming Video

Youtube is not just for kids; it is the world’s most immense source of knowledge and entertainment.

If you have always wanted to learn how to cook, design websites, paint, bake, fix a car, knit, or sew, YouTube can teach you. There are thousands of videos online that teach hundreds of skills.

If you have a computer or tablet with a good internet connection, you can learn many skills without leaving the house or hiring a tutor. You can learn if you will enjoy an activity before investing a lot of time, money, and effort.

Become a Reader

Reading is one of the best ways to improve your mind and grow your bank account.

The world’s three richest men, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and super investor Warren Buffett, are all great readers. The three became rich because of the knowledge they accumulated through reading.

Instead of sitting around bored or watching TV, start reading. Devices, such as the Amazon Kindle, can give you access to hundreds of thousands of digital books at a low price.

When you read, try reading nonfiction on subjects you are curious about. If you have always wondered how the stock market works or wanted to know the basics of subjects such as psychology, physics, or economics, now is a great time to read about those subjects.

Why not learn your country’s history, or study the history of a period or place you are curious about. If you enjoy Downton Abbey, why not read some histories of the British Empire or the United Kingdom, instead of binge-watching?

Reading can cure your boredom and increase knowledge.

Listen to Audiobooks

Audiobooks have literally changed my life, turning moments of mundane activity into opportunities to hear a story, absorb knowledge, or learn a new skill. Audiobooks turn the laborious commute or housework into an epic adventure; the benefits of Audiobooks are undeniable.

Best Audiobook Services
Best Audiobook Services & Subscriptions Tested

In fact, our unique survey of hundreds of audiobook users reveals how they use audiobooks to improve their work, life, and even sleep routines.

I have listened to over 250 audiobooks over the past nine years and have personally tested, used, and have had subscriptions to all the Audiobook services in this review. View the side by side Audiobook Service Comparison Table.

Learn a Foreign Language

Speaking a foreign language is a critical job skill in today’s interconnected world. Yet millions of people only speak one language. You can give yourself an advantage and gain new insight into markets and competitors by learning a foreign language.

Learning a foreign language can sharpen your mind, improve your memory, enhance your ability to multitask, and boost your brainpower. Speaking a foreign language can improve your vocabulary, enhance your decision making, and improve your academic performance.

Beyond mental advantages, learning a foreign language can give a deeper knowledge of other countries and their economies and cultures. Understanding Mandarin can help you learn how Chinese people think, for example.

Now is a great time to learn a foreign language because there are dozens of online tools that teach second languages. You can now study foreign languages at home by using these online tools.

Studying a foreign language is an interesting and exciting challenge that could make you more desirable in the job market. Why not spend your downtime at home learning that language you have always wanted to know.

Read a Book in 15 Minutes

Now, if you want to put your learning on supercharge, you could sign up for a service called Blinkist.  I have a yearly membership with Blinkist because it allows me to read or listen to an entire book in summary format in 15 mins.  Not only that, but you also have unlimited access to over 3,000 summarized books.

Save Time - Listen to Audiobook Summaries in 15 Minutes
Save Time – Listen to Audiobook Summaries in 15 Minutes

Book summarization services only work well with nonfiction books such as self-improvement, biographies, or concepts.  A fiction thriller story cannot be summarized, because the whole point is the story, not the idea.

Try Blinkist for Free, and you get one free Blinkist book delivered to you every day.

Get Digital Darwinism on Blinkist
Get Digital Darwinism on Blinkist

Consider reading or listening to books or taking courses in subjects such as accounting, marketing, bookkeeping, taxes, and management if you have no experience in those areas. Remember, as a solopreneur; you will have to be your own accountant, bookkeeper, marketer, information technology (IT) person, human resources department, advertising agency, and possibly tax expert.

 The more tasks you can perform yourself, the more money you can make as a solopreneur. Every dollar you pay to an outside professional is a dollar that comes out of your pocket. When you identify every skill or expertise you could need, you can start learning them.

Listen to Podcasts to Get Inspired

It still amazes me how many people do not listen to Podcasts.  Podcasts were invented and popularized by Apple with the release of the early iPod music players.  It has since expanded into an industry in its own right, with major publishers and entertainers having their own podcasts.

A podcast is essentially like listening to a radio broadcast, on-demand, without the music. I listen to Podcasts every day, when gardening, or making home improvements.

You can listen to Podcast on your Apple iPhone, using the Podcasts App or Android phone, I recommend the Podcast Republic App.

I subscribe to various podcasts covering topics such as science, technology, comedy, sports such as football and golf, and even in-depth journalism from the Guardian and the Economist.

Whatever your passion, Podcasts have you covered, and they are free.


Fun Ways to Improve Your Wealth & Income When Bored


Brainstorm New Ideas

Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos make a habit of devoting part of their spare time to thinking up new ideas. In other others: brainstorming.

You can use downtime by thinking up new ideas for business, investing, or other activities. A good way to start brainstorming is to read widely about the subject you want to brainstorm about. When you brainstorm, have a notebook, a computer, a tablet, or a piece of paper with you so you can write your ideas down.

A great use for brainstorming is to come up with new business plans and product or service ideas. When brainstorming, let others look at your best ideas and listen to their opinions. Others’ opinions can show you what you if your ideas have merit.

Start a Blog

Writing is among the most important skills needed in many jobs. Yet many people do not know how to write. The best way to improve your writing is to write. You could also take a masterclass in writing.

A great way to improve your writing is to write a blog. When you blog, you can learn other important skills, including building a website, research, and using tools such as WordPress.

Blogging can advance your career by establishing you as an expert or authority on a subject. Writing a blog can give you an incentive to study new subjects and search for new knowledge.

A great resource for bloggers that can connect you to thousands of readers is Medium. Anybody can connect a blog to Medium or post on Medium for free. Another good place to post your blog is LinkedIn. Blogging at LinkedIn and Medium can show potential clients and employers your knowledge, experience, and expertise.

Finally, I find writing a very therapeutic and rewarding experience.  It does not start out that way, but as you become more skilled and proficient at it, you reap the rewards through creative expression.

Start a Podcast

Podcasting is one of the fastest-growing areas of media in today’s world. A podcast can advance your career by showing your expertise and knowledge to the world.

All you need to podcast is a computer with a microphone or a camera and a good internet connection. Then all you will need is a podcast platform. There are podcast platforms such as Podbean, Anchor, and Buzzsprout that automatically distribute podcasts to markets such as iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and Amazon Alexa.

The best way to learn the basics of podcasting is to listen to the podcast masters, such as Joe Rogan. Podcasts can teach you vast amounts of information and teach you a job skill that can magnify your reach and build your brand. Podcasts are also great entertainment that can help you relieve boredom.

Become a Freelancer in the Gig Economy

You could make money and beat boredom at the same time through freelancing.

Suppose you have a skill such as writing, coding, webpage building, financial analysis, editing, etc. There is probably a market for it online.

Platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer.com, and Guru.com, list hundreds of freelance gigs. You may not make a lot of money freelancing, but you can practice your skills and pick up a few extra bucks. Successful gigs can boost your resume because they showcase your skills and abilities.

If you have nothing to do, try a few freelance gigs. Freelancing is an interesting challenge that can increase your moneymaking capacity.

Start or Research a Business

Suppose you have always wanted to start a business. Now is a great time to start. There are many online businesses you can launch from home now with only an internet connection and a small investment.

You cannot start a brick and mortar store while trapped at home. However, you can lay a lot of the groundwork for a business from home. You can study, get business licenses, make business contacts, take out loans, research financing, hire employees, and establish business relationships from home.

Best Books for Starting a Business
Top 20 Best Books for Starting a Business

You could research your business idea and learn if it will work before you invest any money or time in it. You can also network, make contacts, and begin marketing your business from home.

If you need some inspiration, try our 20 Best Books for Starting a Business.

Start a Side Hustle

Wondering what business to start, listen to the Side Hustle show? Side Hustles are the next big thing that already happened.  A side hustle is a small business or side job that you start while working in your current job.  If you have the flexibility and manage to free up time in your day, you can start a side business to bring you additional income.  If it runs successfully, your side hustle may grow into a fully-fledged business that can sustain you financially and perhaps even set you financially free.

Listen to my favorite Podcast on side hustling called The Side Hustle Show with Nick Loper; every episode will unlock new ideas and potential opportunities in your mind.  Here are some examples of the business ideas featured on this show.

  • Piano Lessons
  • Growing microgreens
  • Strength training
  • Baking sourdough bread
  • Hiring virtual assistants
  • Picking up trash
  • Starting after school programs

Start Investing or Learn How to Invest

The stock, commodities, and Forex (foreign exchange) markets are always open.

If you have spare time and extra cash, you can start investing now online or through apps. If you lack the cash, there are many books, websites, and courses that can teach you how to invest.

Options for Learning to Invest

Many simulators can teach you investing skills without spending a cent. Why not fight boredom by learning how to invest.

Whether you start buying stocks or just research investments, you can gain important insights into money, the markets, and the economy. Why not take advantage of boredom and your downtime, to prepare for your retirement.

Take Control of Your Stock Investments

If you already invest in stocks, especially long-term investments, it can be tricky to keep track of your (profits or losses) and or research new stocks to invest in.

I personally use Stock Rover, an all in one stock investment research tool that also helps you manage your portfolio and report investments.  Rated number one stock research tool by Barrons, Stock Rover, can make investing a breeze.

Learn to invest Like Warren Buffett
Learn to Invest Like Warren Buffett

Great Ways to Improve Your Career When Bored


Learn New Job Skills

Most of us have jobs that require skills we have a poor grasp of. If you have always wanted to learn to write computer code, write business plans, design websites, analyze finances, analyze investments,  write articles, or get a certification. Now is the time.

You can study many of those subjects on line. If you have a lot of spare time on your hands, ask your boss what job skills you need to improve.

Online resources that can help you learn job skills include Khan Academy, Code Academy, EdX, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning. You can improve your work performance and strengthen your resume by taking advantage of those resources.

Build a Plan to Get Promoted at Work

If You Have To Ask For A Promotion, It’s Already Too Late. Get Promoted At Work Without Asking. Be The Natural Choice.  Includes A Printable Cheat Sheet.

There are four critical factors in getting promoted:

  • Deliver on your goals consistently.
  • Deliver your goals on time.
  • Deliver your goals in the right way with professionalism & integrity.
  • You are already a natural choice.

Learn how to get promoted at work without having to ask with our step by step guide

Do a 1 Day MBA

I graduated from the Manchester Metropolitan University Business School with a degree in Business Administration in 1994.  You leave business school with some core concepts about how business works, an academic understanding of marketing, sales, finance, strategy, and management.  Unfortunately, the only thing an MBA will get you is an interview; the rest is down to you.

But what if you could understand all the key concepts taught in the leading MBA programs, including Harvard, Wharton, and others without spending $100,000 on an MBA.

Well, you can, and what is even better is that you could actually do it with 8 hours of reading.

Even better than that, you could do it with 8 hours of listening to Audiobooks.

DIY MBA - How To Read 30 Great Business Books in 8 Hours
DIY MBA – How To Read 30 Great Business Books in 8 Hours

Become a Leader or Manager

If you are not already in a management or leadership position at work, the thought of it is probably scary.  What would they think of me? How could I manage conflict? Would they follow me? These are all intimidating topics and thoughts.

But the fact is, once you step into a leadership role and become accustomed to it, you will find it extremely rewarding both personally, monetarily.

The 11 Critical Traits of a Great People Manager

I found great personal reward in leading teams; you have the chance to build and grow a set of loyal followers and potentially friends.  Also, in terms of remuneration, managers and leaders earn usually significantly more than individual contributors.

But, it can be a horrible experience if you get it wrong, with politics and infighting being a major source of stress and anxiety.

So, reap the rewards with our guide to being a great manager.

Learn The 24 Skills Of Great Team Leaders [+Action Plan PDF]


Fun Ways to Improve Your Fitness When Bored


Plant a Garden

Gardening is a relaxing exercise. A garden can also provide your family with fresh vegetables at a low price.

It is always a good time to plant, whether you plant herbs in pots in your kitchen or build and plan an entire garden. Whether you want to grow vegetables or beautify your property, spring is an excellent time to start.

The benefits of gardening include:

  • Boosts Air Quality
  • Promotes Exercise
  • Encourages Healthy Eating
  • Improves Mood
  • Relieves Stress and Anxiety
  • Prolongs Attention Span
  • Boosts Self-Esteem

Source: Hillside Atlanta Organization

Thus, gardening can give you exercise and protect your family.

Improve Your Home

If you own your own home, then it is well worth the effort of improving it.  It will, of course, increase the value of your home and additionally give you a tremendous sense of self-satisfaction.

My wife and I built our own house back in 2004, and it took me a few years to complete all the work, but I still get a huge sense of satisfaction when I look at the floors I tiled, or the walls I painted or even the 125 trees I planted in our garden.

Apart from the satisfaction, it is a great workout doing some serious manual labor.  But how can you make it fun?  Listen to a podcast, audiobook, or even music whilst working and enjoy.

Upgrade your Exercise

Exercise is an excellent means of fighting boredom because it gives your mind something to focus upon.

A great way to fight boredom and get fit is to adopt a tougher organized fitness regime. If you have always wanted to learn dancing, martial arts, or boxing, now could be a good time. You can learn many of those activities from streaming videos on YouTube.

Other exercise regimes to investigate include running, bicycling, gardening, and weightlifting. Physical activity is more important than ever when you are bored.

Learn to Meditate

There is some evidence that meditation can improve your mental and physical health. The US Department of Health and Human Services claims meditation can reduce anxiety.

If you are worried about coronavirus and the economy, meditation can relax you. There is also some evidence that meditation can help people control the symptoms of some diseases and disorders.

Beyond health, meditation can help you increase mindfulness, focus, and mental clarity. Meditating could improve your work performance, and help you work from home while relaxing you. Meditation could make you more productive.

If you need helping learning how to meditate, many apps, and websites that can help you get started. Taking the time to learn meditation could be one of the most productive ways to fight boredom.


Great Ways to Give Back to Society


Start a New Hobby

Most of us have hobbies we have always wanted to try but never could. Now is the time to give that activity a try, because hobbies are a great means of fighting boredom.

If you have always wanted to try knitting, sewing, auto repair, carpentry, painting, cooking, playing a musical instrument, or writing now is the time. Many online videos that can teach you most of those activities.

As mentioned previously, Masterclass.com has an unbelievably professional set of courses from masters in their field to help inspire you and kick off a new hobby.

A big advantage of hobbies is that they teach you to focus and think. Plus, the satisfaction of making something with your hands is one of the greatest enjoyments around.

Share that Hobby, Teach Others

Teaching is one of the best ways to learn or practice a skill. A great way to avoid boredom and keep skills from getting rusty is to teach.

If you are stuck at home, consider making a video in which you teach something and posting it on YouTube. You could also conduct a class for your coworkers.

Another possibility is to become an online tutor. Many websites pay you to tutor others.

You could also advertise your services as a teacher on Craigslist or reach out to your social media contacts and see if any of them want to learn from you.

Anybody can teach if they want. All you need is a skill, or knowledge others are interested in. A singer can teach voice lessons, a musician can show others how to play an instrument, and a writer could teach writing, for instance.

Take a Moment for Elderly Neighbours

If you are bored, even for 30 minutes, you can boost your self-esteem and feeling of self-worth by simply helping out an elderly neighbor.  Pop by and see if they are OK, ask if they need anything from the shops or anything doing in the garden.

It is an incredibly selfless thing to care for others when not even asked to do so.  Demonstrate your humanity and kindness by doing something when not even asked to.

Random Acts of Kindness

Random acts of kindness simply make the world a better place. Doing something good for someone else without being promoted is a joyous thing we as humanity celebrate.

Best of all, random acts of kindness can be done in minutes.

Get inspired, visit RandomActsofKindness.org.

Boredom is an Opportunity

As you can see, there are so many things you can do to improve your health, wealth, or even make the world a better place.

There are many excellent ways you can increase your productivity while fighting boredom.

There is no reason to become less productive or bored when you are stuck at home. Instead, your boredom can become an opportunity to transform yourself into a more productive worker or entrepreneur.

The best way to become more productive is to use the time you have stuck at home to increase your skills, improve your mind, increase your knowledge, and improve your work performance. A combination of education, part-time work, teaching, exercise, hobbies, and meditation could make you into a far more productive person.

The most successful people never get bored. Instead, highly effective individuals, such as Bill Gates, use their spare time to learn and improve. If you learn and improve, you can make more money instead of just sitting around getting bored.

Boredom is a signal you need to be more productive, not a state you have to endure.

 

Barry's 25 years of experience with Silicon Valley Corporations such as IBM, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Hewlett Packard Enterprise & DXC Technology enables him to share his knowledge of succeeding in today's professional corporate environments and develop a great work life for yourself.

One Response

  1. Jamie D. August 18, 2020

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