You can find tonnes of lists filled with a bunch of "fun" things to do when you're bored, but where does binge-watching a show on Netflix get you? It may be fun, but you will be no closer to the success you desire. To be fulfilled when looking for what to do when you're bored, you need to do something productive.
There is a reason that people with all of the money in the world can't go on vacation for the rest of their lives and play video games. They have the money to do it, but not the desire because, as human beings, we are hard-wired to seek progress. We want to be productive and move closer to our dreams, hopes, and goals.
“It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something.” ―Winston S. Churchill
Why Do You Need to Know What to Do When You're Bored?
Today you have access to more things to do in our homes than you have ever had. Your smartphones can do more than a computer could 20 years ago.
Most people have access to Netflix, Hulu, Disney +, Amazon Prime Streaming, and other services right at their fingertips.
There is an infinite amount of videos on YouTube. Clearly, knowing what to do for entertainment is not the issue here. You are seeking something tremendous, and that thing is called purpose.
When you see someone who wakes up early every day and is ready to attack life with zeal, its because they have a purpose. They know why they are here and how they plan to use their time on earth. Once you know that, you no longer can be bored because you become mission-oriented.
What to Do When You're Bored? - Develop Your Mission
Your mission is what you want to have accomplished when you're on your deathbed. It's not a small task that can be done quickly or over a short period.
You need a lifetime to chase after a mission, and you will likely not complete that mission. You will have to hope others keep doing your work after you die. Here are some examples of purposes:
- Mark Zuckerberg - Connect the world
- Jeff Bezos - Sell everything to the world
- Elon Musk - Save humanity from destroying the planet
- Martin Luther King Jr. - All people are treated as equals
Do you notice how large these missions and how hard they all are to accomplish? That is why the individuals above is not bored ever. They have way too much work to do.
Questions To Help You Discover Your Mission
- What do you care enough about to work on for your life?
- What do you care about so much that you can work through the setbacks?
- What do you already have the skills and talents to begin working on?
There is no easy way to do this. You just have to spend the time thinking about it. It took me a while to discover that I wanted to spend the rest of my life, helping people build habits that help them succeed. That is my mission, and I wake up every day hungry to chase it.
Jump to Different Ways to Solve Boredom
Get Organized When You're Bored
Getting organized is a great place to start when you're bored. If learning is sharpening the ax, then getting organized is knowing where your ax is set up so you don't have to look for it before you can cut down trees.
The organization helps to increase your work capacity. You spend less time frustrated, confused, or second-guessing yourself when you're organized. When you're organized, it builds confidence because it reassures you that you're prepared for anything that life may throw your way.
Organized at Home
- Put shoes away - Find a place for all of those pesky shoes laying around
- Create new systems at drop points - Drop points are places where you tend to leave things out of place
- Label everything - Everything gets labeled, so everyone knows where things go
- Create a launchpad - Have a space designed for getting ready to leave the house
- Create individual buckets - Provide everyone in your home with a bucket to drop items in
- Organize the spices - Stop wasting time trying to find the salt and oregano
- Put trash bags in the trashcan - What a genius place to store trash bags
- Share your online calendar - Keep everyone on the same page
- Run the dishwasher - Get the dishes all cleaned
- Take care of dishes right after meals - Life is just much easier this way
- Take pictures of sentimental items then give them away or toss them - Most people just have too much stuff and getting rid of them will lighten your load
- Color-code your family - Thank us later for this one (especially if you have multiple kids)
- Keep a "go bag" In the car - You always want to have a bag ready with essential items in case you need to run out the door quick
- Create a system that works in the bathroom - The more people and the smaller a space the more of a system you need
- No home crate - When stuff has no home drop it in this box, so you know you need to find it a home
- Add a whiteboard to the garage - When you get home you get to see a to-do list of things that need to be done right away
- Put up a key rack by the door - No more searching for the keys
- Sort mail right away - Don't let your mail get out of hand, either throw it away, take action, or store it.
Get Organized at Work
- Plan for success - If you fail to plan then you plan to fail
- Declutter your desk - Take the time to bring order to your desk
- Organize files - Don't let those loose sheets get the best of you
- Clean desktop - All of those saved filed on your desktop need to be organized into folders
- Clean recycling bin on the computer - Computers need to have the garbage taken out as well
- Use the cloud - If possible get as many of your files on tools like OneDrive or Dropbox
- Create file naming system - File naming systems pay off when you are looking for old files down the road
- Organize bookmarks - Make sure your books mark space is being used as effectively as possible
- Add Focus Plugin to Browser - Add browser plugins that help you to focus during work
- Organize Your Email - Delete emails and create folders to organize ones you need for the future
- Password Management - Stop using the same password and get a password manager like 1Password or LastPass
Improve Your Relationships When You're Bored
When you have time on your hands, it gives you the perfect opportunity to build relationships. Every day that passes without talking to someone makes the flame of that relationship a bit dimmer. If you go long enough, it can eventually go out all together.
The key here is choosing the relationships that are worth spending time on. Once you know someone is worth your time, it's on you to find ways to know them better and be there for them. You don't have to just rely on a phone call or a text. You can get creative with this.
Talk It Out
- Text - Stay in communication through some texts
- Call - Make a good ole fashion phone call
- Video chat - Use your phone, so you can talk and see each other as well
- Handwritten letter - Nothing will win you brownie points like taking the time to write people
- Engage on social media - The easiest way to stay connected, but it can also be the least impactful way of reaching out
- Go get coffee - Face to face conversation over a warm cup of coffee is always good
- Invite them over for dinner - Taking the time to make dinner for dinner for someone and love them in your home is one of the most amazing things you can do
Have Fun Together
- Play a board game - There are so many fun board games outside of the popular ones that we thing
- Go to a bar - Buy them a drink and take a load off
- Play cards - A good game of cards will keep your hands busy while also fostering some good conversation
- Play chess - Chess requires more thought than a game of cards but also feels more like real life
- Play video games - Videos games are perfect for distressing and talking
- Go out to eat - Delicious food will build any relationship
- Workout together - Pushing each other to get better can build strong bonds
- Read a book at the same time - Learn together and from each other
- Start a bible study - Learning the Word of God together will create a close bond
- Carpool - If you live close enough, drive to work together because car conversations can be the best ones
- Watch the same show on Netflix - Binge a show together so you can text and call each other about the big moments
- Look through old photos and videos - A trip down memory lane can remind you why you have a close bond
- Bake some yummy goods - Fun baking and even more fun eating
Share an Experience
- Go to a concert - Good music from an artist you both love will create memories
- Attend church - Learn more about God's goodness together
- Watch pro sports together - Choose a sport you both love and go and see a game
- Go on a vacation - A vacation together will be a game-changer for any relationship
- Go to a trampoline park - Have fun like a 10-year-old again
- Get a manicure or pedicure - Get pretty together
- Get a massage - Relaxation and healing time together is a win
- Do hot yoga together - Intense, sweaty exercise bond
- Write a book - Doing this will force communication and help you to both reach a huge milestone
- Go on a hike - A long walk makes for plenty of time to talk
- Visit a museum - Observe and learn together for the day
- Design a vision board - Understand each other's dreams
- Help them with there dream - Help them bring their vision alive
- Attend their performances or games - Make what matters to others matter to you
- Pray for them consistently - Trust in the power of prayer
- Let them know you care about them - Telling people you care can go a long way
- Do something they really want to do - Learn what others want to do and go and enjoy that with them.
Improve Your Skills When You're Bored
When you're bored, the most significant opportunity cost comes from what you learn. You can either use the time to improve yourself, get better for more opportunities, or waste it. When you waste it, you look back on your life, and you regret it.
Think about where your life would be if you spent all your wasted time scrolling through Instagram and used that time to learn new languages? Can you imagine you used the time spent waiting to watch a youtube video on personal finance?
These small choices are what discipline is all about. It's about taking the little moments in life that seem to not matter and finding a way to make the most of them. The list of ideas can be significantly expanded.
- Take a college course
- Get your bachelors degree
- Get your masters degree
- Get a nano degree
- Take a course on Udemy
- Take a class on Skillshare
- Learn how to Master Your Habits
- Watch educational videos on YouTube
- Get inspired to work on YouTube
- Learn more about nutrition
- Understand the human body better
- Take a course on investing
- Spend time with a mentor
- Hire a coach
- Join an accountability group
- Take How to Start a Start-Up by YCombinator
- Play an instrument
- Learn a new language
- Learn to develop beats
- Develop your painting skills
- Develop your photography skills
- Write on your blog
- Learn to tell jokes
- Learn magic tricks
- Learn how to orchestrate
- Learn to play a new sport
- Learn to hunt
- Learn to farm
- Raise livestock
Work Towards Your Mission When You're Bored
When you are locked in on your mission, you don't have time to be bored. Your purpose should be so big that you feel you don't have a second to waste. Successful people are mission-oriented, and it keeps them focused.
One of the best ways to rid your life of boredom for good is to have a mission that changes your whole life. You want a mission that will matter to you 50 years from now.
Set long-term goals
Your long term goals should be based on your life mission. When you have a purpose that will take your entire life's cumulative efforts, you need to break it into smaller chunks. If you don't break it up, you will feel overwhelmed by it.
You want to set long term goals for the following milestones:
- 50 Years
- 30 Years
- 20 Years
- 15 Years
- 10 years
- 5 years
- 2 years
- 1 year
Your goals are how you make sure that you are on track for your mission. If you see that you are not on track, you can make adjustments. Too many people set broad goals for their life, but they don't break them down in a way to make the accomplishment more manageable.
When you scale a goal down, you see exactly where you need to be in 5 years to stay on track for where you need to be in 20 years. That does not make things easier, but it makes it easier to take the first step.
Set short-term goals
Your short-term goals feed into your long-term goals. Short-term goals cover no longer than 6- months, but they are used to help you move through the period where you feel the most motivation. It's easy to stay motivated for the first month of a project, it's not easy over 10 years.
You want to set short-term goals for the following milestones:
- 6 months
- 3 months
- 1 month
- 2 weeks
- 1 week
- 3 days
The best thing you can do if you are ambitious is making the first few goals easy to hit. You want to make sure that you are building momentum over this time. There is nothing harder than trying to stay motivated when you don't have any success under your belt.
Develop Winning Habits
Habits are the last thing you need to have to make sure that you stay as far away from boredom as possible. Habits are what you are going to focus on doing daily to make sure that you're reaching your goals.
Habits are important because they are process focused and not income focused. When you focus on the process, you have much more control and guarantee specific outcomes.
For example, if you write 100 words a day, and keep it up long enough, you will eventually have a book on your hands. The goal of wanting to write a book is nothing without the habits to support it.
Use Habit Stacker to Track What You Do When You're Bored
Use Habit Stacker to track your habits. The app will make it easy for you to track and see stats on your habits and how often you are getting them done. If you don't track your habits, you will have no way of knowing if you are being successful with them or not.
Each day that you get your habit done builds you one step closer to your ultimate goal and where you want to take your life. Every day that you miss your habit, it makes you a step further from where you wanted to be.
The best way to choose your habits is to select habits that fit into your goals. Knowing that if you show up every day for these habits, it will only be a matter of time before you hit your goals.
- Stack - Choose the habits you want to build
- Start - Wake up 30 minutes to an hour earlier to begin your day with your habits
- Schedule - Block off the first part of your day for nothing but habits
- Show-Up - Be consistent and show up for your habits every day
Let Your Mission Lead the Way When You Want to Know What to Do When You're Bored
The biggest thing you need to take from this article is that purpose leads to the highest levels of motivation. When you have no meaning, you're not motivated to make the most of your life because you're not sure what the point is. The second you lock-in, and you figure out that mission boredom will begin to vanish.
You will begin using your life to be productive instead of just trying to entertain yourself all of the time. You begin to organize your life, build relationships, improve your skills, and put everything you have towards accomplishing your mission.