What should you do when you’re bored at home? The internet has never been so rich in content, yet here you are, bored out of your mind and trying to kill time but unable to find something that’ll hold your attention. Oh, I’ve been there.
Sure, it’s important to be productive and not waste time, but everyone needs to escape every now and then!
The good news is that there are many ways to slay boredom. If you know where to look, there are so many fun things to do online when bored—some of which can even be considered constructive. Here are some productive things to do when you’re bored!
1. Watch Videos
Which two sites first come to mind when you’re bored? YouTube and Netflix.
Videos are a great way to kill time because they’re passive. You don’t have to do anything—just sit back and zone out and wake back up when the video ends, then repeat for as long as you want.
But videos don’t have to be mindless!
On YouTube, there are dozens of channels that are both entertaining and educational.
Such videos are great because they aren’t just fun to watch, but can expand your mind, teach you new things, and even help you be a more perceptive and empathetic person. Check out these uniquely entertaining YouTube channels or these YouTube channels for self-improvement and motivation.
Much of that applies to Netflix as well. There are plenty of entertaining-and-educational series to watch, such as the Mythbusters-inspired White Rabbit Project or the fascinatingly topical Explained—which also happens to be one of the most relaxing shows to watch on Netflix.
2. Play Games
But there are two lesser-known games you should really know about:
- The Wiki Game: This game is based on the exploration of Wikipedia articles. It gives you a starting article and an ending article, and your goal is to navigate from one to the other by only clicking on internal Wikipedia links. There are five modes: fastest, fewest clicks, exactly six clicks, no using “United States” as a link, and five clicks to Jesus.
- GeoGuessr: This game uses Street View to take you to locations all over the world, and your goal is to look around and guess where you are by placing a pin on a world map. Your score depends on how close your guess is to the actual location. There are several different maps that you can pick to limit the range of possible locations.
3. Listen to Podcasts
I was late to the whole podcast craze, but I believe you can never be too late to start listening to podcasts. And if you haven’t yet delved into this strange and wonderful form of entertainment, you should start right away. You have no idea what you’re missing!
Podcasts are also great for sparking personal growth. For example, I learned a lot about money management and getting out of debt from personal finance podcasts. I also learned about time management from productivity podcasts.
And because most podcast apps can download podcasts for offline listening, this is a great way to kill boredom on long commutes, when waiting for an appointment, or even while doing chores.
4. Read Comics or Ebooks
Did you know there are several ways to read comics online for free? Not just amateur webcomics that are made freely available, but you can even read comics from DC, Marvel, Vertigo, etc. without paying!
I also recommend reading ebooks. There are a handful of awesome sites to download free ebooks, with titles ranging from classical antiquity to modern-day genre fiction. You can get hours of entertainment value from a single ebook, and you can carry thousands of them with you at all times on your phone.
By the way, even if you love paper books, we think you should buy a Kindle. Can’t afford a Kindle right now? You can get by with the free Kindle app for mobile devices. But the specially designed Kindle screen is better for your eyes and more comfortable to read, so consider getting one ASAP. (Which Kindle device is right for you?)
5. Learn a Hobby or Skill
Perhaps the most productive thing you can do when you’re bored is pick up a new hobby. Given recent internet trends, you can easily learn multiple hobbies and combine them into a source of extra income (e.g. your own YouTube videos, podcasts, mobile apps, stock photos, etc).
Or you can forget about the money and focus purely on happiness. There have been studies that show creative hobbies can actually make you happier. Some good ones to pursue include writing, drawing, gardening, and photography.
If you aren’t interested in traditional “creative” hobbies, consider one of these geeky DIY hobbies instead. There are software-centric ones—like game development and mobile app development—and there are hardware-focused ones—like woodworking and Arduino projects.
6. Start a Journal or Blog
Journaling is a time-tested activity that’s been proven to have several mental and psychological benefits. The only difference now is WHERE we keep our journals and HOW we write them—instead of physical notebooks, we now use apps (like OneNote or Evernote) or even keep our entries online in the form of a blog.
It doesn’t really matter WHAT you write as long as you take it seriously and truly record your honest thoughts. Keep it up for a full 30 days and it’ll turn into a habit. Maintain that for several more months and you’ll reap the benefits, slowly but surely.
7. Build a Wish List
I hesitate to recommend this activity because it can quickly get out of hand, but as long as you have the necessary discipline, it can be fun and might even help you save money when shopping online.
Basically, treat it like “window shopping” on Amazon. Think about things you’re interested in buying, browse through Amazon’s listings, and spend a whole lot of time researching each potential product. When you come across one that you think you’d be happy buying, click “Add to Cart” and then go into your cart and click “Save for Later.”
Your Saved for Later list now acts as your wish list. Here’s the key: you can’t buy anything unless it’s been on your wish list for at least a month. If a month goes by and you still want it, then there’s a good chance you won’t suffer from buyer’s remorse. This is an amazing technique for curbing impulsive shopping habits.
What you’ll probably find is that the act of SHOPPING is more exciting than actually BUYING—so when you’re bored, consider shopping without buying. It’ll kill time like you wouldn’t believe.
8. Explore Reddit
When all else fails, head over to Reddit, the greatest time-wasting site on the web.
Never heard of it? Reddit is a hub of thousands of different user-made communities. Each community (called “subreddits”) can focus on any topic or idea, and users can create new subreddits at any time. Start with these finance subreddits, fascinating subreddits, and alternative subreddits.
More Things to Do When You’re Bored
Obviously I’ve only just scratched the surface of the internet. There’s so much more you can do, like check into social networks, write reviews for products and businesses, watch gaming streams on Twitch, chat on IRC or Slack, catch up on news, etc. But these are all great starting points.
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