“I am so bored, what do I do?” Do you find yourself thinking along these lines quite often? Don’t worry, this post might just help you get rid of such thoughts forever.
Boredom and feeling too busy are an equivalent problem. Some people might claim a statement like that is too ambitious and vague. Calling chronic boredom and busy-ness equivalent, seems a bit counter-intuitive. However, the solution to both of those problems is quite similar.
The problem is rooted in the way you manage your attention. Both boredom and busyness stem from feeling like there’s a scarcity of quality in how you focus your attention. Boredom stems from the feeling of a lack of high-quality ways that can grab your attention. Objectively speaking, such a scenario isn’t true as the world is filled with interesting things to see and do. What it means is that you simply feel there are top quality ways to spend attention, but your attention is being stolen from you before you are able use it.
Feelings of boredom and busy-ness are subjective. You can’t honestly gaze at the entire planet and claim that it’s either busy or boring. To say these feelings are subjective is clear, but that misses a key point. The real problem is quality.
Being engaged, neither busy or bored, happens when your attention is concentrated on high-quality activities.
You can probably remember the times once you were completely engaged. This could are performing on a project you were hooked on to. Spending time together with your family, sky-diving or vacationing under the sun. Now just think for a moment, why were you engaged in those moments but you struggle to be engaged in others?
If you don’t want to introspect right now and want a quick fix for the time being, here are some of the things you can do when you’re bored. We have tried to cover the usual scenarios where you find yourself getting bored and this list is bound to be helpful.
What to do when you’re bored at work?
- Comb through your spam folder.
- Get rid of at least 10 newsletter subscriptions.
- Try using a new and productive way for emails.
- Ask for a coffee suggestion.
- Change your email’s signature.
- Get in touch with your network.
- Create a “to read” folder in your email inbox.
- Create a “to do someday” folder in email your inbox.
- Write an email to your boss, discussing the fact that you are ready for new opportunities.
- Clean your desktop system.
- Update it properly.
- Organize all your files on it or move them to an online backup drive like Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Delete all personal stuff from your work computer.
- Change all of your passwords.
- Get rid of the dust from your laptop.
- Start a new habit of cleaning up your desk every night before leaving.
- Check your desk drawers and organize them.
- Look for some great books to inspire your career growth.
- Get inspired by some TED talks.
- Try subscribing to some skill building YouTube channels.
- Get a podcast subscription
- Get your hands on a professional networking app.
- Research and discover new networking opportunities.
- Download some mind sharpening apps.
What to do when you’re bored on the internet?
- Watch videos on streaming sites. The videos can be on things that interest you or about new things you want to learn.
- Play games, both entertaining and educational.
- Read e-books/e-comics, both fiction and non-fiction.
- Listen to podcasts on your fields of interest.
- Work on your hobby/learn a new skill
- Build a wishlist on an e-commerce site
- Start a blog/journal
- Spend some time on reddit and learn interesting things.
What to do when you’re bored at home?
- Learn to speak English with a foreign accent.
- Learn how to play the guitar or any other musical instrument.
- Get a home workout DVD.
- Bake a cake (and eat the whole thing for yourself).
- Take a rollaway chair and ride it down the driveway.
- Paint something (even if you aren’t much of a painter).
- Plant some flowers in your backyard.
- Air-guitar like no one’s watching.
- Dance like no one’s watching.
- Perform a concert (just for yourself).
- Write (or start writing) a novel.
- Start learning some quantum mechanics.
- Get a new hairstyle at home.
- Learn how to knit a sweater.
- Make some beautiful origami and decorate your house with it.
- Make some delicious popsicles.
- Reorganize your wardrobe.
- Put a funky outfit together.
- Shoot a short film with your camera.
- Set a new push ups/pull ups record.
- Memorize the lyrics of your five favourite songs.
- Build your own website.
- Cosplay as your favorite fictional character.
- Act like your favorite animal.
- Practice signing autographs for people as if you were famous.
- Pretend to brew a magic potion.
- Learn some hexes and spells.
- Do some Jedi training.
- Play your favourite movie on mute and recite all the dialogues.
- Turn old newspapers into funny hats.
- Become a jump rope master like Rocky Balboa.
- Build brand new music playlists.
- Carve a piece of wood.
- Find something that doesn’t have a Wikipedia page and create one for it.
- Cook a full meal with whatever you have in your kitchen.
- Teach your pet some new tricks.
- Take a lot of artsy photographs.
- Build a scrapbook.
- Learn some fancy new words, incorporate them into your speech and improve your vocabulary.
- Try to draw a perfect circle without a compass.
- Play board games or make your own.
- Memorize some poetry and practice reciting it.
- Build a fleet of sailboats and float them in your bathtub/pool.
- Write a song about anything.
- Practice picking locks.
- Take empty pans, boxes and buckets and make an improvised drum kit.
- Draw a henna tattoo on your hands.
- Try finding the meaning of life.
What to do when you’re bored in class?
- Tug your hair tightly or pinch yourself to avoid falling asleep.
- Remove your jacket so you are somewhat cold, it will keep you from feeling sleepy.
- Hide some interesting reading material and read it when bored.
- Try getting an outdoor class.
- If you have a phone, text someone.
- Fold paper into airplanes.
- Make a list of double meaning words that your teacher might be using (melons, jugs, sausages etc.).
- Use your non-dominant hand to take notes.
- Write your notes in a foreign language.
- Pretend to be a secret agent and profile all the people in your class.
What to do when you’re bored with a friend?
- Get some small potted plants.
- Go on a road trip to a nearby tourist spot.
- Hold a special photo shoot.
- Have a giant sleepover with board games, snacks, movies, and crazy pajamas.
- Have a game night with your friend group.
- Have a gingerbread making contest.
- Have a bonfire when it gets cool outside.
- Buy or create a blank page’s journal filled art, writing, sketches, and pictures of your friends that can be used as a memory book.
- Visit a pumpkin patch.
- Go out in the middle of the night with a blanket and do some stargazing.
- Visit a so called haunted house.
- Go out with your friend for a movie.
- Try out a newly opened cafe/restaurant.
- Shop at each others’ favourite stores.
- Cook and deliver meals for some of the homeless people of your city.
- Get crafty and create a time capsule that you and your friends can open after a certain number of years.
- Make your own sushi.
- Make homemade ice cream.
- Search on maps for the nearest natural spring or river and go swimming or canoeing.
How can I stop being bored?
To conclude this post, we will go back to where we started. Boredom and feeling overloaded are both metal patterns. They are mental spirals your brain can descend into and continuously run in a loop. With a small mental break and some introspection, you should be able to come up with a good solution for the problem. Sometimes, taking a pitstop is exactly what your brain needs. Stop, think and conquer.
You can also try meditating your way out of boredom. A lot of times, the feelings of boredom and extreme busy-ness are caused by a feeling of disconnection with what you usually do. Ground yourself to the present and reconnect yourself with meditation.
You can also try gratitude practice to find your out of boredom. Whenever you are in a funk and feeling bored or extremely busy, take a moment to think about all the things that are going well in your life. The things you are thankful for, don’t have to be monumental achievements. Sometimes, it’s enough to be thankful for having food to eat and having a roof over your head. Take a look at what you have, and smile.
Kiss boredom goodbye. You are awesome, your life is awesome. Enjoy it!