What To Do When You’re Bored

Here are some tricks I’ve found to help expose the real culprit behind boredom and get back to your normal self:

  1. Figure out what you really want to do. Boredom often masks a problem where you want to do a particular activity but something is preventing you. This could happen when you want to watch your favorite television show, but the cable is out. When this happens, the first step to killing boredom is to simply recognize the activity that you truly want to be doing.
  2. Nuke procrastination. Procrastination can cause boredom if there aren’t any distractions available to take your mind off your task. If this is the case, try one of these tips to eliminate the wait and get busy again.
  3. Get your compass straight. Boredom can just as easily be caused by a lack of direction. Spend a few minutes identifying your goals, desires or passions. Sometimes simply bringing up these can get you motivated again.
  4. Socialize. Get on video chat or the phone and talk to some friends, or join an online group and make some new friends. Boredom can often disguise a lack of social energy. Even in this time of isolation, we can still make important connections.
  5. Put off your boredom. Take a look at your to-do list. Commit to doing just one tiny task on that list before you find something fun to do. Often putting off your boredom for a few minutes by being productive can kick the feeling.
  6. Learn something new. Perhaps what you need is some mental stimulation. Here are some fast things you can do to start learning something new:
    • Read a book
    • Research a topic your interested in online
    • Write a short story
    • Pull out some paper and markers or jump on Photoshop and practice your artistic skills.
  7. Cut off distractions. Boredom can happen when you are doing a low value task, like random internet surfing or watching television shows that don’t interest you. Distractions can be a black hole, sucking you into a prolonged state of disinterest. Turn off the television or computer and start moving around until you find something better to occupy you.
  8. Fill schedule holes. Too much time is often worse than no time at all. It can be difficult to adjust to the boredom when you suddenly have a schedule vacuum. Stick to a schedule during this downtime to prevent boredom in the first place.
  9. Become your own cheerleader. I’ve been bored due to a temporary lack of confidence. Who wants to work hard towards a goal when you’ve been dealt an upsetting blow to your belief that you will succeed? Take some time to review your wins and high points so that you can restore some confidence and keep moving.
  10. Meditate. This has become my default activity in cases of extreme boredom. Check out apps like Insight Timer to keep you mindful.
  11. Journal. Open up a journal or a word document and just start writing. Don’t worry about who might read it. Just write.
  12. Add a new challenge. If you find yourself consistently bored, this usually means you have a section of time where you don’t have an activity that meets your needs. Add a new goal, challenge or hobby to fill up the time. Check out our daily challenges for some fun ideas.

These are just a few of the methods I use regularly when I have to combat boredom. But these are just suggestions. The best way to combat boredom is to understand why your bored.

Find more articles by Scott Young at ScottYoung.com

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