200 Productive Things to Do at Home + When You’re Bored!

text reads 200 productive things to do at homeWhat productive things can I do when I’m bored? 

Sometimes the hardest part is getting started – so, how on earth did our moms get it all done?! 

Girl, do I have the motherlode of list for you.

And spoiler alter: this post contains a harsh reality check ahead!

Today, we’ll be covering ideas in: 

  • research-based bad habits to break – for productivity’s sake
  • what are some productive things to do at home?
  • productive things to do outside
  • productive things to do online and on your phone

Let’s get started with some productivity destroying habits and how to become more aware of your time.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links and I could earn a small commission if you make a purchase using one. This comes at no additional cost to you and all opinions are based on my experience.

Productive Things to Do at Home (When You’re Bored!)

How can I be more productive at home? 

Congratulations! You’re already half way there by wanting to make a change 🙂 

The next step is understanding where your time goes and breaking the bad habits that used to eat so much of it up. 

We all have the same 24 hour period in a day to get things done but where we spend it can be dramatically different – even productive things to do for yourself will change on a daily basis!

So, if you had one guess, what would you say is your time-wasting kryptonite? Keep reading for a list of five popular time suckers!

Bad Habits to Break – for Productivity’s Sake!

Old habits are hard to break but identifying areas you need to work on will help you be more cognizant of them. To maximize your productivity, consider ditching the following: 

1. Multi-tasking

You might be thinking…

Is multitasking bad for productivity? 

I’m going to answer this from my personal point of view – it’s absolutely horrendous

Instead of checking off one thing from your to do list, you’ll partially get through each thing and wonder where the heck the time went. 

A 2009 Stanford University study found that heavy multitaskers – people who try and manage several tasks at once – are far less mentally organized than those who focus on a single-task and performed worse at: 

  • sorting relevant information from irrelevant details
  • switching from one task to another

Even more frightening is the fact that multi-taskers performed poorly when focusing on just a single task – a finding that suggests high-levels of distractibility and long-term negative impacts.  

I love crossing things off my to do list and it gets me pumped up to move onto the next thing – when I used to multi-task, I’d review my to do list and think, “well, I sort of finished that” but I couldn’t cross off that item because it was 100% complete! 

Multi-tasking can leave you feeling stuck and prevent you from accomplishing more in your day.

Research shows that it also leads to:

  • more mistakes
  • lower quality work
  • money lost for employers 

So, whether it’s cleaning a room in your home or studying, stick to one area and move on only after you’ve finished everything that needs to be taken care of for goal #1.

2. Netflix + YouTube

Watching a show will take away from whatever it is that you’re trying to accomplish.

Intense scene? Stop what you’re doing and watch.

Missed a line or important moment? Time to rewind!

Distracting music video? Oh no! Now that sidebar is sucking you in. 

I once tried to watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo while tackling a closet in our home – big mistake. 

I ended up binge watching the series and found myself stopping to watch the messy home vs tidy home reveals. Needless to say, I didn’t end up finishing the closet that day!

Streaming Observer found that the average Netflix user spends 1 hour and 11 minutes a day watching shows on the service – at about 36 hours a month, it’s pretty alarming to know that one entire day goes to Netflix alone!

Visuals are a time sucker! 

Pingdom found that YouTube users visit the site 14 times a month for about 25 minutes a session – this comes to another 5 hours and 50 minutes a month.

Not nearly as alarming as the Netflix stat, but when you add them together, you’ve wasted almost 2 days of your month watching shows!

This works out to 21 days or three weeks a year!

So, instead of watching something, listen to some music or a podcast in the background – I love singing and dancing my way to a clean home and so does my toddler! 

3. Games

It might only take five to 15 minutes to catch up on Township – I played this game a lot to kill the time when I was dealing with an accidental Pinterest suspension – but how many times a day are you playing? 

I love the Screen Time report iPhone offers and appreciate the harsh reality check its given me from time to time. 

Really, who needs to be on their phone for 3 hours and 30 minutes a day – that’s the average time Americans spend using mobile internet daily! Yikes!

The average gamer spends about 24 minutes a day playing mobile games.

How many hours a month is that, you ask? 12 hours!

Yep, another half a day gone each month – and 6 days of your year.

4. Checking your phone – just because!

This is a habit I’ve recently begun to take much more seriously.

On average, Americans check their phones every 12 minutes – or 80 times a day! 

For what?!

You have notifications set, don’t you? 

Refreshing your email just in case that list you still haven’t unsubscribed from sent you another sales pitch? 

Cell phones are an addiction and identifying troublesome behaviour is the first step in taking your life back. 

5. Social Media

Raise your hand if you love saving the best for last too!

In 2019, the average social media user spent 153 minutes a day on a combination of their favourite platforms.

That works out to: 

  • 2 hours and 33 minutes a day
  • 3 days a month
  • 36 days or over 5 weeks a year 

Given the average lifespan is 72 years, BroadbandSearch found that this works out to about 6 years and 8 months of one’s lifetime!

Interestingly, research also suggests that a minority of social media users experience loneliness, fear of missing out (labelled FOMO), anxiety, and depression, so excessive social media usage could be doing far more damage than just wasting your time. 

Be conscious of how much time you spend on your favourite social networks and set limits for yourself – experts found that limiting social media usage to 30 minutes a day had a dramatic impact on well-being.

200+ Productive Things to Do Right Now

So, what can you do with the hours of time you just freed up?

If you plan on ditching everything above, you’ve created as much as four solid hours to get more done in your day! Woohoo, that’s like a part-time job that’s all about you

But the even better news is, most of the ideas on this list take one hour or less to complete. 

Boom – it’s time to take care of business!

Productive things to do at home

There’s nothing I love more than a good day of power cleaning or getting our family life organized.

Find inspiration to take care of your home and harness the power of clear space, clear mind – it’s life-changing stuff! 

This list includes ideas for how to take care of your home as well as tasks you can complete at home – perfect for a day you just want to hang out in your pyjamas 🙂

  1. Wash a load of laundry
  2. Rewash the load of laundry you forgot about!
  3. Hang laundry or move it to the dryer
  4. Fold or hang up your laundry – we ditched dressers and hang up 99% of our clothes now!
  5. Clean your kitchen
  6. Descale your coffee maker
  7. Unload dishwasher
  8. Reload dishwasher
  9. Organize cupboards
  10. Remove items with missing pieces from your cupboard
  11. Remove cracked glassware and dishes from your cupboards
  12. Remove socks with no partners from your sock drawer / bin
  13. Evaluate your wardrobe – donate or sell things you haven’t worn in 6 months
  14. Organize your closet – i.e. short sleeves together, by colour, style, etc.
  15. Clean out a drawer full of miscellaneous items
  16. Organize your pantry – i.e. remove expired items, downsize large packages
  17. Declutter your paperwork – in the US, you can toss receipts after 3 years but in Canada, you’ll need to hang on to them for at least 6 years
  18. Pre-cut / chop fruits and veggies – I store mine in glass containers like 1 | 2 | 3 so it’s easy to snack and prep meals for my family later on!
  19. Clean out your fridge – remove expired items, downsize large packaging, wash bins, etc.
  20. Wash your kitchen counters
  21. Wash your cupboards
  22. Wash your appliances – I love these stainless steel wipes for our appliances and drawer handles
  23. Clean and wash your kitchen table
  24. Organize your desk
  25. Change your bed sheets and pillow covers
  26. Vacuum
  27. Evaluate your cookware – sell or donate less than ideal items
  28. Organize your cleaning supplies
  29. Clean toilets
  30. Wash your sink
  31. Scrub your shower / bath tub
  32. Wash window ledges
  33. Windex your windows and mirrors – nothing on earth works better than this!
  34. Vacuum / dust vents
  35. Assess your library – go digital whenever you can to save space
  36. Say goodbye to worn out clothing and footwear
  37. Remove footwear that hasn’t been worn in over 6 months from your entryway / shoe cabinet
  38. Clean your makeup brushes – it’s as simple as using shampoo and conditioner!
  39. Clean out your freezer – check packaging dates and remove items that are no longer safe to eat
  40. Prep dinner / work lunches – safely defrost items to gain time later on 
  41. Downsize your skincare / makeup collection – remove items that are expired
  42. Declutter your home one room at a time 
  43. Re-organize under your sink
  44. Wash your shower curtain
  45. Wash baseboards – it doesn’t need to be for just special occasions 😉
  46. Ask your kids for help downsizing their playroom / toys
  47. Dust blinds
  48. Throw curtains in the wash
  49. Windex mirrors and windows
  50. De-crumb your toaster – no more burnt toast smell
  51. Clean your oven or run it’s self-cleaning feature
  52. Clean your microwave
  53. Spot clean your carpet
  54. Clean out your vacuum
  55. Stock up on cold and flu remedies – running out during a nasty bug sucks!
  56. Organize your medicine cabinet
  57. Hang up some photos or canvas art you haven’t gotten to yet
  58. Create a Pinterest board for a room your want to update
  59. Paint a room in your home that needs serious TLC – here are a few Bougie trends to consider
  60. Clean out your garage – I use clear plastic bins for everything now! Life changing stuff
  61. Learn a new word – use it in a sentence today
  62. Plan a vacation
  63. Fix something in your home
  64. Take a trip to a health food store – fill your fridge with healthy options!
  65. Create or purchase cards for upcoming special occasions – birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  66. Create a family photo album you can display proudly in your home
  67. Research and start a new diet – my husband and I have been keto since October!
  68. Start a new fitness routine – I love spinning on my Peloton and doing yoga
  69. Book dentist appointments for yourself and your family – cleaning every 6 months is ideal
  70. Floss!
  71. Schedule an annual health checkup with your doctor
  72. Visit your optometrist – update your prescription
  73. Clean out your desk drawer – check to see which pens still work!
  74. Deep clean pots and pans
  75. Detangle jewelry
  76. Detangle and organize wild cables
  77. Refill your printer with ink
  78. Take back empties to the bottle depot
  79. Have an excess amount of cardboard? Drive it to recycling yourself!
  80. Call a friend or family member that’s been on your mind
  81. Make plans with family and friends
  82. Plan your dream kitchen – I used the IKEA Kitchen planner to do ours
  83. Repair drywall with a repair kit
  84. Prep clothing for the next day
  85. Bleach white items that need serious TLC – I’ve had great results with this natural alternative
  86. Scan important documents and name them well so you can always find them on your computer
  87. Clean out your wallet – get rid of any unnecessary receipts
  88. Organize business receipts and expenses
  89. Do an inventory of your medical kit – add bandaids, Advil, or anything else your family uses
  90. Create an emergency kit
  91. Eliminate life clutter – unnecessary projects, negative people and experiences!
  92. Create a morning and/or evening routine
  93. Read something educational – now implement it
  94. Write a list of bad habits to break – now write an action plan for how you’ll do it
  95. Write a list of things you love about yourself and your life – now find a mirror and tell yourself! It might sound insane
  96. Cook a brand new meal
  97. Revisit old goals – make adjustments!
  98. Write a journal
  99. Clean out your purse or diaper bag
  100. Organize your nightstand
  101. Learn a new language
  102. Teach your kids your native language
  103. Plan a gathering at your home
  104. Draw or design something
  105. Make a playlist of songs that always get you pumped up
  106. Create a debt repayment plan
  107. Review your last month’s expenses
  108. Polish your jewelry
  109. Take a nap or go to bed when your kids do – sleep deprivation has a negative impact on productivity and performance, so listen to your body when it tells you to sleep!
  110. Take a shower – it can help you feel more alert and motivated to get things done
  111. Give yourself a spa treatment – eyebrows, mani, pedi, whatever gives you a confidence boost!
  112. Make a deposit your emergency fund – create one if you don’t have one yet!
  113. Create a weekly routine – stick to it!
  114. Clean your keyboard
  115. Clean your electronics and screens – I like WHOOSH! Screen Cleaner for my camera, tv, phone, and computer
  116. Shop online – get it delivered, if it’s reasonable. I’ve had groceries delivered for $7.95 in the past! My fuel back and forth from the grocery store would have cost more than that!
  117. Make a list of things you need
  118. Learn to play a new song on your favourite instrument
  119. Trace your ancestry – alternatively, you can test each of your parents to get even more specific
  120. DIY a gift for a loved one or something for your home

Productive things to do outside

Want to spend some time outside while getting things accomplished? Try the following:

  1. Sweep your entryway / patio
  2. Pull out weeds
  3. Wash your car
  4. Vacuum out your car
  5. Wash and vacuum out kids’ carseats
  6. Check levels and refill fluids in your car
  7. Check air pressure of your tires – refill them
  8. Preload your car with reusable bags for shopping – no more forgetting!
  9. Garden
  10. Wash outdoor furniture
  11. Wash your patio or deck
  12. Wash children’s toys
  13. Put away seasonal children’s toys
  14. Go for a walk – just 30 minutes a day provides countless health benefits!
  15. Take a stroll around your block and chat with your neighbours – it can help with stress management
  16. Play with your kids
  17. Mow the lawn
  18. Redecorate your front door
  19. Organize the shed
  20. Take out the trash
  21. Invite a friend over for coffee and wine on the patio – don’t neglect your social wellness
  22. Spend time with your pet
  23. Wash the outside of your windows – if it’s safe to do so
  24. Check out your roof – ensure no drains are plugged
  25. Clean the gutters
  26. Repot plants that have outgrown their current habitat
  27. Host a garage sale or participate in a community-wide sale
  28. Volunteer for your church or around your community
  29. Take photos – of yourself, kids, pets, home, etc.
  30. Make a list of repairs or updates your home needs on the outside

Productive things to do online and on your phone

If you’re going to use your phone, make it productive!

The list below contains a number of suggestions for how to actually use your devices to get things done.

  1. Turn off notifications – especially for social media!
  2. Create a to do list for the day / week / month ahead
  3. Pay your bills
  4. Set up automatic bill payments
  5. Unsubscribe from email lists you don’t read
  6. Create a list of goals for the year
  7. Write a 5 or 10 year plan
  8. Create a budget
  9. Re-evaluate your monthly / yearly non-negotiable expenses
  10. Create a meal plan
  11. Write a grocery list
  12. Delete apps that are wasting your time
  13. Delete apps you’ve never used / stopped using
  14. Delete duplicate media files, screenshots, and/or photos taken by mistake
  15. Close all of your open applications – swipe up on your iPhone to show everything that’s open
  16. Restart your phone
  17. Update your phone – it’ll remind you multiple times a day until you do, so just get it done!
  18. Create Reminders and/or update your iPhone calendar with important events
  19. Read an ebook for your business or a PDF you need to review  for class
  20. Create a Pinterest board for an upcoming project
  21. Unfollow people on social media
  22. Clean up your social media account – remove / archive old or irrelevant posts
  23. Mass delete old or irrelevant emails
  24. Delete old text messages / conversations you don’t need to refer to
  25. Review and empty your spam folder
  26. Backup your computer, phone, etc. – I use iCloud and external drives for my business and personal life
  27. Update your email signature
  28. Browse flyers with an app like Flipp – plan your shopping accordingly
  29. List items you want to sell on Facebook Marketplace or bidding groups
  30. Read a blog post about something you want to accomplish this week
  31. Write an outline for an email, blog, or social media post
  32. Update your LinkedIn profile
  33. Update your business’ social media accounts
  34. Respond to text messages – I’m the worst at this!
  35. Run updates for the apps you have downloaded
  36. Find and print personal photos you want to display in your home
  37. Update contacts – remove old and irrelevant ones
  38. Order a photobook on Motif – it also makes a great gift!
  39. Start a blog – it takes 15 minutes and costs less than a Starbucks
  40. Start writing something – blog post, memoir, cookbook, epic love story, or otherwise!
  41. See if a title you want to read is available at the library – reserve it!
  42. Review passwords for your accounts and write them in a physical book to keep somewhere in your home
  43. Update your Amazon prime subscriptions – get rid of what you don’t need, add what you do
  44. Update your media kit or resume
  45. Research networking opportunities – I used Meetup to build my makeup portfolio when I worked on set in the film industry
  46. Edit photos for your blog or social media account
  47. Treat yourself to an online shopping trip – set a budget and get what you need
  48. Research conferences related to your profession and make plans to attend
  49. Learn keyboard and phone shortcuts
  50. Digitize business cards and contact information

Related: 30 Minute Blogging + Social Media Tasks to Grow Your Online Business

5 hand drawn black hearts as a banner

What can you do in 1 hour? What are some productive things to do at home that you’ll try this week? Which one of the bad habits to break did you need to do most?

Have suggestions for productive things to do that should have made this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

text reads nikki xo in pink font

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