Photo KnowInsiders
50 Fun And Useful Things To Do When You Are Bored Working From Home. Photo KnowInsiders

Is there anything YOU can do to make your own (online) working life a little more interesting, exciting and even fun. Try these 50 activities!

What To Do When You Are Bored Working From Home: Try New Activities In Your Break

1. Watch a TED Talk

There have been so many great TED talks over the years, and almost all of them are available to watch online for free. Why waste 20 minutes on Facebook when you could instead spend 20 minutes learning and getting inspired? If you need help in finding the best talks, check our selections of 10 TED Talks that will change how you work forever, 16 superb TED Talks every designer should watch and 25 inspiring TED Talks by some of the world’s most creative women.

2. Take a walk and don’t check your phone

It’s common knowledge that sweeping off the cobwebs and taking off for a walk can help your brain process things more efficiently and help you come up with new creative solutions. So, find the nearest park or river, and head off for a blast of fresh air and a change of scenery.

Just switch off your phone and stay offline, otherwise, you may as well have stayed at your desk!

3. Listen to a podcast

Some people can find it boring just going for a walk, but you don’t have to stare at a screen for stimulation. There a million and one podcasts online, most available to download for free, on every subject you can think of. If you want some direction, then check out our selection of the 40 best creative podcasts.

4. Do a quick office yoga session

Photo yoga

Countless studies have shown that yoga offers mental and physical benefits, including better health, increased strength and flexibility, reduce stress, depression and anxiety. And the best thing is, you don’t need special training, clothing or equipment to do it. Anyone can fit in a short yoga routine in your office, and there are plenty of videos to walk you through one on YouTube. Here’s an example.

5. Complete a colouring book

You may not have completed a colouring book since childhood, but you’re probably aware they’ve recently seen a resurgence among adults.

And for good reason: losing yourself in colouring-in can be a great way to practice mindfulness, improving your mood and reducing your stress levels. You’ll find a range of colouring books in WH Smith and most good bookshops. Check out Shillington lecturer and designer Shanti Sparrow’s colouring books, too.

6. Create a photobook

Fancy something a little more challenging than colouring in? Then why not draw on your layout skills and gather together some of your favourite photos into a photo book? It could be themed on a family outing, a holiday or just the year just gone. Either way, it’s a great gift to share with friends and relatives or just a talking point when you have visitors. You’ll find a good guide to photo book printing services here.

7. Take the Adobe ‘What’s your creative type?’ quiz

Online quizzes aren’t usually to be taken mega-seriously, but they’re fun and can sometimes lead to some unexpected insights. Adobe’s What’s your creative type? quiz certainly falls into that category. Based on psychology research, it assesses your basic habits and tendencies to help you better understand who you are as creative. It’s just 15 questions so doesn’t take too long, but it’s a nice way to think about your work and career in a different way.

8. Make a new playlist

Tired of listening to the same music all the time?

Then next time you have some downtime, spend it making a new playlist on Spotify.

How to find new music? Well, Spotify itself has a lot of curated playlists, including ‘Discover Weekly’, ‘New Music Friday’ and ‘Release Radar’, plus you can also hear new music based on band radio stations or friend’s playlists. Also, if you have Shazam, why not look through past searched songs and follow-up with the whole album?

9. Play a game

Is the whole office on downtime? Then rather than each individually staring at Facebook, why not see it as a bonding opportunity? You could, for instance, all play a fun game like Spaceteam, a fast-paced, ‘cooperative shouting card game’ in which you race to repair your malfunctioning spaceship. A great way to relax and have a laugh with friends and colleagues.

10. Do a quiz on Sporcle

Want to test your knowledge and learn new things? Then head to Sporcle, where you can take thousands of free online quizzes.

11.Stretch or Exercise at Your Desk

Photo redefining strength
Photo redefining strength

If you’re a desk jockey like myself, the sedentary lifestyle can be hard on the ol’ limbs. You need to stretch and move around a bit, even for 5 minutes.

You could walk outside or get more coffee or go creep on some other floors of your office building to see if they have better bathrooms. Or if you’re on that conference call and can leave the immediate area, do a few leg lifts or touch your toes.

12.Do some pushups and crunches

If you’re bored, you might as well start getting in shape. You can do pushups and crunches right there on the floor next to your desk (or go outside if you’re worried about your coworkers seeing you). Or walk up some steps, or do squats and lunges without weights, or dips in your chair, or butt squeezes (that means squeeze your own butt, not your coworkers’).

13.Take a nap

If you don’t have a good place to do this, you can curl up under your desk with a sweater, or go to your car and sleep. I’ve learned how to fall asleep at my chair, but thank goodness I’m working at home and can go to the couch in a napping emergency.

14.Drink some water

Dehydration can make us tired and sluggish. Water can refresh us. Keep that water coming all day long — you may need to pee more though.

15.Play Sudoku

Photo Votes NP
Photo Votes NP

Perhaps not the most intellectual game of all time, or the most exciting … but I still find it a lot of fun. I only played it a little while and didn’t get addicted like other people I know, but I have to admit it’s a fun way to pass the time.

16.Make your work a game

You can make a game out of anything. See how many widgets you can crank in 10 minutes. Pretend that your coworkers are evil villains. Imagine that you are a CIA agent in disguise, and no one knows. Or a fairy princess. Whatever floats your boat.

17.Have the TV on in the background

As long as it’s not super distracting, then it’s a good idea to keep the TV on in the background. There is nothing more boring than working in complete silence. When you’re in the office every day, I’m sure your work is broken up with little chats throughout the day or even hearing your colleague chattering away on the phone to a client can be comforting. Having a TV show quietly in the background will mimic these everyday interactions and can actually make you more productive. Sitcoms like The Office are great to run in the background as they require little focus and have a fun, positive atmosphere.

18.Start a new hobby

Is there something you have always wanted to learn but just never had the time? Well, now we are quarantined to our homes, use it as the perfect opportunity to get creative and learn a new skill! This could be anything from knitting to yoga to learning a new language. Learning a new hobby in the evenings means you will have something to look forward to after work other than ANOTHER episode of Friends or The Office. With the rise of YouTube tutorials, we can pretty much now learn anything from the comfort of our own homes. Not only will this stop you from being bored working from home, but you will also get a new skill out of it. You can even join internet forums and get connected with people who are learning the same skill and ask more experienced people for advice and techniques.

19.Plan ahead of time

As boring as it sounds, planning is actually an essential way to successfully stop yourself from being bored working from home. Try solidifying your schedule the day before so that when you wake up in the morning you know exactly what tasks you have to do for the day. Not only will this create structure, but it will also keep you motivated and productive. Make sure you have a working day, the same as in the office. Get up and dressed as if you were leaving the house, have a planned lunch and make sure you have a finish time to look forward to. With a solid plan set in place, you are less likely to get distracted and it is a sure safe way to mitigate being bored working from home.

20.Use conferencing tools

On top of being bored working from home, a lot of remote workers report being lonely working from home. Online meeting software like Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams are a fantastic way to stay connected with your colleagues. A great idea is to hold daily morning check-ins with your team to make sure they are feeling OK and to discuss what they will be working on. Slack is also a great way to keep in touch with your team members via messaging. Working from home doesn’t mean you have to be alone! Right now, everyone is in the same situation and probably feeling the loneliness a bit more than usual. Stay tuned in and give your colleague a call for a catch up if you’re starting to feel alone.

READ MORE: How to manage your time effectively when working from home?

What to Do When You're Bored Working From Home: Email Edition

Does your inbox need a Yes, ours too. From organizing your folders to updating your signature, use an afternoon where you’d normally feel bored to give your inbox a glow-up. These activities offer the added benefit of making you more productive—no more wasted time searching for specific emails or deleting the ones you never read.

Gmail Storage Full: How to Clean Up and Save Some Space
Photo Save Some Space

21. Go through your spam folder

Seriously, when was the last time you did that?

22. Unsubscribe from 10 newsletters

You've gotten used to ignoring them, right? Well, now's the time.

23. Subscribe to a new industry-focused and/or women-focused newsletter

You know when you clean out your closet to sell your clothes, and you get to treat yourself to a new item with the money you make? Do the same here. Pick a newsletter that you'll actually open, either specific to your industry or women-focused. Psst, we actually have a pretty great newsletter.

24. Try a new email productivity method

Do you really need to be keeping a constant eye on your email box? Consider batching your emails—and spending a dedicated hour or so thoughtfully responding to each one.

25. Write to a professional contact to suggest a (virtual) coffee

Maybe it's your old boss or one of your current colleagues who you'd like to get to know more. Regardless, shoot them an email and ask if they want to connect in the next few weeks.

26. Update your email signature

No, really—when was the last time you looked at it? Is it even accurate? Could it be more pleasing?

27. Check in with your network

Shoot a quick email to a few old colleagues you haven't spoken to in awhile. Just ask them how everything's going. The point is: small hellos keep your network from getting cold. And here are some free networking templates to get you started.

28. Make a "to read" folder in your inbox

You know those newsletters in your inbox that you want to read, but they're too long to read right now? Set up this folder now to throw them all into. The next time you're bored at work, you can open them up.

29. Make a "to do someday" folder in your inbox

You know those tasks you have that are constantly on the back burner? Put those in their own folder as well, so you can refer back to them for inspiration down the line. Think: email courses on content marketing or SEO.

30. Write an email to your boss letting her know you want to discuss some new responsibilities

Look, if you're this bored, is there something new you could be learning or doing? Spend some time thinking today about what new projects you'd like to tackle at work to grow your career, then ask your boss for what you want.

What to Do When You're Bored Working From Home: Self-Improvement Tactics

Why not spend some of your downtime on self-improvement? Read career articles, research networking events, or listen to a podcast on career advice. Take in some inspiration that breathes new life into your routine. This might look like setting a new personal goal or creating a plan for an exciting side hustle. No matter what you decide to focus on, we can promise you’ll benefit from taking the time for yourself.

31. Find some great books to inspire your career

We've beyond got you covered for this. Consider our lists of the best self-help books, the best books by women of color, the best leadership books for women, some of our favorite books, and last but not least, books to help you get your finances in order (finally).

32. Better yet, subscribe to some career-inspiring YouTube channels

The best ones are updated every week, which means the next time you're bored at the office, you can head straight there. First up: Career Contessa's YouTube, duh.

33. Write some SMART goals for your career and life

We love SMART goals because they help you break down the big picture into smaller, more manageable parts—the ideal way to make the most of a slow period at work.

34. And then, write an intimidation list

Sometimes, facing your fears starts with actually acknowledging them. Hence why you should try your own intimidation list.

35. Subscribe to a new podcast

When was the last time you tried a new one? Because we've got the perfect career advice podcast for you. These women-run podcasts are great too.

36. Download a professional networking app

Networking is hard, especially if you're an introvert. The beauty of technology is that there are now tons of networking apps out there. We like Bumble Bizz.

33. Or research a networking opportunity

It's one of the best things you can do to meet new professional contacts, but it will also help you get better at delivering your personal pitch and speaking to strangers. All good things for self-improvement. Read this article on the five types of networking events you need (there's a list of where to find them at the end as well). A reminder that you can network digitally too.

What to Do When You're Bored at Work: LinkedIn

Photo: Thegioididong
Photo Thegioididong

LinkedIn is powerful—there’s no doubt about it. If your LinkedIn profile leaves a little something to be desired, use your downtime to upgrade and update it. We’ve got lots of resources about taking advantage of LinkedIn. Update your profile and then start making those connections!

37. Edit your LinkedIn profile based on a recruiter's advice

38. Swap out your LinkedIn headshot and cover image

When was the last time you did that? Years ago? If you have a new great photo of yourself on hand, go ahead and upload it.

39. Max out your skills list

It can increase your LinkedIn profile views by 300%. Read this skills list and start adding to your profile ASAP.

40. Request recommendations (and give some in return!)

You're bored at work—could there ever be a better time?

41. Connect with professionals you admire

Look for women and men working at companies you love or in the roles you aspire to, then request to connect. Make sure to send a personalized message explaining why you're reaching out.

42. And then request some informational interviews

Informational interviews take 30 minutes or less, and they really are the best thing for your career. Reach out to some of those new contacts on LinkedIn about setting up a time. Then prepare with 15 of the best questions to ask in an informational interview.

43. Make your LinkedIn summary more creative

We've rounded up creative LinkedIn summaries from the women who do it best. Follow their example, why don't ya?

What to Do When You're Bored Working From Home: Social Media Strategy

Photo: Thegioididong
Photo Thegioididong

44. Follow some positive Instagram accounts

You're going to want to follow all of these women.

45. Get more strategic about your social accounts

Did you know you can use social media to find a job? Even if you're not interested in going that route (because hey, being bored at work doesn't mean you want to leave), now's a great time to follow thought leaders on LinkedIn and Twitter, clean up your accounts, and so on. But the trick is to also get strategic about engaging, commenting, and liking as well. So get chatting.

46. Share some of the career-inspiring articles you read today on your LinkedIn

There's no better way to show how much you care about the work you're doing.

47. Make some quick profile updates that will improve your career

Maybe you don't need those photos from all those college parties lurking deep in your feed. Here's how to clean your social media accounts + refine your personal brand.

48. Reach out to someone you admire on social

We talk about informational interviews and LinkedIn a lot, but think about whether there's someone you admire on Instagram or Twitter. Chances are they don't get asked often to have a coffee or phone chat, so why not give it a go by sliding into their DMs?

Last but not least

Photo FastWork
Photo FastWork

49.Get rid of the things you don’t need

Listen, that stapler that gets jammed every other staple just isn’t cutting it anymore. Toss it in the trash and add it to your new list.

50. Commit to keeping everything clean and organized

Now that you’ve gone through all your messy drawers and filing cabinets, make an active effort to keep everything nice and tidy. It only takes a few seconds each day to make your space look way more professional.

50 Fun Things To Do When You Are Bored At Home 50 Fun Things To Do When You Are Bored At Home

Feeling bored when you have to stay at home all day long? Try these fun activities to cheer yourself up!

30 Most Funniest Names From Around the World 30 Most Funniest Names From Around the World

These Names Will Make You Laugh Out Loud. And we don’t know what these parents thinking when they came up with these names.

Top 20 Funniest Arpril Fools Top 20 Funniest Arpril Fools' Day Jokes

April Fools' Day is around the corner. Are you planning on doing something for fun this year? Here are April Fool’s practical jokes, family-friendly tricks, ...