It’s important to be productive and not waste time, but everyone needs to escape now and then! Although that wasn’t the internet’s original intent, it certainly is one of its best uses.
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
Videos are a great way to kill time because they’re passive. You don’t have to do anything—just sit back, zone out, and wake back up when the video ends. Repeat for as long as you want.
Videos don’t have to be mindless! On YouTube, there are dozens of channels that are both entertaining and educational.
Such videos are great when you’re bored online 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.
2. Play Games
There are plenty of games to play online: first-person shooter games, puzzle games, strategy and war games, city-building games, and even online multiplayer board games.
If you’re bored and need online entertainment, here 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
Podcasts are a great source of entertainment. For starters, you should check out mystery podcasts, true-crime podcasts, and true story podcasts as these are some of the most popular and plentiful genres.
Podcasts are also great for sparking personal growth. You can learn a lot about money management and get out of debt from personal finance podcasts. In addition, there are podcasts for time management from productivity. Self-education is one of the reasons why podcasts are growing in popularity.
Because most podcast apps can download podcasts for offline listening, enjoying those audio episodes is a productive thing to do when you’re bored on long commutes, 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, and Vertigo without paying!
Reading eBooks is another good thing to entertain yourself with when you’re bored. There are a handful of awesome sites to download free eBooks, with titles ranging from classical antiquity to modern-day 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.
5. Learn a Hobby
One of the most creative things 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 (such as your own YouTube videos, podcasts, mobile apps, stock photos, etc.).
Or you can forget about the money and focus purely on happiness. Some good ones to pursue include writing, drawing, gardening, and photography.
If you aren’t interested in traditional “creative” hobbies, consider some more niche hobbies instead. There are software-centric ones like game development and mobile app development, which are geeky DIY hobbies you can learn in a small space. There are also 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 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. Scribble your thoughts when you’re bored, 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
This activity 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 time researching each potential product. When you come across one that you think you’d be happy buying, click the Add to List button.
You’ll find all the products you’ve saved to the list in your Wish List. Here, you’ll be able to quickly come back to products and buy them at a later date.
Here’s a handy tip. Don’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, go ahead and add it to the basket. This is a great 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 looking for something to do when you’re bored, consider shopping without buying.
8. Explore Reddit
When all else fails, head over to Reddit, 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. You can browse forums related to finance, personal growth, memes, funny videos, and more.
If you just picked up a niche hobby, you’re sure to find a Subreddit dedicated to it, too! It’s a great place to get unique tips and guidance on projects you’re working on.
9. Stream Movies or TV Shows
One of the easiest ways to entertain yourself online is by binge-watching movies or TV shows. It’s best not to make this method of entertainment a regular habit, but everyone knows how good it can be to just unwind and zone out when you’re bored.
There are dozens of streaming services available, however, most of these will have an associated monthly subscription cost. We compared which streaming service offers the best original content, with Netflix being the overall winner.
10. Take Online Tests and Quizzes
Taking online tests and quizzes is a good thing to do when you’re bored to learn more about yourself. There are a wide variety of personality quizzes available online.
Knowing your results for these tests could potentially help you with future employment, as companies often use personality tests in the hiring process.
There are also all sorts of fun and silly tests to complete to discover everything from which Harry Potter character you are to the next drink you should order at the bar.
11. Take a Class
If you’re wondering what to do when you’re bored and want to put that free time to good use, consider taking an online class. If there’s ever been a specific skill you wanted to learn, there’s probably an online class you can sign up for.
Online tutorials are becoming increasingly common, and Masterclass is leading the way in celebrity class-led interactive videos. Online, you can learn everything from how to cook to how to speak French. The class possibilities are endless.
Although most online courses and tutorials are going to have an associated cost, one great way to learn a new skill is by watching YouTube. You can often find entirely free video series that can help you master everything–from playing the piano to fixing your toilet.
12. Take a Virtual Tour
An unconventional experience to have while bored online is a virtual tour. It’s unlikely that even the most impressive of travelers will see everything they long for in their lifetime. By taking a virtual tour, you can experience a fraction of what the real-life experience would offer, all while from the comfort of your home.
Whether you’re interested in viewing museums or mountaintops, there are lots of free virtual tour experiences to discover online.
More Things to Do When You’re Bored
This article only just scratches the surface of the internet. There’s so much more you can do when you’re bored, 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, or just play a couple of games to unwind and relax.