It’s easy to be productive when you’re at work.
Of course, there are ups and downs, distractions and annoyances, but for the most part, you have a job to do and you just do it.
But what about when you get home? It’s easy to fall into a habit of just watching TV or surfing the web or playing video games or other bad habits that waste your time.
You want to be more productive. You want to break out of those bad habits and make good use of your time, but it can be hard to know where to begin.
That’s why I put together this list of ways to be more productive—not just at work but anywhere in your life.
Some of these ideas are simple reminders on how to best use your time; others are different ways you can think about productivity entirely.
Here are some cool productive things to do at home, whether you want to boost productivity, learn a new skill or make some extra cash.
Start a Side Hustle
Working extra hours is a great way to stay busy and make some extra money. If you currently have the luxury of not working, you could pick up an online side hustle with plenty of sites offering remote work opportunities.
Or if you do have a full-time job, you could use your current skills to start something new in your downtime. For example, if you’re a photographer you could learn video editing or even start teaching photography classes.
You might find that this “hustle” becomes something that brings in income long after the pandemic is over.
If you’re feeling bored or unfulfilled with your current life, take some time to set personal goals for yourself.
Make a list of things you’d like to accomplish in the next few years and start working toward them today — whether it’s taking an online class to learn a new skill or applying for a promotion at work or just cleaning out your closet.
Set small, achievable goals each week so they don’t seem too daunting, and celebrate each accomplishment along the way.
Exercise at home
One of the most productive things you can do when you’re at home or bored is exercise. Not only does it keep you healthy and fit, but it’s good for your mental health as well.
It also relieves stress and anxiety which are common side effects of being quarantined or laid off from work.
Schedule your days
If you don’t already have a daily schedule, now’s the time to create one. If you’re working from home, plan out your work hours and carve out some time in the evening for other activities such as exercising, cooking dinner, or watching TV.
If you’re not working right now, structure your days by scheduling workouts, language lessons, or whatever else you want to do.
Learn new skills
This is a great time to learn a new skill or improve an old one. There are so many awesome skills you can learn online these days that weren’t available even a decade ago.
Learn a language.
There are so many reasons why you should learn a second (or third) language: career development, brain health, and the ability to feel less isolated in the world.
Plus, if you’re stuck at home for weeks or months on end, what better way is there to pass the time than learning a new language? Duolingo is probably the most popular platform for language learning with 140 million users worldwide and more than 30 languages available.
Record your story
Everyone has a story to tell, and now is an excellent time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and record yours. Keep a journal or start writing your memoir.
Writing down your experiences can help you make sense of your life events and even work through any mental health issues you may be facing right now.
Do some home cleaning
This is a great opportunity to get things done around the house that you normally don’t have time for. For starters, clean out your closet and donate any clothes you don’t wear anymore.
Then, clean out your medicine cabinet and throw away any expired prescriptions (or bring them to your local pharmacy for safe disposal).
Finally, clean out your fridge and pantry; discard any stale food or spices that have been sitting around for a while (this is also a good time to make a meal plan and shop for groceries online).
Start a garden
Whether it’s a potted plant or a full-on backyard garden, growing something fresh is sure to bring a little sunshine into your life. Gardening can also help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, according to WebMD
Find a sunny spot in your yard, and sign up for a seed catalog. You can grow almost anything in a pot, so you don’t need a large plot or special tools.
And if your space is limited, try container gardening on your balcony or deck. Don’t forget to make room for herbs like basil and rosemary, which can be used in lots of dishes and even homemade beauty products.
Set up a workout routine
You don’t have to go to the gym anymore, simply set up a workout routine in your living room or backyard.
Exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, according to Harvard Medical School.
Try incorporating workouts like yoga, meditation, or jumping jacks into your day.
Rearrange your furniture
This may not seem like an important task, but it can make a huge difference in how you feel about your living space. Just moving around a few pieces of furniture can make a room feel completely different than before.
You’ll be surprised how much better it makes you feel when you look around at the end of the day instead of seeing the same drab room all day long.
Set Up a Home Office
If you’re someone who spends a lot of time at home or you’re stuck indoors because of the weather, having a home office can be really helpful.
If you have extra space in your home, then this is the perfect opportunity to set up your own desk and work on all kinds of projects.
Create a DIY project
There was a time when I was obsessed with creating my own jewelry. I would browse Pinterest for hours and hours looking for fun projects and then try to replicate them. It was so much fun and I learned a lot of new skills along the way.
You could also use this time to decorate your room or create new art pieces. The possibilities are endless! If you want to get started, check out these DIY ideas for inspiration.
Bake some goodies
Baking is always a good idea, especially when you’re staying at home. Not only does it kill time but it also gives you something to eat after you’re done.
You could bake cookies, brownies, or even cupcakes. You could even start baking cakes for family members. I highly recommend watching this video for some awesome baking tips.
Start a blog
If you have an idea for your own blog, the time to start it is now. You can write about anything that interests you, from your personal travel stories to your thoughts on food and cooking, pets, or fashion.
Who knows? Your blog could become so popular that someday soon you’ll be able to quit your day job and become a full-time blogger.
Refresh your resume
You might not think you need to update your resume at this point in your career — especially if you just got hired at a new company or landed a promotion last year.
But if it’s been longer than six months since you’ve updated it, chances are it could use some freshening up.
Add any recent certifications or special training you’ve completed along with any new skills you’ve acquired. Even if you don’t have any new accomplishments to add, take some time to rework the format slightly and update anything that’s gotten.
Go for a walk
The fresh air and sunlight will do wonders for your mood, and the brief movement will help wake you up. Plus, if you live in a safe neighborhood, walking around after dark is a fine way to get to know your neighbors and make new friends, strike up a conversation next time someone walks by with their dog.
Go through all of those emails
If you’re like me, you probably have hundreds of unread emails just sitting in your inbox. I don’t know about you, but it stresses me out when I have unread emails, so I’m always looking to get caught up on them.
The thing is, I often don’t have the time to actually sit down and read every single email. If you’ve been dreading going through your inbox all day long, now is the perfect time to do it.
Write a letter to your future self
This might sound weird, but it’s really not. It’s always fun to look back on something and see how much has changed (or stayed the same). When I was younger, I used to write letters to my future self in which I predicted what life would be like 10 years later.
Read a book
There are numerous benefits of reading books. Reading improves cognitive function, helps fight depression and anxiety, and reduces stress. It also helps you sleep better and can even help you live longer.
Learn how to cook something new
Cooking is one of the most productive things you can do at home. It provides a sense of fulfillment, teaches you self-reliance, and gives you an opportunity to develop your skills.
Bond with your family
Spending time with family is always fun, especially if it’s something you don’t get a chance to do very often. It’s time you set aside time to bond with your family members (if they are also staying at home).
Organize games, tell stories, and watch movies together, do whatever you can to make this a memorable time for yourself and your loved ones.
You’re at home, so why not give back? Volunteer for a local organization or even something online. You could clean up your neighborhood, help out in a child care center, or be a part of a virtual mentorship program.
Clean up your computer
We bet your computer is full of old files that you don’t need anymore. Take the time to get rid of them and organize what’s left into folders. This will help you find things easily when you need them and clear up space on your hard drive.
Clean out your closet
You know that feeling when you have too many clothes and not enough hangers? It sucks. So why not take the opportunity to clean out that closet of yours? See what you don’t wear anymore and donate it (or try to sell it) so that someone else can enjoy it.
Get away (but not too far away)
We all need a little change of scenery from time to time. If you have some vacation days saved up, use them now.
Even if it’s just going to stay at a friend’s or relative’s house for a while, getting away from home — even if it’s only an hour or two away — can help you get your mind off things and make you feel refreshed.
Create a plan to pay off debt
If you’ve been putting off the task of paying down your debts, now’s a great time to get started. With all this additional free time on your hands, why not finally make a plan to pay off your debts and start tackling them, one at a time?
But before you can make a plan to pay off debt, you need to know what you’re dealing with first. That means gathering up all your debts and creating a list. Once that’s done, you can begin paying them off in order based on either the amount owed or the interest rate.
Print some memories
If you’re anything like me, you have a bunch of folders on your computer that are filled with photos from years and years past. There’s no better time than the present to sort through them, pick out your absolute favorites, and print them out.
This is a fun way to relive some good memories. And, if you’re feeling up for it, you can make a scrapbook or photo album with these photos.
Create a list of travel destinations
Do you have a long list of places you want to travel and see someday? Now’s an excellent time to research these various destinations and create an itinerary for future trips.
You can even include estimated costs for each destination so that you can create a budget for future trips once travel becomes possible again.
Learn to code
The world is all about technology these days, and knowing how to code will help you understand how computers work and make it easier to land a good job. There are plenty of free coding classes you can take online to get started. You’ll need to be disciplined and persistent if you want to succeed, but the rewards are worth it.
Learn to be more positive
It’s easy to complain about things during this crisis, but there are also so many opportunities right now. If you’re feeling down, try taking up meditation or join a support group. Having people around you who are going through the same thing will make it easier for you to stay positive in challenging times.
Make a home spa
This is an excellent idea for anyone who’s suddenly doing their own nails and hair at home. Buy your favorite face mask and hair product, maybe an aromatherapy candle, some fluffy slippers, or a soft robe, and assemble it all in a basket to create a “spa kit” for home pampering sessions.
Or go all out with a DIY spa day for your partner (or even the whole family) with manicures, pedicures, masks, and footbaths.
Call a friend
It’s easy to lose touch with old friends over time, especially when life gets busy. If you have someone on your mind, give them a call. Catch up and see what they’ve been up to. A phone call can go a long way towards rekindling an old friendship.
Start a new business from home
Starting a new business from home is one of the most productive things you can do. You’ll be your own boss, so you’ll be able to decide how much and when you work – which means you’ll have the freedom to live life on your own terms. What could be more productive than that?
Pick up a new hobby
Hobbies are good for your health and wellbeing; they can help to relieve stress and improve your mental health and they give you something fun to focus on. This means that picking up a new hobby is an incredibly productive way to spend your time at home.
Productive Things to Do at Home – In Conclusion
The working day not only ends at five, but you don’t have to leave your office behind either. There are plenty of productive things that you can do from home after working hours, and we’ve covered some of the best ones here. If you like all of the ideas that we’ve shared, then perhaps you might take on a few for yourself.
Even if you don’t think that any of these activities apply to you, remember that they can still provide good advice for those who do fit their descriptions. Take it all in and see what applies; hopefully, you’ll find something to try out yourself.