How to Be Busy

Four Methods:Developing Your SkillsEntertaining YourselfTrying New ThingsImproving Your Environment

In general, people who keep themselves busy are happier than people who do not. There are many ways you can choose to fill your time, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of keeping yourself mindlessly busy with menial tasks. While there’s a time and place for completing day-to-day tasks, you’ll be much happier if you keep yourself busy with activities and pursuits that are meaningful to you.

Method 1
Developing Your Skills

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    Do what you love.[1] Keeping busy with menial tasks and other day to day activities can become exhausting. Staying busy with activities that are meaningful to you, however, can be energizing. Focus on devoting more time to doing the things that really matter to you. Get inspired and busy yourself with activities that will move you closer to some of your life goals.
    • Make a list of your life goals. Include the loftier ones that feel more like dreams than goals, too!
    • The list is your road map. Plot out what steps need to be taken to reach each goal and then get started.
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    Pursue a hobby. You probably have at least one hobby in your life that you really enjoy, if not more. Concentrate on one or two of them. Become an expert! If your hobby is an artistic or creative pursuit, put some time and energy into becoming more skillful at it. Even hobbies that don’t seem action-oriented on the surface can be explored deeply.
    • For example, if your hobby is reading, you can start in on that stack of novels you’ve been meaning to read.
    • But don’t stop there. Research new authors and explore new genres. Start a blog and write reviews of the books you read. Join a book club.[2]
    • No matter what your hobby is, there is always a way to take it to the next level.
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    Focus on a project.[3] If you’re in the middle of a work or school project that you’re enjoying, really throw yourself into honing your skills and making it a success. Or you could get busy with a project at home, like replacing all of the curtains, building a piece of furniture, or painting the walls a new color.
    • If you are coordinating an event soon, you can focus on that as a project.
    • For example, you could finally rebuild that classic car you’ve had stored in the garage for months.
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    Take a class.[4] Sharpen some of your current skills by signing up for an online college course on the topic. For instance, maybe you want to improve your writing or Photoshop skills. If you enjoy cooking, try taking a cooking class. Love yoga? Sign up for a program at your local gym. Technical school classes and on-the-job training are great ways to develop and increase your skills, as well.
    • Taking a formal class isn’t the only way to approach this. Be your own instructor and educate yourself!
    • For example, perhaps you have some specialized knowledge on a topic that you can develop further by doing internet research, checking out local libraries, visiting museums, etc.

Method 2
Entertaining Yourself

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    Play a game. Pass the time by playing an old school board game, like Monopoly or Clue, with a friend or sibling. If you’re looking for something a little different, go online and try out some of the many games available there. Everything from Scrabble and Tetris to role playing games like World of Warcraft are online, and you can play against opponents that live all over the world.
    • Master your favorite video game, if that's more your style.
    • Keep yourself busy with solo games like Sudoku, solitaire and crossword puzzles.
    • If you are looking for something a little more intense, give chess a try.
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    Call a friend. Instead of texting or sending your friends instant messages via your computer or tablet, give them a call. A good chat with a friend will keep you occupied and raise your spirits. Call up your friends just to chat, or make plans to meet up with them later and hang out.
    • Plan some activities that you can all do together, like go to the movies, head to the mall, go bowling, visit the local skate park, check out a museum or just go on a walk together to catch up.
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    Offer to help with chores. Keep yourself busy by helping out around the house. Ask one of your parents to give you a list of chores that you can take care of each week. Consider working out a system with your parents so that you could get paid a small allowance for fulfilling your weekly "duties."
    • That way you’ll stay busy with chores and once you’re finished, you will have spending money to go do something fun!
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    Watch movies. Write down a list of movies you’ve been wanting to see. If you can’t think of any, ask your friends and family members for recommendations. Go online and research the movie genres that you like and discover films to watch that way. Keep your list handy and work your way through the movies by watching them on Netflix or via iTunes.
    • Consider starting a blog of your movie reviews.
    • Invite friends over and watch movies together, then rate them and talk about them afterward.
    • Starting a group blog of movie reviews would also be fun.

Method 3
Trying New Things

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    Start a workout routine.[5] Adults should aim for about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. If you prefer more intense workouts, you should strive for 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week. Two days of strength training is also recommended. Develop a balanced weekly routine for yourself and stick to it.
    • Getting fit is an excellent way to keep busy, but the real payoff is becoming a healthier person.
    • Starting a fitness program may reduce your risk for chronic disease, improve your mood and self-esteem, develop better sleep habits and improve your balance and coordination.[6]
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    Keep a journal. Set aside time each day to write, whether that session is an hour or just 15 minutes long. Document your daily life, express yourself and write down your dreams. Use your journal any way you see fit – you aren’t limited to writing words only.
    • You can get creative and draw, paint, collect photos and keepsakes, etc.
    • If you want to take journal-writing to the next level, consider writing your own memoir.
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    Study a new language or learn to play an instrument.[7] Both of these activities require a lot of time and dedication to master, so they will definitely keep you busy. Use language-learning software to become proficient in another language or sign up for a college class. If music is more your thing, find a community member who gives lessons and learn to play the guitar or piano.
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    Look for ways to contribute.[8] Get involved with your community in whatever capacity appeals to you. Volunteer at a local hospital, homeless shelter or some other non-profit organization. Join a local committee or sit on a board. Mentor a young person. Tutor students. Look for open internships. There are so many ways to help people, both big and small.
    • Pay attention to what's going on around you, at your job, and in your friends' and family's lives.
    • Offer your help to friends, family or coworkers whenever you see that someone’s in need.[9]

Method 4
Improving Your Environment

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    Do some spring cleaning. Take on some of the bigger cleaning projects, such as steam cleaning your carpet, laundering all of the drapes, wiping down the baseboards, reorganizing your closet, cleaning the ceiling fans and so on. Organize your workspace by cleaning off your desk, organizing your files and removing clutter. Clean and organize the attic, basement or garage of your home.
    • There are always cleaning tasks that can be done.
    • Or you could finally finish that house project you’ve been putting off for months.
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    Become handier around the house. Look for ways that your home can be improved or repaired. Learn some of the practical skills, such as electrical wiring, plumbing, landscaping, etc., you’d need to complete those tasks yourself. Then go for it! Consider other handy skills, like learning how to install or troubleshoot computers or the basics of car repair.
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    Redecorate. Whether you want to redecorate your bedroom or take on the whole house, it’s a fun process that will certainly keep you busy. Consider repainting your walls, rearranging furniture, changing the artwork, making your own curtains, restoring and reupholstering furniture – there are tons of possibilities.
    • Explore DIY projects online and incorporate some of those ideas.
    • Choose the tasks that you would enjoy doing the most and update your home’s décor.

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Categories: Boredom Busters