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8 Skills to Learn When You’re Bored

It’s Saturday afternoon, and you’re bored out of your mind. What are you going to do about it? If you sit on the couch, chances are you’ll just get more bored, but what if you could use that boredom to learn something new? Here are 8 skills to learn when you’re bored that will make your free time all the more valuable.

8 Skills to Learn When You're Bored

8 Skills to Learn When You’re Bored

1) Learning Any New Skill

Learning any new skill offers countless benefits. It’s no secret that learning something new challenges your brain, but it can also change your life in many ways. Learning a language can land you a job overseas. Starting an instrument may lead you to form lasting friendships with other musicians. Playing sports can help improve endurance and overall health.

Whether you learn a new skill for fun or for professional reasons, there are countless upsides, and getting started is always just one click away on Google, YouTube, or another major resource for instruction and study materials.

Being bored is never an excuse not to learn something new; instead of sitting idle waiting for inspiration, start by researching how-to videos online, and then keep reading through pages of related topics that pique your interest!

2) Reading Books

Just because you’re bored doesn’t mean you can’t learn something new. Whether you like reading fiction or non-fiction, books are a great way to become more knowledgeable about a topic or discover new things.

If you find yourself with some free time and nothing particular that interests you, think about picking up a book on your shelf.

Remember: learning new skills will not only keep boredom at bay but it could also open up some unexpected opportunities in your life. What if one of your hobbies turned into your next career?

3) Becoming More Self-Aware

Sometimes, when we’re bored and don’t know what else to do, we turn our focus inward and start analyzing ourselves. This can be a good thing: it opens us up to opportunities for self-improvement and keeps us in touch with our emotions.

It’s important, however, not to overdo it or let yourself become consumed by your insecurities. A few minutes of me-time is a great way to let go of any negativity that might be clouding your mind, but spending hours trying (and failing) to find solutions for every little problem is ultimately draining and unhealthy. Remind yourself that you don’t need therapy—you just need activity!

4) Waking Up Early

Waking up early can be difficult for some people, but it has a ton of benefits, like more time for leisure and work. Getting an earlier start is also a great way to squeeze in some alone time before everyone else gets up.

However, if you’re one of those people who has trouble getting out of bed in the morning, try setting your alarm earlier, even an extra half-hour will do wonders for your mood and your productivity.

If waking up early isn’t possible due to obligations like family or school, take advantage of nap time; it’s better than just vegging out on Facebook or watching YouTube videos. Bonus points if you actually use that time to get some work done instead!

5) Reducing Stress

Everyone experiences stress at some point in their lives, but it’s how you handle the stress that matters. If you learn how to manage your emotions, if you become more self-aware and if you’re able to become more mindful of your surroundings, then there is no need for stress and anxiety.

Stress can be a source of many health problems (including increased risk of disease), so learning how to reduce stress can not only help improve your mental well-being but also greatly increase your quality of life.

Focus on taking deep breaths throughout each day and embrace activities that bring calmness into your life; for example, getting outdoors in nature or finding an artistic hobby such as painting or woodworking.

6) Exercising

If you have time on your hands and don’t know what to do with it, then exercise can be a great activity. It doesn’t need to be a workout that leaves you gasping for air; simple yoga moves and a brisk walk can easily clear your mind of clutter and give you some energy.

Exercising also makes us feel good by releasing endorphins, so there is nothing better than working out after a long day at work when we are feeling stressed. Finally, exercising makes our bodies stronger—and we always have time for that!

7) Watching TV Shows and Movies

Too much television isn’t good for you; it can make you fat, distract you from important life goals, and gives you a lower attention span. To counteract those drawbacks and learn new skills at the same time, watch educational shows or movies whenever you get bored.

If you want to learn something specific, search online for top [your subject] documentaries or best [your subject] films of all time. Never seen a documentary before? They can be extremely informative if done well and are also fun to watch.

Unlike Hollywood films that rarely last more than two hours, many documentaries are over three hours long so they aren’t too stressful on your attention span if there is no action happening in them.

8) Learning Online Courses

Learning online courses allows you to learn when you’re on-the-go. This is a great option for busy professionals who have already completed a degree, as taking classes doesn’t require hours at a time.

Many of these platforms are free and offer certificates or even credit once you complete your coursework. Here are some notable platforms: Coursera, edX, Khan Academy, Lynda, and Udemy.


If you’re bored or don’t have anything specific planned for your day off, you can always do something productive. Read a book on a new topic, listen to an educational podcast, or learn a new skill that might be valuable down the road.

Although it can seem counterintuitive at first, finding ways to stay busy when we have free time is often one of our best strategies for growth.