If you’re on a path to becoming a high achiever, I commend you on looking for productive things to do instead of falling into old habits that waste your time.
Here’s a list of actions you can take right now, no matter where you are or how much free time you have, that will take you on a path to being more effective in every area of your life.
Let’s have a look at some productive things to do right now!
Table of Contents
Productive Things to Do When Bored
Why this matters: When you’re feeling bored, the first thing you want to do is fall into an old bad habit, like raid the fridge or space out in front of a screen. Trust me, I’ve been there.
So if you’re feeling a pull towards a state of vegetation, replace that feeling with one of these productive things to do when bored.
Newsflash. North Americans are insanely inflexible. And I’m not talking about our rigid mentalities, I’m talking about our literal bodies. Our sedentary lifestyles are making us stiff. And that’s going to be a problem in a decade or two when you’ll start getting hurt every time you move your body.
So if you’re going to be bored anyway, might as well do a few dynamic stretches or a yoga routine to up your mobility. Bonus, you can listen to an audiobook while stretching to really get un-bored.
You can listen to Built to Move, by my favorite author on mobility – Kelly Starrett.
2. Do a Workout
How often do you “not get around” to doing a workout? Now’s your chance! You have no excuse.
Treat today’s boredom as a reason to get into a new, fit routine.
3. Write Your Goals On Paper
If you have goals, dreams, or New Year resolutions, now’s the time to review them by writing them on paper.
You’re actually 42% more likely to accomplish your goals if you’ve written them down on paper, and that’s not just a statistic I made up!
So you have nothing to lose and everything to gain if you pick up a pen and paper and write those goals down.
4. Read a Book
“Read a book” was probably the second most common response your parents gave to the complaint “I’m bored!” (The first, of course, being “Go outside!”) And it’s for a good reason.
Reading a book is far from self-indulgent. Even if you’re diving into a fantasy novel, it’s one of the most productive things to do. Reading helps your brain make new connections and will leave you feeling energized and refreshed.
It also helps you keep up with your vocabulary, grammar, and spelling so that you don’t come off like an idiot at work.
Sorry… I meant an imbecile.
5. Connect With Someone
Over time, we lose touch with people we like for no good reason at all. So if you’ve got nothing else going on, now’s the perfect time to pick up the phone and make an effort to reconnect with one such person.
You definitely won’t regret rekindling lost connections.
Productive Things to Do at Home
Why this matters: When you’re at home, there are usually SO MANY things to do, that it’s hard to focus on just one. Your list of productive things to do at home should center around your home life. Here’s where you should start.
6. Batch Prep Your Meals
If you’re the type that finds yourself eating ramen noodles three nights in a row or worse, getting takeout, your future self will thank you right now if you batch-prep a few meals.
I’m about to blow your mind with how easy this is. Bake a pack of meat, roast some veggies, and dole it out into containers. Or make a giant batch of chili and you’re set for the week.
Your tastebuds, stomach, and wallet will thank you for the next seven days.
7. Tackle One Space
There has to be at least one spot in your house that’s driving you crazy. Whether you need to declutter your garage, add a coat of paint to the doors, throw out expired food from the pantry, or donate old clothes that haven’t fit in years.
Choose one space and tackle it.
8. Do a Quick Clean-up
If you honestly don’t have that one space you should tackle, put on a fifteen-minute timer, some Tina Turner, and give your house a super quick tidy. You’ll be amazed about how much better you’ll feel after
Productive Things to Do On Your Phone
Why this matters: How many times have you waited at the doctor’s office (or anywhere, really) thinking “I wish I could use my time more productively”? And while I don’t generally recommend spacing out in front of a screen, I can’t deny that there are definitely a few productive things to do on your phone.
9. Move Money Into Your Investing Account
While I do love to check in with my money, it’s not generally productive. I’m usually just checking that everything’s where it should be, which creates its own kind of inner peace for me.
If you want to actually be productive. Go into your banking or investing app and actually move money into that account right now.
Better yet, set up an automated system.
There’s no time like the present! Especially when it comes to investing your money.
10. Delete Emails Ruthlessly
If your inbox is such a zoo that you’re too scared to go inside, now’s the time to face your fears.
BUT! Don’t go in with the intention of accomplishing anything… yet. Just go in with the intention of deleting any emails that you don’t need to look at so that your next visit is slightly more welcoming.
Productive Things to Do On the Computer
Why this matters: First off, if you’re looking for productive things to do on the computer, I hope you’re not at work… trying to cram in a lunch hour’s worth of productivity OR pretending to work during a Zoom meeting.
Nonetheless, sometimes we find ourselves with nothing but our laptop and a few minutes to get our life together. So here are a few productive things you could do during this time.
11. Schedule Your Week With Time Blocks
Instead of hoping that you’ll get around to working on your big goals this week, why don’t you open up your calendar right now and actually block off time to do it.
12. Stay Hydrated
I know. Drinking water has nothing to do with computers. But if you’ll be sitting in one spot for the next hour several hours, staying hydrated could be one of the most productive things to do.
Speaking of productive things to do on the computer, take a few moments to reignite some of your professional relationships by sending a few follow-ups or how-are-yas. Networking works best when you don’t actually need anything, and worst when you’re on some sort of time crunch.
14. Set Up a Distraction Blocker
If you’re prone to getting distracted on your computer (like I am) run, don’t walk, to get a distraction blocker.
These usually come as a Chrome extension (such as StayFocused, Freedom, or Blocksite) and will keep you from going on websites that steal your time.
15. Do Online Gift Shopping In One Batch
Speaking of websites that steal your time… let’s do some Amazon shopping!
But seriously, if you can be disciplined about it, doing all of your holiday or birthday shopping in one batch could save you so much stress and time in the future.
The key, again, is discipline. This is not a job for the weak.
16. Prepare For Upcoming Meetings
If you’re at work, and you’ve found yourself looking for productive things to do on the computer, you should probably use this time for… work.
Yep. I’m sure you have a meeting or a presentation somewhere in the future. Don’t procrastinate. Get it done now.
Productive Things to Do Over the Summer
Why this matters: Summertime is fun and exciting, but it also flies by in no time. So don’t let it fly by without accomplishing something important.
17. Focus On Relationships
Whether we’re talking about professional or personal relationships, summertime is the best time really work on building them. Everything just feels more fun during this time of year, and there’s no shortage of things to do.
You could go for a walk, visit a fair, drink brewskis on a patio, rent a cottage… and make everything 10x more fun by doing it with someone else.
18. Check In On Your New Year Resolutions
Remember all those goals you set out for yourself six months ago? If you’re looking for productive things to do over the summer, now’s a good time to dust off that list and jump back on that horse.
19. Learn a New Skill
If you still have a student mentality, learning a new skill instead of having fun is probably the last thing you want to do right now.
BUT! Remember how much you’d forget over the summer break when you were young? It’s worse now that you’re older.
Don’t let your brain atrophy. Go learn something new!
Besides, if you’re getting ahead while everyone else is having fun, you’ll really come out on top.
20. Create a New Workout Routine
If your fitness routine is stagnant or nonexistent, don’t wait until January to kickstart it. Creating a new workout routine, and honing in on your health and fitness is one of the most productive things you could do over the summer.
Productive Things to Do Over the Winter
Why this matters: Wintertime is interesting. It starts with a mad rush, known as the Holidays, where you’ve got thirty-five places to be in only thirty-one days. And then everything sets into a lull, where the days are short, going out is not nearly as appetizing, and there’s a general feeling of… blah.
This blah feeling is the perfect excuse to find productive things to do. Here are a few ideas.
Wintertime can be manic, but also kind of slow.
Go with the slowness. Turn off your phone. Power down your computer. Don’t start a new Netflix show. Just take a few days to chill, disconnect, and embrace the slowness.
If you’re wondering why disconnecting qualifies as productive – consider it as a time to recharge your brain and body. Also, letting your mind wander is perfect for making new connections and ideas.
22. Read a Motivating Book
One of the most productive things to do this winter is to read a motivating book. Doing this will definitely get you amped up for the year ahead, and you probably have a little extra time to truly dive into a book.
My all-time favorite is the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. Now’s the time to do it. Don’t put it off.
23. Prioritize Your Goals and Actions
Right now, you might be on a high from setting New Year resolutions, on a low from giving up on them already, or indifferent because you don’t bother with that stuff either way.
If you’re motivated to become a high achiever, you won’t get anywhere without setting goals. Nor will you achieve those goals without an action plan.
So take a few hours to really look at your goals, break down the specific actions you need to do, and prioritize executing those actions.
TL;DR – Productive Things To Do
I hope that this list has given you a concrete plan for being a little more productive, no matter how much time you have or where you happen to be. Let me know what I missed!