Every now and then there are those days when we have too much time on our hands. We do chores around the house, visit the bank, relatives, go for a jog, take out the trash and then we run out of things to do. After that we get into the “couch mode” for hours straight, eating junk food, watching the TV or surfing Youtube, as it is in my case. But isn’t there really anything better to do? Can’t we use that time for personal development, to be productive and to learn something new?
I have decided to create a cheat sheet of 25 personal development things you can do when you are feelings lazy, bored or blue. By putting it into use, you will always have a task to occupy you.
1. Cook something new
Looking to impress your date or make your family happy? Find a great new recipe and improve your cooking skills.
Being able to create something beyond the complexity of an omelet and have it remain delicious, is a skill that so many of us lack. If you are one of those people, definitely do this. Moreover, you can even try challenging yourself by making one new meal every week. And remember ladies, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach! 🙂
2. Read something you normally wouldn’t
We all have our preferences regarding everything, and that includes the type of books we read as well. Have some time on your hands to spend for personal development? Then get a book you normally wouldn’t touch. You don’t have to go against your will, but pick something new. For example, if you think you don’t really like history, but you still want to educate yourself, then get a book on a historical event that interests you most.
3. Look for a business opportunity
Today’s world is full of opportunities.
Before I began selling online, I had no idea that it could be so easy. To be honest, I never researched the subject either. But after spending only about two hours googling the internet, I realized just how many options there are and how much I can do.
Drawing has many benefits to it. Just like reading, it activates certain parts of your brain, unleashes your creative potential and it’s also really fun!
I remember how I spent a whole summer holiday learning how to draw basic things with a pencil. This is definitely something that I enjoyed and that I can recommend to everyone.
5. Put together a puzzle
Being a kid, I used to love putting puzzles together. Not only it’s a fun thing to do, but it is said that putting puzzle games together boosts brain activity and improves motor skills.
If you don’t exercise a lot, it is about time to start doing so!
You don’t need put on tight and sexy workout pants and follow some special routine. No, you can simply do sit-ups, pushups, abdominal curls and chair dips for your triceps. That’s enough to get started and can take easily an hour of your time. But even then, you will feel energized and good about yourself.
This one is one of my favorite. Whenever I have a lot of free time, I meditate. I meditate daily, but I add more meditation time to it if I can. Why? Because meditation is one of the most powerful ways to make yourself aware, more calm and happy. If you don’t meditate yet, I highly encourage you to do so.
You can read more about the benefits of meditation in many of my other posts, such as:
8. Download a podcast or an audiobook
Many people say that reading a book and listening to one are two different things. I agree – they are not the same. But just because you don’t have the time or will to read a book, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t listen to one. There is still so much value to it.
Fortunately, today audiobooks are made for almost any print book. Take for example Amazon’s audible program. It has almost any audiobook you want!
The same goes for podcasts. Whether it is business, marketing, philosophy or history, it doesn’t matter. You can find one for almost any topic. Try giving Youtube a search.
Also, you don’t have to stop listening to audiobooks and podcasts when your free time is over. I listen to them on the way to work, after work, at lunch time and at the gym. Bear in mind, personal development is something you do all the time; it’s a lifestyle.
9. Join a group or a forum
Want to learn how to meditate and get some real advice from people that have been doing it for years? Just find a group in Facebook or a forum and become an active participant of it. As with a podcast, any interest or hobby you can think of will have an online community talking about it.
10. Make a list of goals to achieve
Sit down and take some time to think about your future.
Often we live without even knowing where we are heading. Not only that causes our life to pass by in autopilot mode, but it also prevents us from real growth. How can we be into personal development and grow if we have no goals, milestones and destination points to grow towards? To fix this, make a list of goals that you want to achieve in the nearest future. It may be within a week, two weeks, a month, three months, six months, etc.
11. Learn a new language
“Learn a new language and get a new soul” — Czech proverb
12. Update your CV
In case you might want to look for a better job soon, update your work CV and start looking for new opportunities.
13. Join a Meetup group
Go to meetup.com and find a group to join in your area. Meetup is a lot about developing yourself in some niche.
You may want to find new people with interests regarding web development, knitting, movies, public speaking, dating or any other. I have personally joined quite a few groups through Meetup and have received so much value from them. This is one of those really good inventions/concepts of the modern internet world.
14. Educate yourself and make a workout plan
You can work out without any plan, but it’s a fact that you will get more results if you first educate yourself on the topic, and then make a scheme/plan to follow when at the gym.
15. Take care of your paperwork
I’ll be honest with you, I hate paperwork. There are many documents related to taxation and other everyday things that constantly need to be taken care of, but that are always avoided. It’s also complicated. Therefore, if you want to feel better, use your free time to get through that paperwork, and after that, you can empty your mind of stress related to that stuff.
16. Go for a walk to reunite with the forest
Many will say that going for a walk to the forest is not about personal development, but I, of course, will disagree.
I’ve been going for walks to the forest for the last ten years, and I can say that it is one of the most relaxing and pleasant things to do. Not only you pick your butt off the sofa and get some fresh air, but you are also, what I call, reuniting with nature.
When I walk in the forest, I don’t just walk through it quickly for the sake of movement, but I try to meditate as I go. There is just something special about forests that I can’t find anywhere else. Trees, plants, the forest smell, birds chirping and other sounds – all magical. When I return home I feel that stress has left me and that I am in a peaceful state of mind.
17. Learn to play an instrument (exotic one)
Maybe you don’t have so much time to learn how to play the guitar or a violin, but you can definitely take something a bit easier. For example, I have been playing both, the Jaw harp and the Didgeridoo. Both can be learned quite quickly and both are super fun to play! 🙂
18. Learn how to give first aid and CPR
Being able to give help to someone in a critical situation is something that each one of us should know how to do. Sure, you don’t need this kind of knowledge every day, but in case you ever do, you may save someone’s life. Don’t underestimate the importance of being able to perform CPR.
Additionally, you can study the human body and the way we work. By being educated on the subject, you can make better decisions in life and thus remain healthier. This is personal development as well.
19. Rearrange your apartment
Many say that in order to have order in your mind, you must have order in the place you live in.
Clean up your house and rearrange your belongings in such a way that would create for you the maximum comfort. Have everything lie in those places where they should be so that you wouldn’t spend too much time looking for them.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, owns multiple versions of the same t-shirt in order not to make too many decisions of what shirt to wear. He says that he has other big decisions to make in life, and doesn’t want to spend time making the more silly decisions, such as which shirt to wear.
This is a good example of personal development and of how important it is to not waste mental energy on things that don’t require it.
20. Play a computer game
If you love gaming, then this one is especially good. But don’t play just any game, it must be a strategy game or a puzzle-type game, such as Portal, which I highly recommend. Both of these genres can really make our brain hurt, which is exactly what we want. 😉
21. Improve your relationship with relatives
Personal development is not only about making yourself better, but about improving relationships with the people around you. If your relationship with your brothers, sisters or parents is lacking, go and change that.
I am convinced that some day you might feel very sorry that you never spent more time with the people that really cared about you. For this reason, go and change it now, before it is too late. You will be very thankful to yourself for this later on in life.
22. Find a charity to support
As already mentioned, personal development is not only about making yourself better, but about helping others and making them happier.
Look for a charity to support. It may be helping people or animals. Just pick what you are more comfortable with. If you don’t know where to start, you may want to check out the WWF website. There you can choose where exactly you want your money to go to. Let’s make the world a better place together!
23. Find a course to be a part of
Do you have something that you would like to learn about?
Luckily, today you can easily find an online course for almost any subject. This means that you can educate yourself without even leaving your house. For people that don’t have the time to attend real classes, this can be a great opportunity.
24. Start a journal or a blog
As you can probably guess from reading this blog, I am a big believer in writing. When you write things down, thoughts, fears, goals or emotions, you become more accountable for them. By writing about them, you raise your awareness and thus can improve more quickly.
25. Do something that you love
Finally, I am going to leave this one for you to decide on. I am sure there is something that you love doing that you haven’t done in a while. Now is the perfect moment to go and do it.
Go on, become happy!
P.S. If there is something you think should be a part of this list that I missed, let me know about it in the comments below. I would be more than happy to improve it with your help. 🙂