35 useful tips on what to do at work in your free time when you're bored

Any job can be boring if you don't like it.

Sociologists decided to clarify what profession is the most boring. Nothing unexpected - a security guard, an accountant and a salesman were in the top.

No one is immune from boredom at work. There are times when there is simply nothing to do. Someone is having a chair race. Someone puts pictures on the windows with stickers. Some people drink coffee ten times a day and gossip.

But remember, idleness destroys. You, of course, have heard about burnout syndrome and its sad consequences. The bad news is that burnout can be caused not only by stress at work, but also by boredom. The consequences, by the way, are absolutely the same.

Frenchman Frederic Denard even sued his former employer for the fact that “boredom killed the professional in him,” and demanded to pay him damages - 360,000 euros.

We will tell you what to do in your free time at work - for the benefit of your career and not only.

Let's communicate

Each of us needs communication. So why not talk to someone when you're bored at work? Here are some ideas.

  1. Find a funny picture or demotivational message online and send it to your colleagues by email or in a corporate chat.
  2. Invite a colleague with whom you are working on the same project to have a cup of tea or coffee and discuss the details of your joint work. It will be useful for both of you.
  3. Think about whether someone needs your help? If you still have nothing to do, help a colleague. Rest assured, he will return the favor in return.
  4. If one of your colleagues recently helped you, do not be lazy - write him a few lines with words of gratitude.
  5. Call a relative you haven't spoken to for a long time. Or a friend. Do not forget your old friends.


Try not to abandon the things you were interested in at school/university. You definitely had a hobby. Did you design airplane models, take photographs, draw beautifully, play the guitar? Or you always wanted to, but never tried yourself in something. So, there will be no better time for this than now. Resurrect your old hobbies or learn something new. 1-2 hours a day, a couple of times a week instead of the usual computer or TV - pastime can be much more varied.

Train your brain

If your job causes you to lose your mental sharpness, then this section is for you. See what you can do at work in your free time or on a break.

  1. How long have you been reading self-development literature? It's time to start. You will get new ideas that will allow you to become more successful.
  2. Download lectures on the Internet on a topic that interests you. If your work allows it, listen to webinars using headphones.
  3. Audio podcasts can be recommended in the same way. The topics here are varied: from politics to style.
  4. Learn a foreign language. Today there are many applications for smartphones, even free ones, that will allow you to repeat foreign words anywhere, learn grammar, etc.
  5. Find the crossword puzzle and try to solve it. Puzzles, Sudoku, etc. are also suitable.

There are no tasks yet - upgrade your skills

If there are no restrictions on Internet access, engage in self-development. The main thing is to be consistent and finish what you start.

The skills you acquire will also be useful for your career growth. Choose an activity you like and don’t complain about boredom anymore.

Sign up for online courses

The biggest difficulty is choosing what you like.

If the course is useful for work, why shouldn’t the employer pay for your training? Everyone will benefit from this. Anyway, ask the boss.

The most famous platforms are Coursera, Open Education, Geekbrains, Lectorium. There are many paid and free courses here. You can study anything - from theoretical physics to Chinese.

Decide what interests you and sign up for the course.

Learn to work with pictures

The ability to edit photos is always useful. Or maybe there is a talented pictorialist sleeping soundly within you?

The most popular free photo editors are Photoshop Online, Canva, Crello, Pixlr, Fotor.

By the way, when you master the photo editor, you will have something to occupy your free time.

Read for work or for fun

Another great way to spend time is to read professional or fiction literature.

Don't know what to read? All sorts of lists and ratings of good books have already been compiled for you. Check out 100bestbooks or ReadRate and start reading. If we are talking about classics, any book can be downloaded for free, if we are talking about modern literature, you can read it online.

If you need special literature, choose a list of interesting portals for your profession and keep track of the news.

Buy crosswords

But what to do if Internet access is limited or non-existent?

Buy a collection of crosswords, scanwords, Sudoku or puzzles. Scientists from the University of Exeter and King's College London have proven that those who solve crossword puzzles begin to age 10 years later in their brains.

Logical tasks are real fitness for the brain: they improve blood circulation just as well as working out in the gym.

Ways to cheer up

If you have nothing to do at work, if you are tired, then here are some options to cheer you up.

  1. Invite your colleagues to go get coffee for everyone. Or go to the nearest deli to get some buns. Or for sushi. You will take a walk, and your colleagues will be happy. I recommend an article on how to gain authority in a team.
  2. Take a walk around the building where you work. If you leave for 5 minutes, it is unlikely that anyone will object. But you will be filled with energy, especially in sedentary work.
  3. Even at your desk, you can do a little physical education. Stretch, bend, move your legs and arms. This will help relieve tension in the body.
  4. Make yourself some orange juice and drink it. To do this, you need to bring to work the simplest and cheapest citrus juicer. Rest assured, your colleagues will thank you again.
  5. Offer to arrange a five-minute airing in the office. After it, everyone will feel more comfortable working.

To relax

36. Do nothing for two minutes. Seriously, there's even a website called donothingfor2minutes.com. You just need to relax, listen to the sound of the waves and not move the mouse.

37. If you are worried about something, write down these thoughts on a piece of paper and then throw it away.

38. Find a new desktop wallpaper: a beautiful landscape, an inspirational quote, or a vacation photo. Better yet, choose a few and change them every month.

39. Go to your favorite coffee shop and buy yourself some warm and tasty drink. Sit back and enjoy every sip.

40. Check out photos from around the world on the National Geographic website.

41. Take a notepad and pen and write down your thoughts. It's okay if nothing brilliant comes to mind. Write down how you feel and what you are grateful for. This is enough to relax.

How to entertain yourself?

Let's talk about what to do if you have nothing to do at work, and it's still a long time before lights out. Here are some ways to kill time and get positive emotions.

  1. Read articles on the Internet on any topic that interests you. Girls will probably like culinary sites, and men - about cars.
  2. Play the game on your mobile phone. By the way, among the games there are educational ones.
  3. Write a message to your friends on VKontakte. Or chat with them on Viber.
  4. Try yourself as a writer. Perhaps you have long dreamed of writing a story, but never had enough time. Or try starting your own blog and write a post on it. Post something on your VKontakte page.
  5. Try dreaming about your next vacation. Read about which countries you can go to. What sights to see. You can look at the tour operator's website. It is possible that you will find a profitable early booking promotion.

Kill time and get paid for it

Again, in most cases, you can earn money using the Internet.

Try freelancing

If you can do something remotely, try to find buyers for your services.

If you write well and competently, you can become a copywriter or editor. IT specialists can take orders remotely. Marketers can also manage several projects at the same time.

You can write custom essays and coursework. You can write congratulations in verse. In general, there are many options.

To find customers, look at fl.ru, freelancer.com.ru, freelance.ru and similar sites.

Write a blog and get monetized

If you have a lot of life stories, you are an expert in your field, or you simply have something to say to the world, start a blog.

Perhaps the most popular is Yandex.Zen. In March 2021, 43 million people visited here.

Determine your audience, find a topic and write. When your channel reaches 7,000 reads in a week, you can enable monetization. Yandex itself will provide you with advertising, and you will receive money for clicking on advertisements.


You can give written or oral advice. The list of requests is almost endless - we need advice on real estate, sales development, information security, business, 1C, design, renovation (and this is just the beginning of the list).

True, in order to sell your services, you need to make a name for yourself. To do this, leave comments in specialized communities, write on a blog, offer your help to journalists - for example, on the Pressfeed service.

Or you can publish a book. Start with electronic. This is a full-fledged publication that will add weight to you as an expert.

Make money from your hobby

The most enjoyable way to make money is through a hobby. If your hobby does not fit into the work format at all, then do it at home, and in your free time at work look for ideas, like-minded people and customers.

And again, the Internet can help you. Simon Tofield started with a small black and white cartoon about his cat - and now Simon's Cat is a more than successful brand: it includes cartoons, computer games, books, calendars, and interior items.

Adele Morse put up her first large stuffed animal on eBay (unsuccessfully, by the way) - and “Stoned Fox” gained such popularity that it was even brought to Russia for an exhibition.

Putting things in order

It happens that you suddenly have a lot of free time at work - what should you do in this case? Cleaning things up is a great idea.

  1. Check the desktop on your computer. Update your wallpaper. Remove everything unnecessary, create the shortcuts necessary for work. Perhaps you have long wanted to install some program or remove an outdated one? Update passwords wherever required. Don't forget that sometimes this is simply necessary.
  2. Organize your email inbox. Delete unnecessary mail, sort it into folders, unsubscribe from mailings you don’t read.
  3. Your smartphone also needs attention. Clear your memory, delete unnecessary photos and videos. Conduct an application inspection - what needs to be updated?
  4. Now get to your workspace. Sort out papers and office supplies. Wipe dust from furniture and computer screen.
  5. Sort out the contents of your desk drawers and bedside tables. Check what items you have in your closet and see if it's time to take them home.

Sports activities

Another item on the “for all occasions” list. Playing sports allows you to switch your attention, unwind, throw out emotions, and radically change your activity (relevant for those who sit most of the working day). The content itself can be anything - home workouts with tips from video bloggers, running in the park, at the stadium or on a treadmill in the gym/at home, dancing, yoga, swimming, playing football. Together with these activities, you get rid (at least for a while) of stress, anxiety, and forget about work. Your body produces endorphins, which are responsible for feelings of happiness. In addition, the undoubted advantage is that you pay attention to your health and appearance, while remaining active and diversified.

Useful for business

Perhaps you shouldn’t devote your lunch break to this - the only time you have full rest. But when things are done and you want to do something useful, you can use the options below.

  1. Brainstorm one of your projects. Spend 10 minutes writing down all the ideas that come to your mind.
  2. Find a book or magazine related to your profession to expand your knowledge.
  3. Sign up for online courses or a marathon. This can be training not only in your main specialty, but also related to the skills necessary for work. For example, for a financial consultant - a course in the psychology of communication.
  4. Find social media groups dedicated to your profession. Join them. Who knows, maybe you will make useful contacts there or even find a new job?
  5. Subscribe to the personal pages of people who have achieved a lot and share the secrets of their success.

Training courses

Obviously, these days, these are not classroom sessions where you go to listen to a lecture or take part in a master class (although these should certainly be included in your training program). You can learn anything from knitting to basic robotics from the comfort of your home with online courses. Eldorado is open to those who speak English at least at an above-average level, but there are many courses in Russian, including free ones. With them, you can both improve your knowledge on almost any topic or learn a subject of interest from scratch. A list of popular educational platforms can be found here.

Let's relax

If your work day has been difficult, you should rest and relax as soon as possible. For example, at lunch or at the end of a shift. By the way, read the article about why you get tired at work.

  1. Just don't do anything. Nothing at all for 2 minutes - close all windows on the computer screen, put your smartphone aside. This is great for any job.
  2. Look at beautiful photos on the Internet. For example, landscapes from different parts of the planet or images of exotic animals.
  3. Listen to auto-training on relaxation. A soft voice will calm you down and set you up for relaxation and relief from anxiety.
  4. Meditate. You can do this even at your workplace, as long as there are no distractions. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Try not to think about anything - just about your breathing. Feel how you inhale and exhale air.
  5. Make yourself tea, coffee or cocoa. Take a break. Drink slowly, enjoying the taste of the drink.

Remember the living corner.

According to legend, somewhere in the most stuffy and dusty corner of the workroom there is a living corner. There may not be any animals there (luckily for them), but there are plants in pots. If you still have nothing to do, you can go in search of this jungle. Or create them, and not necessarily in that very forgotten corner. How can I do that?

  • Place small cacti near laptops and computers. They perfectly absorb negative radiation.
  • Buy flower pots for the whole office and plant plants on window sills, special stands on the walls or near them.
  • Have a live mascot on your working staff. Or several. A hamster or fish, for example. Dogs are a twofold option. On the one hand, no one will be bored. On the other hand, work too. And it would be somehow wrong to greet clients with a wet, rough tongue and barking.

The beauty of breeding “livestock” is also that it has a positive effect on well-being and performance. Firstly, plants please the eye, purify the air, and animals lift your spirits. Secondly, caring for the “wards” - timely ventilation, moisturizing, exposure to sunlight - has a good effect on the health of the workers themselves.

Useful video

And now I offer a funny video about how people have fun when they are bored at work. Attention: do not repeat, done by professionals!

Here are the main options for what you can do at work when you have free time. Some people prefer to relax, others prefer to improve their skills and engage in self-development. Find something that suits you. It's not difficult at all. And then you won’t regret spending hours doing nonsense when you could have spent your time usefully.

Listening to music

In psychology there is such a direction as “musical psychology”. One of its tasks is to study the influence of music on the human psyche. But in order to understand that music can influence our mood and be closely related to experiences and emotions, you don’t have to be a scientist. You probably know songs or compositions that motivate you or, conversely, have a calming effect. So we can conduct something like music therapy for ourselves. It all depends on personal preference. Whether you go to a concert, a philharmonic hall, or play the desired playlist using your home audio system, singing along and dancing along, is entirely up to you.

Have sex

One of the popular tips from sexologists is to plan sex and integrate it into your daily routine. Then it will be regular and expected, which is important for maintaining the desired mood. So the idea of ​​having sex during your lunch break is not so crazy, especially since, as a rule, this pleasure does not take much time. If you don't have a partner nearby, you can always resort to masturbation.

Take a nap

A short nap of 20–25 minutes during the day will help you relax effectively, improve your memory and feel more energetic. Also, if you make it a regular practice, it may help you get up earlier in the morning.

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