15 Productive Things to Do When You Have Spare Time

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In our new age of technology, the internet, apps and the ease with which we can scroll through the internet can be both a blessing and a curse. While it’s important to socialize and stay informed, it’s also important to set healthy screen time limits to protect your mental health, achieve your goals, and be proud of how you’re spending your time. 

Simply spending a few minutes a day on cleaning, organizing, goal-setting, or other productive activities can lead to noticeable results later. So, the next time that you have some extra time to spare, fight the urge to open your Facebook app, and complete one of these tasks instead:

Make Your Bed

This powerful commencement speech by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven has racked up over 11 million views. Perhaps one of the most surprising pieces of advice that he offered to graduates? Making your bed is one small thing that you can do every day to change your entire perspective. 

Delete Old Cell Phone Contacts

When you do reach for your phone, make sure that you use the time wisely. Your boss from four years ago or your sister’s ex-boyfriend? Clear out old contacts for a fresh mindset.  

Take Charge of Your Social Media

After you’ve deleted old contacts, go a step further by unfollowing or muting people who post things that negatively affect your emotions. 

Organize Your Digital Life

We all have cell phones filled with photographs and videos. Take the time to sort through your albums, deleting any pictures that you don’t love. This is also a great time to back-up your photos. For pictures that are really important to you, back them up on a flash drive and then order hard copy prints. Keep them safe in a photo box or album, or try your hand at scrapbooking!

While you’re organizing your photos, take the time to delete old apps and unneeded emails, too. 

Make a Proper Budget

You can use apps, Excel, or go old school with a budgeting journal. Make a list of your monthly expenses and income. Set spending and savings goals. Take a look at any subscription services or other extras that you are no longer using, but still paying for each month. The result will be a much healthier financial profile. 

Pull Your Credit Report

You get a free credit report from the 3 major credit bureaus each year. You can easily request one online. Thoroughly check yours for errors or concerns. Make sure to keep an eye on your regular bank statements, too. 

Make a Vision Board

Really have some free time? Get crafty with an inspiring vision board

Declutter and Organize

Start with a closet or room in your home, and then, over time, work your way through the whole house. Donate or sell unwanted items and try to keep only those things that, as Marie Kondo says, “spark joy.” 

Start a Gratitude Journal

Every day, write down at least 3 statements of gratitude. What makes you feel thankful each day? Keeping this kind of journal can be beneficial for your mental health.

Try Out a Goal Tracker App

Download a goal tracker app and keep tabs on your progress. 

Expand Your Knowledge

Start a new book, listen to a recommended podcast, or watch a Ted Talk. 

Clean a Little Bit at a Time

Cleaning in 20 minute increments each day is less stressful for you and leaves your house constantly sparkling. With the coronavirus, it’s an especially good idea to build in some time to disinfect high-contact surfaces, like your cell phone, sink faucets, light switches, and door knobs. 

Throw Out Expired Products

From old canned goods to weirdly smelling shampoo and expired cosmetics, toss old products. You’ll feel better replacing them with new  essentials. 

Actually Do a Task from Your Pinterest Board

We all have a Pinterest board filled with activities that we’d like to try, from cooking a new meal to 30 things we’d like to do before turning 30. Use your free time to actually try some of them!

Journal & Plan

Make lists. Make meal plans. Journal. Set goals. A planner is a powerful tool for self-development and reflection. 

What are some other things you do to keep productive in your down-time?

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