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30 Things To Do When you are Bored and have a Computer

  1. Read technical blogs – There are several technical blogs out there, that produce high quality content everyday. There are 9600+ technology blogs listed in the technorati website. Browse the technology blog list and read the blogs that interests you. As always you can browse our blog archive section for Linux related articles that you might have missed.
  2. Backup your laptop – You should do a full back-up of your laptop / desktop every month at a minimum. If not, do it now. Use rsnapshot for Unix and GFI free backup tool for Windows.
  3. Seriously! Don’t have a backup? Stop reading this article and backup you laptop now!
  4. De-clutter your laptop – Organize the files and directories in your laptop. If you have tons of sub-directories, it gets difficult to find the right sub-directory to store your file. I used to have tons of nested sub-directories before. Now, I have only 5 high level directory structure under my home directory. Use Windows Google Desktop on Linux Google Desktop software to search your files quickly.
  5. Social networking sites – Create an account for yourself on Linkedin, delicious, Stumble Upon, Facebook, Digg, Twitter. Even if you don’t post something on these sites, you can still browse their popular pages and read all the articles.
  6. Clear out all your emails. Process every email in your in-box and archive it. Don’t leave any emails unprocessed.
  7. Change passwords – When is the last time you’ve changed your on-line banking password (or) your primary email password? Make sure to create a yearly password routine and change all your online passwords to something unique and strong. Use multi-platform password manager to store all your password on your laptop securely. Follow the password best practices. Change passwords for at least few of your critical online accounts now!
  8. Plan your exercise schedule – If you are like me, you may be looking for motivation from all sources to exercise regularly. Create a simple exercise schedule (it could even be for 15 mins a day) and share it with your family and friends. Ask them to check on you regularly to make sure you are following your schedule on track. Explore sites like fitday, dailymile, and dailyplate will help you track and organize your fitness related stuff.
  9. Customize your home page portal. If you don’t have it, create one at either iGoogle or myYahoo.
  10. Reconnect with friends and family – Send an email to an old friend, colleague, or family member with whom you might have lost touch.
  11. Pursue your dream job – If you are not happy with your current job, take time to think about what would be your dream job. Create a document and list down all the items that you don’t like about your current job and all the things that you would want in your dream job. Once you have a clear idea, search job sites like the ladders – where all the jobs are $100K+
  12. Read Wikipedia – Browse the Wikipedia technology portal for topics that interests you. Outline of computer science and list of information technology topics are a good place to start in Wikipedia. You can spend hours together reading these topics.
  13. Send a Thank You note to someone who did some nice things for you.
  14. Organize your photos online – Create an account for yourself on picasaweb, or flickr and organize all your pictures online.
  15. Browse YouTube – Go to youtube.com and search for linux, to view all linux related videos (or) Browse these technology channels on youtube — Google, Windows, TechCrunch.
  16. Explore a Technical Hobby – It may be tweaking the Linux OS by building custom kernels, exploring ethical hacking, exploring amateur ham radio (or) any technical stuff that you were always interested to explore, but never got the time to do.
  17. Set Goals – Jan 1st is not the only time to set goals for the year. Take some time to think through and list out all the major personal projects you would like to complete this year. Create actionable tasks to get those projects completed. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity is an excellent resource that will help you to get organized and be productive.
  18. Write – If you are bored and don’t know what to do, start writing. This doesn’t need to be technical writing. When is the last time you’ve written a well thought out letter to someone who you love? Take the time to write a letter and send it in an email to your loved ones.
  19. Get Personal Finance in Order – Take time to review your current financial status, review bank balance, consolidate credit cards, sign-up for online bill pay, move money from low interest bank account to high interest bank account, research re-financing your home mortgage for lower rate.
  20. Use online Word, Excel, Powerpoint – I’ve moved almost all my local documents to Google documents. I can access my personal documents from any computer. No need to worry about backing up local documents on your laptop on an on-going basis, if all your documents are online. You can also share selective documents with your friends and family.
  21. Add items to your shopping wishlist – Take time to research on the electronic gadgets, or technical books that you wanted to purchase. Read some review and collect as much as information you need about the item before your purchase. Most importantly, create a wish-list in your favorite online shopping site and populate it with your favorite items or books you would like to purchase some day. I use amazon amazon wish-list.
  22. Defrag your hard-drive. If you are using Windows OS, defarg your hard-drive. Since we all use *nix, call your Windows friends and brag about how *nix doesn’t need defrag.
  23. Browse firefox add-on repository and play around with any add-on that you find interesting.
  24. Create check-list and routines. List out all the repetitive tasks that you perform. Create a routine for those tasks. See whether you can automate or delegate some of those repetitive tasks.
  25. Flip through the unix man page. Even for the commands you are very familiar with, check out the man page. When you do ‘man ls’, you might be surprised that you didn’t know few of the capabilities, even on simple command like ls.
  26. Virus Scan. If you are using Windows OS, run a virus-scan on your laptop. I prefer Spybot search and destory, which will protect your laptop from spyware.
  27. Delete unwanted program. On Linux, see whether you are running any unwanted services and disable them. If you have any unwanted packages installed, remove them. On windows, go to Add/Remove program, and see whether you can delete any unwanted programs from the system. This might give you both additional disk space and performance.
  28. Create online book catalog for all your books. Library Things lets you add 200 books to your catalog for free.
  29. Watch Funny Videos. If you are really bored and doesn’t want to do any work that requires brain power, simply watch these funny videos.
  30. Learn keyboard shortcuts for your favorite application. For example, gmail keyboard shortcuts, firefox keyboard shortcuts, Ubuntu keyboard shortcuts.

Over to you…

What would you do when you are bored and have a computer in front of you? Leave your response.

Add your comment

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • hevangel March 1, 2010, 2:49 am

    On item 29, may I suggest Anobii.com instead of librarythings? Anobii allows unlimited books on your virtual bookshelf.

  • Colin March 1, 2010, 3:24 am

    I’m learning portuguese, so I read news in portuguese online, or I read a section of wikipedia in portuguese.

  • Arend March 1, 2010, 3:36 am

    what about this: Get some coffee and hang around in the coffeecorner to hear the latest rumors. Train your social skills there. as a nerd, focus on asking the usual stuff on mondaymornings.

  • vkvraju March 1, 2010, 5:01 am

    Hi Ramesh, I have subscribed to your blog and have been reading your articles since last few weeks and as a tech/linux enthusiast, I am very very impressed. Please keep writing more. Thanks, @vkvraju

  • Joao Trindade March 1, 2010, 10:20 am

    @Colin E jรก percebes alguma coisa ou precisas de mais aulas?? ๐Ÿ˜› (this one is only for Colin)

  • Dave March 1, 2010, 11:03 am

    Hey, thanks for the inspiring actions!!

  • Ron March 1, 2010, 1:47 pm

    good stuff. keep ’em flowing. thanks.

  • Julio Cesar March 1, 2010, 8:58 pm

    Great piece! Just yesterday I found myself looking for something just like this. I ended up reading up on pizza of all things ๐Ÿ™‚

  • bhaskar March 1, 2010, 10:15 pm

    Hey it is very good .thanks

  • nima0102 March 2, 2010, 1:48 am

    Thanks, it’s really good:)

  • senthil March 3, 2010, 9:11 am

    its all very good idea

  • Ajith Edassery March 8, 2010, 4:54 am

    Youtube and Wikipedia are my favorites here…also ‘going through’ (not really reading them fully) my RSS reader backlogs. Cleaning up the PC and take out unwanted files, installations etc are also another thing that I do from time to time.

    However, all these are related to your PC and laptop alone… Fortunately, there are 100 other things to do in life to live every moment of it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mikko March 9, 2010, 12:54 pm

    Instead of reading Wikipedia, I would replace #13 by “Write or update an article in Wikipedia”

  • mrf March 11, 2010, 3:02 am

    good job, till now i only think where is another technical website or blog :), but when i read this, i change my mind and try to fix “my life on computer” hehhehe

  • Jay March 14, 2010, 9:24 pm

    Good. Thanks.

  • Mara March 18, 2010, 6:42 am

    Ciao — You can dabble in learning a language — Babbel.com (http://www.babbel.com) is good for checking back in time to time for short intervals. You can do quick exercises during those down moments, which eventually add up to having some proficiency. I’ve been doing Italian…

  • Anonymous August 24, 2010, 10:03 am

    write about what your thinking

  • Anonymous October 30, 2010, 11:21 am

    Pls remember God since that is the very reason of human body

  • Superb November 2, 2010, 11:41 am

    Pray for God, so He know If I’m not ready yet to meet HIM lately, at least, after I got something to do beside see my black and white console ๐Ÿ˜€

  • kraken November 15, 2010, 10:55 pm

    good work…

  • James December 4, 2010, 10:45 am

    I pick an interesting subject and Stumble Upon.

  • Mas December 20, 2010, 9:23 pm

    use STUMBLEUPON!!!!!
    (firefox add-on)

  • DeXTeR.OrBiT December 28, 2010, 12:30 pm

    How about this for when you are bored and infront of a computer:
    Write a program in your favourite programming language mine being Python!

  • sonal December 29, 2010, 5:54 am

    Really very intresting things were suggested

  • Tg January 4, 2011, 4:50 am

    This was excellent information – collated one stop

  • Paul Webb January 12, 2011, 9:26 am

    So I recently just found your website through stumbleupon and was reading this entry when I was shocked to see your suggestion for an ‘anti-virus’… spybot doesn’t get rid of viruses, it isn’t an actual anti-virus. While yes it will catch some trojans while running its scan it does not do a heuristic scan like most anti-virus packages now a days to find viruses and it isn’t constantly running which is something that if you are running windows is necessary. Personally I would recommend the new Microsoft Security Essentials as a personal anti-virus because it does a great job and ties into windows the best that I have seen yet compared to norton, mcafee, avg, and some others.

  • Anonymous February 12, 2011, 10:15 pm

    look for cool widgets and apps like chrome’s web store, adobe air marketplace, etc.

  • Anonymous May 6, 2011, 11:48 am

    you could try learn stuff from the internet..use the internet as a tool for educational purposes…e.g learn about new and upcoming softwares…remember education never stops

  • varma August 3, 2011, 10:31 pm

    search for the newest games nd finish them off!

  • Cathy and Nia September 16, 2011, 11:34 pm

    Play Sims 3 hahaha LOL

  • IP Foo September 29, 2011, 9:08 am

    nice list Ramesh

  • braj November 3, 2011, 4:07 am

    it’s good .. thanks

  • Tim November 17, 2011, 5:25 pm

    It’s weird that you assume everyone has a laptop. You can just say “computer” to cover all your bases. Good ideas though.

  • sadanand December 5, 2011, 4:28 am


    I am really impressed with your suggestions in this site.


  • KoyKat December 21, 2011, 10:12 pm

    reading this webpage

  • Anonymous December 24, 2011, 12:38 am

    Learn how to play an instrument.

  • lalaland December 31, 2011, 5:06 am

    google favourite singers

  • Musicmaker January 28, 2012, 11:45 am

    May I make a suggestion? You could go on a virtualpiano and learn how to play some music (not much use to people who play real piano). I started using the virtual piano 3 days ago and so far ive learned stuff like beethoven`s fur elise by watching tutorials on youtube.

    Great ideas by the way . Thing this website is pretty cool.

  • jay jay February 13, 2012, 12:36 am

    awesome! you know though, maybe you could just write a story you don’t even have to think about it, it could be about anything, it could just be a bunch of words!
    like for example: “you have weird eyes” she said “no I don’t” she said, then they started to fight and then she kicked her and the girl went to hospital and the other girl went to jail the end, that was a bad story wasn’t it? or here is another example: “your to happy gogleplop’ crazy said “no i’m not crazy!’ said gogleplop to crazy “did you her me?” said crazy “do you mean here me?” said gogleplop “yes” said crazy “what?” said gogleplop “pardon?” said crazy the end, that was bad to wasn’t it, but it is fun to write!!

  • Anonymous February 17, 2012, 4:28 pm

    ok yeah i thought something like to play something besides the Computer

  • Craig March 12, 2012, 3:11 pm

    Ashamed to admit I probably do about 15 of those everyday when I should be doing something more productive ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you for the post

  • Hugh Murphy March 27, 2012, 8:07 am

    This is mainly for people who have photographs or 35mm slides from the pre-digital era.
    1. Organize all of your old photographs.
    2. Convert your old photographs by scanning into digital format.
    3. Make a personalized photo cd for each of your children from the digitized photos.

  • Anonymous April 7, 2012, 10:33 am

    Make a virtual machine.

  • haggisbreath April 16, 2012, 2:46 pm

    excellent point about password management — I use and enjoy Password Safe. It too is multi-platform, there is a port for Android as well as Win/OSX/Linux. If there wasn’t I might have had to switch to something else. It was originated by Bruce Schneier and is still open source.

  • Smurf May 3, 2012, 7:06 pm

    hahaha its quite good except one thing….. GOOGLE 1 DIRECTION! AHHH! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Dev June 5, 2012, 3:44 pm

    Thank you, this helped out alot.

  • Geeky_Bitsian July 2, 2012, 11:51 pm

    This website is just awesome… \m/
    And I can suggest one more activity — reading (may it be novels, newspapers, etc.). Will also help improve your vocab.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • emma July 14, 2012, 8:52 am

    good I set goal for how fast i could ride my horse

  • Vikrant_Giradkar August 30, 2012, 5:57 am

    we can also go through some of the news paper published internationally ,,,, else there are some interesting sites to check out the recent electronics ,, achiment ,,,,

    and thanku for the blog,, it is good one ,,

  • brew August 30, 2012, 3:47 pm

    how about typing improvement… I am good at typing except number row.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Zanin September 2, 2012, 4:08 pm

    I would a, read something b, listen to something c, play something

  • Anonymous September 22, 2012, 7:43 pm

    I would google random computer cheats or something and try the cool ones out

  • Sara October 1, 2012, 2:37 am


    What would I do huh I would play some fun games.

  • cam October 31, 2012, 12:25 pm

    Configure your Emacs.

  • Yawn November 7, 2012, 8:00 am

    The ulmimate sign of boredom is typing in:
    qwertyuioplkjhgfdsazxcvbnm.- Ifyou’ve done this,you really need tosort your life out!

  • Violet Kostashuk November 12, 2012, 7:55 pm

    My guess is to learn something new on this computer. It takes alot of patient people to learn this stuff. Alot does’t sink in the first lesson , Vi

  • phoebe November 16, 2012, 11:06 am

    hello guys thank you very mum for all of that and by the way i am not a geek.

  • Gert December 11, 2012, 5:21 am

    This is basically a list of things i would do at work. IT IS NOT FUN\

  • Anonymous January 18, 2013, 2:35 pm

    Search Google and open google will keep you entertained

  • Martin J January 28, 2013, 12:42 pm

    I spend far too much time on Twitter as it is. Another good free PC backup software is Driveimage XML, very easy to use

  • navya February 6, 2013, 8:00 am

    will just read the topic that what all does when they get bored…

  • Niraj February 12, 2013, 11:40 pm

    Great stuff!!

  • Anonymous March 9, 2013, 3:21 am

    Nice appreciate your Blog…

  • stechfreak March 28, 2013, 2:47 am

    So in short, 30 things to do at work ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Henny April 2, 2013, 10:25 pm

    The one thing that you forgot to mention is that Programming. You can just learn how to code C++ or Java even though they are not easy or you can go web development. What you need to learn is to go online and find some interesting articles on those languages. just get pdf tutorials and spend your time trying to master it(that would be absurd unless you take courses in school). I spend my time learning php..and playing with html.

  • Chip May 22, 2013, 1:17 pm

    Kinda an extension of #15, a great website is TED.com

    They have all sorts of interesting/educational/philosophical videos. They are probably available on YouTube as well.

  • Amanda June 26, 2013, 10:08 am

    Excellent list of ideas for those of us who are less than tech professionals! Thanks!

  • Alex June 28, 2013, 12:11 pm

    31. If your in school, sign up for FLVS.net and get some extra learning time.
    32. Read some online Manga.
    33. Draw with your Bamboo tablet.
    34. Configure your keyboard into another order and have fun learning the new mess.
    35. Learn a new skill, go on YouTube and take up knitting, playing an instrument, drawing animals/humans/monsters/etc.

  • jooe15 July 13, 2013, 11:58 pm

    ugg I did every single one of these things already … i have too much time

  • Someone July 16, 2013, 7:15 pm

    same here. I might go start sending emails to people i know.

  • baty September 13, 2013, 10:44 pm

    i would play games or search funny vedios or search art project i an do at home. i would eat or call a friend and chill out, i would write or color or draw

  • steve September 14, 2013, 3:09 am

    Great post my friend…excellent ideas…

  • Marissa October 2, 2013, 5:45 pm

    you know that you can NEVER trust Wikipedia because people can change it right

  • Maddie October 24, 2013, 12:45 am

    Do something fun like games or email a friend

  • ellis December 17, 2013, 9:28 am

    create remix song or brows remix

    or movie E.G filmed or clips

  • Thanumoorthy March 17, 2014, 11:17 pm

    Thanks for this good article. this helps me lot.

  • addi April 14, 2014, 4:24 pm

    I guess get on facebook!

  • rupesh May 24, 2014, 4:48 am

    Nice one ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Potterhead June 7, 2014, 8:41 am

    Read fanfiction!:D

  • Sekhar July 3, 2014, 1:38 am

    Very nice artical. Thanks.

  • Ram Krishna Dixit August 24, 2014, 7:02 am

    Hey, Good article. Thanks.

  • kaltouma October 29, 2014, 6:41 pm

    i need a book to raed at home

  • Narasinhareddy January 7, 2015, 10:37 pm

    nice topics

  • g.deepika January 11, 2015, 12:49 am

    inspiring article

  • Abigail Fairweather March 3, 2015, 3:44 pm

    I LOVE THIS WEBSITE (except when you said to go to Wikepidea :() <3

  • Krew Ksenich July 28, 2015, 9:52 pm

    If I have a laptop in front of me I would go to YouTube and search videos or go to online store websites I would prefer wanelo it’s a good website that you can find cool stuff for any where in your house or clothes and shoes

  • jessica September 18, 2015, 7:39 pm

    great thnxs ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dr. Raj Villson October 4, 2015, 2:34 pm

    Weirdly, people are leaving comments saying “remember god, because he is the reason you are alive and shit like that. Please, keep this article religious -belief free, because 1: there will be debating and 2: atheists like me can get offended , this is about computers, not your peculiar beliefs.

  • Ram October 27, 2015, 12:19 pm

    Thanks for Posting a wonderful Knowledge and inspirational words

  • chris November 7, 2015, 5:52 pm

    This really helped thanks!

  • milevyo December 3, 2015, 4:26 pm

    never “Change passwords” when you are bored

  • Anonymous December 20, 2015, 6:57 am

    or… make playlists on Spoti!

  • Denise January 15, 2016, 6:05 pm

    Or watch movies on Netflix and eat popcorn :p read the bible, go out for a jog, listen to music and draw the trees outside your window or something but don’t just lay there and do nothing. Time should never be wasted!

  • Jennifer January 31, 2016, 7:48 pm

    One of my favorite things to do when I have downtime is to work on learning another language with DuoLingo. It seems like a game, but you really make progress.

  • Boredgirl101 May 18, 2016, 4:05 pm

    I don’t like these suggestions for they are not helpful and are more boring then being bored of doing nothing. So, please think better suggestion that involves brain work.
    -Thank you ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • meow February 6, 2017, 8:57 pm

    youtube should be the first one ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Francesca April 2, 2017, 1:11 am

    Create an image in Paint Shop Pro or PhotoPlus

  • Abby May 17, 2017, 8:21 pm

    I was on this and it said to write. I started to write a book. This website helped me because I now have something to work on.

  • Anonymous May 23, 2017, 10:36 am

    Turn off the computer and go do something else.