24 Ways To Make A Slow Work Day Go By Faster, Because Nothing Is Worse Than Being Bored

In the midst of a hectic and stressful workday, not much sounds better than the idea of a calm, deadline-free day. When the chaos reaches a certain level, you secretly acknowledge that you’d be tempted to trade your firstborn for a clear calendar and a blank to-do list, if such a thing were possible. It’s all you want, all you wish for — until you actually experience that kind of day.

It turns out that being at work when there’s absolutely nothing to do is not nearly as enjoyable as you’d imagine. Being able to breathe is nice, but having to figure out ways to occupy your time can make it seem as if the clock has ceased to move. Some days, you can only proactively seek out new tasks for so long before there’s literally nothing else left to do. At that point, your shift begins to feel more like a sentence.

Luckily, with a bit of imagination, entertainment isn’t hard to come by — especially not in the digital age. Where there’s Internet, there’s always something to do. From memes to research, it’s all at your fingertips.

Here are 24 activities you can try the next time you find yourself bored at work.

1. Get lost in social media (duh, right?)

A random acquaintance from high school just got married? Of course you should check out the wedding photos she posted.

2. Play an online game

The Oregon Trail, $9, Amazon

The Oregon Trail and other old school computer games are back! Relive your childhood and marvel over how far technology has come.

3. Do some kegels

They’re exercises you can do discreetly from your own office chair, and they’re good for you, so why not?

4. Write for fun

Tap into your creative side and exercise your imagination.

5. Look at food porn

Drool over meals that are everything you never knew you wanted.

6. Compile your grocery list

You might return home with ingredients that actually go well together.

7. Plan a hypothetical vacation

Create your dream trip. Hopefully, it’ll inspire you to make it a reality.

8. Become an expert on something

Pick a subject or a skill you want to be awesome at, and then use your free time to make it happen.

9. Search Pinterest for DIY inspiration

It doesn’t matter if your intentions are better than your execution.

10. Be a fantastic e-mail correspondent

Everyone loves a letter. Keep connected to friends near and far with regular e-mail updates.

11. Start a five-minute dance party

Depending on your office culture, this may just have to be you shaking it in the bathroom stall.

12. Work on your posture

No matter how ergonomic your desk chair is, sitting all day is not ideal.

13. “Aww” over animal memes

You don’t have to be a cat person to think they’re adorable in glasses. I can vouch for this.

14. Play with your makeup during bathroom breaks

Switch up your appearance a bit when you run to the restroom.

15. Make plans for after work

Give yourself something to look forward to at the end of the workday.

16. Perfect your office beverage

Hit up your office kitchen and experiment with whatever coffee, creamers, and syrups are in there until you’ve concocted your ideal office drink.

17. Play harmless pranks on a co-worker

Warning: Choose your target carefully, and be sure you don’t cross any lines.

18. Make a dent in your eBook library

Knock out some of the titles on your Goodreads book list.

19. Take a snack break

Store up energy to try out the rest of the items on this list.

20. Follow a new blog

If you’re interested in it, someone’s writing about it.

21. Remind yourself about what you like about your job

It doesn’t hurt to stay positive, even if you’re getting bored.

22. Create an online shopping wishlist

Browse items that you need, as well as items you just plain want.

23. Get hooked on a podcast

Find a podcast you can’t get enough of. The Serial bandwagon is crowded, but there’s always room for more.

24. Catch up on the news

No explanation needed.

Enjoy the downtime while you have it — at some point, it’s bound to end.

Images: Ray_from_LA/Flickr; Giphy (25)