I hate being bored. I’m an active person and I’m most certainly not the type that can sit around and do nothing for hours. Even when I’m near exhaustion, sprawled out on my couch with the television blaring I need to be doing something else; I’m the model dual-screener.
I’m fed up of the typical boredom busting plans; I go to the gym, I read, I try and sound interesting on the internet. I want to be learning and reading and inspired and I’m not content until my brain is whirling and working. While I can’t cure boredom (I’m not that talented yet. Call me after I graduate and we’ll see then) I can share my favourite boredom busting tips.
Learn a Language
Je suis désolé mais mon francaise n’est pas super! I’ve always wanted to speak another language. While I can hold my own in Irish and I can pretend to be understood in French, I want to develop my language skills further. I want better conversational skills and a more developed vocabulary without spending 100s of hours in classes. I’ve tried that method of learning and it’s not 100% for me. Enter Duolingo. This crafty little app is a fun and intuitive way of building my word-bank, working on my spelling and practising wording sentences and phrases. While Duolingo may not make me 100% fluent in French, Irish or Russian (which I just started today), it keeps my brain active and gives me vocab to work with. It’s a basis I can go forward with and who knows where it could take me. It’s also completely portable and thus makes a perfect time-passer for those bored on the go.
Try Your Hand at HTML
I took a web development class in college and cried for weeks in frustration when my coding kept failing. (it eventually landed me a really great grade, praise the internet lords!) I’ve since caught the bug and outside of an academic environment, I’m learning to code and exercising my web development skills. I’m yet a novice and I rely on the internet for help far too much (if you don’t, you’re either amazingly amazing or lying) but it’s a skill that’s really, really useful. As someone who wants a career in digital marketing, HTML is going to be damn well useful and if I can learn while enjoying myself, all the better. There are also`100s of apps available which teach coding without driving you to despair. I’d recommend codeacademy as the one I’ve actually enjoyed using but the most fun is to be had in getting stuck in. W3 Schools is a lifesaving resource and google really is your friend when it comes to tips, tricks and tutorials.
Start a Blog/Vlog
Hey Mam, look; I’m writing stuff on the internet that occasionally people read! I’m on my billionth attempt at keeping a blog. In the past I’ve written about my experiences of taking a gap year, my dealings with anxiety, my hatred of double standards in journalism and even wrote reviews of my favourite films and tv shows. Today I’m content with writing a regular rant about something or other that’s irking me that particular week. This week it’s being bored. Next week it may be the state of the portaloos at Electric Picnic, who knows. Blogging (or for the brave, non camera sky – vlogging) is a great creative outlet and for many has turned into a nice little revenue stream (though for some reason I fail to think anyone will even pay me for my opinions on gender inequalities in the film industry or my upcoming post on my favourite beaches in Ireland) It’s a brilliant medium to grow your creative writing skills and gives you a free space to express your opinions openly (unless you regularly upset the easily offended in which case I’d recommend moving somewhere with no wifi for a while of just keeping you offensive or controversial posts to a smaller forum)
Learn to use a new package/software
I love Photoshop but I wish I was better at it. In the last few months, I’ve been using it a lot more often in a working environment and thus am endearing to bulk up my skills a bit. For me, the most effective way of learning is to try my hand at something by myself. I’ve been playing around with different Photoshop features, using online tutorials and generally trying to figure out things on my own. One day, I’d love to do an Adobe course but for now I’m happy to use self directed learning.
Other software and packages that are great for building skills in include Microsoft office and WordPress. Having a high skill level in any of the Microsoft is basically a requirement for the majority of jobs and being great at different elements of the package will definitely make you look impressive on the employability front.
Read Something Interesting Online
I love reading. When I was younger I read everything thing from Hugo’s Les Miserables to the back of cereal boxes. I am most certainly an information accumulator. I still love a good novel but I also love reading online. The internet incompasses the world of information and makes it easier for me to get lost in the information. I can learn about everything and anything and it costs me nothing more than my monthly internet bill; an entire world of knowledge and learning for a (getting higher in price) fee. Where once I just used the internet for social media and the odd school project, I now see the value of personal reading and research and have a plethora of sites I love to follow. Some of my personal favourite sites for reading include: Buzzfeed’s Longforms, LinkedIn, Adweek, Reddit, PEX, Rolling Stone and The New York Times.
Watch a TED Talks (or 17)
I get lost on Youtube the second I search for TED Talks and can sometimes spend hours watching talks and presentations from the world’s most interesting people. TED Talks aren’t only interesting, they can tug at the heart, make you laugh, inspire and even ignite a dislike for something you never knew you had. It’s a fantastic knowledge tool and as far as inspiration goes, look no further; I often feel I can take on the world having watched a presentation on the importance of politeness or women in business. My most recent TED Talk was My Journey From Marine to Actor by Adam Driver and if you asked me to pick a favourite, I’d probably give you a weeks worth of video to watch.
So internet, How do you beat the boredom?