How to Keep Busy at Home

How to Keep Busy at Home: 10 Rewarding Things To Try


Sarah Barthet


If, for whatever reason, you find yourself stuck inside and are struggling with boredom, here are ten ideas on how to keep busy at home. A list of ten things to do that will leave you feeling challenged, motivated and accomplished once completed. Things that you may have always wanted to do, but never have time for whilst working a 9 to 5 – or any other kind of full-time job for that matter.

Many of these ideas have the potential to be life-changing if you follow them through, and during a time like this (for reference: this article is published in late March 2020), they could provide the positivity that you need right now. None require any prior knowledge or skills, but could indeed become skills in themselves over time. What is required however, is motivation, determination and perseverance to get them done!

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How to Keep Busy at Home

How to Keep Busy at Home

Learn a Language

Quiet time at home is the perfect time to brush up on a new language or start learning one from scratch. Through modern day technology, it’s no longer necessary to take private lessons or to buy lots of books to get started. All you need is a laptop and internet connection, in addition to healthy dose of discipline and determination.

Learning a new language can be incredibly rewarding and if you are someone that loves to travel, just one new language can prove to be extremely useful for several countries. I’ll use my own example of how I have studied Russian on and off for about 12 years. Whilst I am in no way fluent, the little bit that I do know has helped me during my travels in countries like Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, and naturally during trips to Russia when I was not with Russian-speaking friends.

Aside from the obvious benefits, learning a new language improves memory, boosts brain power and keeps the mind sharper for longer. If this is something that tickles your fancy, check out Rosetta Stone. It is renowned for being one of the top resources for learning a new language, and they are currently offering a lifetime subscription for all languages for just £299.00.

Before passing on this one, just have a think about where learning a new language could lead you. It could result in new career opportunities, work transfers to another country once you become proficient enough, or it could even lead to you earning more income by offering private tutoring, launching an online course or freelance work as a translator – the opportunities are endless.

How to Keep Busy at Home

Start a Blog

If you are an avid reader of Dukes Avenue, then you’ll know all about how I gave up a 10-year career in high finance to become a full-time writer, content creator and editor. Writing has given me the freedom to build my own business, it has allowed me to earn by doing things I actually enjoy doing, it has taken me to places I wouldn’t have otherwise been and gave me the opportunity to meet people I never would have otherwise met.

If you have been thinking about it for some time but don’t know where to start, you might want to check out my easy 5-step guide to starting a blog. It features heaps of useful info on how to get started, a detailed explanation on why it’s not too late to start, as well links to articles worth reading and a list of courses that will help to accelerate your learning curve.

And just like the first idea of learning a language – who knows what it might lead to.

Write a Business Plan

Have you dreamt of starting your own business and doing something you love, yet always put it on the back burner because of that steady day job that paid the bills? If you find yourself stuck at home and bored of work, turn the situation around and write that business plan you’ve wanted to write for years; with a goal of launching that company you always dreamt of.

There are a multitude of websites that can support you in getting started. The Prince’s Trust in the UK have put together templates and guidance so that entrepreneurs are offered support every step of the way. Just remember that the hardest part is starting. It’s also worth remembering that some of the world’s largest multi-billion dollar businesses were built during times of economic hardship and instability, and so this should not put you off. Companies like Instagram, WhatsApp, Uber, Airbnb and Dropbox are just a few off the top of my head, but you can read all about this here.

How to Keep Busy at Home

Sit or Create an Online Course

I am the biggest fan of online courses and have relied on several to get this business off the ground. The incredible thing is that you can find an online course on absolutely ANYTHING through websites like Coursera or Teachable – for all of the things on this list in fact! I highly recommend going through this article, having a think about what you would like to attempt during your free time at home and find an online course to learn how to do it in the best possible way.

One of your goals may be to create additional income for yourself and your household. Starting your very own online course is a way to do that! Everyone is talented in their own way, and if you have knowledge on a particular subject, it is likely useful to someone else! To launch your own online course, you don’t have to be the best or provide the longest course. Your aim for an online course is to promise a transformation in the most efficient and effective way. The more efficient and effective, the more you are able to charge. If you need further guidance on this, there are plenty of online courses about creating an online course!

Prioritise Your Well-Being

Something that we all forget to do whilst busy going about our everyday lives. Take spare time that you have at home to do nothing other than prioritise your well-being. Everyone’s version of practising well-being is different, but here are some of the ways I personally love to look after myself (in no particular order). Note: If you are looking for something a little more structured, Yale University offers a course on Coursera about The Science of Well-Being – and it is currently being offered FOR FREE.

Put on a Hair Mask and Give Yourself a Facial

Nothing makes me feel more like a new woman than when I give my skin, face and hair some attention. I try to use a gentle scrub on my face once a week and have a daily skincare regime, but it’s the masks I always forget about! When I do remember though, here are some of my favourites for both the hair and face – particularly the Sisley Radiant Glow Express Mask. The glow it leaves on the skin is unreal.




Have an at Home Mani and Pedi

Going to the nail salon isn’t an option at the moment, so challenge yourself and try giving yourself a mani and pedi. You only need a few basics like a nail file, cuticle remover, an orange stick and some cuticle oil.

Run a Bath

Because I’ve yet to meet anyone that doesn’t love a glass of red wine in a bubble bath, surrounded by scented candles.

Read A Book

Forget about your mobile phone and social media for a little while, and just pick up a book. I used to do this so much more when I was younger and really am trying to do more of it lately. Whether you prefer to read fiction or non-fiction, reading has so many benefits – like enhancing imagination, lowering levels of stress and boosting sleep. I’m currently reading Good Me Bad Me, and have The Sweet Spot lined up next.

Practise Yoga

Yoga was never something that I thought was for me. I started practising just over a year ago as everyone talks about the benefits, but I never appreciated how beneficial it can be until I started going regularly. Since then, I’ve seen a huge improvement in my strength and flexibility, as well as mental well-being.


Sometimes, it’s ok to just do nothing. To just lay down, put on some calming music on YouTube and just think about nothing other than your breathing. I try to do this at the end of my yoga session and it has helped me massively in reducing stress and anxiety.


As much as I love being self-employed, I admit that it was a huge adjustment to my mindset, and when business wasn’t growing as fast as I wanted it to, I began to feel pretty down. I started doing some research online about how to pull myself out of my rut and found an article that suggested journaling. If you had told me to do this just a few years ago, I would have burst out laughing and claimed that this was some sort of millennial woo-woo. Fast forward to today and I can now see it’s benefits.

I’ll admit that I don’t do it everyday, but when I do, I write down everything I aim to do that day, what I manage to do, and what I am grateful I am able to do. It helps hugely as whenever I think I am not progressing fast enough, I flick through my journal and see everything I have been completing on a daily basis, and that each of these points are baby steps to getting towards the overall goal.

Organise a Cupboard or Collection

Not the most fun activity – well at least for me – but you would be amazed what can come out of this. Not only is it incredibly satisfying to Marie Kondo your home and have a more organised living space, but there could be an opportunity to make money. I say this from my own personal experience.

After we moved apartment last summer, I decided to clear out my wardrobe. I picked out designer pieces that I ‘just had to have’ yet rarely wore and dresses that I had bought for weddings that are now too big for me or that I just won’t wear anymore. I put these items up for sale across a range of websites including Vestiaire, Depop and Facebook Market. Within a month, I sold most of the items I put up for sale and made about £3,000.

And if you’re not interested in selling your items but just want to organise your environment, check out The Container Store for all you need to bring some order to your home!

Write a Book

I have wanted to do this myself for years and years and years! I truly believe that everyone has at least one book in them based on their own life experiences, and there is no better time to start drafting out the skeleton of your book than a time when you find yourself stuck at home.

If you need some more help on writing your first novel, you can revert back to one of the previous points and take a course on it! Or perhaps you’ve already written a book and you have a lot of guidance to offer to others who want to do the same. Maybe you could consider writing an e-book or course to help others do the same! Or perhaps even start a blog on how to write a successful book and get it published. By this point, it should become clearer and clearer how all the ideas in this article link together!

Create a Workout Plan and Stick to It

How many times have we planned to complete a workout program and then stopped after a few days or weeks just because it became a hassle? A hassle to leave work on time to get to the gym, a hassle to leave the house as it’s cold outside or just simply because we don’t feel like it. I get it and I’ve been there. Now that we are stuck at home for what seems like the foreseeable future, it’s time to do away with excuses, set your at-home workout routine and make it your goal to see it through until the end.

There are plenty of workout routines that you can do at home that require little to no equipment. One of the things I did was buy my own yoga mat so that I can continue my yoga practice at home via YouTube. I’m mixing it up with some dumbbells and resistance bands to really work on building strength during this time at home. Think passed the actual workout routine itself and instead think about the positive changes it could bring to your life when you actually complete it.

Here are some people that really inspire me when it comes to fitness regimes – all be found on the Sweat app.

Learn a Craft or Skill and Perfect It

The list here is endless! It could be absolutely anything from cooking to knitting to learning how to play chess. We’ve already established that you can learn anything via an online course, but I thought it might be worth sharing the story of Stephen Duneier. Stephen began his career in finance and earned his MBA from NYU, before setting up a billion dollar hedge fund in 2008. Would you believe me if I told you he set the Guinness World Record for the largest crocheted granny square?

If you haven’t watched his mind-blowing TedTalk on how to achieve goals, I would highly recommend it. The point which I am trying to get across here is that if you set your mind to learning a new craft or skill, it could take you anywhere – even to the Guinness Book of Records.

How to Keep Busy at Home

Redecorate a Room

I left this point to the very end as it is the only point on this list that I have never done myself. For those that might be interested in decorating a room in their house whilst stuck at home, here are 3 blogs that I came across that should fill you with inspiration!

The Lovely Drawer
The Inspired Room
Apartment Therapy

How to Keep Busy at Home

This article was written to spread a little positivity in the current climate, where the whole world finds itself stuck at home and moods are low. I want it to inspire whoever is reading it to see the opportunity that exists in any situation and how anyone can turn things around for themselves and their mindset. Has this article inspired you to learn a new language (and perhaps document that learning in a blog?), or have you redecorated a room with such success that you want to launch a course to show others how to do it? Or are you inspired to simply clear out your wardrobe and earn some extra income from selling the pieces you no longer use?

Because really, this article was not about how to keep busy at home, or what to do when bored, or even meant to offer things to do to keep your mind busy. It’s meant to inspire, and help everyone find the positive in these dark times, whilst accomplishing something new that they could never do before, back when life always got in the way.

Aside from coming up with ideas on how to keep busy at home, I occasionally share advice pieces like this that you may enjoy. Articles like how to be productive at home and why you should never give up on your dreams!



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