Five proven boredom busters

“There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people,” once said G.K. Chesterton, an English author and philosopher.

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  • “There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people,” once said G.K. Chesterton, an English author and philosopher. This may be true, but I’d like to see him stay interested in a 6-year-old’s monologue about what he did at recess or not get frustrated by a lengthy stint in bumper to bumper traffic. While it’s unlikely this article will help you find the patience to never be bored again, it may give you a few ideas on how to be more interested in life.

  • See new aspects of old views

  • Do you have the view out the back door of your house or the window of your office memorized? Besides the slight changes caused by changing seasons, weather or new construction, it might seem like these sights you see every day never change. The same might be said of the trip from your home to the grocery store or the office. However, take the challenge the next time you look out the window or drive down a familiar road to look for something you’ve never seen before. This means more than casting a placid, vague gaze across the landscape. It means actively searching for the little changes that happen every day you’ve never been aware of before. Is a bird building a nest in a tree? Did the building across the road get a new coat of paint? Taking new interest in the mundane things you see every day will give your mind something active to do and keep you from being so easily bored.

  • Plan a mental escape route

  • You know how long the ride to work is or how long you'll wait at the doctor, so plan ahead. Instead of listening to the radio and the same six songs it seems to always play, invest in an audiobook to listen to en route. Have a list handy of the things you need to plan out, a grocery trip, a child’s birthday party, or even just a pretend vacation you’d like to go on with your significant other. Write down your ideas if you can.

  • Do something to further a hobby

  • You know those things you think about doing and yet you never have time to get to them? Sometime you’re feeling bored might be a good time to pursue one of those hobbies. If you’re a pianist that doesn’t play much anymore, rifle through some old piano books and find some favorite songs to play. Plant a couple of seeds in pots you can place on the front porch or on your windowsill. Pick up the book you keep starting and actually finish it.

  • Keep reading material on hand

  • Don't let a single moment go to waste when you could be increasing your knowledge or broadening your mind. It doesn't matter what the reading material is. The back of a cereal box read during breakfast, the writing on a shampoo bottle read in the bathroom, and the article in the newspaper read at the doctor's office all accumulate to further your knowledge and interests.

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  • Research service opportunities

  • If you have a significant amount of extra time on your hands, maybe you should look into becoming a volunteer. Some common places to volunteer include animal shelters, hospitals, the zoo, and schools. You can contact your favorite options to find out about their volunteer programs or you can look them up online and fill out the volunteer applications there. City websites might have some service opportunities you haven’t thought of — like reading to the blind or working at a children’s fair.

  • You don’t have to be bored if you don’t want to be. All it takes is a little effort to be more interested in the world around you. After all, as Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?”

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Katie Nielsen received her bachelor's in English with an emphasis in technical writing. She has taught English and is a published writer.

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