There are so many reasons you’re looking for productive things to do at home. Are you bored? Are you stuck at home? Do you have some spare time on your hands?!
Whatever your motivations, these ideas are a great way to tackle tasks you need to (or should) accomplish. You’ll find productive tasks that take as little as 5 minutes and tasks broken out into eight different categories including health, relationships, finances and more.
All people have the same amount of time in every day and year. The difference for successful people is that they find ways to accomplish the important things. And let’s be clear, important things include mental, health, relationships and happiness.
Finding a way to do productive things at home has health benefits in addition to accomplishing necessary tasks. This is not just a way to get more drudgery done every day. The great thing about having a list of important things to you and your personal priorities is that it helps keep you focused on your priorities and finding time to accomplish them. And you are the one setting your priorities.
I have created a list of productive things to do at work and at home that I always have ready for when I find I have some free time and it doesn’t have to be a lot of time. I can use this list to find tasks to accomplish when:
- I talk to friends or family members on the phone.
- I’m on hold (why does it seem that being on hold now lasts 15 to 45 minutes?!)
- While I’m waiting for water to boil for dinner.
- While I’m supervising homework after school.
I also pull out my list of productive things to do at home for when I need a break from work (or too much binge watching).
What can I do right now to be productive?
- It’s critical to determine why you want to be productive and your goal. Without assessing your situation, you won’t know what tasks you should select.
- If you’re finding finishing a task difficult, take a few minutes to stretch and clear your head before you refocus on your task.
- Or walk around for 5-10 minutes
- Or eat a healthy snack
- Or drink a glass of water
- How much time do you have?
- 5 minutes or less?
- 15 minutes or less?
- There are lists of productivity tasks for different time periods below.
- What is your goal?
There are a wide range of ideas for being productive at home below. Choose what meets your needs now. Realize that this may not be the perfect time for some of the tasks, but may be a good idea in the future.
This list is one that you can return to again and again to find new ideas of productive things to do at home.
Productive Things to Do at Home
5 Minute Tasks
- Unload the dishwasher or load it. Or wash dishes in the sink.
- Review your calendar and to do tasks. Prioritize what you need to do today and the rest of the week.
- Sort through the mail. Recycle or shred junk mail and envelopes for mail you are keeping.
- Make doctor, dentist or other appointments.
- Request paperless bank or utility statements.
- Set screen time limits on your phone based on your personal goals and needs.
- Test pens and markers and get rid of ones that don’t work.
- Write a thank you card or email.
- Wipe the shelves in the refrigerator.
- Delete redundant contacts in your phone.
- Match all the plastic container lids to the containers. Recycle or donate the unmatched items.
- Update apps or programs on your phone or computer.
- Dust ceiling fan blades.
- Disinfect door knobs, light switches, and garage door openers with this printable house cleaning checklist.
- Take plastic dry cleaning bags off of clothes. You can use the plastic bags to stuff purses and bags to help them keep their shape in storage.
- Clear off a kitchen counter and wipe it down.
- Walk around looking for cobwebs to remove in corners.
- Look for a new recipe to try.
- Write encouraging notes for yourself or family members on sticky notes. Hide them around the house.
- Write expiration dates on spice jars so you can easily see the dates.
- Learn one or two new words and commit to using them this week.
15 Minutes or Less
- Delete old and unnecessary emails.
- Make a weekly meal plan.
- Make a grocery list and schedule your next trip to the grocery store.
- Declutter one category of clothing.
- Fold laundry and put it away. Check out all my how to fold tutorials.
- Remove expired food from your pantry, refrigerator and freezer.
- Set monthly goals. Use a free printable SMART Goals worksheet to set goals that are achievable.
- Set up a productivity app. I like to use the free Remember the Milk app. Or download my Running To Do List printable.
- Declutter expired medicine and first aid supplies. As you declutter create a shopping list to replace items.
- Declutter a shelf of books.
- Make a standard list of information to leave when you have a babysitter. This Babysitter Checklist is fillable and makes sure you collect all the pertinent information.
- Make a list of all your subscriptions. Review and look for ones to cancel.
- Dust baseboards and vent covers.
- Leave positive reviews for your favorite local small businesses.
- Declutter gloves, hats, mittens and scarves.
- Update passwords.
- Vacuum and mop one room.
- Declutter one dresser drawer.
- Go through gift wrap supplies and recycle anything damaged or you won’t use.
Longer Productivity Tasks
These productivity tasks take a bit longer to accomplish, but the best way to accomplish them for your schedule may be to break them down into smaller 15-minute or less tasks.
- Make a monthly meal plan.
- Create a list of monthly recurring tasks that you can refer to each month. You can get this free year of monthly to do lists.
- Set yearly and quarterly goals.
- Organize your email folders.
- Establish a quick daily cleaning routine for busy parents.
- Organize your computer files and documents. These tips on computer desktop and file organization will get you started.
- Declutter and organize your paperwork and files. This free printable checklist about how long to keep documents will help you make the right decisions for your important documents.
- Make a list of every place you’ve lived with the address. Add new home addresses to the list in the future.
- Establish a good morning routine to streamline and destress your mornings.
- Backup your phone and computer.
- Declutter your bathroom. You can use my bathroom organizing ideas to make your space work for you.
- Establish a donations box. Place it in a closet or out-of-the way location. Put all items to be donated in it and commit to taking it immediately when it is full.
- Reorganize your kitchen to make it more efficient for your unique requirements and the limitations of they space. This step-by-step How to Set Up Kitchen Organization was created by a professional organizer who has moved into 20+ homes (and kitchens).
- Clean your car and organize the interior.
- Create a family command center to keep your papers and schedule organized.
- Create a clean house schedule with daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal and yearly tasks.
- Get your affairs in order to help your family if you should become ill or pass away with the End-of-Life Checklist Binder. You are never to young to organize your affairs. You do it to make it easier on your family during an extremely difficult time.
- Read a book or magazine.
- Learn a foreign language.
- Make time for something you used to love doing.
- Sign up for a subscription box that will make you happy each month when it surprises you. There are boxes curated around all kinds of interests. There’s sure to be several that will challenge you, encourage you and make you happy.
- Make or update your bucket list. Commit to working through the list of the best things you’d like to do.
- Learn a new dance.
- Examine your long-term goals and dreams.
- Learn a new craft.
- Start a journal.
- Take an online course.
- Start collecting your favorite quotes to inspire and uplift.
- Declutter and organize photos, whether on your phone or actual prints.
- Plant an herb garden.
- Learn to play a musical instrument.
- Try on all your shoes and get rid of ones that hurt your feet. Life is too short for shoes that hurt.
- Listen to a Ted Talk.
- Create a list of self-help books you’d like to start reading. And schedule reading time on your calendar.
- Research volunteer opportunities in your areas and apply.
Family & Friends
- Call your parents or a family member right now.
- Play a game with your children. This Big Bundle of Scavenger Hunts has something for every season and age.
- Schedule regular calls or visits with family.
- Reach out to your best friend or a friend you miss.
- Coordinate a neighborhood party.
- Make a list of people you’d like to get to know better and plan ways to make that happen.
- Cook something special for a family member or friend.
- Help a friend or family member with a task.
- Support a friend’s small business by interacting with their business social media accounts regularly.
- Create a gift list for the entire year for friends, family, neighbors and coworkers. Brainstorm gift ideas. This free printable year long gift planner will help you get started.
- Make a list of long-distance friends you’d like to reconnect with.
- Support a friend’s small business by leaving a positive review.
- Begin gift shopping online now.
- Scan old photos and share with family and friends who will appreciate them. Or share them from your phone. Or you can use Legacybox – the easy, all-in-one kit for digitizing your media!
- Contact a teacher or coach that made a last impact on your life and thank them.
- Determine your emergency fund goals and make a savings plan.
- Create a monthly budget.
- Review credit card and bank statements look for errors or areas you can reduce expenses and increase savings.
- Develop a pay off debt plan and schedule.
- Determine your retirement savings goals.
- Review utility bills look for errors and anticipate upcoming expenditures.
- Learn to file your own taxes. You’ll save money paying someone else and learn to understand your finances and taxes.
- Shred unneeded documents.
- Learn about investments.
- Gather all tax related documents and receipts in one folder.
- Do stretching exercises.
- Start a gratitude journal.
- Drink more water. Create a habit tracker to encourage yourself.
- Exercise regularly. Create a schedule and habit tracker.
- Schedule dental cleaning and checkup.
- Schedule annual wellness physical.
- Renew prescriptions.
- Play brain games.
- Learn to care for one or two plants.
- Change out your toothbrush.
- Create a healthy morning routine.
- Review your long-term career goals.
- Review your short-term career goals.
- Take an online class to improve your job skills.
- Listen to a podcast series.
- Update your resume.
- Join a networking group.
- Learn a new skill that will help you professionally. Don’t underestimate the treasure trove of YouTube videos and free training sessions available to increase your skills and knowledge.
- Find a mentor.
- Practice your elevator speech.
- Update your LinkIn profile.
More Productivity Ideas
- 10 Time Organization and Productivity Tips
- Block Schedule Template
- Best Planners for Mom
- The Essential Guide to the Happy Planner
- My Daily Routine
- How to Use a Bullet Journal to Be More Productive
- Daily Routine Tips from 10 Professional Organizers
- How to Be Organized – 10+ Habits
Be sure to pin for later when you’re looking for productive things to do at home.
For more simple and powerful productivity tips, hacks and printables, see the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.