The Cure for Boredom

5 Activities to Stir Your Curiosity

The cure for boredom is curiosity.
~ Ellen Parr

Without curiosity life becomes very boring. Curiosity drives us to explore new things. It urges us to ask questions and to seek answers.

Below are five activities that I encourage you be a little bit curious about. As you read through them, ask questions such as:

  • Why do people do this?
  • Who does this?
  • How do they do it?

Curious? Here’s the first.

Write Daily in a personal Journal.

I put this first because it can benefit you with every other activity you explore.

Why keep a journal?

  • Writing daily in your journal can help you stay on track with your goals.

  • Recording your progress every day helps overcome procrastination. Knowing you will be writing in your journal pressures you to do something.

  • Did something happen during the day that, in hindsight, you could have handled better? Write it down. By writing down your thoughts you will be better prepared next time a similar situation arises.

Your journal is personal and private. It records your thoughts and feelings.


What happens to us is not as important as the meaning we assign to it.
Journalling helps us sort this out.”

~ Michael Hyatt


Journalling doesn’t require anything fancy or expensive. I use a notebook and a mechanical pencil. I prefer writing with a pencil rather than a ball point pen. And the mechanical pencil means I don’t have to stop to sharpen my pencil.

And it’s important to write your journal by hand. Don’t be tempted to sit at your computer and type on the keyboard. Write in longhand and write slowly – don’t scribble. Give your thoughts time to come together as you write.

Be curious and explore the benefits of journalling by checking some of these search results.


Let’s go Walking

Walking alone

You can walk by yourself. Or you can walk with others. But walking alone is best.

However, if you must have company when you walk, check if there’s a walking group in your area. If not, you can start your own with some friends or neighbours.


There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. Even a bicycle goes too fast.
~ Paul Scott Mowrer


I see many people walking or jogging with their ears plugged and listening to music.

Don’t do that!

You’re not walking for the exercise. You’re walking to experience your surroundings; to allow your thoughts to slow down. Notice how happy the trees look after a shower of rain. Be aware of the smell of freshly cut grass. Hear the sounds of the birds and insects.

Slow down from your busy, busy life and enjoy the moments.

As Thomas Traherne said in his poem “Walking”:

To walk is by a thought to go;
To move in spirit to and fro;
To mind the good we see;
To taste the sweet;
Observing all the things we meet
How choice and rich they be.

Here’s a link if you would like to read the full poem.


Watch an old Classic Movie

Why watch an old movie? Isn’t this series about curing boredom – not inducing it?

True, movies made half a century ago aren’t as fast-paced as today’s movies. Thay don’t use computer generated graphics and the fancy effects.

And they move slower. Which gives you a chance to know the characters.

It’s like travelling back in time. A time before the internet. Before computers. Before most of our labour saving devices.

Yet people were less rushed, less busy, and more relaxed. And they didn’t suffer from boredom as much as we seem to.

It’s interesting to see the way people lived and dressed and behaved 50 years ago. The way they travelled. The way they shopped.

Here’s a scene from It’s a Wonderful Life.

Old street scene

These movies were actually made in that time. You can watch a modern movie that supposedly shows you what life was like then. But an old movie is real. The scenes, the people, the horse and carriage, they were all actually there when the movie was made.

So be curious.

Make the effort and watch a couple of old movies.

There are many full length classic movies on youtube.

And you can find more by searching the internet archive

Here’s a couple of suggestions to get you started:

The Mascot
Black and white movie.

My man Godfrey
Another black and white classic.

It’s a wonderful life
This one’s in colour. When I watched this movie I was reminded of a passage in the book The Majesty of Calmness by William George Jordan:

The only responsibility that a man cannot evade in this life is the one he thinks of least, – his personal influence. Man’s conscious influence, when he is on dress-parade, when he is posing to impress those around him, – is woefully small. But his unconscious influence, the silent, subtle radiation of his personality, the effect of his words and acts, the trifles he never considers, – is tremendous. Every moment of life he is changing to a degree the life of the whole world. Every man has an atmosphere which is affecting every other.
~ William George Jordan

The Adventures of Robin Hood
In Technicolor. Don’t be put off by the Portugese language in the link and on the site. The movie is in English with Portugese subtitles.


Why you should keep an old-fashioned photo album

Old photo album

I remember, as a wee lad, sitting with my mother and going through her photo albums.

As we turned the pages, every photo had a story. Every photo bought back memories.

Only the best photos went in the album. Not necessarily the best in quality, but best as in the stories and memories they evoked.

The rest of the photos were kept in a shoebox on top of the wardrobe.

Turning the pages of a physical album and feeling the texture of the paper and the photos, is completely different to flicking through photos on your phone or computer.

I’m sure you have hundreds of digital photos. Go through them and pick out the ones that are special to you. Print them, and start your own album full of stories and memories.

Curious?

Here’s a couple of links to help you explore more about keeping a real photo album:

The value and importance of keeping a family photo album

Tips for creating photo albums


Get Paid to Test Websites

Test websites

And lastly, something different. You can get paid for testing websites.

No technical skills required. All you have to do is visit the site and carry out a few tasks as a normal user.

While doing this, you record your thoughts. What you feel is good about the site. Anything that frustrates you. Things that don’t work as you expect them to.

This provides honest feedback to the site owner. They learn how a typical user finds their way around the site.

And you get paid for doing it.

Learn more by checking some of the links below.

usertesting

whatusersdo

usertest

userzoom

userfeel

trymyui

And there you go. Five things you can investigate instead of slumping in front of the TV.

Be curious.

Richard Hoare.