30 Useful Skills to Learn When Bored
When life feels monotonous, it can be helpful to learn a new skill. Not only can this provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, but it can also help improve your self-esteem and confidence.
There are many different skills that you can learn in your free time, but some may be more useful to you than others. Some good ideas include fun skills you can learn for leisure, such as playing an instrument, or more practical skills, like cooking or budgeting.
Other skills benefit your mental and physical well-being, such as speed reading, meditation, self-defense, and first aid.
You can also learn a skill you can convert into a money-making opportunity. For example, you can start a blog and write about topics that interest you or become an expert in social media marketing.
No matter what skill you decide to learn, the important thing is that you find something that you enjoy and can help improve your life somehow.
In this article, I will share with you a list of valuable skills you can learn for fun, self improvement through mental and physical well-being, or to make extra money.
Fun skills to learn
Life can be pretty boring if you don’t have any hobbies or interests outside of work. You may spend your free time mindlessly scrolling through social media or watching TV. Luckily, there are a ton of fun skills that you can learn to help pass the time. Find some examples below.
1. Pick up a new instrument
Music can be a great source of joy and relaxation. Playing a musical instrument can give you a creative outlet to express yourself. It can also be a great way to bond with others with the same interest.
The beauty of learning a new instrument is that you can go at your own pace. You can start with a few basics by watching YouTube videos or reading online tutorials. Once you get the hang of it, you can start taking lessons from a local instructor or join a band.
When picking an instrument, choosing the one you’re drawn to is important for it to be fun. If you’ve always wanted to play the piano but never had the opportunity, now is your chance!
You should also consider how much time and effort you will put into learning the instrument. Some instruments, like the violin, require regular practice to progress.
2. Solve the Rubix cube
The Rubix cube is a classic puzzle that has been around for decades. It’s a great way to exercise your brain and pass the time. The most popular method to solve the Rubix cube is the Fridrich method, which uses a series of algorithms to solve the cube.
If you’re new to solving the Rubix cube, plenty of online tutorials and YouTube videos can help you get started. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can practice more advanced methods.
As you get better at solving the Rubix cube, you can start timing yourself to see how fast you can do it. You may even be able to join Rubix cube competitions!
It is important not to get too frustrated if you can’t solve the cube immediately. Like with any skill, it takes practice and patience to master it.
3. Knit or crochet
Knitting and crocheting are two of the most popular hobbies in the world. Not only are they relaxing but can also be quite therapeutic. In addition, you can use your skills to make beautiful homemade gifts for friends and family.
Newbies to knitting and crocheting can find plenty of resources online to help them get started. You can look for a YouTube video or read an online tutorial. Once you know the basic stitches, you can start working on more complex patterns.
The great thing about knitting and crocheting is that you can do it anywhere during your free time. Whether at home or on the go, as long as you have your yarn and needles, you can knit or crochet to your heart’s content.
4. Learn a new language
Are you interested in a certain foreign language but never had the chance to learn it? Well, now is your opportunity!
There are many benefits to learning a foreign language. It can improve your cognitive and social skills, memory, and concentration. It can also help you connect with people from different cultures.
Plenty of resources are available online if you’re unsure where to start. You can find online courses, apps, and videos that can help you learn a foreign language.
The secret to successfully studying a foreign language is finding a method that works best for you and practicing regularly. You should also set realistic goals so that you don’t get discouraged. When you’re feeling frustrated, remember that everyone learns at their own pace.
5. Make origami
While it may seem like a child’s activity, origami is actually a great way to exercise your brain. Folding paper into different shapes can help improve your problem-solving and fine motor skills.
The process of origami is actually quite simple. All you need is a sheet of paper and some patience. With a few clicks, you can get the step by step guide in an online tutorial or a book. Once you know the basic techniques, you can start making more complex origami models.
You can also use origami to make gifts or decorations. Many people enjoy giving origami animals or flowers to their friends and loved ones.
6. Play chess
Chess has been around for centuries and is still the most popular board game in the world. It’s a great way to exercise your brain and strategic thinking skills. It can also be fun if you’re playing against a friend or family member.
Each player must try to capture the other player’s king during a chess game. You use your pawns, rooks, knights, and bishops. Each piece has its own movement rules, so you must think carefully about your next move.
Chess can be quite challenging, but it’s a great way to improve your problem-solving skills. If you’re a beginner, you don’t need to worry. Many apps on Google Play, online tutorials, and books can help you learn the movements, strategies, and tactics.
7. Learn to juggle
Juggling is a great way to improve your coordination and reflexes. It’s also a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. The best way to learn how to juggle is to find a tutorial online or in a book and practice as often as possible.
Start small by juggling two balls. Once you’re comfortable with that, you can add a third ball. You can also try juggling other objects, such as scarves or beanbags. The key is to practice regularly so that you can improve your skills.
It may take some time, but once you learn how to juggle, you’ll be able to impress your friends and family with your new skill. The satisfaction you’ll feel when you finally succeed will be well worth the effort!
8. Take up painting or drawing
Painting and drawing are productive ways to express your creativity. They can also help you relax and de-stress after a long day. If you’ve never picked up a paintbrush or pencil before, don’t worry. There are plenty of guides and tutorials available online or in art stores.
You will require basic supplies, such as paints, brushes, paper, and pencils. Once you have everything you need, you can start exploring different techniques. The key is to experiment and have fun.
Painting and drawing can be very rewarding as you will end up with a beautiful piece of art. You can also draw and gift friends or family members personalized paintings when you advance your skills.
9. Make your own slime
Slime is a popular DIY project perfect for kids and adults alike. It’s a great way to exercise your creative muscles and have fun. You can use different colors and glitter to make your slime unique.
Making slime is a simple process that only requires a few ingredients. You will need glue, Borax powder, food coloring, and some water. Once you have everything, find a slime recipe online and follow the instructions.
It’s important to be careful when handling Borax powder. It can irritate if it comes into contact with your skin. If you’re worried about this, you can always use a different slime recipe that doesn’t require Borax powder.
10. Learn some card tricks
Card tricks are a great way to impress your friends and family. They make you look like a magician, even if you use a regular deck of cards. Some tricks are easy to learn, while others may require some practice.
An example of a simple card trick is the “21 Card Trick.” This trick only requires a regular card deck and a little math. Start by having your friend or family member shuffle the deck and then deal out 21 cards face down. Once they do this, have them turn over three cards.
You can stop there if the three cards are the same number, such as three 7s. If not, have the person continue flipping over cards, one at a time, until they find three cards that are the same. You can reveal the trick and impress them with your magic when they do this!
Skills for mental and physical health
The body and mind are interconnected. When one is out of balance, the other can also be affected. That’s why taking care of your physical and mental health is important. Below are some good ideas that offer numerous physical and mental health benefits.
11. Learn how to meditate
Meditation is a great way to relax and de-stress. It can also help you focus and be more productive. It’s important to find a quiet place where you can sit or lie down comfortably. You may want to set a timer for 5-10 minutes.
Once you’re comfortable, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. Continue this for the duration of your meditation app, website, or timer.
If your mind starts to wander, that’s okay. Just gently bring your focus back to your breath. Meditation can take some practice, but it’s well worth the effort. It’s a great skill that grants you mental clarity and peace of mind.
12. Speed reading
Do you find yourself struggling to finish books or articles?
Learning how to speed read may be a self improvement goal worth pursuing. You can learn speed reading with practice and in the right environment.
To start, find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Make sure there are no distractions. You should know what you want to read before you start. Once you’re ready, begin reading at a normal pace.
As you get comfortable, start increasing your speed. But be careful not to sacrifice comprehension for speed. The goal is to find a balance that works for you. You can also take a speed reading class from a reliable source, such as Iris. We offer a speed reading course designed to help you read faster and retain more information.
13. Self defense
Learning how to defend yourself is a great self-improvement skill. It can help you feel more confident and safe in public and at home. Many self-defense classes and courses are available, including martial arts, Krav Maga, and self-defense for women.
You should choose a class that fits your schedule without being too demanding. Class length can vary from a few hours to several weeks. Once you find a class you like, practice what you learn. This will help you stay sharp and confident in your self-defense skills.
It’s also important to remember that self-defense is more than just physical. It’s also about being aware of your surroundings and knowing when to avoid a dangerous situation.
14. Public speaking
Public speaking can be daunting, but it’s a useful skill to have. Whether you’re giving a presentation at work or speaking at a wedding, being able to deliver a speech confidently can come in handy.
If you’re interested in improving your speech-making and storytelling skills, there are a few self improvement ideas you can try. First, start by practicing in front of a mirror. This will help you get comfortable with the sound of your own voice.
You can also practice in front of a friend or family member. They can offer feedback and help you identify areas for improvement. Finally, consider taking a class to give you a chance to learn from an expert and get constructive feedback.
Are you looking to boost your self-confidence? Or maybe you want to improve your overall health. Whatever your reason, weight-lifting is a great self improvement goal to pursue.
Weight lifting can help you build muscle, lose fat, and strengthen your bones. It’s also a great way to relieve stress and improve your mood. Going to a gym is the most obvious way to get started, but you can also start slow at home with some basic equipment.
You may need guidance from a professional to get started, but once you know the basics, you can continue working out on your own. Just be sure to warm up before you lift and cool down afterward to avoid injury.
During your spare time, instead of scrolling through social media, you could go for a run. Running is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health and overall fitness. It’s also a low-impact activity that’s easy on your joints.
You don’t need special equipment to get started, just a good pair of running shoes. Start running for a few minutes and gradually increase your distance as you get more comfortable. You can also join a running group or participate in a race to stay motivated and improve your social skills.
The key to making running a habit is to find a time that works for you and stick with it. Whether you go for a run first thing in the morning or after work, make sure it’s a time you can stick to. This way, you’ll be more likely to make running a part of your routine.
Hiking is a great idea if you’re looking for a way to get some exercise and fresh air. It’s also an activity that you can do alone or with friends. And depending on where you live, there may be hiking trails right in your backyard.
Hiking is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air. It’s also an activity that you can do alone or with friends. And depending on where you live, there may be hiking trails right in your backyard.
Even if you don’t live near mountains or forests, you can still find hiking trails at your local park or in the countryside. Once you find a trail you like, make sure to follow the posted rules and regulations. This will help you stay safe and avoid getting lost.
While swimming may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of self improvement, it’s actually a great activity to add to your list.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that’s easy on your joints. You’re also working all your major muscle groups when swimming.
This makes swimming an excellent workout for your whole body. It’s also a great way to cool off on a hot day. Most local pools offer swimming lessons for all levels if you don’t know how to swim.
Once you know the basics, you can start swimming laps on your own or join a swim team. It is important to start slowly and increase your distance as you get more comfortable. This will help you avoid getting overwhelmed or burned out.
Many people face stress and anxiety daily. Yoga may be the perfect activity for you if you’re looking for a way to relax and de-stress. Yoga is a form of exercise that combines physical activity with meditation and deep breathing.
Yoga has many benefits, including improved flexibility, better sleep, and reduced stress. There are many different types of yoga, so you can find a style that suits your needs. They include Hatha yoga, a good choice for beginners, and Ashtanga, a more vigorous form of yoga.
You can typically access yoga classes at gyms, community centers, and yoga studios. Many yoga apps on Google Play and online classes are also available, so you can do yoga at home.
20. Cook healthy meals
A healthy diet is an important part of any self improvement plan. Cooking at home is a great way to eat healthily and save money. It can also be a fun and relaxing activity. You don’t need to be a five-star chef to cook simple, healthy meals.
There are many easy recipes available online or in cookbooks. Start by picking a few that look appetizing and easy to make. You can start experimenting with different recipes as you get more comfortable in the kitchen.
Whenever possible, try to use fresh ingredients. This will help you avoid processed foods, which can be high in salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
Cooking at home can help you eat healthier and save money. It can also be a fun and relaxing activity.
New skills that could turn into side gigs
Did you know that some very prominent businesses started as side hustles? For example, Bill Gates founded Microsoft to make money on the side while he was still in school.
This shows that you never know where your side hustle could lead. You can learn many technical and non-technical skills in your spare time that could turn into a successful side business.
21. Learn to code
Coding is a skill that’s in high demand. With the rise of the internet and mobile devices, businesses need coders to create and maintain websites and apps. If you’re interested in starting a side hustle, learning to code is a great place to start.
You don’t need to go back to school to learn to code. Some online courses and resources can teach you the basics. You can begin by learning HTML and CSS, the foundation of all web design. Once you’ve mastered these basics, you can move on to more complex coding languages like Java and Python.
You can start creating simple websites and apps as you learn to code. You can then offer your services to businesses or individuals who need a successful side hustle. The sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can achieve with computer code.
22. Story writing
If you’re a creative person, you may enjoy writing stories. It is a great way to express your imagination and share your ideas with the world. You can write stories about anything you want, from made-up worlds to personal experiences.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never written anything before. Anyone can be a writer if they have the passion and dedication to improve their craft. Many resources are available to help you learn the basics of story writing, such as books on the subject or online courses.
Sharing your stories with others can be a rewarding experience. You may even choose to publish your work or enter it in competitions. Who knows, you could end up becoming a successful author one day.
23. Graphic design
Graphic design is the process of creating visual content for businesses or individuals. This can include anything from logos and advertisements to website designs and product packaging. If you’re a creative person with an eye for detail, graphic design may be your perfect side hustle.
You don’t need to have formal training to become a graphic designer. You can get started with the basics of design principles with programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. You can find many easy to follow tutorials and resources to teach you how to work with them.
Mastering graphic design can take some time, but it’s a great skill that’s always in demand. Once you hone your skills, you can offer your services to businesses or individuals who need assistance with their visual content. You can offer your services through online platforms or local networking events.
Are you passionate about taking pictures? If so, you can turn your hobby into a successful side hustle. Photography is a popular way to capture memories and moments. You can take photos of anything, from people and nature to events and places.
Professional photographers use various techniques to take high-quality pictures. You can learn about these techniques by taking online courses or reading blogs on the subject. You can also invest in some quality equipment.
With these two, you can convert your photography skills into services for individuals and businesses. You can create a portfolio of your work to showcase your skills. You can also sell your photos online or enter them in competitions.
25. Social media marketing
Social media is a powerful tool that businesses and individuals can use to reach a larger audience. If you’re skilled at using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you can offer your services as a social media marketer.
You would be responsible for creating and managing social media accounts. It would involve creating content, engaging with followers, and increasing the accounts’ visibility. You would need to have a strong understanding of the different social media platforms and how to use them effectively.
Social media marketing is easy to start, but it takes time and effort to succeed. You can learn tricks and strategies by reading blogs, taking online courses, or attending conferences. Once you build up your skills and knowledge, you can start offering your services to businesses or individuals.
26. Event planning
Do you have a knack for organizing and planning events? Are you always the one in charge of planning parties or other gatherings? You may be able to turn your skill into a successful side hustle. Event planning is a popular way to make money on the side.
As an event planner, you would be responsible for organizing and managing all aspects of events. This would involve booking venues, catering, and coordinating transportation. You would need to be detail-oriented and have strong organizational skills.
If you’re interested in becoming an event planner, you can start by planning small events for your friends and family. You can also volunteer to help plan larger events. The experience you gain will be helpful when you start offering your services to paying clients.
27. Dog walking
Did you know that you can make money by walking dogs? Most pet owners are busy with work or other commitments during the day, so they need someone to walk their dogs for them. This is where your services as a dog walker come in.
As a dog walker, you would have to walk your clients’ dogs. This would involve picking them up from home, playing with them, and ensuring they are well-behaved. You would need to be reliable and have a flexible schedule.
Walking a dog is a relatively easy way to make money on the side. However, you must be comfortable around dogs and have some experience handling them. In addition, you will need to be able to commit to a regular walking schedule since most pet owners prefer to have their dogs walked daily.
28. Freelance writing
Are you a talented writer with a passion for words? If so, you can make money by offering your services as a freelance writer.
As a freelance writer, you would be responsible for writing articles, blog posts, or other types of content for your clients. You would need to have access to a computer and the internet. In addition, you would need to be able to meet deadlines and complete assignments on time.
You can start by writing for free or low-cost sites. This will help you build your portfolio and show potential clients what you can do. Your goal should be to land clients willing to pay you for your writing services.
29. Learn how to take and edit videos
Videos are becoming increasingly popular, so it’s no surprise that businesses are looking for video editors. If you have a knack for editing videos, you may be able to make money by offering your services as a video editor.
As a video editor, you would be responsible for editing videos for your clients. This would involve cutting, splicing, and adding special effects to videos. You should be detail-oriented, creative, and understand the different video editing software programs.
You can also start a YouTube channel and edit your own videos. This will help you build a following and show potential clients what you can do. With a strong portfolio, you can start landing paying clients willing to pay you for your video editing services.
30. Personal shopping
If you enjoy shopping, you can make money by offering your services as a personal shopper. Having an eye for fashion is a helpful skill for this side hustle. Personal shoppers help busy people find the perfect clothing and accessories.
A personal shopper should know how to find the best deals and where to find the latest trends. In addition, a personal shopper should be able to provide fashion advice to their clients. They should also be organized and have strong attention to detail.
Getting a side hustle as a personal shopper is relatively easy. You can start by offering your services to friends and family. Once you gain experience, you can start advertising your services online or through word of mouth to potential clients.
Takeaway: Learning new skills can help you grow personally and financially
Self improvement is a lifelong journey. It’s never too late to learn new and important skills and develop positive habits that can help you improve your life.
They can help you reach your goals, make more money, and even improve your health. It’s important to find a skill you’re passionate about so you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Iris Reading offers a Maximizing Memory course to help you improve your memory. Our course is designed to help you read faster, improve your comprehension, and remember more of what you read.
Learning how to speed read and memorize are great skills to improve your life. They can help you save time, improve your grades, and critical thinking.
So what are you waiting for? Check out our Maximizing Memory course today and see how it can help you improve your life!