How To Make The Most Of Downtime Around The House

Discover practical tips for maximizing downtime at home. From relaxation to productivity, make the most of your time indoors with these strategies.


If you’ve ever felt bored around the house and unsure of what to do, you might feel like you’re wasting your free time. Furthermore, people who spend every waking moment doing something often struggle to fill the downtime because they’re so used to being busy. They feel like everything should have a purpose, but that doesn’t need to be the case, and you can even find things that seem silly that can genuinely help you. 

So what can you do when you finally find the chance for some downtime around the house? Here are some ideas to help you fill those minutes and hours if you’re bored of scrolling through your phone or lying in bed.

tips for maximizing downtime at home

Read A Book 

Have you ever said you wanted to read more, but when you finally get the chance, all you do is scroll? You aren’t alone. Attention spans are not what they used to be, but reading a book—whether fiction or nonfiction—has plenty of excellent benefits. Reading a cozy story is a great way to make the most of your downtime, and you don’t have to feel like you need to read for hours. A couple of chapters here and there are enough to help you relax. If you struggle to focus, find a quiet place to settle in and keep your phone in another room so you’re not drawn to it. 

Start A Project 

Everyone has that one project they have been meaning to start for months or years but have never gotten around to. If you don’t know what to do with your downtime, now is your chance to learn some DIY and get started. You don’t have to complete it all in a single day, but researching and planning your project can help you get the ball rolling and hopefully inspire you to take it further. 

Play Games 

Downtime boredom is easily overcome if you have something to pass the time. If you don’t want to read or start a project, playing games, whether on your coffee table, console, or online, is a great idea. You can improve your strategy skills by learning chess or by catching up with friends by dropping them a message and getting online. If everyone in the house complains about their board, get Monopoly or Scrabble out of the cupboard and play a few rounds. 


Journaling has become an increasingly popular self-care strategy. You can write about your day, get creative by writing poetry, or finally start work on that novel you’ve been swimming around for years. If you’re nervous about starting a journal, search for prompts to inspire you about what to write first. All you need is a pen and paper, and since you’re the only one who will see it, you can write whatever you want, so get creative, get silly, and unlock your potential. 


Decluttering doesn’t sound fun, but it means you can be productive during your daily downtime and maybe take a trip down memory lane. Every home has that drawer or room filled with things that don’t belong anywhere else, so tackling these can help you make your house easier to manage. Don’t feel like you need to declutter everything. Just focus on a room every week to gradually improve your house and discover things you forgot you’d even purchased. 

Quick Clean 

Similarly, cleaning is rarely considered downtime, but a quick clean when you have a few minutes spare could make a huge difference. Staying on top of the vacuuming or wiping down the counters brings multiple mental health benefits and means you don’t need to tackle a messy home during your weekly clean. Instead, you’ll have dealt with most of the house earlier, so you can cut your major cleaning time in half, meaning you have even more minutes to spare and do whatever you want. 


If you don’t want to clean or declutter (which is understandable), how about putting your mind at ease? Meditation has become more accessible, with both subscription and free apps that provide guided sessions to help you unlock inner peace. The great thing about meditation is that you only need around ten minutes every day, which is ideal for mornings or just before going to sleep. If you have any time during the day, put your headphones on and listen to something to calm your mind. 


Many people feel they don’t have enough time to exercise, which makes sense. There’s always something to do, whether cooking and cleaning, picking the kids up, or fulfilling last-minute projects for your manager. However, this is the wrong way to look at it. You might not think you have the energy to exercise during your downtime, but you do if you know what workouts work best for you. Don’t think you have to go to the gym for an hour. Instead, invest in some home workout equipment or even just a yoga mat and do a quick 15-minute session to build a habit. 

Watch Something 

Is there anything better than settling down to watch something? You know you don’t have anything else to do, so firing up your favorite TV show or one of the best family movies can help you start your weekend the right way. Whether you check out the latest binge-able show or screen one of the Oscar forerunners, you know you’ll have a good, stress-free time surrounded by your loved ones. 


While you might not enjoy cooking, baking offers something different, and it’s your chance to expand your household skills and make something delicious at the same time. Some people enjoy baking cakes to treat themselves and their families, while others prefer to bake homemade bread. In this case, bread is much easier than you think it is, so why not mix something up and make a loaf to have with your bacon and eggs tomorrow morning?


Everyone needs downtime to recharge after a stressful week at work. But, while many people use their downtime to play on their phones, there are multiple ways to enjoy downtime and still be productive. These tips can help you find something fun, perhaps a new hobby, or stay on top of the household without feeling pressured to make it perfect right now.

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