How to master self-entertainment?
Being an only child for most of my childhood, I grew up needing to entertain myself. As a result, I think I can say I am pretty good at it. I am truly (close to) never bored. Honestly, whenever I start to get bored during a certain activity I end up finding a way to give it a nice spin. For instance, I have morning Karaoke, #girltalk, and podcast sessions during my commute. I have an entertainment package to bring to every sort of situation or event, for myself or/and others. On holiday for instance, I always have a Yahtzee notepad and dices in my cross body bag. Also, I bring an extra pen and some Sudoku puzzles ripped from a booklet so we can do them instead. As I know from experience that this is not a given, I want to share my tips, tricks and suggestions. That way every #careerlion can master self-entertainment.
Determine your restrictions to find your opportunities
Find out when you are bored and what restrictions you have in terms of activities. In the car, you can’t read a book for instance, but you will be more than able to listen to an audio book. You are basically restricted to listening and talking, so what is it that you can do with your ears and voice? Well, listen to: audio books, podcasts, self-study classes, music etc. In terms of your voice: you can practice singing (I still need all the practice in the world) and calling.
Review your schedule and prepare your “entertainment system” accordingly
Go through your plans for the day. Do expect any time in a waiting room? Do you expect to sit on a plane or train for quite some time? Will you possibly have to wait for someone? If the answer is yes, it is wise to make sure you won’t spend that time stuck refreshing your Instagram or Facebook feed in the hope for some new posts. You will be much better off throwing the book you are reading, a pen and puzzle booklet, magazine or iPad in your bag. I personally love having a lot of books on my iPad and some series downloaded via Netflix. Make sure you check whether they haven’t expired yet though. Take it from me, this can be quite a disappointment. Also, if you haven’t heard about it yet: Roller Coaster Tycoon is available on your iPad. A great source of (childhood) entertainment I can tell you.
My “entertainment system” for a few occasions:
- Business or dancing trip: iPad with books, series downloaded via Netflix, music and headphones.
- Car ride: headphones and my phone with Spotify, besties on speed dial, audiobooks downloaded and favorite podcasts channels subscribed so the newest are within reach.
- Holiday: headphones, iPad with everything in place, paperback to read on the beach (don’t like reading from my iPad with too much light), puzzles, Yahtzee and a deck of cards.
Find a hobby
Hobbies are a great way to entertain yourself, if not the best. They also give meaning to your life when you are not even engaged in your hobby itself. You will always find a way to use some of your off time to entertain yourself in some relation to your hobby.
I for one love to dance and exercise. I don’t know what I would do without it. But on regular weeks I will spend at least 5-8 hours a week doing so. Meaning that is a lot of my free time if you consider that I need quite a lot of sleep to recover from this as well. Then there are also the competitions and the nice trips that go along with it. Even when I am not dancing, I still entertain myself when I start to get bored by doing dance steps with my hands or in my head.
I honestly have some many things that I would love to do yet don’t find the time for. One of my hobbies currently on the background is making jewelry for instance. Other hobbies of mine obviously are cooking, eating (duh) and shopping. Trust me, not a day goes by where I haven’t at least been internet shopping, getting groceries, cooking up dinner or browsing recipes.
Learn a new language or skill
Whether it is a language or coding, learning more is great way to entertain yourself. Whenever you have a few spare minutes you can get your book or app out. I especially love the apps Memrise, DuoLingo and Solo Learn. It is a great way to entertain yourself as there is always more out there. Basically, sky is the limit. If you don’t want to go with a language, a new skill can also do the trick. Whether you want to learn how to fix up a bike, cook or anything less, it is a great way to keep busy and spend time entertaining yourself.
And if you’re still bored…
Do you need some inspiration to entertain yourself? Here, are some more suggestions for the next time you get bored:
- Make a photo album or holiday video.
- Clean out a closet, you might find stuff you forgot existed or be able to part ways with.
- Go to a museum you have always meant to go to yet didn’t find the right moment for YET.
- Take up painting, whether it is a painting or painting furniture or walls. It will be soothing either way.
- Watch series. Some of my favorites that one must see are: Homeland, Suits, Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, Modern Family and Friends. I hope for you that you have already seen these as you will have been missing out otherwise. These are few ones that I like as well: Narcos, the 100 (apart from the bad acting), 3%, Suburbia, Friends from College (finished within 24 hours of being online), Silicon Valley, Stranger Things and so many more of course.
- Plan your next holiday adventure.
Are you able to entertain yourself or do you need to be entertained? In case of the latter, are you ready to try out these tips and tricks? Or will you continue to bug other people or revisit boredom? If you are a self-entertainment star, what are your tips and tricks? Do share in the comments, we are curious to know!