Boredom is generally considered to be an unpleasant and unwanted emotion that we must escape from the moment it arises. Some psychologists, however, believe that boredom is good for you, as long as you don’t allow it to go on for too long.
Boredom can foster creativity, de-stress us, inspire new ideas and motivate us to achieve new goals. However, if we are too bored for too long, our boredom can become toxic, leading to us taking unnecessary risks or developing harmful addictions.
So, the advice is to embrace your boredom, and enjoy it, and then move on to lead that creative, productive life, filled with new ideas and new goals.
But before you get to that part, here are 10 websites you might find useful to get you through the boring part.
10 A Little Chemistry Goes A Long Way
In the interests of research for this article, I began a simple little game. Begin with four basic elements, fire, earth, air and water and combine them to make as many different things as you can. After 8 hours of playing Little Alchemy, I have made 113 new things. Only about 400 to go. Oh dear.
A knowledge of basic chemistry may help a little, although not that much.
It can be incredibly frustrating. I am still trying to work out how to create a cow, although I do have a flying fish, an angel and a Jedi knight, so I’m not doing too badly.
If you get really stuck, there are some hints available, though some may consider that cheating. (However, if you know how to make a cow, please let me know in the comments below.)
A word of warning though, if you manage to complete the game and find all the elements, the makers have now released Little Alchemy 2.
So, before you start, you need to ask yourself, just how bored are you?
9 Be patient, They’re Out There
If your boredom is more the ‘can’t be bothered to do anything’ kind, you could always try going on a shark hunt. We are not talking about spears or nets here, and certainly not deep-sea photography, which sounds very tiring, and would not at all fit the definition of boring.
No, we are talking about something altogether less active. Why not just search for sharks via a webcam. You do need to be patient, because quite often all you can see is murky water, but occasionally a small fish or a large shark will swim into view.
That’s got to be worth the wait, surely? Get yourself a large bowl of snacks, sit back, relax and wait for Jaws to come and find you.
8 Where in the world am I?
If you consider yourself well-traveled, or you would like others to think believe that you are, you could try looking at Geoguesser.
You can play for free once a day, when you will be transported to somewhere in the world, via google maps street view. The question is, though, where?
There are clues in the pictures, but beware they are often small. Sometimes very small.
However, while you may think, at first glance that one dusty road in the middle of nowhere could be anywhere, it is always, in fact, somewhere. Look for street signs, landmarks, even car registration plates to give you a clue.
If this website is your thing, you can, of course, subscribe to get more locations.
7 Become a Researcher
Just because your bored doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. At Zooniverse you can take part in real research experiments. Current experiments includes Monkey See, which allows you to classify wildlife, including monkeys, or Bash the Bug, in which you are asked to examine bacteria under a microscope and classify it.
If science, or classification, isn’t really your thing, you could transcribe some anti-slavery manuscripts. You probably need a laptop for this, while an ability to be able to read faded copperplate handwriting would be useful. The manuscripts are held by The Boston Public Library, and comprise around 40,000 handwritten documents, letters, newspaper and items of memorabilia relating to the anti-slavery movement, and are in the process of transcribing them and putting them online for the benefit of students, researchers and mankind.
In fact there are currently around 50 projects looking for researchers. Apart from science and medicine, there are projects around the arts, history, languages, nature and climate change, to name a few.
You don’t have to do a lot. Many projects rely on very large numbers of people who each contribute a very small amount of effort, although there are often opportunities to get more involved if you find yourself no longer bored and, instead, becoming inspired.
6 To Infinity
If your boredom knows no bounds, you could always look towards the heavens for inspiration.
Space.com has everything you need. For example, it has all the news about the latest space shuttle launch -the rover Perseverance launched on July 30th bound for Mars, carrying the helicopter which will be used to explore the surface of Mars when it lands in February 2021.
You can follow the astronauts who are currently in space, some of whom have been there for the last four months. You can explore space, learn astronomy, sky watch, and talk about all things out of this world with other space fans.
Or, if all that sounds too taxing for you, you could just sit and watch the world go by, via NASA live stream pictures of earth from space. If you mute the music, it makes for pretty serene watching, as the world keeping on turning.
5 A little Light Music
Making music is good for whiling away the time. If you already have an instrument, you have a have a head start. Those new to their instrument can practice, while accomplished musicians can compose their own tunes.
But if you were one of those people who never stuck with those piano lessons, don’t worry, incredibox.com is here to help.
Try their free features and start making sweet music. The programme allows you to combine melody, harmony and, well, just sounds, to make your own unique tune.
And, unlike in real life, where learning an instrument can be painful not only to the musician but also to those who have to listen to them, with incredibox you can’t fail to make a great tune. No bum notes, guaranteed.
4 Get Swallowed By A Black Hole
Ever wondered about gravity, space, or why every planet in the solar system moves round in ordered circles? Usually, when we wonder about stuff like that, the answers are so long, complicated and, yes, boring, that we soon lose interest.
But what if there was a website that allowed you to experiment with gravity in space, without having to learn all that boring Newtonian Law of Gravitation stuff first?
Well now you can. While astronomical objects are floating aimlessly in space, you can click your screen and create a point of gravity. Now watch as the astronomical objects begin to gravitate towards it and around it. Add another gravity point, and see how they pull towards each other, eventually merging into one black hole, creating a gravity pull that is stronger, thus forcing the astronomical objects to turn beautiful, and mesmerizing, orbital planes around the black hole.
As the gravitational pull increases, the objects rotating around it begin to move closer and closer to the source of gravity, until, eventually, they are sucked into the black hole and a big bang begins the process all over again.
No lectures here, just the fun of building and exploding universes again and again and again.
3 Eat Shoots and Leaves
Thinking is great, of course. After all, where would we be without it? But sometimes when we’re bored, what we really want to do is something altogether more mindless.
Sometimes you just want something where you just eat and shoot. Leave it to us. And also to omglasergunpewpewpew.
As the name suggests, this is an online game, but there are no levels, no prizes, you don’t even have to register. Just pick your character and start shooting the bad guy. Oh and eat some peaches. Why peaches? No idea.
Word of warning, the game appears to be endless, so you might find yourself spending rather more time on this site than you intended. You might want to set an alarm.
2 Like a Bear, But Not a Bear
When you are not being bored, are you the creative type? Do you just need a bit of inspiration to get you back to creativity?
Why not stroll over to Bored Panda and see what other people have created.
Bored Panda is a website designed for creative people to show off their work, and the things that inspire them. However, it is much more than a collection of other people’s pictures.
Do you need to know the correct way to close your cereal box so that your cereal stays fresh? Do you want to crochet tiny dragons? Or do you want to make a Chieftain tank out of toilet roll tubes and pizza boxes and take a picture of your cat sitting in it? Of course you do. Who wouldn’t?
Whatever ridiculous, bizarre or fabulous thing you want to make, there is probably someone at Bored Panda who has done something similar. You can check them out for their hints, their tips, and, yes, sometimes, for their fails, because, let’s be honest, they are fun too.
1 The Whole World. In a List.
Finally, of course, there is Listverse. Here, you need never be bored again.
And with multiple meticulously researched, scrupulously sourced, and beautifully written articles every day, what more could you need to keep the boredom at bay?
Listverse has been around since 2007, so there are a lot of articles to choose from. If you have read today’s new articles, why not browse through the archives?
You can either pick your favorite topic from the menu and sub-menus above, and browse the articles there, or, if you are feeling brave, select the Random List button on the top of the screen and start learning new, sometimes startling but always interesting things about the world we live in. Enjoy.
About The Author: Ward Hazell is a freelance writer and travel writer, currently also studying for a PhD in English Literature