I don’t even want to think about how much of my life I’ve wasted scrolling through Instagram.
I mean, sure, as a blogger, I kinda have to be on Instagram since it’s part of my brand and all, but dude, I can guarantee you I’ve spent way more time on the platform than I need to.
Anyone else in the same boat? I know I can’t be the only one.
I’m addicted to my phone. I legit have a problem. But I’m acknowledging it and damn – I’m trying to finally do something about it.
I scroll through Instagram for 20 and 30 minutes at a time – multiple times a day – and half the time I’m not even doing anything! I’m not commenting on stuff. I’m not liking photos. I’m just looking!
What the hell is this sorcery?!
So to help get me on the right track and to help you guys too if you’re as addicted to Insta as I am, here are 15 productive things to do besides scrolling through your feed.
1. Read a book
Oh wow, an actual book. When was the last time you did that? I used to love reading and I still do every once in a while, but I could definitely do more of it. Reading is such a great way to expand your skillset and it honestly just makes you more interesting as a person. The more you read, the more you know, and that overall just makes you a more well-rounded human.
Need some recommendations? I just finished reading Garry V’s Crush It which is super old but I highly recommend it if you’re an entrepreneur of any sort. He also has a follow up book to that one called Crushing It which you might want to check out. Next on the list for me are the Magic of Motherhood and Breathe Mama Breathe. They’re both on my bookshelf, I just have to decide which one to pick up first.
Related Reading: 7 Must-Read Books For New Grads
2. Start a blog
Starting a blog is also something you can do if you’re looking for a productive way to pass some time. I’ve been doing this for six years and now it’s pretty much my full-time job. Since I’m able to bring in some money working with brands on sponsored content, I’m now able to stay home with my baby girl while also doing something that I love.
So if you’ve been flirting with the idea of starting a blog of your own, feel free to check out my step-by-step guide. I show you (with screenshots) exactly how easy it is to set one up.
Related Reading: My Latest Blog Income Report
3. Clean your house
Ok so I don’t exactly love cleaning, but hey! It’s gotta get done somehow. Yesterday I tried something – I did a one hour tidying up power hour where I spent exactly one hour doing just that – tidying up my house.
My house was a total disaster when I started, but in that one hour I managed to tidy up my kitchen, family room, bedroom, bathroom, Riley’s nursery, start a load of laundry, and fold two weeks worth of baby laundry. So, um – I’d say that was a pretty successful hour and way more productive than sitting on my couch scrolling through photos.
Related Reading: My Cleaning Routine With A Newborn
4. Get a quick workout in
Along with cleaning, another thing I hate is working out. I don’t like it at all, but I’ve been trying to do a little something every day. Whether it’s a few sets of squats or some crunches or a walk around the neighborhood, even the quickest workout is better than nothing.
So if you’re the kind of person that spends hours on Instagram, don’t tell me you don’t have time to workout! Hell – you could even workout while scrolling through your feed! Try it sometime.
Related Reading: Must-Have Fitness Gear and a 30-day Push Up Challenge
5. Create a budget
If you’re spending as much time as I am on Instagram, chances are that you’ve spent a lot of money lately on a new Spring wardrobe or the latest $100 wedges that every single fashion blogger seems to have. So you know what you could do that would be a productive use of your time? Create a budget if you don’t have one already.
Here are a few other ways to get your finances in order in case you want to put your phone down for an hour and step up your personal finance game.
Related Reading: How To Be Rich In Your Twenties
6. Cook some food/meal prep
As a new mom, I’m always exhausted. It would be so much easier to order takeout every single night, but going back to that whole budgeting thing we just talked about, we just can’t afford to do that. So rather than spending 20-30 minutes counting how many likes you just got on your latest photo (I’m the first one to be guilty of this), take those twenty minutes and cook some food for yourself and/or your family.
There are so many easy recipes you can find online that don’t take more than 15 minutes to prepare, so get your butt up off the couch and make one! Here’s one I’ve made myself that I love.
Don’t have time to do groceries? That’s okay. Neither do I! That’s why I use Shipt and have them delivered to my door. Makes things even easier. #noexcuses
(Sign up with my Shipt referral link and you’ll get $10 when you sign up :))
7. Spend quality time
Whether you have a baby, a dog, a cat, a boyfriend, a husband, a mom, a brother, a friend – regardless of who you live with, put your phone down and spend some quality time with them. Go for a walk. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and have an actual conversation. Play with your puppy or with your kid. I’m not saying you have to do this all day, but just take ten minutes out of your day and try to connect with the people around you vs the people on the Internet who are thousands of miles away.
Related Reading: 21 Spring Activities
8. Run errands
Unless you have a personal assistant, we all have errands to run, so instead of opening up Instagram, try accomplishing some of them. Go return that stuff you bought online that’s been sitting in your room forever. Make those yearly doctors appointments. Take your car for an oil change. I’m so guilty of procrastinating when it comes to this stuff and yet find hours at a time to scroll through my feed. So go make stuff happen.
BTW, I recommend getting yourself a planner to help with all this chaos. Check out Erin Condren’s Life Planner or my fave – the Day Designer (I did a full video review of the Day Designer if you’re interested).
This could be nice – helping others. So how about volunteering somewhere? Go pack meals for the homeless or go volunteer at your kid’s little league.
I just googled “Volunteer Opportunities” and stumbled upon this awesome website that matches you with volunteer opportunities in your local area. Seems like a very nice way to give back to others and a super good use of our time.
10. Clean out your closet
I’m sure you have a bunch of clothes and shoes you’ve been meaning to get rid of, so finally go do that. Go through your closet and get rid of pieces you haven’t worn in over a year. If you need some help in this department, I highly recommend you check out Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I read it a while back and loved it. Saved me from living the life of a hoarder lol.
Related Reading: 7 Organizing Tips That Will Legit Change Your Life
11. Call an old friend
This goes back to spending quality time, but we all have those friends who don’t live near us that we haven’t talked to in forever. You know that same phone you’ve been using to build new relationships with strangers on Instagram? Well, it can also be used to cultivate existing relationships with old friends! So pick up the phone and call them. Or at least text them and ask them how their life is. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.
As a new mom, I don’t know what this one means anymore lol but honestly, just disconnect for a while and spend half an hour doing something just for you. Pour yourself a glass of wine and listen to some music, take a bath, watch your favorite show without your phone in your hand. Here are a few more ideas on ways to relax after a long day at work. And please, if you don’t want to do any of these, then please come over and watch Riley for a second so I can!
Related Reading: Why We Need To Do More Monotasking
13. Attend a meetup
Making new friends via social media has been a great thing. I’m not at all bashing that. I think it’s amazing that technology allows us to connect with people from all over the world. Just a few years ago, that was unheard of. But it’s also fun to connect with people that you can interact with face to face, so that’s why I think meet ups are great.
Again, I just googled “find meetups” and I found a cool website that lets you know about meet ups that are happening around you. Seems like a pretty awesome way to learn a new skill or to connect with people who have similar interests. I’ve never personally attended one of these, but if you have, let me know what it was like in the comments! I’d love to know!
I’d really like to learn how to meditate, but if I’m being honest, my anxiety doesn’t really let me these days. I try to sit still for even 5 minutes and bam! My brain starts thinking about all five thousand things I ought to be doing.
But I’m still making it a goal of mine to figure it out. That’s one of the reasons why I bought Breathe Mama Breathe: 5 Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms. Hopefully it helps! I’ll definitely let you guys know!
Related Reading: 5 Easy Ways To Upgrade Your Morning Routine
15. Take a nap
Now that I have a three month old, looking back, I regret every single afternoon that I spent scrolling through my Instagram feed. Instead, I should have been taking a nap. Like, every single freaking day.
Some people think that napping is a total waste of time, but no. I don’t feel that way. I think it’s a way of recharging yourself and paying attention to what your body’s trying to tell you. It’s telling you that you’re exhausted and ya need some help! So if you can, take a nap. Dear God, I wish I could these days!
16. Learn A New Skill
Ok, so I lied. Here’s one extra thing you can do that’s productive – learn something new. There are a bunch of websites where you can learn new skills but one of my favorites is Craftsy! They’ve got online courses and videos on anything from knitting to photography, so go check them out! You might find yourself a new hobby!
So that’s it for now! What about you guys? What did I miss? What else can we do with our time to be a little more productive?