8 Things You Can Do Instead of Scroll


One of the books I read recently opened my eyes about my relationship with my phone. How To Break Up With Your Phone (by Catherine Price) made me realize just how much time I spend on my phone, though I already had a sneaking suspicion that I was putting too much time into scrolling on Instagram. Sure, Instagram is a great way to keep up with friends and to actually market your business, so it’s not all bad. But, when you’re just scrolling when you have nothing else to do, you are literally just killing time. That’s not what I’m trying to do with my time. When I was young, I loved to read and learn. I still love to do those things. And, there are so many other things you can get satisfaction from, instead of just realizing an hour of your time was just spent living vicariously through someone else’s perfectly curated kitchen pics (so good, though). In the spirit of using my free time a little more productively, I decided to make a list of things I could do when I had some free time to relax. Do you do any of these?

Draw or Doodle

I keep a notebook for writing purposes, but sometimes I just want to doodle. Whether you like to design shoes, capture the shape of a tree, or doodle mandalas, drawing doesn’t have to be tied to reality. Just making the same zig-zag shape over and over can be really therapeutic.

Go on a Walk

Granted, this is easier for me now that I have a dog. I take Lily out on a walk almost every day, rain or shine. While walks in winter were painfully dark, it’s finally getting nice enough to be enjoyable again. While we’re out walking I’ll sometimes make a phone call, but normally I just relax and walk. I actually had a friend who decided he was going to go on a walk whenever he needed to make a phone call: he ended up losing weight he wasn’t super happy about! Sometimes multi-tasking is nice, but looking around at birds and trying to spot a fox is a great way to connect to a slower world.

Fix Something

We all have something around the house that can be done. Whether it’s fixing the handle on the sink, oiling a squeaky door, or just cleaning and treating your leather shoes, you know there’s something you could do in the back of your head. It feels so good to get something done, too.

Frame pictures or artwork

I am so guilty of putting this off. Photos and artwork sit around when they could be on display and making the house look so much better. Though it might require a trip to buy frames, it is so nice to add touches to your house and I doubt you’ll regret it.

Water Your Plants

Unless you have a set day to water your plants, they could be DE-pressed right about now. Depending on how many you have, it could take between a few minutes to an hour to get everything watered. A lot of plants can be affected by dust on the leaves, so wiping them down with a wet paper towel or even giving them a quick rinse in the shower can make them so much happier.

Read a Chapter

We can thank millennials for so many things: avocado toast, Instagram brows, and killing all the industries –minus the book industry. Yep, it turns out that real books are actually cool again. I always have a huge stack in my TBR pile, so I should just dig in when I know I have some free time. Whether it’s a novel or non-fiction, I bet there’s a book you’ve been meaning to finish.

Take Pictures

Oh yeah, selfie time. I used to think that taking selfies was a really shallow way to spend your time, but I completely take it back now. Speaking from experience, it sucks to look bad in pictures. Even if I’m not worried about Instagram, I wouldn’t mind having a few good pictures to show my kids when I’m older. And, there’s a great amount of creativity you can summon when you’re focusing on getting something right. Experiment with lighting and props. You could find that your selfies become your art.

Tidy Up

This could have gone to the front of the list, but then I feel like this post wouldn’t get read. For many of us, cleaning and tidying is a way to deal with stress. I tend to avoid things, but I’m trying to change that habit. So, if I have time to scroll, I have time to be productive. I’m currently stalled in the middle of my home’s Marie Kondo transformation, so I know there’s plenty for me to go through. Is anyone else stuck on papers? I save and hoard paper like I’m a professional fire-starter.

What do you do when you have some free time?