Got 2 minutes? Here’s 25 things you can do instead of scrolling your phone

Last week on Episode 081 of Productivity Paradox, we talked about FOMO and how we can replace the Fear of Missing Out that many of us often experience with what I like to call JOMO, or the Joy of Missing Out, instead…

This week on Episode 082, we are taking the idea of JOMO one step further by exploring the importance of taking breaks, both in and outside of the workplace. So today, I want to marry those two ideas by exploring some of the ways in which we can cultivate happiness by taking a step back from the rat race of everyday life… putting down our phones, reducing our screen time… and learning to embrace the peace and tranquility that follows.

Whether you’re blessed with some unexpected downtime at home, are taking a quick break from a project at the office, or are simply looking for a way to reduce your own FOMO in the face of social media…

Here are 25 Things You Can Do Instead of Scrolling Through Your Phone:


1.     Read a book you enjoy

Is there something on your bookshelf you’ve been meaning to get into? Asking friends for some suggestions is a great place to start if you’re unsure what you’d like to read! Diving into a good book is a great way to relax, refresh and let your mind wander to a different place!

  2.   Write, draw, color or doodle in a journal

3. Daydream

Instead of looking at social media, seeing what others post and the dreams they have or might be living out, take some time & whitespace to dream up your own personal goals. Focusing on what others have (and sometimes it isn’t all it appears to be!) can sometime make us feel like we’re not good enough. When you DO take a look at Instagram, try using it for motivation – don’t let it get you down.

4.  Rest your eyes

5.  Meditate

I love to meditate in the morning. I hear about so many people using technology first thing in the morning… but that probably doesn’t start your day out on the best note, right? Meditating for just a few minutes before you head to work can help you feel centered, awake and ready for the day ahead.

6.    Stretch / Exercise

  7. Take a coffee break

Stepping away from your work for coffee or tea for a few minutes is always a quick refresh! Bonus points if you take it outside for a quick walk or if you’re able to head to a nearby coffee shop. Being in a new environment can feel so much nicer than sticking to the same desk all day, every day!

8. Go outside for a short walk

9. Write a Thank You note to someone you appreciate

This is one tip that I really love and recently started implementing into my weekly routine. Not only does it make them feel good, it actually makes me feel great as well. Just a quick email, text or hand-written note can give someone a boost!

10. Organize your desk or bedside table

11. Clean your pantry/fridge/closet/desk/etc…

Giving yourself a short time limit to clear the clutter every now and then can help your spaces stay neat in the long run. Sometimes we let these things build up, avoiding that closet all together… but if you have just 5 minutes to space & you’re feeling productive, why not tidy up those areas you’ve been meaning to? This can even be the little nudge you needed to schedule more deep cleaning. Bonus: Make it fun! Put on some music, light a candle or even ask for a bit of help from someone.

12. Find a new recipe to try

13. Start a load of laundry

This one’s great if you work from home. Even if you’re in your comfy chair, you’ll want to get up and take a break. It might feel easiest to just check your phone, but you’ll thank yourself later for starting the laundry when you have a little more free time in the evening to relax instead!

14. Listen to an audio book, podcast, or your favorite song

15. Dance!

Get moving – whether it’s by yourself, with your kids or even your pet – it will feel good to get an energy boost!

16. Enjoy a snack

17. Hug or kiss your children, a friend, or significant other

Taking a moment to give some attention to your loved ones is definitely a win-win situation. They’ll appreciate you for taking time out of your day to show affection and know you’re thinking of them even when you’re busy.

18. Play with your dog, cat or other pet(s)

19. Flip through a magazine

Take a look at some articles that grab your interest! This is a good alternative to the tip I mentioned above about reading a book if you don’t have yours handy. Often when you’re waiting in an office for an appointment, you’ll often see a variety of magazines, and that can be a bit more rewarding that scrolling through your phone.

20. Call a Friend / Say Hello to someone new

21. De-clutter the surface area in your kitchen/bedroom/office

I love this one because it’s so helpful to me when I have a clean desk. If you feel like your desk is always messy, think about creating an organizational system for your papers. Just a quick trip to the store and you’ll find there are a number of options for filing. It will help you mentally and physically when you don’t have papers all over the place!

22. Work on your bucket list

23. Write your mission statement

I have talked a lot about the importance of mission statements on my podcast for individuals and for families. This is your North Star – guiding you toward your purpose. It can be difficult sometimes to come up with one that feels just right, so have a listen to the podcast if you’d like some tips! One thing to note when creating yours is that it’s OK if it changes – and it should! Life happens, right? So we can’t expect our mission statement stay the same since we always grow and change.

24. Visualize your perfect day

25. Create a priority list in the pursuit of your goals!

Use the categories immediate, important (where you should spend most of your time!) and insignificant to prioritize your tasks. This will give you a clear picture of where you need to focus time and energy. It’s a simple and quick activity, but it’s really effective!


The key here is that any bit of time that we can spend focusing on the present, instead of obsessing over our social media feed, will not only benefit us long-term in regard to our happiness and well-being… But it will also set us up for success both at home and at work.

By reducing the amount of time that we allow ourselves to mindlessly engage in the world of social media, we can instead learn to redirect our attention to our current reality… which can then give us the grace to welcome and focus on all of the joy that life can inspire each and every day!

Have a fun idea to spend an extra few minutes, but don’t see it on this list? I want to hear about it! Share your favorite activities that you enjoy outside of scrolling through your social media feed in the comments below…

And tune into Episode 082 of Productivity Paradox this week as we explore the importance of taking breaks, as well as the benefits that come when we fully allow ourselves a few moments of reprieve.




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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton