What do you do when you have nothing else to do?

A question I never thought I would ask as I am a generally very busy individual. But, I find myself quarantined in a single hotel room in Chicago after a +ve test when I should be back home in the UK for the Easter weekend.

Its day 4 so I’ve watched Youtube, pruned and exhausted Overcast, trawled the forums, started reading the internet (got as far as the letter ‘G’ and got bored) and done a more thorough than ever review of my Task Management system.

Equipment to hand includes an M1 MBP, 12.9” iPad Pro and iPhone 12 Pro.

All those things that I thought …”If I only had time…” seem to have evaporated into thin air !

What would you do? Its 4am and I’m bored !


I can never get enough reading time. Books make time fly for me and I find it the best way to learn anything, or have fun in a new ficticios worlds.

I’d crack open Apple Books and go to my favourite authors!


+1 for reading. I’ve always got some books with me in my Kindle app, and Audible app should my eyes need a rest. And if I don’t:

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thank you @Rob_Polding @WayneG … why did I not consider that?! Maybe because I usually have zero time for leisure reading. I now have a new thread to kill those hours/days ahead ! Thanks.


When the lockdowns started in 2020, I decided to learn Swift and iOS programming. This is an excellent free resource:


I’d teach myself more about Javascript, Applescript, or Swift - perfect time to do it - it’s quiet and you have all the resources you need to create a web app, Mac app, or iOS app.


Do you have a iPencil? Maybe learn to draw? I think Comic Draw would be fun. You could make comics about being stuck in your hotel room. :slight_smile:

Do you know how to play Sodoku? I can spend a lot of time on Good Sodoku’s “Impossible” level puzzles. Really Bad Chess is also fun. Both are free if you have Apple Arcade.

I hope you feel better soon!

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I love every single one of those suggestions!

The Apple Pencil is sat atop my iPad as I type. I am dreadful at drawing… which will probably make it all the more fun. That said, there is very litttle challenge in drawing 4 walls, two (non-opening) windows and a bed :wink:

I also enjoy nukber and word games… Thank you ! This will definitely help pass the hours…

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This book by Lynda Barry would be a nice accompaniment. Looks great in the Books app.


Have a hard look at how you use MacBook, iPad and iPhone and automate things:

  • Which bookmarks to open in the morning
  • Keyboard Maestro and Focus Modes to create event-based settings like for (Leisure / Work / Travel / Coffeeshop / Concentrate)
  • Scavenge the internet for handy shortcuts to make your life easier
  • Take time to create mood-based playlists (gym, car, travel, relax) in Music / Spotify / Tidal
  • Setup and organise your digital life in Devonthink
  • Take time to index and tag photos (good to be reminded about happy times and handy for search later)

Let me know if you are still quarantained after all this!

Wishing you a productive few days and hopefully, you will not be impaired by the Covid symptoms.


With the exception of DevonThink (which I don’t use)… all splendid suggestions and ones I will definitely benefit from upon my ‘release’.

So far (the first 24 hours aside, which were awful) the symptoms have been no more than annoying cough… and t can only annoy myself with that right now.

I’m now getting overwhelmed with my new To-do list - thanks everyone ! This is, indeed, a wonderful forum.

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I’d call Russian Tea Time and have them deliver an order of borscht and beef stroganoff, pronto.

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Give yourself an excuse to watch a movie. We all need to relax sometimes :slight_smile:

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Or binge watch a series.

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Obviously I don’t want COVID or to be imprisoned*, but I fantasize about being forced into a situation where I might as well make progress on a foreign language.


I’ve done the final series of Peaky Blinders and Killing Eve today (which will mean something to anyone in the UK if not elsewhere) ….

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Which raises an interesting tangential question …. does anyone else who, under normal circumstances, has a ‘busy head’ find it difficult to stay aake for an entire movie? I rarely get to see the end of one !

Yep - me too… and then it happened and I was scrabbling around for something productive to do, feeling rather guilty. So far, I have watched a couple of box sets and catalogued all of the great ideas in this thread within Things 3 :wink: Oh - and I ordered some wine through Amazon’s delivery service which they left outside my room, knocked and ran away.

Tomorrow, I will be productive. And hopefully test negative too.

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Having practiced when stuck at home feeling yucky in years gone by, I found I got bored of pretty much anything if that was all I did. My best advice is to mix it up. Watch some video, do some reading, fiddle with automation, try some drawing, stare out the window (see what you can spot that may not be obvious, assuming you have some kind of view other than the building across the street), have a nap.

As you get bored of one thing, move to another. You’ll probably find out which ones you prefer doing as you’ll keep choosing them.


I’m horrible at drawing anything that doesn’t involve straight lines and 90° angles but I heard that Art Before Breakfast is a good book that can help one develop some skills.