I feel I am living in enforced nonproductivity right now, and would like to find ways to create opportunities for productivity. What can one do to create purpose and interest that doesn't cost money nor feel completely arbitrary? I work from home, on the laptop, but some days there is no work available. I spend time reading, writing, watching movies, and I try to go for a walk most days. I don't want to do anything else that involves books, paper, or the laptop/internet, because it just feels the same as the stuff I already do anyway. How does one achieve and be enthused, and not just exist, with too little to do?
I have occasionally been in a similar situation before, and there's one thing that has gotten me out of it: I needed to work with my hands.
I don't know what you do for a living, but I'm a software developer. I spend all of my work time sitting in front of a computer, and sometimes I need a break from that. What works for me is to do something more physical.
You need to find what works for you, but here are things that have helped me feel productive and get out of my "I'm sick of my laptop and my books" funk:
Whatever it is, I think there are a few important concepts related to success:
Think of something you enjoy that requires a very different set of skills from what you do for work, and commit to that for an hour or more. The context shift will have a big impact.
Coming to purpose, nothing I found was more satisfying and energizing than helping others. There are many ways of doing so from: - volunteering in an association - answering people on stackexchange :) - coaching a friend
Also I discovered recently the incredible list of free courses offered online for self development, check it up on Open Culture or Udemy, and you will be part of a community of learners, that will stimulate your mind !
Hope this will help! http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/helping-others