21 Productive Activities for Teenagers That Are HUGELY Beneficial

Productive activities for teenagers are things you can do when you’re tired of sitting around, playing games, or just feeling like you aren’t making any meaningful progress in various parts of your life.

The word productive can mean different things to different people, in fact, some would argue that relaxation can be very productive in and of itself. Meditation for teens can be productive. The point is, productivity can mean what you make it mean, and what’s productive for one person in one moment, isn’t universal for all teenagers.

That’s why this is a pretty diverse list and if you catch yourself looking at some of these suggestions and thinking “How is THIS productive…?” I simply encourage you to take a few moments to think about situations and ways that it could be considered among these other productive activities for teenagers.

Try These Productive Teenage Activities

Creating a Budget for Yourself

Productive Activities for Teenagers

Does it sometimes feel like your money just disappears? Get used to it, because even thought you’ll make more money when you’re an adult, you’ll also have many more bills to pay. This is why learning budgeting for teens is a very useful life skill.

When you learn to make a budget and stick to you, you’re ensuring that you’ll be in the best position to know what’s happening with your money ,and what you can do to save it more effectively, so that you don’t have to worry about money as much.

When you’re young and don’t have a lot of expenses plus you also have a lot of time for your investments to grow, this can be one of the best times to start putting some money away and watching it grow.

This doesn’t mean you should never buy things that you want, though. That’s kind of the point of a budget, being able to buy the things you want the most without wasting money on things that don’t matter as much.

Keeping track of your spending as a teenager is the first step towards saving up and spending your money wisely. It sounds boring at first but it means you can have a lot more fun after you’re done your productive teenage activities.

Think About Your Opinions

This is one of mine and my friend’s favorite productive activities for teenagers. Everyone has a lot of different opinions on a lot of different topics, that’s perfectly normal. What can set you apart from most people, however, is if you actually take the time to think about your opinions and positions on different issues and topics, to figure out exactly how you came to your conclusions.

You can look over these controversial debate topics for teens to get some ideas of various issues to think about, and then come up with a process for researching them and forming your own strong opinions. Maybe there are other debate topics that matter a lot to you, or just issues in general? If you feel passionate about something, it’s a good idea to read up as much as you can, making that one of the best productive teenager activities you could be working on. Not only reading sources that you agree with, but trying to pick apart opposing arguments, too.

Having a strong opinions means you’ve put work into strengthening it, not that you’re just being stubborn. In fact, if you find information that contradicts your biases or existing views, it’s a great skill to be able to change your mind when you learn new information.

Making Some Extra Money

productive teenagers

Remember the first of these productive activities for teenagers that we looked at, which was making a budget?

It’s a lot easier to budget when you have more money, and as your finances grow, if you have a good foundation of spending it wisely and budgeting, you’ll put yourself into a very comfortable place as you get older (and right now, too.)

Learning how to make money as a teenager opens up a lot of extra doors, including just giving you a different perspective of the world through the eyes of an entrepreneur.

Maybe that’s not your path in life, and that’s okay, but there are a lot of other ways to make some extra money besides starting your own business.

Plan a Cute Date

Do you have someone special in your life? Planning a date or a special time with them is a very productive use of your time because it’ll make them happy, and it’ll make you happy, too! Spending some time to be thoughtful for someone else can go a long way.

Here are some cute date ideas for teens in case you need any inspiration, but you know your person better than we do, so whatever you come up with will be great as long as you’re putting the effort in and being thoughtful about it.

Has anyone ever planned a fun date for you? If so, did it make you feel good? Do you feel like it was a productive use of their time? This probably has a lot to do with whether or not you were interested in them, but nonetheless, when you have a special person in your life, it’s always worth it to remind them that they’re worth your effort!

Work on Your Bucket List

productive teen activity bucket list

Do you have a bucket list? What about a summer bucket list for teens? Putting together a list of things you want to do in your lifetime, or even just during the summertime, is a great way to remind yourself what’s important to you and to remind you’re that you’re making progress and that you’ve done some awesome things already.

Everything on your bucket list doesn’t have to be some major, massive accomplishment, either. You don’t have to travel the world, you could have things like “try to help one person every single day for a week”, or “cook a new recipe each day for a week”, or a longer stretch of time if you’d like a bigger challenge.

These are just experiences that you can look back on someday in a favorable way, or things that may build up your confidence and self-worth in the meantime. It might be fun to talk to some of your friends to come up with ideas for bucket lists, or maybe even ideas that you can accomplish with them.

Working on your bucket list is productive is some of the most profound ways. It’s the things you want to do with your limited time, and doing those things is always a notable accomplishment and worth recognizing and being proud of. Your bucket list is your life on your own terms, so it’s always going to be productive to work on it.

Strengthen Your High School Friendships

friendship productivity for teenagers

Whether you’re still in high school or you’ve recently graduated, keeping in touch with your high school friends can be a rewarding thing to work on. It’s not always easy as people get older, get careers, make families of their own, move away… but with this interconnected world of ours, there’s no reason to not keep in touch with anyone that you want to keep in touch with, whether they’re down the hall or on the other side of the world.

If you lose touch with your pals from high school, before you know it, years will have passed and it can be hard to form a bond again. Sometimes, that’s okay, because some friendships have their own place in time. Forging these friendships and keeping them strong is one of the most productive teenage activities in terms of fulfillment, if you value these friendships!

But working to maintain relationships and friendships that are important to you is something that’ll always be productive. Having long-lasting friendships can be a very rewarding part of life. Of course, if you didn’t make a ton of friends in high school, then just look ahead to the future, instead.

Practice Mindfulness

Learning to practice mindfulness for teens can be a fantastic way to calm your mind, to appreciate what you have, and to learn to live in the moment. Mindfulness can look different from one person to the next, but finding out what works for you and what you’re able to maintain is a great way to gain a better view of the world around you, and the person within yourself.

This is a skill that can help you keep your focus on your goals and to really decide what’s important to you in life. When the goals you’re working towards are the ones you’ve chosen for yourself, it becomes a lot more engaging to be productive. It’s easy to stay productive on the things that matter to you when you’re mindful and aware of what matters to you.

Mindfulness is one of many great productive activities for teenagers who feel anxious or just want to improve their overall mental health.

Reduce Your Screen Time

screen time and productive things for teens to do

Whether you’re zoning out and getting lost in your phone for hours at a time, or you’re just picking it up to check it for a few seconds every few minutes, this is going to drastically impair your productivity.

There’s a certain kind of focus that some describe as being “in the zone” that many people are able to achieve, where it’s almost like they’re meditating, and just getting lost in whatever they’re working on and trying to accomplish.

Constant phone breaks are the quickest way to break this focus, to take you out of the zone, and to ensure that your productivity never gets any deeper than the very surface, which is not ideal!

There’s a way to manage screen time for teenagers that doesn’t hurt your productivity as much. The best thing you can do is to have some time where you aren’t right next to your phone, or turn it over and turn off alerts while you’re trying to get stuff done.

If you get a little notification each week telling you how much screen time you have, imagine what you could get done each week if you cut back on even 25% or 50% of that screen time. It could end up giving you a few extra hours, which is plenty of time to learn piano, start a small business, or do any number of other productive things from this list.

When you spend less time doing nothing on your phone, you’ll have more time to do things that are genuinely enjoyable, or to focus on other productive activities for teenagers.

Learn About Mental Health

Mental health issues can impact teenagers in a number of different ways, and many teenagers haven’t developed the coping skills to deal with some of the challenges they’ll face.

Taking some time to learn about mental health, how you can be there for people around you, certain signs to look for to tell if someone is struggling such as the signs of depression in teenagers, and just generally learning to be empathetic and understand when it comes to mental health.

It can be very helpful to talk to a counselor or a therapist, as well, so if you’ve got anything on your mind or things that are troubling you, speaking to a professional can be a very productive use of your time.

Even if you, yourself, aren’t personally impacted by certain mental health issues, it’s entirely possible that you do or will interact with others who do, and it’s always productive to gain a greater knowledge on an important topic.

Learn New Life Skills

Sometimes, a great way to feel productive is to simply learn a new skill. Since there are so many different categories and types of life skills for teens, there should be something that is not only useful and beneficial, but that you also enjoy learning about and practicing. That’s the ideal situation!

If you can find a hobby or skill to learn that will help you in life, and that you also enjoy, then you’ll be able to find joy while also working on productive activities for teenagers. Life skills are the types of things that help you be more productive in all areas of your life, usually these types of skills translate into other areas.

We’ve also featured a lot of life skills on this very page, but you can click the link above to find some other ideas. If you could learn to become an expert at anything by the time you’re 25, what would you choose? If you’re still a teen, and you start taking steps towards that today, you’ll be exceptionally skilled at whatever you choose by the time you’re in your mid twenties.

Unwind With Some Games

This is one of the items on this list that might cause some people to do a double-take. How can it be a productive activity for teens when it’s just playing a game? Games aren’t productive, people might think, but hear me out…

Taking some time to play and enjoy a game is a great way to ensure that you’re able to focus and be productive once you get back to working on whatever it is that you’re working on. Whether you’re playing indoor games for teenagers, or free online games for teens, it’s important to ensure that you’re using the game time to recharge and get a fresh perspective when you return to your work, and that you aren’t doing this as a form of procrastination because procrastination is the enemy of productivity.

By setting aside a certain amount of time for working on your project and then blocking off time for leisure, you can keep yourself feeling fresh and productive, and get even more done than if you didn’t take a break at all.

Also, there are games that can teach you about history, math, and a number of different topics so the game, in and of itself, can also be a productive activity if it’s engaging you to think in different ways.

In fact, if you love games but you want something more engaged and productive, then making your own game can be a great way to achieve this. Making a computer game, a mobile game, or even making your own DIY board game can check off some of the boxes when it comes to craving games, while also learning all of the numerous skills it takes to make a great game.

Learn a Monologue

bored at home learn a monologue

Are you interested in acting and performing? Memorizing some free monologues for teenagers and practicing them is a good way to improve your acting chops.

In fact, since most people have a smartphone or a camera and can film themselves practicing, you can look over your performance instantly and look for ways to improve or get advice and critique from friends.

Acting is a very competitive field, and it takes a lot of practice and diligent effort during your downtime, so monologues and other exercises are a really good way to practice for auditions and to improve your craft. Getting better at auditioning and having some great pieces you can draw from is one of the most productive things that you can do in terms of advancing a career or a reel in acting.

Practice Leadership

If you want to manage people, inspire people, influence people… then leadership skills are crucial. You can learn leadership skills for teens in the sense of understanding what they are, when to use them, and learning strategies for leading but this is the type of thing where getting some real-world experience makes all the difference. This could include building a gaming team if you’re into online games, putting together a book club, starting a recipe club, or even starting a Discord server focused on a particular topic.

You can consider getting involved in some type of local organization as well, and working your way up into a leadership role eventually. In the meantime, you’ll observe how other people manage leadership. From sports, clubs, hobbies, politics, charity work, church groups, and more, there are many different types of groups and they’re often in need of people who are looking to step into a position of leadership.

The best thing is to gain some practice and experience while watching other people lead, and finding opportunities when the time comes, for you to become the leader, or starting off with your own group or organization.

Being a leader isn’t always easy and it can mean having to make some difficult decisions and choices, but it can also be incredibly rewarding when you’re able to make things a little bit better for the people that you’re leading, whether that means being a great boss in a company, or helping coordinate volunteer efforts, or whatever else you’re doing as a leader.

Open a Bank Account

To touch on the topic of finances again, it’s a really good idea to have a bank account to keep your money safe and to encourage you to save more. Most banks offer free accounts for teenagers up to 18 years old, but not everybody is able to open a bank account until they’re an adult. Read more here: Can you open a bank account at 17 without a parent? If you have a parent or legal guardian, they can help you open an account at a younger age, otherwise you’ll need to wait until you’re a bit older.

Having a bank account at a younger age will help with budgeting, saving, and understanding how money and banks work to use them to your advantage, and to avoid making costly financial decisions. That’s what makes this one of the most productive activities for teenagers.

Next, you’ll be getting offers for credit cards sooner later, which can get a lot of people into trouble if they aren’t careful, especially younger people who may end up maxing their cards and paying high interest rates for the rest of their lives. Having a bank account and just becoming familiar with accounts and balances and credits and debits is a good first step in your financial journey, so this is a very productive thing for a teenager to do.

Take Dance Classes

If you are looking for a great way to meet new friends, to get excellent exercise, and to do something that can be a lot of fun, then dance classes for teenagers could be your next favorite thing to do.

In fact, you can even take dance classes from your home thanks to YouTube videos and online instructors. This is one of the most active productive things to when bored as a teenager at home, it’s a great workout and dancing can be very physically beneficial.

If you’re too self-conscious to join a class when you’ve never danced before, learning the basics through an online dance class can be a good way to start, or just to see if you like it enough to join an in-person class.

In any case, if you’re interested in dance, it can be a very fun thing to do, while also being one of the more healthy productive activities for teenagers.

Volunteer Your Time

Have you considered looking around your town or city for teen volunteer opportunities? On the surface, it might not feel like volunteering is the most productive thing to do for yourself, since you’re directly helping other people, right?

But it can be very enriching to volunteer, and it can reward you in a lot of different ways, even in practical ways that can advance your position or benefit you like a typical “productive” activity. For starters, you’ll meet a lot of great people when you’re volunteering, you’ll meet a lot of selfless people who want to give their time to help others, and that’s a really great trait for friends to have. Volunteering work can be a great place to make new friends.

Teens can volunteer at a number of different types of places, and you can make some lifelong friends with the people you’re working alongside, not to mention the people that you’re helping.

This is productive because it’s great for your personal life, it can be great for your confidence and self-esteem, and it can also help with networking among different groups and organizations, which can benefit you in more “classically productive” ways, too.

Study Bible Verses/Faith

You don’t have to be a religious person to study bible verses for teens and to have it be one of the more unique productive activities for teenagers you’ll come across. It’s about thinking about the world in a different way, regardless of what you believe in. If you are religious, it can be fascinating to study your own (and other) religions, to try to find parallels in how you have similar beliefs to other religions, and to look at the common values you share.

For people who aren’t religious, there are still some interesting lessons or things that you can learn from and about the Bible by reading it. It may not be your first choice when it comes to something entertaining to read when you’re not a member of that religion, but checking out some of the more profound and widely-shared bible verses can – at the very least – help you to understand the people who follow and study that particular religion.

If it’s not for you, that’s totally fine! It can be a productive way to understand others and to understand how they see the world, or to help embolden and strengthen your own faith and the inspiration and motivation that you find within your faith.

Catch Up On Sleep (Seriously!)

Even though parents are often asking “Why do teenagers sleep so much?“, it’s not uncommon for teenagers to not be getting enough sleep. Between trying to maintain a social life, homework, after school jobs, social media and distractions, and everything else, sometimes what you really need is just a good night’s sleep so that you can tackle the next day at your best.

Productivity isn’t just about doing as much as you can, right now, this second. Another big part of productivity is setting yourself up for success tomorrow, the next day, and so on. By creating a sleep schedule that prioritizes getting enough rest, you’ll ensure that you have full energy for the stuff that really matters throughout the day.

In terms of improving your overall productivity, mood, and quality of life, then sleep is absolutely one of the most productive activities for teenagers.

Find a New Podcast to Listen To

Some podcasts are strictly entertainment, gossip, leisure, and there’s really nothing productive about listening to them, other than the simple enjoyment you get from it, but we know that’s not really what you’re looking for or what you’re here for, so let’s talk about productive podcasts that you can listen to.

If there’s a certain topic that you’re interested in, listening to a podcast can be akin to studying this topic, as long as you’re listening mindfully. There are some podcasts that combine a scholarly topic with a high entertainment value such as Hardcore History, and there are much “drier” podcasts that may put less emphasis on being entertaining. You can find the balance that you like when it comes to this.

Podcasts are a great way to learn things, or to gain a surface-level understanding on a lot of different topics so that you can look into them more in-depth as you find things that interest you.

Either way, one of the nice things about finding some of the great podcasts for teenagers out there are that you can listen to them while you’re doing something else. Listening to a podcast for teens can turn a bus ride into an opportunity to learn something new, or just to be entertained.

The same goes for learning new things while going for a walk, or exercising, or waiting around, or whatever. You can even listen to various fascinating lectures and speeches that can inspire and educate you, which is, of course, a very productive way to use your time.

Start a Podcast

Tired of listening to podcasts? Think it looks easy? You can always start your own podcast! These tips for starting a podcast for teenagers will help you get going.

If you listen to a lot of podcasts already, start to take notes about how they produce them. For example, the length of various segments, how they organize it, when they play music in the background or other sounds, the back-and-forth dynamic if there are multiple hosts, etc. Take note of how some podcasts do things different than other ones, and think about what makes the most sense for your own podcast.

It’s not easy to edit a podcast and have it turn out great, even beyond things like audio quality, you still need to ensure that it’s engaging and that each episode keeps your listeners engaged. There are countless podcasts for people to choose from, so it takes a lot of work to ensure that yours is able to exist among the ones that are worth listening to. Of course, if you just want to do it for fun and aren’t too concerned about anything else, there’s nothing wrong with just diving in and seeing what you come up with.

Learn the 7 Habits

The infamous “7 Habits” refers to the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers, which is a spin-off from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s basically a type of self-help/reference book that gives you some ideas on how to carry yourself through your day to day life.

It’s one perspective, at least, but it’s useful to learn these things and to decide which ones fit into your own life or your vision of who you want to be. This book can help you understand how to be productive as a teenager, along with a number of other skills, habits, and mindsets.

What are the 7 habits of highly effective teens? There are certain basic habits in life that can help you organize yourself, organize your life, and have an easier time accomplishing the things you want to get done, whatever they happen to be.

Need More Productive Activities for Teenagers?

If these productive teenager activities aren’t enough for you, or you just didn’t find anything that caught your interest yet, that’s okay! We’re inviting everyone to leave a comment with their favorite ways to feel productive.

There’s always some productive things to do when bored as a teenager at home, you just have to think about the productive activities for teenagers that matter the most to you.

Mat Woods

Author Information

Mat Woods is the lead writer at TeenWire.org. He works tirelessly alongside the rest of the team to create useful, well-researched, trustworthy articles to help parents and their teens.