You don’t always have to work hard to be productive. Productivity can simply be the side effect of doing the right things.
So here’s a list of 29 semi-productive things I do online when my mind is set on avoiding ‘real work.’
- Check delicious popular tags like ‘useful,’ ‘tutorials,’ ‘tips,’ ‘howto,’ ‘advice,’ ‘entrepreneurship,’ etc. for interesting, educational articles to read.
- Watch one of the thousands of educational videos streaming at TED.com, Academic Earth and Teacher Tube.
- Read an online book list and find a new book to grab next time I’m at the library. Here’s another list. And another. And another.
- Read a classic book online for free at Project Gutenberg, Planet eBook, or the E-books Directory.
- Research a new Do It Yourself project at DIY Network, Instructables, eHow, or WikiHow.
- Add to, delete from, or just generally sort my ongoing to-do list at Remember The Milk.
- Create a cool graphical mind map of some of my recent ideas at bubbl.us.
- Email a close friend or family member I haven’t spoken to in awhile.
- Share my favorite mp3s, photos, videos, etc. with friends and family using Dropbox.
- Backup my recent photos, documents, and other important files online using Microsoft’s free 25 gig SkyDrive.
- Use Wikipedia’s random article function to pick a random article to read.
- Touch up on my math and science skills over a the Khan Academy, MIT OpenCourseWare, or LearningScience.org.
- Send a paper greeting card directly to a friend or relative at enGreet.
- Start learning a new language online for free at BBC Languages or Livemocha.
- Watch one of the insightful 6 minute and 40 second presentations at Ignite Show.
- Use Memorize Now to memorize a cool joke, or poem, or whatever.
- Use Media Convert to convert video files I have on my computer into a format I can view on my iPhone or iPod later on.
- Listen to an educational podcast over at Odeo or via iTunes on iTunes U.
- Read one of the academic journals at the Directory of Open Access Journals.
- Get a free college education online using this guide from Lifehacker (or read one of the other useful articles on Lifehacker).
- Inspire and spark my creative mind by looking at a rolling slideshow of the highest rated photos on Flickr for the last 7 days.
- Catch up on a short history lesson at HyperHistory or The Internet History Sourcebooks Project. Or find out what happened today in history.
- Take a fun, educational online quiz at Quizlet.
- Play an educational online game at Lumosity, Sporcle, Games for the Brain, or Math Run.
- Add a little gentle rain to my environment using RainyMood.com and then simply meditate and relax in my computer chair for 10 minutes.
- Sell old stuff I no longer need on eBay and make a little extra cash.
- Find a new musical artist to listen to based on music I like at Grooveshark, Pandora, last.fm, or Deezer.
- Find out what’s happening in our world from quality international news sources like BBC News and Reuters.
- Write a blog post like this one.
Oh, and ever since I bought my new (super sexy) Apple iPad, I’ve been enjoying all of these sites on the go and catching looks from almost everyone who passes me while I browse.
So what kind of semi-productive things do you do online in your off-time? Please share them with us in the comments section below.