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.
Photo by: Colorblind Picaso Party Casino
George Resch says
This is a great resource, not only for ideas but the links put me over the top. I will definitely be bookmarking this and sending it along. I know what I love to do, but unfortunately some people don’t and have no direction. This should help them, and me tremendouslyl
Good list, and I need to do some of these as well.
I like the random wiki one: I do that as well but over at Theopedia instead
Daniel Iserhard says
Or simply go to Stumble Upon
Lukman J says
This is great, I stumbled upon it.
I can also share this to my son…so cool
Thank you for sharing.
i think you just killed any productivity i had left 😛 ah well.
Amit T says
I often do not get what to do while i have free time.. this is nice to know… thanks for sharing!
I am a stumbleupon junkie. In fact, I found this through stumbleupon!
Great list. Thanks for sharing!
Auntie Hosebag says
What’s the matter with doing nothing? Real productivity can’t happen without down time, to recharge, review, rethink, relax and just…do…nothing.
sir jorge says
not a bad list, but i’d disagree that the ipad is sexy
cuul blog. luvn it
Thanks, but I have got sooo much that I should be doing right now and you’ve just got me opening loads of new tabs to explore some of these awesome resources.
especially like the radio one as I have been looking for an alternative to Last.fm And I will certainly be grabbing Microsoft’s free 25 gig SkyDrive
Very helpful, I will try your list and see what i get.
The one of the best Blogs I´ve ever seen! Veeery useful!!!
Congrats and thnx
Thanks for sharing these sites and tips.
Will add to my list:) Great to have new ways to spend my time. Oh, and will be sure to share my list with you soon
Thanks this help me a lot. 🙂
Simon Bowler says
Yeah, I do a lot of these too. Making notes on ideas for sites and blog posts, I have started building this http://bit.ly/dqJ20h , If anyone else wants to become a contributor let me know.
Thanks for the blog, I am really enjoying it at the moment……. when I should be working!
What a wonderfully distracting list!
Thanks for compiling it all together.
Kaylyn N says
Stumbleupon.com, terribly addicting.
Yeah, you can’t enjoy your all this sites with your sexy ipad, because there’s no flash in your ipad… yeah…
I love Stumble Upon! That’s how I found you! Keep’s me away from websites that my boss isn’t so fond of 🙂 Thanks for your list. Gonna check some out!
I’d be careful with BBC. Its director general admitted to an institutional “massive bias to the left”. But it should be getting better.
Thank you very much!
Nice list, way better then mine. Thanks for the tips.
I signed up with stumble upon today and came across this fabulous find! Thanks for sharing these useful productive tips.
I like how we can be productive while being unproductive. Thanks for the list.
Ohh..this is awesome. Because can only read fmylife so many times..
I like to improve my typing speed by participating in a typing test at http://speedtest.10-fast-fingers.com/.
Blogging and teaching both are creative and productive activities for me and I enjoy both.
Justin Phelps says
I really enjoy this list of productive things to do when I’m bored. I will tell all of my co-workers about it!!! Thanks so much =)
this list is good but posting stuff on ebay is WORK to me and is something i am procrastinating on!
Great list. So important that I decided to set it as one of my home pages! Thank you!
Very nice post. Will save for future reference. Very well written.
lex girl says
That’s a lot of things to do…I found out some a few new things that I could do in my spare time. Great list.
Chris Phone says
What a great list! I really like that so many of these things to do are free. It is getting harder and harder to find free quality sites out there these days, and I am glad to pick up on a few more here.
Wow! Thanks, fantastic! Checking out all these sites was like opening presents on Christmas. I will recommend my readers about this list.
Have you checked out CardGnome.com, its also an easy way to send greeting cards from the web. All the cards are designed by independent artists who share in the profits, so you know that your supporting the art community not some no name corporation.
Love skydrive just wish it was bigger than 25 gb. Combine skydrive with live essentials and you have a sweet suite.
Its amazing to find out that somebody cares about you being better.. thanks for this.
Nuno Andrade says
Awesome. Thank goodness for StumbleUpon.
Thomas Frank says
This list is worth the read for reminding me of the top Flickr pictures alone. Great post.
Thank you a lot for this list. Great job
wow this is great… i thought my stumbleupon addiction was enough (thats how i got here) but after reading this i will have a lot more to worry about keeping me from doing what im supposed to.
Great guide for the geek and curious! You got me at Delicious 🙂
I have translated your post into Catalan here: http://claricatala.com/2011/05/03/marc-obrien-29-coses-semiproductives-per-escaquejar-me-de-la-feina/
Hope it’s ok! If not, please let me know so I can take it down.
Jake Beus says
I like to use livemocha.com for connecting to native speakers of foreign languages, and learnalanguage.com to build my vocabulary for free.
I’m not even half done with the list, but I had to pause for a comment before I forgot. This little productivity list could have quite possibly changed my life at work forever 😉
I have a lot of this websites in my favorites. Thank you for putting them all together in one page. As a matter of fact, I visit this specific page regulary. Thanks!
Thanks Marc. Now I can be a little more productive while surfing. Really, great post!
Great post!!! Just added it to my list of procrastination websites. I’m even procrastinating right now…
I have so many tabs open now thanks to your post. That is definitely not a complaint 😉