You probably know what it’s like to spend hours on the internet. Perhaps you check social media for updates every five minutes while simultaneously shopping on Amazon. Or perhaps you get sucked into the viral cat videos currently trending on YouTube. There are plenty of ways to waste time on the internet, and that’s exactly why the web gets such a bad rap.
How to be productive online
Countless studies over the last decade have shown that excessive screen time can damage our kids’ brains and that the internet keeps us from being productive. These studies make the internet sound like a complete, unhealthy waste of time, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Of course you can use the internet as a time waster, but you can also use it as a resource. It can be an incredible tool if you use it correctly. It’s totally fine to spend some time de-stressing after work, but instead of spending an hour on YouTube watching cats disrespect their owners, spend 15 minutes watching mindless videos, and 45 minutes doing one of the following activities:
1. Broaden Your Vocabulary
Websites like Vocabulary and Enhance My Vocabulary are great resources for learning new words. Extending your vocabulary is useful for many things, even if you’re not a writer. It can help improve resumes, proposals, and business reports, make you look more intelligent in front of your boss, and increase your contribution to world conversations.
2. Organize Your Life
Everything is moving towards the cloud nowadays, and you can take advantage of this exciting new platform while working to organize your virtual life.
Choose your cloud storage option, be it DropBox, Google Drive, or another storage solution, and begin organizing and deleting files from your computer while moving them to the cloud. This will speed up your hard drive and make you feel a little bit better about the current state of your affairs.
3. Brush Up on Current News and Events
If you haven’t subscribed to a preferred news source yet, now would be a good time to do so. Spend some time each day reading up on current news stories, particularly as they pertain to you personally or to your line of work. Learn what’s going on around you, too, from world affairs to local politics. Seeing global and local realities will help you to be a more intelligent and informed participant in the world.
4. Do a Little Networking
Get in touch with those who can boost your career or point you in the right direction. Update your LinkedIn profile and begin looking for people who can endorse your skills and get you in touch with the right people.
Though LinkedIn is a social site dedicated to connecting professionals to others, it’s not the only social site that can do the trick. Facebook and Twitter can also help you stay connected to professionals who can promote you and your goals.
5. Find a Useful App
Apps were made to make your life a little easier, but they can’t help if they remain hidden in the App Store. Look for productivity apps to promote your mental well-being, health apps to get you in shape, and games to help you de-stress. There’s a whole world of useful applications available if you take the time to look.
6. Research a Hobby
Most successful people have hobbies that reduce stress and promote creativity. Figure out what you like to do and spend some time researching it. You might like to build model cars, do a little embroidery, refinish furniture, go fishing, or even blog. Whatever it is, there are resources online that can help you refine your craft.
7. Start a Blog
Not only can blogging help sharpen your writing and editing skills, but it can also make you a little money. Many people have specific skills or an area of expertise they can share with the world through a blog platform, and with web hosting services and content management systems available for free, there’s really no excuse not to get started.
8. Learn a New Language
Going on an exotic trip? Dealing with clients who speak different languages? Whatever your motivation, learning a new language can be extremely beneficial. Sites like DuoLingo and Foreign Services Institute offer free basic lessons that can kick start your efforts to be more culturally rounded.
9. Practice Critical Thinking Skills
It’s good to have opinions, particularly if you’ve thought long and hard about them. Prime your brain by researching opinions and world views, and then form your own. Watching TedTalks and other critical thinking videos can help with this.
10. Get Involved with a Charity or Worthy Cause
Get involved, whether it’s funding for cancer research or first aid supplies for areas that have experienced natural disasters. These organizations are almost always underfunded or lacking volunteers, and you can find all the information about how to help through a simple Google search.
You might also look into funding a new business or entrepreneurial scheme. Investing in such a venture could be very lucrative.
This is just a small list of the many great things you can do online. Let’s hope this has given you plenty of time to reflect on how you’re spending your free time and has inspired you to make a few goals for a better future.