Most Productive Ways to Spend Time on the Internet
The internet can be an endless rabbit hole of distraction and time-wasting if you aren’t careful. However, when used intentionally, the Internet also provides valuable opportunities for learning, skill-building, connection and income generation. Here are some of the Most Productive Ways to Spend Time on the Internet.
Learn New Skills
The internet has opened up endless possibilities for learning new skills. You can take online courses, watch tutorial videos, join virtual workshops and more.
Some productive skills you can learn online include:
- Writing – Improve your writing by taking a creative writing or copywriting course. Try masterclasses from top authors.
- Marketing – Keep up with the latest trends by following marketing thought leaders. Take digital marketing courses.
- Data Analytics – Build in-demand data skills with SQL, Excel or data visualization classes.
- Languages – Use apps like Duolingo to pick up a new language, which keeps your brain active.
- Design – Learn graphic, web or UX design through online tutorials and communities.
The options are truly endless online. Dedicate time each week to level up your skills.
The internet is what you make of it. When used intentionally for learning, connection, and enrichment, it becomes a portal for limitless growth and possibility.
Listen to Educational Podcasts
Podcasts are an easy way to make time spent commuting, exercising, or doing chores more productive. There are endless options for educational and self-improvement-focused podcasts.
Some topics to explore include:
- Career advice shows like The Ken Coleman Show or Entrepreneurs on Fire
- Finance podcasts like ChooseFI or Money For the Rest of Us to improve money management
- Self-development podcasts like Happier with Gretchen Rubin or The Marie Forleo Podcast
- Health podcasts like The Doctor’s Farmacy by Dr. Mark Hyman
- Educational podcasts like Stuff You Should Know or Revisionist History
Podcasts are a great way to constantly feed your mind new information and perspectives. Build a playlist of your favorites to learn while doing other tasks.
Take an Online Course
Online courses are a more structured way to develop your skills. You can find courses on just about any topic through platforms like Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, and more.
Some productive online course topics include:
- Business management and leadership skills
- Time management and productivity methods
- Writing and communication skills
- Analytics and data science
- Programming and coding
- Mindfulness and mental health
Take advantage of flexible, self-paced online courses to expand your knowledge. Having a deadline and receiving a certificate of completion can help motivate you to stick with it.
Do Meaningful Research
The internet provides instant access to limitless information – when used purposefully. Conduct research to expand your knowledge on meaningful topics like:
- Researching niche topics related to your career or business in order to become an industry expert. Stay on top of the latest news and innovations.
- Researching potential vacations to help plan your next trip. Dig into reviews, destination tips and recommended activities.
- Researching your ancestry and genealogy through websites and archives. Piece together your family history.
- Researching topics related to your health conditions by aggregating medical articles and patient communities. Become an empowered patient.
- Researching potential colleges or graduate programs. Compare programs and understand application requirements.
Dedicate time to research that enriches your life and provides valuable information, not rabbit-hole surfing. Use the internet as your portal to knowledge.
Connect with Like-Minded Communities
The internet provides the superb ability to connect with niche communities related to your interests and goals. Seek out and engage with these communities through:
- Active forums and discussion groups related to your industry or topics of interest. Share knowledge and gain new perspectives.
- Facebook groups centered around healthy habits, hobbies, parenting or other personal goals. Find support and motivation.
- LinkedIn professional groups to build your industry network and knowledge.
- Quora and Reddit for crowdsourcing advice and insights from real people on almost any topic imaginable.
- Joining live video communities like Clubhouse to have thought-provoking discussions.
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people can accelerate reaching your goals. Be selective about which online communities you join to ensure positive influences.
Learn to Code/ IT Skill
Coding skills are invaluable in our increasingly digital world. The internet provides free and low-cost resources to start learning to code or some of the key IT Skills from the comfort of your couch.
Some steps to get started:
- Take Intro coding courses from sites like Codecademy, FreeCodeCamp, Udacity, or Udemy. Most offer interactive exercises.
- Watch coding tutorial videos on YouTube channels like CS Dojo or The Coding Train. See examples of real code being written.
- Use sites like edX, Coursera and MIT OpenCourseware to take free coding classes from top universities.
- Join the programming subreddit or Stack Overflow to ask questions and troubleshoot issues with the dev community.
- Use sites like GitHub to practice collaborating on open-source projects and build a portfolio.
- Complete challenges on HackerRank, LeetCode or Codility to problem-solve and develop skills.
- Attend virtual coding meetups and hackathons to learn, network, and build projects.
With the abundance of high-quality free resources online today, anyone can start learning coding skills.
Generate Passive Income
The internet opens doors for generating extra income in your spare time through:
- Blogging about a topic you’re passionate about and monetizing with affiliate links and ads.
- Creating an online course or tutorial videos and selling them on platforms like Udemy or Skillshare.
- Developing and selling digital products like templates, eBooks, or design assets.
- Building a YouTube following and monetizing your videos.
- Creating an e-commerce shop through sites like Shopify and leveraging dropshipping.
- Consulting via video call in your area of expertise through a site like JustAnswer.
- Completing online surveys and market research studies.
- Renting your home or room on rental sites like Airbnb.
Look for low-effort ways to make money online that don’t require huge upfront time investments. The extra income can fund your goals and passions.
Master Time Management
Making the most of your time online requires mastering your focus. Use productivity apps and methods to minimize distractions:
- Use website blockers like Freedom or Cold Turkey to limit time on distracting sites.
- Try the Pomodoro technique to break work into focused 25-minute chunks.
- Install RescueTime to track your daily internet usage and optimize your habits.
- Use apps like Forest or Flipd to lock your phone when you need to focus.
- Keyboard shortcuts in your browser can help navigate faster.
- Keep a running list of productive internet activities so you have an agenda when you go online.
- Batch your internet time – don’t have it on in the background all day.
Treat your internet time with a purpose to maximize its benefits and minimize the black hole of wasting time online.
Conclusion – Productive Ways to Spend Time on the Internet
The internet can easily become a distraction if you aren’t careful. But approached intentionally, it provides immense opportunities for learning, connection, and enrichment. Be selective about how you spend your time online. Carve out time each day for these productive online activities to work towards your goals and personal growth.
How will you put the internet to work for you today?