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Best Websites for Wasting Time on the Internet

There’s a lot of content out there about productivity — everything from hacks to shortcuts to tips and tricks for how to get more done in less time.

It’s all about the sprint, the checking things off the list, and the downloading of software that’ll block out any and all distractions.

But what about those times when you just want to surf the internet aimlessly? No one can be hyper-productive all the time, and studies have shown that taking deliberate breaks after periods of work is actually better for your productivity.

1. WaitButWhy

WaitButWhy is one of my favorite places to spend time on the internet. Every week or so, a guy named Tim Urban churns out one, really long, really awesome article. (Seriously, they’re canonical. You can kill a lot of time reading just one of them.)

His articles are always fascinating, in-depth, and really well written. His writing style is the perfect mix of informative and humorous — making topics like the Fermi Paradox (the what?) approachable for someone like me who’d never heard of it before in my entire life. He writes about relationships, religion, outer space … pretty much everything.

My favorite posts of his include “Everything You Don’t Know About Tipping,” “The Great Perils of Social Interaction,” and “Your Life in Weeks” (which has some awesome graphics in it, by the way). He even wrote a great post on why procrastinators procrastinate, which anyone reading this article might want to check out.

The Oatmeal is another one of my absolute favorite places to spend time online. It’s a huge library of awesome content — some comprised entirely of graphics. Even if you’ve read everything already, it’s the kind of stuff you can read over and over again.

Some of my favorite posts include:

  • Why Working From Home is Both Awesome and Horrible.
  • How the Male Angler Fish Got Completely Screwed (I think I legitimately cried laughing when I first read that one).
  • Ten Words You Need to Stop Misspelling.
  • You’re Not Going to Believe What I’m About to Tell You.

2. The Oatmeal

The Oatmeal website header

The Oatmeal is another one of my absolute favorite places to spend time online. It’s a huge library of awesome content — some comprised entirely of graphics. Even if you’ve read everything already, it’s the kind of stuff you can read over and over again.

Some of my favorite posts include:

  • Why Working From Home is Both Awesome and Horrible.
  • How the Male Angler Fish Got Completely Screwed (I think I legitimately cried laughing when I first read that one).
  • Ten Words You Need to Stop Misspelling.
  • You’re Not Going to Believe What I’m About to Tell You.

3. Supercook

If you want to surf the internet in a semi-productive way — but not so productive that you actually have to leave the house — then check out Supercook.

Here’s how it works: You tell it which ingredients you have in stock in your home, and it’ll give you a big list of recipes you can make using just those ingredients. It’s a fun way to stay thrifty, clean out the fridge, and make sure food doesn’t go to waste.

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