The internet, like any other gift of technology, is neither inherently good nor inherently bad. It is what you choose to make of it. And with internet use making huge spikes, according to Verizon, it’s important to gear all this enthusiasm towards good, productive things.

If you’re tired of binge-watching on Netflix, scrolling through everyone’s social, or buying all the games on sale, here are the nine most productive things you can do online.

This list is divided into three main categories – improving yourself, saving the world, and earning money.

Improving Yourself

Getting the most obvious out of the way – it’s always the right time to improve yourself, because there will always be something to improve. The internet is the perfect tool to help you develop new and existing qualities in yourself.

Learn a New Skill

  • Whether it’s learning to play the viola, to speak French, to do the kickflip, or to bake a cake, the internet has a plethora of resources to help you start this exciting journey of acquiring a new skill. Admittedly, it may not be as easy or as simple as watching that 7-minute video on YouTube, but you have to start somewhere. The trick is to make sure the enthusiasm you feel in the first hour, lasts you in the next 9,999. If not, try something else.

Sharpen Your Expertise

  • Same idea with the previous item, but this time, it’s about building on what you already know. If you’re a graphic artist, maybe learn some coding to broaden your skillset. If you’re a baker maybe get up to speed with the latest industry techniques and equipment. Learn something that will add value to the work you already do. There’s also the advantage that you’ll likely be more interested in the topics.

Get a Degree

  • This is the next level of self-improvement using the internet. According to Forbes, the online education industry has been booming, and will likely get bigger in the next few years. No wonder, both institutions and online school programs are getting better too. This is the perfect time to earn that degree you’ve always wanted but never had time for.

Earning Money

For many, being productive means getting paid. The internet is perfect for that, too. Its ability to connect people meaningfully and effectively makes it conducive for enterprise.

Start a Business

  • Ecommerce is also on the rise. You don’t have to have your own website. Big names like Amazon offer platforms for you to sell. You don’t even have to have your own products. You can simply buy in bulk and resell in retail.
  • You can also make money off of successful websites and social media accounts. There is value in building your brand and getting tons of followers. Online influencers get paid in advertisements and partnership deals.

Work Remotely

  • Use your expertise to get hired either on a long-term or freelance basis. The current internet speeds and ease of use have become catalysts to the transition of more jobs online. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Plus, it’s fun to think about how you’re getting paid while you’re in your PJs.

Turn E-Sports Pro

  • It’s not the same as telling you to get into the Olympics. Hear this out first. Yes, it takes a whole lot of time and hard work to play in the highest levels of e-sports, a.k.a. the kind you see on TV, but there are countless other opportunities for gamers that also pay. You can even just join local tournaments and have fun in the process.

Saving the World

Just because you’re in front of your monitor, doesn’t mean you can’t do your part in making the world a better place.

Help Find a Cure for Covid-19 (and other diseases)

  • Technically, your computer does the helping through distributed computing. This is a system where the computing powers of your machine’s processor and graphics card are accessed and used alongside others to make complex calculations. The heavy tasks are essentially distributed to the computers connected. Folding @ Home is currently working on protein simulations to better understand Covid-19 and eventually find a cure for it.

Virtual Volunteering

  • Aside from donating your computer’s powers, you can also donate your time by doing work for different nonprofit organizations online. Operation Warm made an excellent list of jobs you can do from home that will directly help those organizations. You don’t even have to commit a lot of time. Make the best use of your skills and share them with those in need.

Stop the Spread of Fake News

  • No, you don’t have to police others who post or share fake news. By simply never engaging those kinds of misinformation, you are already helping to stop their spread. If you see a questionable post, don’t bother clicking on it. You can also counter fake news by posting and sharing items from reputable sources or facts that you know and have verified to be true. Always do your research and be an advocate of real news.

With these options, your use of the internet hopefully becomes more productive. The best part is, you can do all of these at the same time. Happy surfing!