As I spend so much of my life online (in a totally cool and awesome way, of course) I've somehow become the font of knowledge whenever a relative or friend or colleague needs to know the best place to search for one of those or the easiest way to find that on a budget.
However, a question I'd never been asked before until last week was "I have 10 minutes to spare online, what should I do?" The thing is so many of us spend the majority of our lives frantically dashing around, finishing this and worrying about that, so we rarely get a chance to think about what we want to do and how we REALLY want to spend our time online.
So today the Shiny Shiny team are urging you to take ten minutes all to yourself today and spend it laughing at silly blogs, creating a landing page or just being inspired by some incredible motivational speakers.
1. Laugh away those ten minutes with absolutely no remorse
Yes you could spend the next ten minutes doing productive things, being inspired and discovering hidden gems online OR you could just find some of the funniest blogs the interwebz has to offer. Check out 5 Laugh out loud Tumblr blogs to follow or Our top sites for geeky afternoon LOLZ and online fun.
2. Be inspired by TED talks
We know that watching TED talks, talking about TED talks, tweeting about TED talks, obsessing over TED talks and believing you're going to change the world because of TED talks has become a huge cliché among media/online types, but there are some really awesome ones out there that can teach you to be more productive, unveil a whole new field of research to you or just offer you some tough love and tell you to man up and stop worrying about things.
Check out: www.ted.com/talks
3. Create an about.me or flavors.me page
Creating a personal home page may seem a little bit self obsessive, but in actual fact it's a great way to showcase your work, collect all of your social networks together in one place and if all else fails it gives you something to write in that blank "URL" field on forms and applications when you don't already have a blog.
If you're looking for a super simple solution you can knock up in ten minutes, then our favourite websites for super-awesome-home-page-creations are about.me and flavors.me. You'll be given a customisable URL (i.e. flavors.me/YOURLOVELYNAMEHERE), a page to play around with and enough fonts and colours to make your eyes jump up and down with joy.
4. Write to someone you only know through the internet and tell them they're great
Pick someone you admire online, whether it be an actual celebrity, your favourite blogger or just someone who tweets funny stuff and tell them (privately) how much you admire what they do. Oh yeah, it's embarrassingly cheesy, it sounds like something that would only happen in a rubbish rom-com, but you know what, it's really nice and just think about the smile it'll put on their face and the LOVELY KARMA it'll bring you.
5. Sort through your bookmarks/pins/starred feeds
Wherever you happen to save content online, have a good sort through, assess what's relevant and delete anything that isn't. You might find some hidden gems as you browse through or just realise everything you've been waiting to read is completely useless and clogging up your bookmarks.
6. Get rid of Facebook and Twitter 'friends' that wind you up/annoy you/just aren't relevant
How many times have you heard someone say they hate Facebook or Twitter? Really they don't hate the social network (not usually anyway), but they're sick of friends and followers who post boring or irrelevant or offensive or just plain stupid updates.
I think we've all gotten over the fact we get unfriended and unfollowed from time to time, so just bite the bullet and get rid of anyone who writes anything that causes you to sigh or shout at the computer screen.
Yes it sounds a bit harsh, but you'll start to find more interesting content, connect with the people that matter and see Twitter and Facebook as useful rather than just time suckers.
7. Back-up your important things
This is one of those tedious but completely necessary tasks, like taking out insurance or making sure you have your keys when you leave the house every morning. As secure and amazing as you think your laptop or computer is, there's always a chance one day it'll implode and take all of your important documents and work with it, so spend ten minutes signing up to a cloud service like Dropbox and transferring vital things across to your shiny new account.
If you're a blogger then you might want to be super sensible and back up your content too, there are lots of options available depending on your blogging platform of choice, from paid-for services to free plug-ins.
8. Try a new social network or app
It can be really hard to keep up with all of the new social networks, online services and apps that are released everyday, but how about picking one that looks interesting and giving it a whirl for the next ten minutes.
9. Decide who your favourite online animal is
If you've been constantly stressing out this week (please bear in mind it's only Tuesday) you might want to spend your ten minutes doing something completely pointless, like deciding which internet animal celebrity is your favourite. Check out our list of Top 10 internet animals of 2011 to get you started and in case you were wondering, we're die-hard Maru fans.
10. Unsubscribe from silly voucher emails and irritating updates you don't need
Now admittedly this is a very dull one, but chances are if you've bought anything online you've been forced into getting a newsletter at some point or receiving updates from social networks or discount websites or any other kind of online rubbish.
Instead of just deleting these annoying emails every morning and working yourself into a rage, force yourself to spend a few minutes unsubscribing from them. Just start small and change permissions on one or two things, it'll stop you panicking so much when you first get to work and keep your inbox nice and streamlined.
Related: 10 Social media resolutions
[Image via Mike Licht]