21 Fun Distractions for Freelancers

DistractionsCan distractions actually help a freelancer to get more done?

Most of the time at Freelance Folder we talk about how to avoid distractions. That’s because most of us have deadlines and distractions can keep us accomplishing everything that we need to get done.

However, sometimes a distraction can be welcome. This is particularly true after an especially long or difficult project. A break can actually help by letting a freelancer relieve stress and return to work with a fresh perspective.

With this in mind, we’re sharing twenty-one fun online distractions in this post that we hope you’ll enjoy.

Our Picks: Fun Distractions You Might Enjoy

In no particular order, here is my list of fun distractions:

  1. Free Rice — As a writer, I find this word game irresistible. To add even more to the attraction of this game, each time you get an answer correct the UN World Hunger Food Program will donate rice to the hungry.
  2. Helpthirst — Like Free Rice, above, this one’s also for charity. When you correctly remember a number (should help to sharpen your memory) a cup of clean drinking water is donated to those in the developing world and disaster areas.
  3. Virtual Bubble Wrap — It’s just about impossible to keep from popping the bubbles in that plastic wrap that they include with delicate items. This site brings the bubble wrap distraction. Pop the bubbles on this photo of bubble wrap (makes a satisfying popping sound). When you are done, you can start over with a fresh sheet.
  4. Flower Maker — This one will satisfy the artist in you. Spend, ahem, minutes making various-shaped flower patterns by varying the shape and color of the petal. You can also view flowers that other visitors have already made.
  5. Falling Sand — Draw lines to change the pattern that form due to the falling sand. This game is strangely compelling.
  6. Death by Caffeine — I’m not sure how scientifically correct this site is. However, if you’re like me and you can’t seem to give up your daily dose of caffeine, then this somewhat morbid site may motivate you to quit. Choose from a variety of caffeinated beverages. The site will tell you how much is too much.
  7. The Mini-Mizer — Create and save little characters that look like they are made from Lego (r) construction blocks.
  8. Times Online SuDoku — Is sudoku your favorite way to relieve stress? If so, the Times Online offers two different sudoku puzzles (an easy one and a hard one) every weekday.
  9. JigZone.com — Do you like to work on jigsaw puzzles? There’s a new jigsaw puzzle to solve every day at this site. Plus, you can upload your own photographs to be turned into jigsaw puzzles or even send a jigsaw puzzle postcard to someone that you know.
  10. Fantastic Contraption — This site should satisfy the inventor in you. Solve a number of predetermined problems by correctly placing wheels and rods and then activating your invention to see it in action.
  11. Optical Illusions — If optical illusions fascinate you, then you’re sure to be fascinated by this site, which presents 84 different illusions.
  12. I Can Has Cheez Burger — Popular site features cute captioned photos of cats in various poses and scenes. If you’re a cat lover (or, even if you’re not) it can be hard to keep from being caught up in looking at all the various pictures here.
  13. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader — If you love the popular television show, you’ll probably also love playing this online trivia game.
  14. Dilbert.com — As freelancers we don’t work in the corporate environment any more. However, if you’ve ever been a part of the corporate world you may find this site to be funny. (If you haven’t, you may still want to stop by and see what you’ve missed.)
  15. Free Tetris — Free version of the popular Tetris game. This game is more challenging than it might seem at first.
  16. Free Online Mahjong Games — I have to admit that I downloaded a free solitaire version of this game a few years ago and got really hooked on the game. It’s an interesting combination of chance and strategy. This site gives you a lot of options to play with.
  17. Virtual Stock Exchange — Do you fancy yourself an investment genius, but lack the funds? This fun site will start you out with “money” to invest. You select real stocks to “invest” in with this game. Over time, the game lets you know how you would have done if you had really invested in those stocks.
  18. American Mustache Institute — Do you like mustaches? Then this unique site is for you. This site features photos of celebrities with mustaches and other mustache-related fun.
  19. Comic Creator — Create simple comic strips using predefined formats, characters, and objects. This is black and white, but it still gives you a chance to create your own comics.
  20. Pandora Internet Radio — Wouldn’t it be great if there were a radio station that only featured your favorite artists? Now there is. Create an online radio station that only plays music from your favorite artists.
  21. StrangeFacts.com — Are you a trivia buff? This site contains fascinating, but mostly useless, tidbits of information. Amaze your friends and family by sharing the little bits of true information that you pick up here.

Your Turn

We’ve shared some of our favorite online distractions with you. Now it’s your turn.

What’s your favorite online distraction? Share your answers in the comments.

Image by myklroventine

Comments

  1. says

    I am SO gonna second http://fantasticcontraption.com/

    But also last.fm’s virtual music festival. It’s like the stock market with bands. You get points depending on how much media exposure your 15 chosen music artists get.
    Link: http://fantasyfestival.last.fm/

    And… Globetrotter XL. How good is your geography? It tells you a location and you have to place a flag on a map where you think it is. Points are awarded for closeness.
    Link: http://samgine.com/globetrotter-xl/

    Actually, I’d better go do some work. Thanks for the post.

  2. says

    Wow guys, thanks for all the additions!

    I have to confess, writing this post was quite distracting. I wound up playing Mah Jong for two hours after work one evening.

    Fantastic contraption is good too, though.

    Thank for all the new distractions, I mean links. ;-)

  3. says

    Mahjong Games are my favorite. There was one that I always went to when I needed a little break on the Oxygen network website, but they no longer have it. The free site has one that is pretty similar, and I’m bookmarking it for future reference. Thanks for the great list of distractions!

  4. says

    I didn’t need any distractions, but these certainly are compelling. I just had to try out the Tetris and have passed that on to a couple of people I know (who also won’t thank me for the distraction). Nice list.

  5. says

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  6. says

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] I pretty much wound down during the last couple of months of 2009 after a hectic few years, and have to say that it has left me refreshed and ready to go for the new year. So I stand by the idea that sometimes freelancers need to kick back and unwind in order to maintain a steady level of creativity and productivity. So here, to keep you amused during downtime over the festive period is their list of Top 21 Fun Distractions for Freelancers. [...]

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