Why did Steve Jobs always wear the same black turtleneck and jeans? Why does President Obama rotate between the same two suits? In both cases this is about decision fatigue.
Research shows that making too many decisions exhausts your ability to make more, which is why many people try to remove unimportant decisions from their day by planning ahead. Steve Jobs didn’t want to think about clothing, so he wore the same thing all the time.
If you want to remove a few decisions from your day, Cool Websites and Apps is here to help with a few sites designed to make your decisions for you. Don’t worry about your choices: let the Internet decide what you’ll eat, watch, and even draw tonight.
Shuffle My Life (Android): Random Assignments for the Bored
If you’ve got some free time on your hands, and have no idea what to do, open up this Android app. It will give you a random assignment that will kill time and possibly even teach you something. Some things will be online; others will send you out into your city to explore. The idea with most of them is to try something new.
You can swipe left if you’re not sure about any given task, but the fun comes in doing things you’re not comfortable with. There’s even integration with Google Play Games, meaning you can level up by doing real-world activities. Think of it as a boredom-inspired gamification tool that makes your life better.
What The F*** Should I Eat For Dinner?: Let the Internet Pick What You’ll Eat
Deciding what to eat can be a hassle. This site gives you a random recipe, helping you avoid choice entirely and hopefully learn how to make something new in the process. It’s a great way to get outside your culinary comfort zone without being overwhelmed: after all, it’s just one recipe.
Some people won’t love the gratuitous profanity, but don’t let that stop you from trying out the site – it’s a great way to learn something new. Alternatively you could look into some YouTube cooking channels, or just stop eating food entirely.
Netflix Roulette (Web, Android): Let the Internet Pick What You’ll Watch
The sheer amount of movies on Netflix can be intimidating, and after searching for (and failing to find) a specific one you might feel too overwhelmed to watch much of anything. Don’t worry: you can let this site decide what to watch for you.
You can pick a genre and a star rating range, if you want, or you can just spin the wheel and watch whatever comes up. It won’t necessarily be good, but you won’t have to choose. Consider it an alternative to channel surfing.
Check out our ultimate Netflix guide for more ways to explore the web’s favorite cable killer.
Meerkat Roulette: Watch a Random Live Stream
Among Twitter’s many enterprises is Meerkat, a smartphone app that lets anyone broadcast themselves to the world. Of course, it can be hard to find something to watch, which is where this site comes in. Just visit and you’ll be watching a random stream in no time at all.
You’ll see road trips in progress, people talking to the camera and a few public gatherings broadcast in real time. If you want a random look into someone else’s life, check this site out.
I Need a Prompt: Let the Internet Tell You What to Draw [No Longer Available]
You can learn to draw anything if you spend enough time practicing, but sometimes inspiration just won’t strike. That’s where this site comes in: it randomly combines words to give you a random scenery worthy of your artistic attention.
If you want to spend some time doodling, but don’t know what to draw, let this site decide for you. You’ll end up with something hilariously pointless, and potentially also stretch your ability just a little bit.
Decisions Are Over-Rated
It’s okay if you can’t decide what to do: it happens for everyone. There are a lot of other sites out there that can help; StumbleUpon is still awesome, for example, and The Useless Web takes you to random pointless websites. If you’d like something a little more informative, NPR One plays random radio stories.
I want to know which apps you use to avoid making decisions, so let’s compile some more in the comments below. I’m looking forward to talking to you, so if you can’t decide what to say just type “Hey Justin” and I’ll start an unrelated conversation.