Reading LessWrong is primarily a willpower restorer for me. I use the “hit” of insight I get from reading a high quality post or comment to motivate me to start Working (and it’s much easier to continue Working than to start). I save posts that I expect to be high quality (like Yvain’s latest) for just before I’m about to start Working. Occasionally the insight itself is useful, of course.
Commenting on LessWrong has raised my standards of quality for my own ideas, understanding them clearly, and expressing them concisely.
I don’t know if either of those are Work, but they’re both definitely Win.
Fascinating! This is very different from my own experience.
I believe in the “manage your energy” / Pomodoro techniques of regular breaks, so I might work for 25-50 minutes with consciously directed attention and then go read a blog to relax before working again. I am no disbeliever of conscious relaxation and breaks. I am a disbeliever in unconscious slipping of attention. If I let my attention slip to blogs or Reddit or comments during my chunks of work time, it tends to feed on itself and happen again and again and decrease my productivity, not restore my willpower.
YMMV. If your attention slips are self-correcting, then congratulations! Your mind has a feature that I envy.