There is one way similar to working on oDesk for you to earn something like an hourly wage, except that these places will pay you by the minute. Or rather by the task. Its often very repetitive, but easy easy work, and many times each task takes only a minute or less to complete. Its very flexible and you can stop and start at any time during the day.
Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk or mturk.com is the most prevalent website offering small tasks or “hits” for pay. Sign up, wait the 24 hours or so it takes to be given access to begin work, and then choose something easy with no qualification requirements to try first. You will want to learn the ropes before delving into becoming qualified for the bigger higher paying tasks.
Another small task website is cloudflower.com which works on basically the same way mturk.com does, but in my opinion is easier to understand, less clunky and confusing.
These sites and jobs are legitimate, in that companies genuinely need these small repetitive tasks done, and often need them done by a variety of people. Work generally consists of categorizing text blurbs or pictures, or labeling, or solving captchas. Most tasks are intended to help a company improve their software or other functions.
You can’t generally earn a lot per hour, but its a lot better than not doing anything, and certainly better than those “get paid to take surveys” sites.
Have you tried out any of these type of websites? What did you think?