Is your default downtime activity at work mindlessly scrolling through social media?
You’re definitely not alone—in fact, I bet most of the people around you are doing it right now.
But how about using what little time you have left over between meetings or projects to maybe improve yourself, or even your career? Yes, it’s actually possible—try out these seven free apps, and you’ll wonder why you bothered wasting that time on social media in the first place.
1. Learn Something New With Blinkist
In this ever-changing world, it helps to stay on top of the newest ideas and trends. Easier said than done, right?
Well, Blinkist makes this possible by offering you 15-minute summaries of bestselling non-fiction. With over 2,000 titles and an audio option, this app is a fast and easy way to get new perspectives and insights that you can then use to improve your own work.
2. Keep Yourself Alert With 100 Office Workouts
Need a better way to get through the mid-afternoon slump? Research shows that even a little physical activity can make you much more alert and effective.
100 Office Workouts gives you a huge collection of simple routines to perk you up, without having to take a trip to the gym. Each workout’s designed to be done without equipment and in an office environment, so you can skip the caffeine overdose and still be ready to tackle the rest of your day.
Available on Android
3. Grow Your Network With Shapr
Whether you’re looking for a job or trying to improve your chances for a promotion, you know that knowing the right people can make all the difference.
Shapr helps you quickly build your network by suggesting people you might like to meet with based on the professional profile you create. If the interest is mutual, you can ask Shapr to introduce you, or you can text via the app to start strengthening your career connections.
4. Do Some Journaling With Daylio
For many people, journaling’s the best way to start or end the day—whether you need to vent, record inspirations, or track your goals.
Well, journaling can help you at work, too. With just a few clicks in the Daylio app, you can record your activity and mood, and you can even do a little “venting” by taking notes on your day. And, you can review your patterns to see how to improve your schedule for less stressful and more fulfilling days.
5. Build a Healthy Habit With StepBet
Finding time to stay in shape is a struggle we all face. But, we also all know that it would probably make us feel (and work) better to get some exercise.
StepBet encourages this healthy habit by letting you bet on yourself meeting your fitness goals. The app sets daily and weekly challenging (but doable) step amounts for you, tracks your progress, and even gives you a cash pay-out if you reach your target. So, by switching your social media time for a stroll around the block or office, you can get a little healthier and a little wealthier, too.
6. Plan Your Next Vacation With Trip.com
You know how the saying goes: All work and no play...Not to mention, taking some time off can make you a better employee.
So, stop feeling guilty about your getaway fantasies and start planning your next vacation with Trip.com. You’ll get recommendations based on your interests so you can find the perfect hotels, restaurants, and locations to visit, whether they’re just down the road or on the other side of the globe.
And, the app lets you easily compare prices, check reviews, and share your experiences.
7. Improve Your Mood With Bored Panda
Believe it or not, randomly wandering through your Facebook feed can kill your productivity (and sometimes your confidence), but cute cat photos—according to science—can actually improve your effectiveness at work.
My favorite source of adorable animals (and plenty of other photo pick-me-ups) is the Bored Panda site app. It’s a huge collection of funny and interesting photos and stories from all around the world that’ll help you forget all about that frustrating meeting you just finished.
Now that you know there are plenty of options to replace killing time on Facebook, why not give a few of these free apps a try? I bet you’ll feel more relaxed while you’re doing that and more energized to get back to work afterwards.
TopicsTools & Skills , Apps , Syndication , Productivity , Time Wasters , The Muse Editor's Picks , Hack Your Career by Kelli Smith
Photo of person bored on phone courtesy of PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson/Getty Images.
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.More from this Author