Despite our more successful colleague’s insistance, productivity, especially at work, is highly overrated. Everyone is focused on ways to improve quality, output and value while maintaining work-life balance. We are in a new age; the age of me, where recognition and rapid personal satisfaction trumps loyalty to peers, bosses, and the organization. In order to stand out, we must rapidly identify our greatest allies and leverage them in the fight for difference. The application, affectionately termed ‘app,’ is just such an ally.
The following apps will set you apart from the crowd of conformists all vying for the top spot in the race to become the fastest rat. While your peers are managing projects with Evernote and keeping their calendars in order with Fantastical 2, you’ll be building a calmness to your camp, a mindfulness in your—well, in your mind. These apps will define you as someone unwilling to compromise values just to get a little work done.
There is a reason Candy Crush Saga in its various iterations scores 4.5/5 on Google Play and 5/5 on iTunes—the game is a proven time waster of epic proportions. The goal is to get little candies lined up in various combinations in order to score high enough, eliminate a series of candies, or help various fruits make it home safely. To make things more interesting, the designers added success levels. No longer is minimum good enough, go for the gold star.
Candy Crush Saga sucks people into a world of sweet yummies and challenging puzzles. While your peers are scheduling their next conference call on Google Hangouts, you’ll be crushing land 174 while simultaneously lowering your stress level. You’ll easily waste an hour or more before your lives run out, leaving you to wonder whether you should dial in late to the 10:00 AM conference call or skip it altogether. It won’t matter, you’re relaxed and ready to tackle the next work-day challenge.
People with friends might enjoy a more high-brow and intellectual pursuit while clawing their way to the bottom. Released in 2009, Words with Friends, another highly ranked game across multiple platforms, invites users to play scrabble with each other; however, unlike the board game, our snooty English major acquaintances are not the only ones with winning tiles. Thankfully, there are a number of sites in which one can input their letters and see a list of possible words. The best part is while your friends are feeling the sting of ‘quay’ with a triple letter score on ‘q’ and triple word score to a painful 108 spirit crushing points, you’ll have your feet on your desk enjoying the kind of calm that comes from besting a besty.
What if you don’t have any friends? Fear not. Over the last couple years the designers incorporated the ability to find friends anonymously. Uncomfortable with playing people you don’t know? Covered again. Words with Friends allows you to play with yourself; however, be careful playing with yourself too much, it can cause blindness.
If the world needs another messaging app—and I’m not saying it does—WhatsApp is it, and with 990 million users there is always someone with whom to chat. A bit more than the standard messaging app, WhatsApp allows users to create members-only groups, assign moderators, post images and video, and make calls through the app. Think nobody is listening? Think again. One report indicates 700 million monthly active users send 30 billion WhatsApp messages every single day. Goodbye ‘LOL’ crowd, hello friends and family on steroids.
There is one potential downside to using WhatsApp to build that mental numbness we all seek at work—if friends aren’t using the app, or if you just don’t have any friends, it may be difficult to accumulate the numbers needed in order to build a truly effective tool for procrastination. This could be remedied by joining WhatsApp chats within your current circles, such as a community, church, or sensual massage group. One could also create their own group, inviting everyone from their contact list to join.
Studies show interaction with family and friends improves happiness. If you can build the numbers, WhatsApp can quickly become the biggest time-wasting, happiness-building app in the arsenal. Plus, there are no annoying lives to regenerate.
4. Yik Yak
Think global, act local. This is the phrase that comes to mind when one thinks about Yik Yak. The platform, launched in 2013, puts bored comrades physically located within the same geographic boundaries onto a single posting stream where they can share messages about everything from love and life to comical anecdotes. What’s more, Yakkers earn points as people rate their post. What better way to feel more awesome than making someone else feel worse with a low score?
Yik Yak allows users dozens of ways to stay busy without doing work at work. One can post pretty much whatever whenever; people reply to and vote up or down for content; and there are even Yik Yak hosted themes. But the best part is the recognition. When a post receives enough up votes, you’ll get a notification that reads, “I’m Yik Yak Famous.” I once received over 1,900 votes on a single post and I’m not actually that prolific.
Consider Yik Yak if you really want to make a statement about being overworked at work while not working on work. Even their slogan inspires, “Find your herd.” Seriously, that could take forever.
Any list of unproductive-inspiring, self-gratifying apps is incomplete without the king of boring social interaction, Facebook. According to one report, there are over 1.5 billion monthly active Facebook users, of which I am one—well, actually two. More people waste more time communicating more useless crap on Facebook than there are grains of sand on Zuma Beach. This presents potentially countless hours of entertainment for the right-minded, soul searcher looking to waste away a few hours every day while his coworkers fight for the next morsel from the promotion tray.
Unfortunately, us rat race scoffers are not alone in our Facebook usage. Our numbers are tainted with wannabe, career-minded, Bobby-business types unwilling to commit to a spiritually perfect, if unproductive, existence. Over a billion people log on to Facebook every day—they can’t all be like us; the average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes—see, they’re dragging down our stats; and the highest traffic occurs mid-week between 1 to 3 pm—serious slackers are on all day. Our numbers are diminished by those who would attempt, but fail, to infiltrate our ranks.
There are billions, perhaps gazillions of apps we can use to make work seem less like work. These five represent a microscopic sample in a sea of app life. Don’t fret if no single app fills your day in a way that makes your coworkers envious. To truly bring out the green-eyed monster in our peeps, we may need to employ two or perhaps all five apps in a single ten to twelve hour day. It will be worth it. At the end of the day, despite being creatively exhausted, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment known only to the most unenthused, languorous sloths in the tribe.
Do you have a favorite App? One that takes your mind off the daily grind and centers your attention on the most important person in your life—you? Add a comment and share your find with others.
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