6 Useful Apps to Look at When You Have a Short Break

We’ve all done it. We’ve all sat there, feeling very proud of ourselves, having completed a piece of work and given ourselves a short break, our vision slowly being drawn to our phone sitting next to us on the desk. Almost by autopilot, we pick it up, unlock it and find the nearest, most treasured social media app. Half an hour later, we look up from our screen to see the time, panic and let the guilt of losing productivity wash over our body. Aren’t there some more useful apps out there?

However useful social media can be, whether for networking, socialising, keeping up with friends and relatives, or simply unloading after a long day, they can also provide a massive hindrance to your work if you let yourself become distracted by them. Not only do we tend to get sucked in when we use social media on a short break, they do not allow us to properly switch off from concentrating, meaning our brain doesn’t have down-time between tasks. So, to keep yourself from twiddling your thumbs during those short stops, here are some ideas for useful apps that you can use instead of social media.

1. 100 Office Workouts

A little physical activity can make you much more alert and effective. In short bursts, exercise helps pump oxygen round your body and releases hormones that increase happiness. Not only is this good for getting you back to work in a good mind-set, office life can tend to be very sedentary, so office workouts help keep you in shape. 100 Office Workouts is just one app that gives you a great assortment of easy workouts that you can do in the confines of an office, without need of any professional equipment or a costly gym membership.

2. TED

Useful apps should make your life better. TED talks are renowned now as a source of insightful, inspiring and educational lectures by notable people. Most videos on TED are short, but come with a powerful message, giving you motivation to get back to work in a productive outlook after your break.

3. Google Fit/Apple Health

Whether you’re on android or iOS, almost every smartphone these days comes with a built-in health app. As smartphones become more intricate, their ability to register our fitness progress and tell us what we need to do to improve becomes more intuitive. However, there are some things that inform that advice that can’t be registered automatically, so try to take a short break, even five minutes a day, to track how many cups of coffee you’ve had, how many hours sleep, etc.

4. Daylio

For many, journaling has become a therapeutic way to cool off at the end of a long day. Journaling isn’t just writing a diary or updating a to do list or calendar; it serves as a way to document thoughts, feelings, aspirations and goals, achievements – or whatever you want! Equally, the organisation of a journal provides a sense of order and stability, especially to those who work in stressful environments. Whilst many enjoy journaling on paper, as there is the added dimension of design creativity, we are more prone to forgetting a journal than a phone, so the Daylio app helps digitally record your activity and mood, and you can even do some cathartic venting by taking notes on how the day went. Built in is also an improvement tool, which helps review how you have been working to improve your timetable to alleviate stress.

5.  BBC News

Seems like a simple thing to do, but reading the news avoids slipping into social media, keeps you occupied in your breaks and up to date on current affairs throughout the day. The average news article takes 2-5 minutes to read, just long enough to fill a short break, and news outlets such as the BBC and CNN have mastered providing informative content in a concise and efficient way.

6. Py

Py is one of the very simple useful apps that, in small bite-size chunks teaches you the basics of coding on a smartphone or tablet. Even though you are taking a short break from work, you can learn something new, and advance your understanding of computer coding, knowledge which is becoming ever more useful in this technological age.



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