3 apps that provide productive workday distractions

iPhone /

It's really not possible to sit in front of a computer for eight hours and expect to be productive 100 percent of the time. If you can do that, congratulations on your superhuman focus. But for the rest of us, Flappy Bird is waiting. Or cat videos on YouTube. Or any of the other myriad means of making your work breaks as fun as possible. But what if those breaks can be both fun and productive? Let's face it: As many points as you rack up in Angry Birds, you're not really racking up life points. Here are some apps that will help change that:

1. Staying healthy on the job: One big problem of working in front of a computer screen is the bad eating habits it seems to encourage. Preparing a healthy meal becomes worthless next to closing that big account. But such dietary negligence can lead to unhealthy habits that actually impede energy and productivity. That is where Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker comes in handy. Made by MyFitnessPal.com, the free app discourages a sedentary life – even on the job. With the capacity to count calories for more than 3 million foods, this app is nothing if not comprehensive. The level of detail built into the app leaves you assured that the numbers being recorded are as close to exact as can be. By calculating your goal caloric intake for the day and monitoring the foods you're taking in, you can make staying healthy a game – and one that leaves you feeling fulfilled during those idle moments at work.  

2. Becoming an Apple whiz kid from the comfort of your desk: If you're using a smartphone at work, the odds are high that it's an iPhone. And anyone who's used the device knows that the need for an iPhone repair can arise quickly without warning. But what if you had the tools to identify the probable source of a problem, and even find a solution yourself? That's what the folks at Apple DIY repair service iFixit can help you do. With their iFixit: Repair Manual app, users can read up on the many different DIY solutions that exist for Apple products. Easy-to-follow instructions accompanied by detailed pictures make the app highly navigable and therefore accessible to a general audience. Learning about such repairs during your office downtime could prevent some trips to a cell phone repair shop – of course, you're always better going to the professionals at iResQ for serious problems.

3: Finding the best places to hold out-of-office meetings: Perhaps today your workplace downtime is not fun but instead fraught with anxiety. That's because you're meeting a prospective high-rolling client and need a place that's not the office to meet. After all, you want this first exchange to be as casual and fun as possible. That said, you want a place that meets the prospect's needs. A place with coffee, wifi. But not Starbucks. Some local, hole-in-the wall place – a business that will set you apart. If only there was an app for that … You guessed it, there is. Work+ does all the searching for that optimal meeting spot so you don't have to. By asking questions about desired distance, noise level and expected duration of stay, the app works to find the best place to suit your business needs. But don't just take the app's word for it: Once a selection of places has been made available to you, you'll be able to see feedback from other users of the service. Don't spend your whole lunch break scrolling through Yelp. With Work+, the whole process takes a just a few minutes.

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