We all occasionally moan that we do not have enough time in the day to get everything done, yet when we analyze things, our days are full of five-minute gaps that are not being used productively. In most cases these cannot be helped – they might include waiting for a coffee order, sitting on the bus or train, waiting for a friend to arrive or a work meeting to start, or awaiting the arrival of food in a restaurant. The good news for people in the western world today is that we now typically have something in our pockets that allows us to use all of these five-minute gaps productively. With smartphones, we need never again stare aimlessly into space while waiting – we can log onto our favorite apps and spend that time learning something, playing a game, connecting with friends or even earning money.
Best Five-Minute Games
There are myriad games designed for smartphones with five-minute play in mind. Pokémon GO is one of the most popular games of all time, inviting players to use their phone location services to try and catch a Pokémon in each new area, as well as features such as fights and arenas to train Pokémon. Casino games are also great time-killers – online slots can usually be played for a few spins at a time and a hand of blackjack only takes seconds. Playing online casino games is a great way to add a bit of excitement to your day.
Super Mario Run brings one of the world’s favorite video game characters to the small screen, with four gameplay modes to unlock the option for players to create and customize their own kingdom. Candy Crush games are another highly popular smartphone option – the simply match 3 game has proven highly addictive among adults and children alike, with each level offering new challenges and obstacles to overcome.
Best Five-Minute Learning
The advent of the internet and particularly smartphones has been blamed for reducing peoples’ attention spans. This may be true, but what better way to combat a shorter attention span than learning in five-minute chunks of time? iMinds make short tutorials across a range of subjects including history, politics, science, the arts, nature, business and law, most of which cost only between $1 and $2. Trivia games and quizzes can also help improve general knowledge in a fun and relaxing way, answering multiple choice questions on a wide variety of subjects. Well-known app Duolingo supports learning a new language in bite-sized chunks, perfect for adding in five-minute lessons at various points throughout the day. By logging in to Duolingo every time you have five minutes to kill, you could find you achieve some proficiency in another language in a matter of weeks. TED Talks are not often quite as short as five minutes, but most are under 25 minutes, so they can be ideal absorbing some quality ideas on diverse topics during the morning or evening commute.
Best Five-Minute Money-Makers
While to the uninitiated it may sound hard to believe, there are many apps out there that will pay users for their time. Most require the user to reach a certain points threshold before they can cash out any rewards, to ensure people dedicate enough time, but once the threshold has been reached, users can take home real-money rewards simply for logging onto a free app. Job Spotter pays members for photographing and uploading job advertisements they spot in shop windows to help jobseekers looking for work.
Each app has a point value generated for it using an algorithm, with unique listings being more valuable. Toluna is a surveys app that, as well as inviting people to complete major surveys that can earn thousands of points, also offers a series of minor surveys taking a minute or less to complete, worth around 15 points each. Points collected can be exchanged for shopping vouchers. Receipt Hog pays users to send in photos of receipts from purchases they have made – receipts from grocery stores or health and beauty outlets earn virtual coins, while receipts from anywhere else earn users free spins on the Hog Slots game, which can generate coins.
Almost all the apps listed above can be accessed and completed within less than five minutes, or certainly in less time than a typical commute. Some can earn money for the user; others help make passing the time more interesting and still others can increase knowledge and boost skills. Whatever your personal choice, checking out a few of these apps could make your next wait more interesting and even beneficial.