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Do you find work boring? Not just a little dull. But mind-numbingly, bang-your-head-against-a-brick-wall-to-escape boring?
Don’t feel bad. We have all been bored at work at one time or another. But you don’t have to suffer in silence. Music, audiobooks, and podcasts are the perfect form of entertainment for getting through a boring work day.
The great thing about listening to audio while at work is that no one around you can even tell what it is — provided you wear headphones. This is a huge bonus, because if your boss walks by your cubicle or the office snitch sees you, they have no idea what you’re doing. It’s a lot different than playing games or browsing social media. Get caught doing either those things and you’re toast.
However, if you listen to podcasts on your office computer you can simply minimize your browser and no-one will be any the wiser. Or, if you have a manual labor job, you can do your work with your smartphone tucked in your pocket and your headphones lodged in your ears.
If you’ve never explored audio entertainment before, getting started can be a little daunting. Where do you start? What are the best apps to listen to? What will keep you entertained?
We’re here to help.
Here are nine entertaining ways to make work more bearable using just three super-simple but seemingly endless audio apps. Keep reading to learn what they are.
1. Stay Entertained With Spotify
Spotify is mostly known for its huge music selection. While listening to music is certainly a great way to pass the time at work, don’t forget about some of Spotify’s other audio entertainment options.
Spotify’s app is free to download, but if you want to listen to your favorite tracks offline, you’ll have to subscribe to the service’s Premium plan. Premium costs about $10 per month, but there are discounts available for students and families.
Check out these two channels on Spotify for endless entertainment that’s also updated regularly.
Spotify’s “Comedy” Channel
You can find the Comedy genre under Browse > Genres & Moods > Comedy.
This regularly updated section of Spotify is home to all manner of standup comedy, featuring themed playlists as well as well-known entertainers. Listen to new releases from comedians like Daniel Tosh, Rachel Feinstein, and Nikki Glaser, or hit shuffle on the Comedy New Releases or The Interwebs playlists.
With so many comedy tracks to listen to, the rest of your workday should prove to be way more enjoyable.
Spotify’s “Word” Channel
If you aren’t in the mood for laughs, Spotify’s Word section will likely have something thought-provoking to keep your brain entertained.
This section of Spotify can be found by clicking Browse > Genres & Moods > Word.
Listen to some of the tracks from the Short Stories playlist, brush up on your Spanish, get poetic with one of the many poetry playlists available, or go back in time with the Sci-Fi Radio Dramas playlist.
There’s literally something for everyone here, making even the most monotonous of workdays a bit more tolerable.
2. Avoid Boredom With SoundCloud
SoundCloud is a great app for any bored employee because it’s the top social sound platform in the world. People from all over the globe upload audio ranging from music and podcasts to comedic tracks and ambient noise. Basically, if you have the SoundCloud app, you’re unlikely to be bored at work for a while.
SoundCloud is free to download, but if you want unlimited access to audio offline, you’ll have to get SoundCloud Go, which is normally priced at $12.99 per month, though special deals are available now and then.
If SoundCloud is your go-to app, be sure to check out these boredom-eliminating channels when you’re feeling a little blah about work.
In a small town tucked away in the desert of the Southwestern United States, many conspiracy theories come to pass. Strange, mysterious happenings plague the town and its inhabitants. Sounds like the premise for a great book, right?
Well, it’s the central plot of Welcome to Night Vale, a unique broadcast that mimics classic radio shows.
New episodes air on the 1st and 15th of every month, but there are plenty of archived episodes to listen to as well.
These stories are great for fans of the paranormal, mysteries, and more. If you’re looking for entertainment to spruce up your workday, this podcast will certainly do the trick. Just be careful the content doesn’t bleed over into your real life, as some of the stories are nerve-wracking!
If real stories by real people, such as these accounts of Windows tech support scams are more your thing, then Story Worthy is the podcast for you. Hosts Christine Blackburn and Hannes Phinney recount real stories people have submitted. The content is often zany and remarkably entertaining.
Want a taste? Try “I Saved a Lady in the Jungle in Thailand” or “I Was in an Accidental Threesome”.
These stories will definitely keep your mind occupied and your workday interesting. New episodes release every Monday, and they vary in length from 15 minutes all the way up to an hour. As always, there are also a ton of archived episodes to listen to.
Ever heard of Mystery Science Theater 3000? Love the segments where the characters offer comedic dialogue over the movie playing in the background? How Did This Get Made is just like that, only in audio form.
It stars three comedians: Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas, and June Diane Raphael. You might not know them by name, but if you look them up on IMDb or Google you’ll recognize them instantly.
They spend their time watching terrible movies and then talking about the experience, much to your delight. Give it a shot, especially if you’re looking for something lighthearted and funny.
Everyone has that super embarrassing moment they play back in their head over and over hoping they could change how things happened. That’s what The Mortified Podcast specializes in.
Every episode features a traumatizing childhood experience someone had, retold for your listening pleasure.
Episodes are about 20 minutes long, and they’re filled to the brim with entertaining and silly moments. Just be careful you don’t laugh out loud. You don’t want anyone in the office knowing you’re up to something!
Something to note: the podcast has grown beyond a simple radio show to become live events, a TV series, documentary, and even several books.
3. Breeze Through the Day With Audible
If you have yet to discover the audio-literary world of Audible, get ready: with more than 180,000 audiobooks available, just choosing what to listen is a fun way to pass the time.
The Audible app is free to download, but a subscription to Audible will cost roughly $15 per month, depending on your plan. Included in that price is one “free” audiobook per month. If you want to listen to more than one Audible book, you’ll have to also pay for that book separately (and prices tend to vary greatly).
If listening to a full-length novel is your idea of surviving monotonous work, start off with one of these.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Narrated by Anne Hathaway)
Everyone knows the classic tale The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. But you’ve likely never heard it recounted by a celebrity as wonderful as Anne Hathaway, right?
If you’re already turning your nose up at this one, do yourself a favor and give it a chance first. Hathaway does a great job providing quirky voices for the characters. The entire audio cast is immersive and you find yourself sucked in quicker than you expected.
When you’re done, you can continue Audible’s A-list collection which includes The Handmaid’s Tale performed by Claire Danes, and A Rage in Harlem performed by Samuel L. Jackson.
Tina Fey’s book Bossypants was on Amazon’s best audiobooks list of 2011. The book itself is entertaining, but to hear it read by the author, with her own quirks and anecdotes, is brilliant. The book talks about her rise to stardom, and, in particular, her journey to be on TV.
You can also listen to this audiobook from a number of services including Amazon, iTunes, and more.
Ulysses (Narrated by Jim Norton)
James Joyce’s Ulysses — if you’ve never read it before — is an absolutely massive book, at well over 800 pages. But it’s a classic, and a good one at that.
The audio version is well worth the cost. Jim Norton does a great job keeping to the spirit of the novel, using Irish accents for each character, even in different dialects.
This is not a book to listen to while you’re doing a lot of other things, or need to focus. It requires a great deal of concentration, and will surely keep you busy for dozens of hours. That’s exactly why it’s a great choice to keep you occupied at work; you’re probably just sitting there wasting time most of your day anyway. Might as well do something productive, right?
How Do You Entertain Yourself at Work?
Not every job in the world is going to be exciting.
Sure, maybe movie stars or NASA scientists are super interested in their work on a daily basis, but most of us face some kind of monotonous work regularly. Rather than suffering through a long, dragging workday, use these three apps to find tons of new listening material for discreet on-the-clock entertainment.
If audio apps aren’t your thing, how do you make your work days more entertaining? Please tell us your secrets in the comments below!
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