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Work helps pay the bills, but sometimes you want to take a break without other people realizing. That’s where these websites and games that look like work come in.
Here are some ways to make it look like you’re working; they let you browse Reddit, play 2048, or even go for a walk without your boss thinking you’re being lazy.
1. Make Reddit Look Like Outlook
Reddit is the ultimate time-wasting site. If your boss sees the Reddit logo on your screen, they’ll assume you’re slacking.
You know what does look like work, though? Microsoft Outlook. Looking at email constantly isn’t productive, but a lot of people think it is. If your boss is one of them, MSOutlookit is a must-have slacking tool.
This is a site designed to look like Outlook, but which is actually a Reddit feed. The feed is hidden beneath All. Click between the “emails” to see the different posts. Pictures are embedded, as are comments. To move between subreddits, click the links beneath Inbox on the far left pane. To add a subreddit here, click New Email.
Using MSOutlookit means you can browse Reddit to your heart’s content, knowing that anyone who walks by will think you’re working through your emails.
2. Play 2048 That Looks Like Excel
Most of us have bite-sized, time-wasting games on our phones, but you can’t be staring at your phone all day at work. Have no fear—you can disguise that gaming addiction within Microsoft Office.
A clever user on Reddit made a version of 2048 that runs in an Excel spreadsheet. This doesn’t just look like it’s an Excel spreadsheet: it actually is one. You’ll need to turn on macros when prompted. Follow the instructions on the first sheet and you’re good to go. When you begin, a small segment of the spreadsheet on your screen is the game.
You can even edit the rest of the spreadsheet to make it more relevant to your work.
3. Play a Clicker Game That Doesn’t Stand Out
Sometimes you want to do something mindless. More mindless than your work, that is. That’s where clicker games come in. In these games, you really don’t have to do much more than just keep clicking.
A great one to play at work is Kittens Game. It has a very basic interface, so anyone who glances at your screen won’t immediately think it’s a game. You can also keep it minimized in the background and it will continue running.
The aim of the game is to grow the biggest kitten village that you can, as they acquire resources and technologies, ensuring that you provide enough catnip for the feline residents. It’s endless, so the fun never runs out.
Another good option is Universal Paperclips. Paperclips are work-related, after all. In this game, you play an AI designed to produce paperclips. You initially begin by clicking to create them, but as you progress more options open up. If all universe matter is converted into paperclips, you win.
4. Browse Articles Without All of the Clutter
Sometimes you just want to kick back and read the gossip sites or see how BuzzFeed ranks the Ice Age movies. The trouble is, these sites often have recognizable designs or are flooded with eye-catching images. That means if someone looks at your screen, they’ll instantly know you aren’t looking at anything work-related.
To overcome this problem, use your browser’s reader view. This feature strips away a lot of extraneous clutter to present only the necessary text and images in a simple view. This way, you can trick others into thinking whatever you’re reading is vitally important.
To enter reader view on Firefox, press F9. On Edge, press Ctrl + Shift + R. On Chrome, you need to enable the feature. To do this, visit chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode in your address bar, switch the dropdown to Enabled, and click Relaunch. You will now see a new icon in the address bar that you can click to toggle between reader view.
A similar extension for Chrome is Decreased Productivity, which provides options around what you want to see (no images, for example) and how you want to see it (like on a black background.)
5. Type and Pretend to Be Programming
If you program for work, check out Hacker Typer. Type anything you want and the site will output code that, to the untrained eye, will look like you’re powering through some important code work.
You can then happily chat away on the phone or just be away with your thoughts, letting your fingers occasionally mindlessly tap some keys and code magically appearing on your screen. Of course, this won’t be quite as effective if all your colleagues are programmers, since they’ll know your code is nonsense.
6. Make Your Computer Look Like It’s Updating
Every once in a while it’s necessary to leave your desk to stretch your legs and grab a cup of coffee. However, if you’ve been having too many breaks, perhaps you need an excuse when your boss notices that you’re not in your seat.
In the modern world, most of us do all our work on the computer. If our computers are inaccessible, we’re left twiddling our thumbs. That’s what makes FakeUpdate.net so perfect.
This website provides fake update screens for a variety of operating systems, like Windows 10 and Mac OS X. How could you possibly do any work when your computer is updating?
Simply click the desired fake update screen and put your browser into full screen to complete the effect—that’s F11 for Windows or Control + Command + F for Mac.
Stop Procrastinating! It’s Time to Focus
Hopefully the above advice has helped you become a masterful procrastination ninja, letting you look like you’re working while doing the complete opposite.
Of course, you can’t stay slacking forever. That work won’t complete itself! So, with that in mind here are some Windows 10 tweaks to help you stay focused.
Image Credit: Businessmen hiding via Shutterstock