Give yourself a break
Time Out reminds you to take a computing breather.
Time Out - Break Reminders
You deserve a break.
Sometimes you get so focused on work (or play) that before you know it, you’ve been sitting in front of your Mac for hours. Time Out helps guard against that by reminding you to take regular breaks – to get up and move or clear your head.
Running discreetly in the background, Time Out keeps an eye on how long you’ve been working and prompts you to take periodic breathers. By default, it suggests taking Micro breaks every 15 minutes. These last for 15 seconds; just enough time to stand up, look away from the screen and reorient yourself.
Once per hour, the app also nudges you to take a longer, 10-minute break, which gives you an opportunity to walk around, refill your drink and stretch a little. You can customise both the frequency and length – maybe you want only a 5-minute hourly break, for example – and if you leave your desk on your own, Time Out is smart enough to recognise that and reset its break timer accordingly.
Because a suggestion to stop working is so easily ignored, Time Out gives you the option of having it obscure your screen temporarily with a theme of your choice. Although there are buttons for postponing or skipping a break if you’re in the middle of recording a brilliant idea, Time Out can also optionally lock you out of your Mac until your break is over. Call it tough love.
To add other types of reminders, like one to eat lunch before 2pm each day, click the Plus button in the app’s Settings menu. Here you’ll also find the app’s activity tracker, which shows a graphical summary of your app use and the breaks you’ve taken. Time Out can even run AppleScripts and Automator workflows at the beginning or end of any break; one way to use this is to play relaxing music during your rests, then energising tunes once you sit back down.
When you first start using Time Out, you may find it intrusive, even a little annoying. But you’ll soon appreciate the benefits of giving yourself a time out.