Time Out Free
By Dejal Systems, LLC
Open the Mac App Store to buy and download apps.
It is very easy to fall into bad habits when using a computer for hours on end. You care about what you are doing, so can sometimes push yourself too far, or over-strain yourself. The human body isn't built to sit in one position for endless hours, gripping a mouse or typing on the keyboard. Dejal Time Out is here to help. It will gently remind you to take a break on a regular basis.
Time Out has two kinds of breaks: a "Normal" break, typically for 10 minutes after 50 minutes of work, so you can move about and relax, plus a "Micro" break: a very brief pause of typically 10 seconds every 10 minutes, so you can remember not to tense up too much for long periods. You can disable either kind of break if desired, and the breaks are automatically paused when you go away from your computer, and can be reset when you come back.
You can configure how long each kind of break lasts, and how long between breaks. Each Time Out is announced via the screen slowly dimming, with related graphics materializing, and when the break is complete, it fades out again. You can change the time these transitions take... and you can even change the color and the level of transparency during the break. So if you like, you can make it mostly transparent so you can continue reading while on your break... though it's better for you if you give your eyes a rest during the Time Out.
While in a break, a progress bar shows how long till it is over, and buttons are available to postpone or skip the break if you can't be interrupted right then. Starting with version 1.5, you can change the number of minutes for the postpone buttons, or even hide them and/or the skip button, if you want to encourage yourself to take the breaks.
What's more, you can optionally play a sound and even run an Automator workflow, AppleScript, Python script, or application at the start and/or end of each break. So you can have it pause iTunes and play a short soothing piece of music at the start of a break, then a buzzer and resume iTunes when the break is over. Some useful scripts are provided built-in, plus updates and user-submitted ones available on the Time Out Extras page.
What's New in Version 1.6.5
- Fixed incorrect display of when the next normal break is due.
Helping me take my life back!!
I am a writer who works from home. Until starting to use this software, I would take breaks from my writing, but always still sitting at my computer. For instance, I'd take a break by reading CNN, browsing the web, playing a game etc., which means I never left my screen.
Since installing this simple app, however, I am breaking this awful habit. And it's quite amazing what I can get done in the breaks. The bed is made, my clothes are all put away, I break to eat healthy meals, my place is clean, I move around which loosens up my legs and hips and neck. And when I come back to work after the 10 minute break, I get a lot more done. I'm much more focused. I also realize how much time I was frittering away. No wonder I always felt like I never had time for things!
I highly recommend this program. It has changed my life. Thank you Time Out!!
Great for online learning
I got this because I homeschool my daughter through an online school. We both have ADHD and breaks are easy to forget. Not with this app. It has been great to lower her stress with the micro breaks and we both get up and move every 50 minutes. I love though that if we are working on something that we need to keep working on for just a few more minutes, we can delay a break. It took me awhile to find the "reset" for when we start working on the lesson later than the break. I kinda wish there was a way to keep working a bit through a break (just a minute or two), so that I can finish up closing a lesson and set up the next one, but I know that goes against the app and frankly, it is good for me too to take a break.
Helps with CVS
As someone with computer vision syndrome, I need to take small breaks from the screen every 20 minutes and longer breaks every 2 hours to rest my eyes. This app is great for reminding me of those times, especially since I can get caught up with any work I'm doing on the computer and not keep track of the time. It's also pretty easy to use, with hover-over explanations for the settings.
However, like a few others have said, I'd appreciate if there was a menu bar only option. Hopefully that will come with a future update… Otherwise, this is a great way to encourage breaks for your eyes, back, legs, wrists, etc.