If your job includes using the computer for a better part of day, it’s advised to take a break of 10-15 minutes after every 2 hours to prevent eye and wrist muscle strain. Apart from lowering the contrast level of your monitor and taking measures to prevent RSIs, you need an application like Breaker for your Mac OS X to keep yourself notified about when to take a break. Time Out is a Mac app to remind you to take break after regular time intervals. The application offers two modes of taking rest; Normal Mode and Micro Mode. The normal mode alerts you to take a 10 minute break after every 50 minutes of continuous work while the latter is for taking a brief 10 second break after every 10 minutes. Nevertheless, Time Out is fully configurable and allows you to change break times and duration for which break lasts.
When you launch Time Out for the first time, the Preferences window will show up asking you to set timers for both Normal and Micro modes. By default, it counts break time for all applications but you exclude some apps from Exclusions tab. When the time for break reaches, Time Out will alert you to take a break by dimming the screen and provide options to postpone it for 1 minute or 5 minutes.
Both break modes can be customized in numerous way. Along with Timer settings in Preferences, you can change appearance, associate sounds with break time and specify pre and post break time script runs. The Normal tab deals with timer, appearance, sound and script settings for Normal mode. Under Timer tab, you can set Fade in over, Time out for, Fade out over, and Work for settings. The Work for and Time Out for options define break time and number of minutes for which a break would last, respectively. Moreover, you can set time reset settings if your Mac stays in idle state for defined amount of time.
The Micro settings are similar to Normal mode. After setting the Timer, move through Appearance, Sounds, and Scripts to change color of dim screen, opacity level, break postpone duration, associate sounds and select the scripts to run.
It includes some pre-defined scripts that can be associated before the breaks starts and after it ends. You have the option to specify custom script file or application to run before and after the break times. In Run at start and Run at end drop-down menus, you will find all pre-defined functions and scripts, such as pause/resume iTunes playback, change Adium status to available/away, Start Speech, Speak Time, etc.
The Exclusion tab lets you choose applications on which you want Time Out to remain non-functional. Navigate to tab and enable the applications you want to exclude.
Taking regular breaks during work hours is not only essential to stay productive at workplace but also to prevent yourself from repetitive strain injuries. If you often forget to take break during work hours, Time Out is for you. Time Out works on Mac OS X 10.5 or later.
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