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 or repeating sound 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.
While on a break, you can simply close your eyes or change your focus to rest your eyes. But another option is to try an exercise program to actively improve your eyesight. One such set of exercises offered by a third-party company is called Rebuild Your Vision. It includes exercises, guidance, and more to help train your eye muscles. Read more about it if this sounds interesting.
Download and try Time Out for free! Version 1.7.1 is currently the latest release. Read the Time Out 1.7.1 release notes to see what has changed in this version, or read the User Guide to find out more about it.
Time Out Free is also available via the Mac App Store, at no cost. This edition is currently a few versions behind the standard one, as Apple's sandboxing rules have prevented updates from being released. So downloading from this site is recommended. It will be updated once version 2 is released.
Time Out is a great product, but stay tuned for Time Out version 2, coming soon for Yosemite.
Version 2 includes several much-requested enhancements, including the ability to hide it from the Dock, an optional countdown to the next break in the menubar, customizable break themes, a new app icon, a redesigned UI, and much more.
Time Out 2 may be a paid app, though the price has not yet been set. Everyone who makes a donation for Time Out now will be automatically eligible for Time Out 2 at no additional cost — so you can set your own price for it now! This offer expires when version 2 is released.
It is currently in private alpha testing. People who have donated may be eligible to join the alpha team. Contact us if you'd like to join, or get more information.
Read the Dejal Blog (or filter to just Time Out 2 posts) or subscribe to the blog RSS feed for more information. If you have any suggestions for things you'd like to see in version 2 and beyond, let us know!