Time out: Tools for Rest and Recovery

Tools for Taking a Break

Dejal - Time OutPreviously I mentioned an article by Chris Kresser about sitting as the new smoking. In this article, Chris mentions a number of ways to break up your work to avoid sitting down all day.

One of the tools he mentions is called Time Out by Dejal. It’s a freeware app or small application that is suitable for the Apple Mac and I’ve been experimenting with it this past week. For windows, Chris suggests Work Rave.

Essentially the app is a trigger for you to take regular breaks. It has two modes one is a micro break that runs for 15 seconds and this comes up every 10 minutes. The other is a 10 minute break that comes up every hour. You can adjust these settings to suit your personal schedule as well.

My experience of using this app has been mixed. Probably 70 to 80% of the time when the micro break or the full break comes up, I happily accept it. The other 20 to 30% of the time it’s annoying as it upsets my workflow and concentration. And when that happens it probably means I really do need to take a break. My reaction to the break prompt is a study in itself. It tells me if I’m relaxed or a little stressed.

Some Micro Breaks

When the micro break comes up I been experimenting with several things:

  • Standing up for the 15 seconds
  • Simply looking away from the computer screen – such as out the window
  • Stretching with my arms or neck
  • Walking away from the computer

Some 10 Minute Breaks

When the normal 10 minute break comes up, I’ve been experimenting with some of these things:

  • To make a meal and eat
  • To take on a short fast household chore such as doing the dishes, putting on a load of washing or vacuuming the floor – My house is cleaner as a result!
  • Tidying up my desk
  • As a reminder to take a longer break and go for walk
  • Doing some yoga stretches
  • Sitting for a quick meditation

My question for you…

What tools or practices are you using to promote rest and recovery during your day?

It’s also an interesting idea as a tool you could create to presence your big idea in the everyday lives of your audience – we’ll talk about this more in a later post.

PS: Following from my previous article this is my first blog post that I’ve completed completely Dragon dictate software. Was it quicker than usual? Probably not and it does show that this will likely work into the future.


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