Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Remind yourself to take a break with Scirocco Take a Break

Alright, my first review of software. Scirocco Take a Break is a wonderful little piece of desktop software that remind you to take a break from you busy work. If have kind of mentioned it when I talked about office ergonomics in my personal weblog but I think it is worth it to mention it here again. The following in the main interface of the software:

The interface is pretty self-explanatory. It will count down from the a time period that you set in the Preferences dialog. Once the time is up, a window will pop up to remind you to take a break:

When this happens, you can either ask it to remind you later (after some time it will pop up again), take a break (recommended!), or stop the timer. Unless you are really doing some urgent (like negotiating a 50-million deal with a Fortune 500 company), you SHOULD take a break. How long should the break be? I'd say at least 30 seconds. You should have enough time to rest you eyes, twist your neck, or stand up and walk around. You can configure many settings at the Preferences dialog:

Here you can set the time period between your breaks, the length of your break time, how long it should wait before it reminds you again after you click "Remind Later", how many times to remind you, etc. Oh, I think it's better to "Lock Workstation" if you're working on sensitive data and going to leave your desk during the break. And I think it's good to "Start Timer On Launch" since you may forget to do so if you've a busy morning.

Guys, there's no excuse saying that you're so busy that you can't take a 30-second break unless you're a firefighter trying to save people. Watch your health, it's your greatest asset :)