Force yourself to take a break. That’s the idea behind DrWright, a Linux program that will not only tell you it’s time for a break but actually stop you from using your computer until your break time is over. Force yourself to get up, walk around and briefly do something that does not involve staring at a screen.
If you’re reading this article you probably spend a lot of time in front of the computer. Computers are necessary for work and also a lot of fun, but it’s important to stop from time to time and take a break. Get up, stretch, grab something to drink – it doesn’t matter. It’s just important to stop looking at your screen for a while.
Tina had shown you 3 tools to remind you to take a break and relax, which is a great list for Windows users. Jackson showed you Dejal Time Out, a Mac tool that reminds you to take breaks regularly. DrWright is similar to these tools, but for Linux. Here’s how it works.
Once you’ve installed DrWright you won’t find it in the menu; instead, head to your system settings. You’ll find a new menu option here – Typing Break – represented by the universal symbol of breaktime: a cup of coffee.
Click it and you’ll bring up the main settings. It’s not extremely complicated, as you can see:
First you can turn the break function on and off. Second, you can set how long your work periods and breaks should last. Finally, you can give yourself the option of postponing breaks – useful when you get into the zone.
If you’re a fan of the Pomodoro technique you can use this software to force you to stick with it: simply set the time to 25 minutes work and a five minute break.
Once everything is set up the way you want it simply get to work. A minute before your work period is up you’ll see this warning:
Keep calm and carry on, or delay your break if need be. Be warned, though: once the time comes you will be locked out of your computer for your allotted break. You’ll see a countdown on the screen in front of your work, but you won’t be able to access it until the time is up.
Like I said: this program will force you to take your breaks, and it will force you to take them away from your computer. If you like to take your breaks browsing the web, this program isn’t for you (and you should seriously consider finding a better way to spend your breaks).
Ready to install DrWright? Check this page for packages. You’ll find them for Fedora and Arch.
Ubuntu users: you’re going to need to add a PPA to do so. Don’t worry: it’s easy. Just open a terminal and enter these three commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:drwright/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install drwright
The first command adds the PPA; the second updates your package list; the third installs DrWright. Remember: this program will not show up in your menu, so check Ubuntu’s settings if you want to turn it on.
This program isn’t for everyone. By making it temporarily impossible to use your computer, DrWright forces you to take a break regardless of whether you want to or not. This is good in some ways – you’ll actually take your break – and potentially bad in others – you might be interrupted. I wish there were some sort of on/off switch in the tray, but I suppose if that were the case I’d never actually force myself to take breaks.
Overall, I recommend you try this out. If it’s helpful, great. If not, it was free. Have any better ideas for forcing yourself to take a break? Share them in the comments below. I cannot wait to hear from you.
Image Credit: Coffee stock photo by Reika via Shutterstock