Do you use your Macintosh computer for hours at a time without taking a break? Do you end up with sore muscles or headaches? If so, you might want to consider taking rest breaks more often. Time Out is a free application that can automatically remind you to take breaks, even dim your screen to force you to take a break.
Time Out is easy to configure and every situation seems to have been taken into consideration. Time Out’s default settings will prompt you to take 15 second Micro Breaks every 15 minutes and a 10 minute Normal Break every hour. You can adjust the duration and frequency of both types of breaks or time outs. You also have the choice to postpone or skip a break. When a break occurs, your screen will begin to fade and become darker. If you take a break on your own, by not using your computer, then Time Out‘s built-in timer will reset itself. You can also configure Time Out to never initiate time outs when you’re using a specified application. For example, by default, Time Out will not perform time outs if you’re using DVD Player or Face Time. This makes sense since you wouldn’t want to interrupt your movie or a video conference. Lastly, you can manually start a Micro Break or a Normal Break using keyboard shortcuts.
If you decide to check out Time Out be aware that there are two versions. The older version requires Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard). The current version requires Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or later. Dejal Systems, the developer, indicates that they are working on a new version, Time Out 2, which will add more features and will require OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion). There will be both free and paid versions. Currently Time Out is distributed as freeware, and donations are welcomed and appreciated.