Tagged With breaks


We like to think that creative types who produce a lot of stuff are capable of just doing that all the time, but comic artist Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal reminds us in a new strip that creativity isn't as sustainable as it might appear from the outside.


It's important to pull yourself away from work every now and then. Breaks are one thing, but distractions are another. Breaks are focused and deliberate. Distractions catch you off guard and derail your task entirely. In fact, one study shows it takes about 25 minutes to get back into the swing of things after you've been interrupted.


Windows: We've discussed lots of apps that remind you to take periodic breaks to rest your eyes and save your sanity, but most of them have been for the Mac. Windows users can get in on the fun with EyeLeo, a completely free download that doesn't just remind you when it's time to take a break, but also dims your screen so you actually get up from the computer and go do something else.


Windows only: Eye Relax is a small Windows application that reminds you to take a break from the computer and give your eyes a much needed break. Many programs designed as break reminders are simply timers under a different name, but Eyes Relax has a host of unique features that put it one step beyond. In addition to the basic setup, where you plug in your work period and break time lengths, you can also customise how Eyes Relax shows up to enforce eyeball rest: a balloon tip in the system tray, a screen blank-out, or a pre-selected image pop-in. There's also a "parent mode" where you can set a password to lock the reminder screen—which would certainly put an end to dinner-time calls of "Just five more minutes!" One of the handiest features by far however is the ability to save the settings as profiles. When you're poring over minute edits and restoration in Photoshop, for example, it fatigues your eyes much quicker than casual web browsing. Eye Relax is freeware, Windows only.

Eye Relax