Learn how to use the Take a Break desktop timer to improve your productivity.
Download the Take a Break timer.
If you're considering using a desktop timer in order to make your workday that much more productive, I would strongly recommend the Scirocco Take a Break app. You can find it at Download.com and it is a free app.
Here's a look at what the interface looks like. You may be familiar with the Pomodoro timer technique, where you select a specific task or a specific project and work exclusively on it for 25 minutes or some other predetermined time. And the Take a Break app is ideal for this type of work.
Here you can see I've already set it for 25 minutes, I can start it, minimize it, and now I can focus on my work. I can focus exclusively on what I want to for the next 25 minutes. It minimizes to my tray in the bottom right corner I can see a little green light which tells me that it's working and that it's actually running. And if I hover over it, it will actually tell me how many more minutes are left. But for the most part I don't really care about that. I can put my attention elsewhere and when the timer is up, it will gently remind me by popping the dialog up in front of me.
Now you can customize a lot of different components of the Take a Break timer. You can add a sound when the timer is up and you can customize your default time limit. Selecting the options and preferences menu gives me all of the full features of the application. Here you can see I can designate the default time limit, I can specify the amount of time that I want to break for. I can set a snooze time so when the timer goes off perhaps I want to be reminded again in 2 minutes or some other specified time. And I can choose to snooze forever or I can set a limit. Sort of discipline myself as to when I should be taking my next break.
There's a few other features that you can toggle on this window. Security, what happens when you take a break. Do you want to lock your workstation or start a screen saver. There's a number of other visual alerts you can add including custom sounds and even what the tray icon looks like.
But for the most part this is a very, very simple application. I can edit my default time if I like. Let's set it for something really short just so you see what it looks like when it comes off. So, I've set it for 7 seconds, I'm going to start it. Minimize it to the tray and now I can focus on my most important work. When that timer is finished, I receive a simple dialog box. Here I can choose to snooze and remind myself again later. You can see the helpful text shows me that it's going to remind me in 2 minutes if I select this option. I can take a break and here is my default break time, 5 minutes. I can get up and walk away from my computer. But if not, I don't have to and I can simply restart my timer. Once again, it'll restart to my default amount which is 25 minutes and I can focus on the next task.
So, the Scirocco Take a Break timer. A fantastic, simple, easy, and free tool for adding and improving your daily productivity. It's very simple.