Following on from my recent post regarding health and the keyboard slave, I thought I would review a piece of software called “Breaker” – which basically nags you to take a break….
When you’re tightly focused on the task at hand, time can evaporate quickly, before you realise. Software which reminds you to take a break – at customisable intervals, is, in my humble opinion, no bad thing.
I would go as far as saying, that regular 10 minute breaks throughout the day actually increase productivity: your brain will focus better after a break, especially if it is properly hydrated.
To really ‘get things done’ – just drink more water and take short, frequent, breaks.
To improve even further – don’t multi task.
Yep, that’s right – don’t do it.
Because even computers can’t multi task – they time slice instead – ordering tasks according to priority and executing them alternately – one at a time. This also happens to be almost exactly what people do – just much slower and basically they end up doing two jobs badly, instead of one job well.
Don’t believe me?
Try this: talk to your boss on the phone about approaching deadlines, while simultaneously debugging a piece of Java script or editing a document.
Breaker to the Rescue
Breaker helps by allowing you to configure time ‘slots’ for a work / break pattern, then prompting you with a low key alarm at the appropriate times.
It is actually quite handy – the default alarm is just enough – to get you to take note that you need to stretch your legs. It’s simple to use and really doesn’t interfere with the task at hand – it merely reminds you it was x hours before your last break.
And that is no bad thing – the science is overwhelmingly in favour of multi short breaks throughout the day.
Humans are good at focusing on one task for short periods – after many hours slogging away at the same thing without a break, productivity drops off severely.
So, take a break and get more done!