I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

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FlextimeAfter reading Merlin Mann’s recent post on timer apps for the Mac, I’ve been trying out the (10+2)*5 procrastination hack with a new shareware application called FlexTime. FlexTime allows you to set “routines” of different “activities” that can repeat indefinitely.

After using it for a day, I’ve decided to switch from Meridian, which I recommended in an earlier post, to FlexTime. Here are the advantages over Meridian:

  1. Streamlined and much easier setup
    Meridian was designed as a clock on steroids with tons of features to replace your systems date and time functions. If you don’t need these features, the application is a bit overkill.
  2. Takes up no screen real estate
    Lack of visible timer makes it less distracting. With Meridian, I found myself looking back and forth to the timer a lot. Instead of a visible clock, FlexTime can popup an elegant text window to gently remind you when the an activity starts. It can also run an applescript, play a sound, or speak a text.
  3. Automatic routines
    No need to start up the timer again after time runs out. FlexTime automatically repeats itself.
Here’s how I set FlexTime for the (10+2)*5 procrastination hack:

  1. Download and install FlexTime
  2. Create a “Work” activity After launching FlexTime, click the “New” icon on the upper left corner of the Window. In the “Activity Schedule” a new item will appear:
    1. For “Name”, enter “Work”
    2. For “Duration”, enter “10” and set it to “Minutes” with “1” equal intervals.
    3. In the “Cues” section: for “Starting”, select “Show Text”. In the text field next to it, enter “Time for Work”.
  3. Create “Play” activity Do the same as above, except:
    1. Name activity “Play” instead of “Work”
    2. Set the duration to “2” minutes.
    3. Set the text to display “Time for Play”
  4. Hit the “Start” icon and start working When your 10 minutes of work is up, the “Play” activity will start, reminding you with an alert that says “Time for Play”. When that’s up, you’ll get an alert saying, “Time for Work.” This will repeat until you stop FlexTime.


  • Ana Lux

    gravatarJul 21, 2006
    9:39 am

    I asked a friend to find something like that for Windows, and he came with Workrave, very useful and easy! For Linux and Windows. http://www.workrave.com/

  • Chanpory

    gravatarJul 21, 2006
    2:23 pm

    Thanks so much for suggesting Workrave. Now, Windows users can be more productive too!

  • DeStructUred Blog » Blog Archive » Workrave: A software to prevent Repetitive Strain Injury

    gravatarAug 2, 2006
    1:51 pm

    […] Life Clever describes the same kind of software for Mac and shows how to use֚ it to apply the procrastination hack: (10+2)*5′’. ֚  Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]