After 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Automatic routines
No need to start up the timer again after time runs out. FlexTime automatically repeats itself.
- Download and install FlexTime
- 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:
- For “Name”, enter “Work”
- For “Duration”, enter “10” and set it to “Minutes” with “1” equal intervals.
- In the “Cues” section: for “Starting”, select “Show Text”. In the text field next to it, enter “Time for Work”.
- Create “Play” activity
Do the same as above, except:
- Name activity “Play” instead of “Work”
- Set the duration to “2” minutes.
- Set the text to display “Time for Play”
- 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.