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Author Topic: IDEA: (10+2)*5 Timer  (Read 38197 times)
JacobB
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« on: July 19, 2006, 02:19:45 PM »

I know that there are allot of timers and clocks out there, but this one is specific for the "Work The Dash and Take a Break" formula discussed at http://www.43folders.com/2005/10/11/procrastination-hack-1025/.

The idea is to have a timer that will run for 10 minutes doing a task, then take a 2 minute break, and repeat 5 times, and you have 1 hour of work.

This would be a great help for procrastinating people like me. embarassed

Many thanks.
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2006, 02:58:36 PM »

this is a perfect coding snack request.. it's exactly the kind of fast prototype thing that deserves to be implemented.
maybe app can adopt her stopwatch/timer, or skrommel can adapt his tasklog util, or someone else wants to give it a try?
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skrommel
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2006, 04:00:46 PM »

 smiley Will my TakeABreak do, or is the *5 very important?

Skrommel
« Last Edit: July 19, 2006, 04:02:26 PM by skrommel » Logged

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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2006, 04:01:50 PM »

skrommel you need to make a (10+2)*5 specific mode! otherwise it's no fun!
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app103
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2006, 04:22:55 PM »

ok...i'll do this one :-)
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mouser
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2006, 04:25:43 PM »

this might be a good time for JacobB to think about any specific details he thinks would be good for the user interface (ie showing task name somewhere? blanking screen when you are in break mode?), etc.
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JacobB
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2006, 04:42:23 PM »

I thought of maybe some icon that would site in the tray and show the progress of the 10 minutes (even a single digit 9 to 0 to show how many minutes left is enough).

Or maybe an small progress bar that's always on top of other apps.

When it's time for a break, it should notify me somehow, but not lock the computer as the TakeABreak smiley, because sometimes we would want to continue to work for a few more minutes. (blink the icon?)

At right-click, there should be options: Start 10 minute work, Start 2 minute break.

Keep in mind, that when we get so efficient, we might want to change to (12+3)*4 or something.  Cool

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app103
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2006, 05:35:46 PM »

When I was thinking about this, I thought of displaying the time left as a tooltip when you hover the mouse over the tray icon.

But then a thought occurred to me...

Clock watching when you are supposed to be working is a distraction...not a good one either. You would probably get more done during your 10 minutes of working if you weren't thinking about how many minutes you have left to work.

If this is going to be an anti-procrastination tool, maybe it would be best not to tell you how much longer you have to work till your next break.

But for the break, you should be able to know how much time you have left.

I was thinking of when the program loads, showing you a message box that says 'Time to work!' and when you click OK, the 10 minute timer will begin. When your time is up, another message box will pop up that says 'Take a break!' and when you click it, your 2 minute break will begin. When your break time is up, another message box will say 'Back to work!'. After it has looped the 5 times, the final message box will say 'Good job! You are done!'

I can give you a small options panel where you can set the work time length, break time length, and number of times it repeats. (just in case you want to adjust it) I may use this myself with a 60-10-3 instead of 10-2-5.

I promise I will not lock your pc during your breaks, and I'll make sure you can keep working if you wish. The point to this is to get work done, right? Not force you not to.

Maybe someday if you break the procrastination habit, you will need the TakeABreak.  cheesy

So what do you think?
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nudone
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2006, 02:02:08 AM »

app makes a lot of sense about not displaying the countdown - clock watching never helps.
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JacobB
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2006, 10:25:05 AM »

app103 and nudone, you're right.

Also, maybe that I should be able click to "Start to work!" or "Take a break" before the 10 or 2 minutes are over.
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app103
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2006, 01:25:15 PM »

no problem

I should have a first version done for you sometime tomorrow.
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app103
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2006, 01:41:43 PM »

JacobB: I didn't forget about your request. I decided not to adapt an existing program of mine and to write this one totally from scratch and make it really nice. I'll have something for you very soon.
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app103
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2006, 03:52:42 AM »

This will time your work/break cycles, reminding you when to work and when to take a break.

The defaults are 10 minutes of work, 2 minutes of break, and this is repeated 5 times for a total of 1 hour.

These values can be changed to suit your needs. The program will remember the values you used during your last session.

Start by entering in the values you desire:

  • The first box is for how long you want to work
  • The second box is for how long you want your breaks.
  • The third box is for how many times you want to repeat this cycle.

Click Apply to set the new values.

Click Work to begin.

In the statusbar you can see where in your work cycle you are, followed by how long you have worked this session, followed by how long you have worked since you started using Instant Boss.

Instant Boss will tell you when it is time to take a break. You will have the choice to keep working a little longer, take your break now, or skip your break and begin next work period.

  • If you decide to keep working, it will count up and add this to your total work time. You can then decide when to take a break by clicking the take a break button.
  • If you decide to skip your break, it will begin the next word period in the cycle.
  • If you decide to take a break now, it will begin your break period.

At the end of your break period, you will be told to get back to work and offered a few choices.

  • If you decide to work, the work timer will begin.
  • If you decide to take a longer break, it will extend your break by 50%, and remind you again when your time is up, to get back to work.
  • If you click cancel, you will have to start work manually by clicking the work button again.

There is a pause button in case you are interrupted by phone calls or other things that need your attention. This can be used during both work or break periods.

The reset button...use with caution. This will stop all timers and reset everything to default values of 10-2-5 so that you may begin again. It will not reset how long you have worked today, nor the total time you have worked since you started using the Instant Boss program.

Clicking the X to close the program will result in it being minimized to the system tray. The only way to exit is through the right click menu on the tray icon. All of the button options also appear on that menu.

For power users, there are command line parameters you can use to preset the values when you run Instant Boss.

Example:

"C:\Program Files\Instant Boss\InstantBoss.exe" 60 15 3
(there is a space after the last quote and a space between each number)

You can either use this from the Windows Run dialog or use it as shortcut targets. The numbers correspond with work-break-repeat, in that order. Please use only numbers, no letters.

Screenshot:


Download: * InstantBoss1.0.2.zip (253.86 KB - downloaded 2459 times.)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2006, 05:25:00 AM by app103 » Logged

mouser
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2006, 05:20:07 AM »

absolutely, 100% fantastic work app!

well worth the wait!!



let's hear what JacobB and his friends say, but i think you've created a real winner here.

ps.
reminder: send some credits to app103 if you want to support these kinds of projects!
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nudone
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2006, 12:18:09 AM »

great job there, app. really nice little program. will put myself to the test using 'instant boss' soon.

all this has reminded me of a post that i made about a more restrictive method of working: http://www.donationcoder....rum/index.php?topic=216.0 where i requested a program to be made that would stop me from sitting in front of the computer all day.

did Skrommel's 'takeabreak' work for me?

of course not. because i just didn't have the discipline to keep using it.

i'm thinking that 'instant boss' is probably the better way of getting things done. there is a specified time limit to aim for to try and achieve a result - this can be a 'fun' method of working. my more restrictive original request didn't have the positive goal setting that is required - it tried to obtain a result by punishment rather than reward.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2006, 03:53:50 AM by nudone » Logged
app103
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« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2006, 02:46:46 AM »

Thank you, mouser & nudone.

nudone: If this doesn't work out for you, just tell me what features you would like to see added and I'll try to add them.
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mouser
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« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2006, 02:21:43 PM »

Josh just posted a mini review and a screencast of InstantBoss:
http://www.donationcoder....orum/index.php?topic=4602
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app103
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« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2006, 04:15:29 PM »

Thanks for the great review, Josh...and I love the screencast.  cheesy
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noth(a)nk.you
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« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2006, 08:44:45 PM »

Just posted in the page for the InstantBoss review--probably should've gone here.

I started using a similar program (Workrave) last year, but gave it up--until today!

Basically, you get 30 seconds "micro-breaks" every 3 mins, 10 minute "rest breaks" every 45 mins, and there's a daily limit of 4hrs work time (you can change all these values).  They've also included animated stretching exercises (to relieve RSI).

My words wouldn't be able to do the program justice, so check out their screen shots.  They've put a lot of work into making this a nice-looking and very useful program.  I urge you all to check it out.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2006, 06:38:55 PM »

Ok.. Here is my nonly suggestion for this already great program, after 2 days of extensive use:
  I can see what the "reset" button is there for. But there should be some way to stop the work /break cycle instead of quiting the program and starting it again.
Picture the following situation: you're working on something and you have to leave suddenly. You pause instant boss. But then, when you return, you have already rested for some time, and it'd make sense to just start a new work cycle, which means you have to close and restart instant boss. So, i think either the reset button should not reset to "factory" or there should be another button in the gui to use this function.
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app103
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« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2006, 09:37:55 PM »

So, i think either the reset button should not reset to "factory" or there should be another button in the gui to use this function.

ok.

I'll fix that some time this week.
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Jammo the OrganizedFellow
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« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2006, 12:15:12 PM »

I hope I am commenting in the right place.

I downloaded the app and am currently using it.
I just have one comment/request, and depending how many other members like the idea, perhaps it can be integrated into the next version? smiley

When TAKE A BREAK pops up, I think it would be benificial if a small text box (optional) that allows you to enter a brief paragraph stating the progress that was accomplished during the past 'X' minutes of work.


Best if I show you.

Instead of this (the default image):


Maybe something like this would popup:


And when the button is clicked:



(i love Fireworks, lol)

So, as in the last image sample, a SAVE button should be there to save the entered text to a .txt file? or something that would be read by the app, along with time/date stamps?
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As an aspiring web developer/designer, it is a constant struggle to cope with my ADHD + Hypomania/Bipolar Disorder.

The slow growth of my web dev projects is eclipsed by my patience, understanding and desire to learn AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE as I slowly progress.

X_____jamjammo_____
app103
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« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2006, 12:44:54 PM »

I do plan on adding logging in a future version. As soon as I figure out exactly what I want to log, the best way to do that, and the best way to present the data back to the user in a way that will make sense and be the most useful.
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tomos
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« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2006, 12:45:24 PM »

I use instantboss in combination with Titlelog, which keeps a log of the active windows - ie what youre doing.

If you have been away from your computer for more than a set period of time, when you return, Titlelog will ask what you've been doing. I'm starting to also summarise what i was doing prior to the break which seems more important.

I do it to help me be realistic about what I'm doing &/or not doing smiley & it can help for the next "sitting"
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Tom
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« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2007, 03:54:39 PM »

now this is the *ideal* program to be merged with Temptation Blocker, which has been sadly abandoned by its author. the program blocks your distractions ((firefox/IE mostly for me) on the computer, though it lacks a key feature: once you take a break, nothing stops you frmo making it two hours long! Read more about the program, with soutce available:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/temptblocker/
http://lifehacker.com/sof...tation-blocker-115429.php

Could someone bring both goodies together?
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