Break Schedule page

The Schedule page of the Break page in the Preferences window includes controls for how long to take the break, how often, and other options to refine the experience.

Break for: How long do you want the break to last? Set the duration of the break here. This control is quite flexible (and open source [web link]): it works like the standard date picker, but for time intervals. Click on a component to edit it; type a value, click again to show a pop-up menu of values, use up/down arrow keys or the stepper control to cycle through values, and left/right arrows or Tab and Shift-Tab to change components.

Every: How often do you want a break? Set the frequency of the break here. The work duration is displayed to the right; this is the frequency minus the break duration. It might help determine how long the break should be, or how often.

Available: By default breaks are always available, but supporters can limit the break to a specified time range and/or specified days of the week. This is useful for example to only have breaks during working hours, or only on weekends.

Next due: This control shows the date and time when this break will next occur. It can be edited if desired.

When taking a natural break: A "natural break" is when the computer is idle. Time Out can handle this situation in different ways:

The default is Count Backwards. Choosing another option is a supporter reward.

Reset this break after a natural break longer than: If this box is checked, the break will be reset after a specified interval of idle, screensaver or sleep time, where you can choose the threshold interval. Off by default. This is a supporter reward.

Reset this break after finishing one with a higher priority: This option is useful to keep lower priority breaks (e.g. Micro) aligned with higher priority ones (e.g. Normal). Off by default, and is also a supporter reward.

Skip this break if one with a higher priority...: This checkbox uses the order of breaks in the sidebar to automatically skip the break if a more important one is due within a specified time interval. This is generally a good idea, so is the default. Supporters can disable it, and might want to do so for fixed-time breaks (e.g. lunchtime or afternoon snack).

When this break is due: Normally the break is started immediately when it is due. Supporters can instead opt to wait for 15 seconds of idle before starting, so you can finish your thought. If the Mac remains busy for a minute after due, the break starts anyway, so you don't miss out.